Honesty

So after yet another failed romance, I find myself in a familiar place.
Oh the pain. That familiar, searing pain, like someone is stabbing a hot poker into my chest.

It was at an event two nights ago that something clicked - an event in which I crawled under a garage door into a sex positive orgasmic meditation coaching event, bra-less. I’d only intended to go to the local market, and just felt like being free. I almost didn’t because I hate it when men stare at me or my chest so I didn’t want to draw attention, but at the same time I didn’t want to deny myself freedom out of fear, so I just decided I’d stare back with fire in my eyes if I had any trouble. Of course this is the night I find myself crawling under a garage door (with 2 feet of space to clear), into a room full of strangers sitting in a circle, staring at me. Fortunately for them and me, they were all smiling warmly.

It was at this event that I got to experience from the outside what I’ve been doing my entire life. 

A volunteer client and coach were brought into the center of the circle. The coaching session was to be about whatever the client wanted support with in his life. The client shared that he felt troubled that he could not get his female friend to be ok with him being part of a practice that mattered to him. He wanted, no, needed her to be ok with him doing this practice, and he really wanted her to join in as well. 

"Isn't this about him?" I thought. "Why does he need her to do anything for him to be ok?" 

Lightbulb moment. 

"Why does this sound familiar?" I thought.

Hours earlier: Me, feeling drained, lifeless, waiting for the boy to call, or text, or contact me in some way. Show me in some way that he’s thinking of me. 

Nothing.

Me, drained, waiting, sad.

Me, days before: Feeling ok. Doing my thing. 

He texts and my mood bursts, joy, love, happiness, fulfillment, stars, tingles flood through me. 

I text back. Within hours the feeling of longing returns, at moments on the surface, most moments under the surface. I go back to doing my thing, feeling some tension in my mind and body. Some time goes by and I check my phone. I start to feel impatient. I feel sad. I begrudgingly go back to doing my thing, feeling ok, I guess. 

He texts. I feel a burst of happiness. (you get the picture)

Me in previous long-term loving relationship: When feeling love & attention from my partner I feel so happy and loved and full. Floods of tingles in moments when I'm really feeling acknowledged. General feeling of safety and warmth and contentment inside. 

When not feeling love & attention from my partner I feel this (depending on the intensity of my lack): sad, devastated, panicked, unsafe, destroyed, broken, empty, wanting to hurt myself in some other way to distract from the searing pain in my heart, lifeless wanting to die. 

What did I experience in watching this client and coach? If the client is needing his friend to show her acknowledgement in order for him to be ok, that means there’s some part of him that doesn’t believe it's ok. He's needing her permission to tell him he's ok for doing the practice.

What did I see in myself watching this? Here I was, waiting for my latest romantic interest to text back. It had been 3 days and I was feeling panicked. My own groundedness felt totally shaky. The life energy seemed to be draining from me. I felt lethargic and empty. I needed him to text me, to contact me in some way in order for me to feel ok. 

Hold on a moment. I needed this person to text me and in essence, tell me I’m ok (by his acknowledging me), in order for me to be ok. 

LIGHTBULB. If I’m needing him to contact me in order for me to be ok, there’s a part of me that doesn’t believe I’m ok. I'm waiting for his permission to confirm that I'm ok.

I'm giving my power to a person outside myself, letting him or her decide if I'm ok, and I'm basing how I feel about myself on THAT!

So how do I ACTUALLY feel about myself, without the stimulation and energy of an outside person? 

Well, I can see this from how I feel when he (or she) doesn’t call, and hasn’t called for days. This is the moment when I feel most alone with myself. Not feeling love from any outside source.
This is it. THIS IS HOW I FEEL ABOUT MYSELF. 

::long pause::

Woah. Reality.

I have for some reason blocked off my own channels of loving myself.
However, my channels of feeling loved through a romantic interest’s love or attention are wide open, or at least they feel that way for some span of time.
So literally the only way I am feeling love for myself is through someone else ‘loving’ or appreciating me. Um, kind of dangerous? No wonder I’ve literally felt like I wanted to die when past relationships ended. 

I literally felt myself as I perceived the other person saw me. So when I couldn’t feel their love anymore, I felt - loveless. Empty. 

This is how I feel about myself, honestly, without outside stimulation. 

Woah, no wonder I’ve been attracting partners where I end up in this position. If this crying mess is actually how I feel about myself, even if someone appreciates me for a while, it won’t let it last. My core belief will always rise above and bring me back to feeling how I most authentically feel towards myself.

I stood last night leaning against my mantle, staring at myself in the mirror for a long time. After a while the crying simmered down. And there I was. For the first time, I just took my time looking, curious. 

"This is where I am." I realized.
After some time I felt kind of cozy in this spot. Looking at myself in the mirror with no judgement, no agenda. Everything felt neutral. 

Seeing my outer form, and feeling the void inside, and noticing my breathing, all of it calm and neutral, I felt this warm energy around me. It felt like relaxation.

I wrote in my journal just to mark where I currently stand.
Acknowledging where I am without judgment feels calming. Like this calm after a storm. It feels clearing. I feel ready. I feel myself gearing up for my next steps.

I wonder if some people are going to read this and feel sad or scared for me, or feel the need to give me advice. If you feel that need, I ask you to please keep it to yourself. I am actually fantastic. Not happy and joyful, but present. Alive. Learning about myself. Subtly and not so subtly seeing, feeling, discovering, revealing, absorbing. My only goal right now is to be as awake as I can in each moment. 

If you have your own story of honesty I would love to hear it in the comments below, in person, or in any other forum. Something I am feeling so good about in my life right now is community. Community of open, loving people being raw and honest. Scaring ourselves (and maybe our families) with how vulnerable we are.