"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

***A Quote From The Velveteen Rabbit


The Right Thing

My close girlfriend hit me up on instant messenger last night, we chat often since she moved back home to the east coast from San Diego, some time ago. I cherish these moments I'm privileged to have with her, even if only online and lacking the majority of the nonverbal interpersonal communication that is often necessary for deep understanding between 2 individuals. As kindred spirits, our connection is always present, despite the physical distance between and the passage of time, spiritually we are always within reach of one another.

I miss and love her dearly, she is a GOOD person, she is REAL, she is growing and evolving in ways one can only hope to witness throughout the lives of ALL the people they love, which, ironically, are commonly the same ways we often resist, refuse to acknowledge, and just plain deny ourselves personal growth in our own lives. It's The Hard Stuff, the parts of us that we don't want to admit, don't have the confidence to take a look at, the things which trigger our shame, insecurity, anger, sadness and all the other emotions which are a natural part of our soulful existence as human beings, but are regarded, unfortunately, as negative and unattractive.

Every time I talk to my friend, she's working hard to achieve a deeper understanding, or at least a deeper acceptance of herself and others, she's creating space for growth..And LOVE..I'm so proud of her. She's amazing, beautiful and brave, an inspiration...I'm blessed to have this space with her, it's always a learning experience in some way. It's so easy to love my Bean, and she deserves it.

We talk about a variety of topics, anything that comes up. There is no need to filter what is communicated, there is no judgment. How nice to have a friend to tell anything to, that can be truly and infinitely trusted, who's feedback is immeasurably valuable but who offers advice without expectation, honoring and supporting your right to make your own decisions based on whatever criteria you've determined pertinent to the outcome of the situation in question. Someone who may not always understand your needs, but at least respects them, and encourages you to do so as well.

As amazing as this is, I sometimes don't do a good job of honoring the woman she is in my life..And I end up feeling guilty, irritable and exhausted, not to mention inadequate. There are 2 contributing factors in this and both have the same central theme, which is that I rarely take space for myself when I need it, They are:

1) I am almost always there when she calls on me, even when I feel it's not in my best interest to be emotionally..I have a really difficult time setting boundaries, I often experience a feeling of intense guilt when I'm trying to determine appropriate boundaries, plus I become consumed with my inability to communicate that, sometimes, I am not in the space to take anything else on..OR that I simply don't have the energy necessary to be there for her if she (or anyone, this is a common issue for me) needs someone.

2) I also struggle with resistance to asking someone to just hear me every now and then, especially when I need it to just be about ME. There are times when I feel like I just need to talk, vent, empty myself of what's creating pressure, and I don't want to take in anything to replace what I'm releasing. Sometimes I don't want to be related to, I want my experience to be acknowledged as it's own, honored for what it is individually, in relation to ME, despite the similar experiences of anyone else. I really want to be heard, and sometimes I feel as though I'm not being listened to and truly acknowledged when I try to express myself as a way of asking to be supported, only to be answered with a story of how the person I am speaking with has been through the same thing. It's nice to be related to, I certainly don't want to seem ungrateful or selfish, but even if EVERYONE in the world has been through what I have been through, it doesn't make my personal experience any less significant or easy to deal with for me. I'm working on this, but I still rarely ask for help or support when I need it, from anyone, even her, even though I suspect I am taking away from her experience in our relationship by holding back.

Sooooo.....A few days ago I got to talk to her for the first time in probably a week, I was really glad to hear from her, we usually talk more than this, I think. Anyways, I was feeling lonely for her attention, to be perfectly honest. But on this day, as has been the case fairly often lately, I was not feeling well.

Depressed, bouts of crying out of nowhere, that feeling that life is passing me by, somehow...Loneliness, shame, longing, guilt, even regret. Yes...There IT is finally, I have decided there IS something, at least 1 thing, I have done in my life that I regret. It makes me nauseous to admit that, even now. 

Uncertainty, worthlessness, undeserving...I could go on with the list of the emotions I was experiencing, AM experiencing, but I don't know how self serving that would be, and I'm sure I've gotten my point across. I wasn't, haven't been, and still am not feeling good about myself, and of course, it is all in relation to the central theme and need in my life...Love. To love and be loved, to be in relationship mindfully and fruitfully. Fuuuuuuu! And now, the tears again. Ugghhhhhhhhhh.......

Ok, so.....One thing we ALWAYS talk about is where she's at dating and relationship wise. It's usually the first thing we talk about, and as usual, last night's conversation was started with an update about her guy and their relationship. Which I normally welcome and am eager to hear....But last night, I was not in the mood to talk to her about anything relationship related.

Because I was hurting so badly, and this particular wound I am working so hard to heal is so very deep, it was really hard for me to be open to her. It's like a wound to my spirit that, over time, couldn't heal and festered into a raging infection of my soul. And it hurts. It even encompasses my physical body, and it clouds my thoughts, sometimes even persuades my feelings. But I'm always trying to be a good friend, trying to have patience for her and myself..She deserves for me to be the same friend I always am, she deserves stability and a reliable confidante, even if I don't feel tolerant emotionally.

So I conversed with her about how things are going, how she is feeling, read about how happy she is and what her experience of being in love is like. And I still can't put words to how happy I am for her, this is such good news! I responded to her questions, gave her my honest opinion when asked, I was a good friend, as I feel I always am..All the while feeling as though I'm dying inside, still crying off and on. Instant messenger texting doesn't convey emotion, it's a very godless thing...So she never even knew.

In my recovery, and as I'm learning how to care for myself, I've come to realize that not only is it a healthy practice for me to set boundaries for MYSELF, inevitably all parties involved receive something from it. So at the same time I was being a "good" friend, I was failing her..And myself. It makes me feel so good to be helpful, to always be available, to be a "good" friend..And at the same time, in situations like this, I end up crushing myself. I can see both things, I can relate to both things..Maybe someday I'll be able to choose just one thing. The RIGHT thing.

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Wap said...

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