Thursday, April 18, 2013

Letting In and Letting Go

Letting in the Light and Letting Go of Facebook Stalking

My boyfriend is having one of 'those' birthdays. I won't mention which number, but it is one that has him pondering life and where he is in the world. I admire how he continually works on being a better man and sees both his strengths and his faults - he's an amazing guy and a rare human being. It isn't often I meet someone as dedicated to understanding himself and working on becoming closer to the man he would like to be, as I am to the same goals. 

But this blog entry isn't really about him, although it sort of starts and ends with him. Driving from my house to his house Monday, I thought about his upcoming birthday. Actually, I found myself thinking about the gift I got him this year. Honestly, I do not think I could be any more excited about his gift. When it came in the mail three weeks ago, I could barely make it to my house before I opened it. Oh who am I kidding, I opened the package in my driveway! It was even better than I had hoped! Seriously. It has taken EVERY SINGLE bit of restraint not to tell him what I got him. My gift isn't anything super fantastic or expensive, but it comes from my heart and I know he will like it.

So as I drove along, smiling about this gift, I started thinking about other birthdays with other people I've been in a relationship with in my life. Especially people who are no longer an important part of my life.

I should state that I am, in general, a terrible gift giver. For most of my life I've been pretty absorbed in my own growth and my own experience - that makes it hard to truly know someone else. I will say I have tried to be a good gift giver. But in my past relationships, I have even had others give me 'lists' to 'help' me with my gift giving. I would try. No, I mean I would really *try*. I would obsess and worry and try to figure out what to give... I would have ideas, but in the end, I still gave pretty forgettable gifts off some 'pre-selected' list. 

Until now. Until I met someone that I connected with and someone that I learned enough about to be able to get something I know he will enjoy. Something he would never get for himself. And as I was driving, I found myself thinking, "I hope (insert several names here) has someone in their life now that buys them heartfelt gifts. That knows them well enough to give a gift from the heart - full of meaning and devotion."

I realized I had seldom given gifts in my past full of meaning and devotion. Ironically, it wasn't the gift giving moment that caught my breath.

I sat in the car and literally felt my heart being lifted from my chest. My breath caught in my throat for a second then I felt this full body exhale.

I realized I had, without thought or intent, genuinely wished those from my past, love. I realized for perhaps the first time, no matter how bad the ending or how bad my heartbreak, I had made peace with those events in my life. My boyfriend says that when trying to heal, you go from Unconscious Incompetence, to Conscious Incompetence, to Conscious Competence to Unconscious Competence - where you don't even think about the behavior you are trying to change, you simply have become the change you have been working on in your life. It was still fragile, but I realized I had forgiven myself on that deep level. I realized the only person that could change the perception of my past, was me. 

For quite some time I have been able to see my part in why my past relationships didn't work, but I was angry that the others involved couldn't see their part. Wouldn't see their part. I was angry and frustrated and I wanted vindication and for them to own their share of what made our relationships end. I had finally come to that space where realizing I could want that to the moon and back, but wanting it wasn't going to make it so. I had to own my share of why the relationship didn't work and allow myself forgiveness. That was when I knew it was time to move on and let go. 

It was time to let go of pointing the finger and saying how I had been wronged. In the past, I would look at their facebook pages and feel angry all over again. And yes, I looked. And yes, I felt angry. And I used that anger to continue to eat my tail in my self-consuming anger and rage at the 'injustice' of it all.

This week, I feel healthier - not only have I started working out during the week before work, but I feel like I have turned a corner in being able to wish those from my past - happiness.  I even passed two past milestones this month without even remembering them until much later. That said a lot to me as well. I have written in the past about taking the 'high road', but this was different. This wasn't forcing myself to take the high road, it was looking down and realizing I was just 'on the road' and it felt really good. 

I'm actually finding the end to the bitternes,  quite sweet. Almost as sweet as the double chocolate cake with fudge icing requested as a birthday cake.