A Little Lesson That I Learned

Hello lovely! I write to you today sitting in a chair covered with a blanket trying to keep warm. Since moving to So. Cal about a year and a half ago I have become somewhat sensitive to the cold.Well more than I was before. While it hardly ever rains here, this weekend has been a bit of a gloomy weekend, and it has given me some extra time to do a bit of self reflection.

I was talking with a friend today about our summers and what we have done for the past two and a half months (time really does go by quickly). She was telling me about how she was going through some difficult things. As I was talking with her I started thinking about everything that I had been through in the past year. I had met an amazing man who later broke up with me, suffered a great deal, and then had the privilege of meeting a second amazing man. I remembered feeling like I was the biggest failure of a woman and that it was all my fault that the first relationship didn’t work out. I remembered how much I had hated him those first several months and how I just wanted him to disappear but I didn’t at the same time. I didn’t really want him to disappear. What I really wanted was for him to come back into my life. I didn’t want to accept what was happening. I remembered what it was it felt like to be in this place of limbo and just wanting to understand what happened. I remembered the confusion that I felt and my blindness and refusal to see that he too had pain. I didn’t want to see that. It was easier, safer not to see that.  Yet, that wasn’t what I wanted. It didn’t feel right to me. I felt vindictive towards him but I didn’t want to be.  I was angry and frustrated for all the crap advice out there. I felt like hardly anyone was listening to me! And I took it out on him even though I knew he wasn’t to blame. No one was to blame. I just thought there had to be someone to blame. So I blamed myself. After all, I felt it was my failure to be a good enough woman that caused the relationship to fail. 

As I was talking to my friend I also thought about the man that I admire so much. I thought about how he had gone something very similar to my friend. I found myself wondering what it must have been like for him. I imagined that it must have been his worst nightmare come to life. I imagined that he felt used for his resources, that he felt like a failure as a man (this is probably a man’s worst fear!), and the confusion and pain that accompanies all of that. I don’t fully understand what it must have been like for him because I’ve never been engaged, but I imagine that that’s what it must have been like for him. I can only imagine what it must have been like based on my own limited experiences. I also thought about my journey to begin understanding where a man may be coming from. I really reflected about why I decided to begin this journey as uncertain and unknown as it is. 

What I found is that I didn’t want to feel those feelings again. I didn’t want to feel like a failure as a woman nor did I want to believe that I was a failure because I wasn’t enough. Before I thought I believed it and at the time I did. After experiencing the pain and disappointment and confusion of a break up I really began to question if I really was enough. I feared that a man would never want me again. As I was remembering all of this, I thought about how during that time of immense pain and suffering that I was only ever focused on my pain. I wasn’t even remotely concerned about the suffering that I may have been causing him or the others around me. Looking back, I believe I may have started getting on some of my friends nerves. At the time though, I didn’t care. I only knew that I was in pain and that I was hurt and it felt like it was never going to end. 

After meeting the man who completely captivates me and has my respect and admiration, I began to look outside of myself. I had started to before I had met him after a few months, but I only noticed the hurt of others on a superficial level. As I was talking to my friend today, I realized  that the reason I can feel all of this is because I had appreciated his energy. Even as I sit here writing to you I can feel this tingling in my body as I continue to have a growing admiration for this man. Despite the hundreds of miles between him and I, I can feel his energy. The energy of a man who knows exactly what his life mission is and will do anything to achieve it. The energy of a man who can provided. So much so that I have no doubt of his ability to provide for me our future children if I were to be so blessed. The energy of a man who has experienced extreme pain and who is willing to risk feeling it gain with the possibility of experiencing something so incredible that words fail to even begin describing it. 

I don’t believe that it is love because love takes time and nurturing to grow. Love comes about as positive associations are built between two people,as attraction grows, and as precious irreplaceable memories are made between two people. What I am describing as feeling is a whole being sensation of appreciation, respect, and admiration. 

I further noticed as I was talking to my friend that with my ex-boyfriend I never actually dreamed of a life with him until after we broke up. I never dreamed of a life with him while we were together. However, with my man now (that’s how I feel about him, that he is my man), I dream of all the things that we could share together. All of the activities that we could do together, and what life with him would be like. 

Even more so, I realized that I never would have began this journey to understand a man’s needs (generally speaking) are in a relationship and what their fears are if I had never experienced any of my pains and sufferings as well as the joys and loves of the past year. I would most likely have been content with not understanding. And yet, if I never made the decision to really understand a man’s needs and fears, I could never give my man the compassion and understanding that he deserves. 

I believe that compassion has become rare. It’s not everywhere. If it were then no one would spend their lives searching for it. 

In talking to my friend today, I also thought about why it was that I wanted to be in a relationship again. After all I had told myself, “Going through the pain of a break up fuckin’ sucked! I don’t ever want to go through that again.” And I don’t. What I found was that I wanted to feel like I was loved and valuable. I wanted to feel like I could be safe enough with a man to have children. And what I realized was that in order to get that, I first had to be willing to be vulnerable. 

I have to be willing to be vulnerable first.

If I am not willing to be vulnerable first and to care enough about where this relationship goes, how can I ever expect this man to be inspired to want to be deeply committed to me? As far as I’m concerned, I can’t. 

You see, I believe that if we don’t have at least a basic understanding then we can’t really have compassion for another person.

Take a second to think about it. If you are in a friendship or romantic relationship and you feel that the person who you are with doesn’t  understand you, do you feel like they care about you? Do you full filled and loved? Do you feel like they have compassion for you? Really ask yourself these questions and really look for the core answers to these questions. 

For me the answer is no. When I feel that a person doesn’t understand me that I’m not important to them or that they don’t really care about me but rather they care about how they appear to other people. 

However, I also believe that sometimes, it can be difficult to understand some perspectives or experiences and feelings when we ourselves haven’t had similar experiences or feelings before. In fact, even when two people have experienced similar situations or feelings there can still be some misunderstanding. I believe this is because every single one of us has our own perspective or own lens through which we see life.

Share your thoughts and feelings below!

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