Saturday, August 13, 2011

An Open Letter & Relationships

“It saddens me. But I am the one responsible. I am the one that didn’t see things as they were. I was the one that was so desperate for a connection that I lowered my standards to feel less alone. I was the one who didn’t “see” or just out-right ignored the signs when they started showing up. I was the one who tolerated the inadequacies of our relationship and kept silent for too long about my feelings. I was the one who chose to ignore the issues, gave benefits of doubt not once, but many, many times in the hope that the beauty I saw beneath the veneer of insecurity, manipulation, anger (at self, others and the world), abusiveness when I stood my ground, disrespect, and saboteur choices would spring forth. I saw the real you – your heart, your spirit, that God essence within you and I stuck it out because I believed in it, in you.
But my belief in you, in your heart, in your spirit wasn’t strong enough to overcome the lack of belief in yourself.

And ultimately, in my efforts to extract that part of who you really are into fuller expression, I lost. I lost sight of who I am in the subjugation of verbal and emotional abuse demonstrated through hurtful hateful words, critical judgment, and negative falsehoods shared in covering up your inability to sustain a healthy relationship, all so that you wouldn’t have to deal with your stuff. I lost faith, thankfully for only for a brief time, in my own ability to see through the façade and appearances that served you in our relationship. In my effort to preserve your sense of self, I lost courage, perhaps even gave up my right, to stand up for myself and what I deserve as an equitable, respectful and communicative relationship with another. I lost sight of my values, my personal standards, and my principles as I re-negotiated them for your benefit and the benefit of our relationship’s survival.

But just as importantly, and the hardest of all, I lost you and our relationship because I needed to be who I am, and not change or conform to what and how you expected me to be within our relationship. Nor could I ask you to do the same.

So now, we move on and our relationship changes. I move forward with greater wisdom and a greater consciousness. I’m not sure what happened, or even how it came to pass, but I know that each of us was at choice through the entire process. I can only take responsibility for my part, and that can be a bitter taste of Humble pie that many won’t even consider trying. I lean into such opportunities because I seek to live wiser, more authentically, surrounded by people who mutually share my values and principles, who mutually value and unconditionally love all that I offer in a relationship – my feelings, my thoughts, my faults, my opinions, my quirks, my needs, my compassion, my open-mindedness, my honesty, my heart, and even, my willingness to give above and beyond (what is sometimes unhealthy for me) to make a relationship work because of my belief and ability to see the highest and best in others. So thank you. Thank you and your soul for serving as my teacher so I may be wiser, more aware and to expect more from a relationship. Thank you for being you.”

This is an open letter to everyone with whom I’ve had a relationship – work, friend, romantic, family, etc. I’ve been pondering of late the concept of relationships in all areas of my life, and somewhere along my journey over the last few years I’ve chosen less than stellar relationships. I regret none of them. But in sifting through the experiences, I must look at my state of being in and through these connections. If we are to grow, improve and change our life’s experiences, we must always look at ourselves first – how we showed up, the choices we made, and where we surrendered our values, principles, our personal standards and power. This isn’t an easy task but if one truly wants to make changes for the better in one’s life, it means taking a cold hard look at ourselves with an objective yet constructively critical eye. We must also consider information via others’ perspectives, opinions and choices relevant to those relationships – for the law of cause and effect is forever at work. For every action there is a reaction, which begets yet another action.

I am blessed to have a few sounding boards that I not only trust and respect, but who trust me to share their perspective, knowing that I value their opinion, recognizing that while I will give it serious consideration, I may not adopt it as my gospel truth. Only I can discern my own truth which reflects in how I show up in life through my thinking, my choices, my actions and my manner with others. Living a lie, pretending to be someone I’m not demands a great deal of energy and can be exhausting. Lying to ourselves is much easier, but ultimately, is less spiritually fulfilling, and will never yield the inner peace and harmony we all seek in this life. I’d rather sift through the muck of my mistakes and rise from the ashes with greater self-respect and –love knowing that what the world sees when I move through it is the authentic me. Oh, and do this enough, the taste of humble pie grows on you.

1 comment:

A'ra Blair said...

This is amazing, Carolyn. Thank you for posting. I'm sure it speaks for many. I know it did for me ;-D