Shadows and Light

I’m doing the Deepak Chopra/Oprah 21 day free meditation “Become what you Believe”.  They offer these 21 day free meditations about 3 times a year, and I’ve done them all, I think.  They are invaluable.  The insight I get is generally very enlightening.

Today’s meditation was about the shadows, our darker, hidden beliefs about ourselves that, when brought to the light, lose their power.  I think I’ve had a few, lol, that have led me to not learning the lessons and so repeating them.

With my ex…when we met, and in the early years of our relationship, he was a different man. He was a nationally ranked swimmer.  He had what appeared to be a big close family, and his father ran a very successful business. The family exuded success. I was dazzled by the accumulation of wealth, and what seemed to be a close intact family.  It took me years to see the underlying dysfunction.  He and his older brother dislike each other immensely.  His father had a foul temper, and could lace into people, my ex and his wife, and anyone in his way, at any time.  He knew it…he always said, “I will knock people down, but I then give them a hand back up.”  Well yes, he did.  He gave them a hand when they were bloody and beaten and their brain scrambled, because then one was the most vulnerable to do what he wanted, to listen out of fear of being beat up again.  When my ex was young, it wasn’t just verbal, it was physical too, until my ex got too big and could and would have fought back. The brothers hated each other because one of them had to be at fault for anything that happened bad, and they learned to point the finger at each other from the time they were babies.  The mother, stood by and watched, and allowed it all, in the interest of “backing up her husband.’  Which was really just inability to face the fear of life alone.

So there was the dysfunction. It was all about power and control, it was a gift from my father-in-laws own alcoholic father, passed down through the generations, to my ex.  I hope to have broken the cycle by getting my son away from it, and working with him, to help him understand his own shadows.

But I digress.  The point is, the dysfunction.  S also had a family of origin that was dysfunctional.  More dysfunctional? I don’t know but small bits and pieces, because I never met them.  But in neither family was there unconditional love.  In both families the mother allowed the father to run rampant over the family. That I am sure of.

So, my own shadows.  When I realized this about my ex, gradually over the years, I began to consider leaving him, which would have been the best thing to do.  But I didn’t. Fear mostly.  Of many things.  Finally, the universe put in front of me something that was just unacceptable on all levels, and I was able to gather the strength to overcome all my fears, and I left him, and began a long battle to reclaim my life, and my son’s.  Leaving earlier would have been the right thing to do for my spiritual evolution.  With S, it didn’t take me as long.  Last summer, when I realized all he wanted was a physical relationship, I tried to leave him so many times, but again…I chose the easier path, and allowed myself to be pulled back in.  The universe actually helped me out, bringing Betty Boop back, because I needed something drastic to happen in order to get away from him for my own evolution.  I needed to regard myself with more value, more worth, and to stop believing obvious untruths that soothed my ego, but hurt my soul.

I chose the easy path too long with both. And even after Betty Boop came back, and he chose her for his own reasons, (choosing the easy path, perhaps? It’s way easier to repeat the lesson, than to rumble through it. But that’s his business, not mine.) I continued to talk to him, to want to find an easy path to stay in his life, but thank God, I loved myself enough then, to not take the one he offered.

I now need to learn that I DO deserve a healthy relationship.  I went from one so controlling I couldn’t breathe, to one so uncaring that it ripped me open.  I gave both men my full heart, I tried with both to make it work, no matter what it took.  And it took me…it took pieces of my soul in both cases.  It took me giving myself away.  I reclaimed myself from my ex, but then, I hadn’t learned the lesson, along came a different wolf in different sheep’s clothing, and I gave myself away again.

I think I am learning the lesson now.  I think I get it.  I am reclaiming myself from S.  I woke this morning feeling ownership of my life again.  I haven’t even checked the phone to see if he tried to leave a voicemail. I am hoping he’s finally leaving me alone, and has stopped trying to keep me on the periphery of his life.

Back to beliefs.  I really believe now that dysfunction does not have to be my lot.  I want, and will find a loving passionate relationship, or not.  But I’ll never settle for one that is again dysfunctional.  My eyes are open, I don’t want to repeat this lesson.  I don’t need another teacher.  LOL.  I see the shadow, and now, it’s in the light.  I will always have compassion for those like my ex, and S, who have been buried in dysfunction all their lives.  They have the choice to change it or not.  It’s not my job.  I can shine the light, it’s all I can do.  Its their choice, to stay in the darkness, and repeat the lessons, or bring their own shadows to the light.

As for me…Onward, as Liz Gilbert says. Onward.

Consciously, with Love and Gratitude

I made a decision today, this afternoon, to consciously let go of the pain and heartbreak.  In order or me to be true to myself, I have to stick with my values, the idea that is the basis of who I am, my center.  It is a belief in the power and the importance of unconditional love.  I will let S go, with love and gratitude.  I will not become bitter, I will not be angry, I will not berate him, I will  not judge him.  I will love him, always.  But I will move on, and wish him peace.

A few months ago, he wrote a poem, called “Night and Day”.  It was about us, and how different we were, how we could never occupy the same space.  I posted it, but then took it down, because I wanted to keep it for myself.  It was sad, but real.  I hung on anyway.  But he was right, all along.  Our relationship was the beautiful dawn, and dusk, when the sun and the moon complement each other and set the sky ablaze.

I loved loving him.  It is really none of my business if he loved me or not, though I suspect he did in his own way.  He hated vulnerability, and could not put himself out there the way I could.  Our life experiences were opposite of each other.  But I love the man, his humor, his quirky way of seeing things, his intelligent off-beat brain.  I loved going to the beach with him, though it was always in winter, when it was cold.  We would have endless stretched of beach to ourselves, and took advantage of that when we could. There were many months that went by when we never had a bad moment.  Those are what I take away.

I have always put myself out there.  I’ll risk the pain of rejection, and really, in all my years this is the first time I’ve experienced it, because I’d rather risk that, than risk having regrets for not speaking up, not offering myself completely.  So, there are really no regrets here.  If he has any, I don’t know, it’s none of my business.  I have gone back to the light, he has receded into the darkness that he loves.  He feels safe there I think.  I get that.  I only feel safe when I can see, or when I love.  I never was any good at hiding.

I’m going to try to make this my last post about him.  I am going to try to write more about other things that are important to me, that drive me.  There may be a new man in my life, I don’t know yet where it’s going to go.  But I want to give it my energy, instead of hanging onto a relationship that was never going to work.

I sent him an email today, I said what I needed to say as lovingly as I could, and said goodbye.  I am glad he was in my life.  And now, I am determined to find joy in the divergent path.  In my mind, the relationship really ended last spring.  Alternately, we each tried to hang on to the parts of it we liked but they were never the same thing.

Day and night.  Night and day.  Can’t have one without the other.  Peace, S.  Love always, all ways.

Through the Darkness

 I saw you standing in the shadows

You thought that you were hidden 

That the darkness kept you invisible. 

But you didn’t know

The light from your eyes

Pierced through the shadows and the darkness

And illuminated the path to your soul

For those that cared to see it. 

One woman, this woman, 

Saw your sadness of keeping hidden

And followed the light beam

To where you had lived so silently,

To take your hand 

And walk with you

Into the light.