What happens when the fire starts to fade? When the oxygen runs out?
When there is no longer a blaze and there are simply ashes to sift through that is when the “fun” begins. I have been burning a fire for weeks (if you don’t know what the fuck I am talking about read this). This pandemic has caused stress in ways that I didn’t realize I could even be stressed. One thing has become VERY clear. I am the only one that will take care of myself in the way and capacity that I need to be cared for. And placing my needs on other people, especially during this time, is unfair. The pressure of this situation has forced a long, hard look at what serves my life and what doesn’t and in that way has been a tremendous catalyst for change.
With the fires burning down and me making shifts in my life, just the coals remain. Red hot and waiting for fuel. As I sift through what is left, the thought patterns that are still present, the open loops that need tending to and the relationships that have survived there is a constant re-evaluation of what is and isn’t serving a higher vision.
For a while, when the fire is burning hot and there is the power of conviction there is this euphoria that accompanies KNOWING what is right. For me, that feeling lasted about a week. It was awesome. And then the fire slowed and I was left with situations that were less black and white. Situations where there are people involved that I really care about so setting these relations aflame didn’t feel particularly empowering. I became complacent very quickly. I was holding on to outdated relationships. Ones that were not evolving in a way that I needed them to. That old feeling of the tension of knowing there are truths to be uncovered still, started to fester and I realized in a few ways I was still walking away from this person that I was trying to be.
It is no secret here that Mr. X has been fantastically important in my life. That our relationship is the catalyst for all of the change that occurred in the last year. I keep improving, very much because of how he sees me, not as I am, but beyond the surface to the best parts of me. Skillfully he has teased them out and I love him so much for playing that role in my life. It has been exceedingly hard to let him go. I have held on to this notion that we are meant to be, that we are soul mates. But he has a woman next to him already. So I have been forced to look at other options.
I have known from the very beginning, when there was a recognition of feelings, that I needed to be the one to say, “nope, I deserve someone of my own.” I have not been strong enough to do that, the thought of losing him far too hard to accept.
Until this week.
When the fire burned down and our relationship was put under the microscope I realized just how much of myself I was giving away to him. I did it under the guise that he really loves me and wants to be with me but is so ingrained in his current life that it just isn’t possible. So we would be friends, and that was that. But I have known since that was first suggested that I was not able to be friends. Not now, maybe not ever, in the capacity that he wants. I have tried… fuck I have tried. But seeing him, his arm wrapped around another woman, caused me to fall on my knees in ugly sobs. It doesn’t feel fair that I cannot have the one man that I feel was made for me, of me, my lock and key. I realized how much I was waiting around for him, how much I was quieting myself and making myself small, biding my time, hoping he would come around. Maybe he will in time, probably, he won’t.
So when the smoke cleared I saw us in a new light. I saw me, unwavering in not abandoning myself yet still acting complacent. I felt just how heavy that was. Tragic romances are just that… tragic. They are the thing of books and love poems. At some point I realized I am tired of living tragedies. I want to LIVE. With someone. Someone to adventure with, someone whose touch melted me, someone who brings out the goofy, lighthearted, kid that is so tightly in check. Mr. X is all those things. I would give a lot to be with him.
But I will no longer give myself up. I don’t fit into the box that our relationship has become. I could no longer feel happiness that he was happy with someone else, even though I want him to be happy.
The truth is, I want him to be happy… with me.
Jealousy, anger, resentment… all these things came boiling up. Old me would have tamped them down and let them fester in my heart. New me listened to them screaming that this wasn’t okay.
So I did the hardest thing. The thing that I have known needed to happen so we can walk forward.
I let him go. Like really…. let him go. I blocked him on social media, removed FaceBook from my phone and sat with the overwhelming emotions that followed.
You know how I know that doing something hard was still a good move? The same joy I felt with the big burn was still present underneath the pain. It wasn’t loud and cheering for me, but if I listened beyond the anguish it was there, like an autumn breeze, delicate and light. Weight came off my chest and for the first time in a few months I felt free.
I would like to think that I am capable of becoming friends. I am not a person that can really fake it for very long. I can say I am glad he is happy with his current lot in life, but if I don’t actually feel it, it is just dishonest and I can’t live long in that space.
I realized that is what we were doing. I was lying that I was okay with his situation and us being friends. He was beating down that fact that he is in love with me so he could stay in his ecosystem that in so many ways has defined his life up to now. He was doing so at the cost of me. Of our friendship. And ultimately at the cost of himself. As someone who really loves him, I’m not okay with that.
So I chose different. I chose myself.
Loving someone isn’t always flowers and chocolates. It is doing what is really fucking hard sometimes.
It feels indescribably cruel to do this to him right now, when there is so much stress in this world. When I had become his confidante about a few big things in his life. But it was putting me in a position where I felt I would come in and support him, he would let his feelings bloom and then would have to beat them down and would completely disappear for days at a time. I would see him posting on FB and wondering why, if I was so special to him, were my messages being unanswered. I tell myself it is because he loves me too much. That is the best feeling option. Internally I felt abandoned, left behind, it felt dishonest and in some ways like my support and love was being taken for granted.
So, I have been forced to look at what this means for us. How I go about having a friendship, is that something that I am even capable of right now? It has also forced me to realize that maybe he is a “soul mate” but that doesn’t necessarily mean we get forever. Maybe his role in my life is complete and we should part ways for good. Maybe our paths cross once again.
Sometimes I get messages about the future. They come in the most bizarre of ways. I know his role in my life isn’t finished. I know I want him as a partner. I also know things rarely show up as we intend them too, maybe our partnership will flourish from a distance. I have never dreamed of a life with someone. I was not one of those girls that sat around dreaming up Mr. Right. I just knew when I had a certain feeling, a feeling I never experienced with anyone else, I would just…know. And I did with him. When we first met there was just love and purity and innocence and complete adoration. He is the only man that I dared to dream a future with. The only one whose touch didn’t feel like a thousand tiny needles on my skin. The only one who ever looked at me with a tenderness in his eyes that rendered me speechless and melted my heart into a puddle.
I want that again.
This space we created was not clean. And we were both trying to fit in it for the other person. For over a year there has been great love, but also great pain, agony, suffering. Less innocence and tenderness as time passed. Neither one of us can last without honesty for long. But we put ourselves aside. We laid down our truths, the things we knew, the things we wanted to be and tried to squeeze into a box that didn’t fit. We did this for each other, there is no greater love than that, right?
Wrong. Letting go so that you can both have the room to breathe and flourish, that… that is a greater sign of love and respect. Even though it hurts like a motherfucker.
There is no medal for being a martyr. No trophy for self sacrifice. There is only the weight on the chest of unanswered knowing. The suffocation of not being free. He is not free in his current life and that is something only he can adjust. But he wasn’t free with me either, and that one I can fix.
I hope he realizes it was an act of love. For both of us.
It is easy to become complacent after a massive fire. To let the gray areas slip the face of judgement. To sacrifice a small piece of you because it is that… small… but when it comes to the heart, even a small piece carries the weight of the world. Those have to be tended to as much as any other. There is a sometimes ruthless destruction that occurs, but it is a requirement. A requirement to see clearer, to feel clearer, to be… more oneself.
Poke around the coals. Know that losing yourself is the biggest tragedy of all and make adjustments. Be a warrior. Hunt down anything that is holding you back. Be savage and wild. Be a predator in your own life. Know it will hurt, but take heart in the understanding that the reward on the other side… that coming back to you… that is… priceless.<3 ❤