looking for love
not knowing how safe
not knowing that
is inevitable rejection
thinking this might
lead to love
go out on dates
have fun, be mates
but there was
no sweet connection
a sick kind of joke
is there a pattern
to this shattering
what part is mine?
who did I devour?
It’s a fact. Lots of romantic love relationships end: usually in heartbreaks of the two parties that eventually call it quits, as well as any children that may have been born out of the relationship.
It’s another fact that lots of romantice love relationships grow and adapt and flourish and bear fruit over many decades.
It’s a fact that we are all looking for connection with others. We are a social species and we do not thrive on loneliness. We are complex being with bodies, souls and spirits that are either integrated with each other or disconnected from each other, but in whatever state, they strongly influence each other.
We experience strong feelings and sensations in our bodies in certain situations because of how our bodies respond. Just think of the last time you experienced fight, flight, freeze or fear. Seeking to understand ourselves and others will give us the best chance to make and maintain healthy connections with others. This will include that special connection that starts as romantic love, that can grow and develop into a life-long partnership that can support the birth and nurturing of children in a safe and loving home environment.
Sadly, for many of us there were not healthy, normal conversation about the feelings, both emotional and physical, associated with the evolution of a romatic attachment. For me it became a topic of acute embarrassment and uncertainty on the background of my own low self-esteem and insecurity as I grew into and through puberty into adulthood. The whole business of falling in love, being in love and all that then became a series of disappointing and confusing experiences that culminated in an unhealthy marriage that lasted for 11 years, against the odds.
Now I am single again and after a period of thinking that I will never again be interested in another ‘in love’ experience, I made a surprising discovery. Biology is biology and I cannot escape. I am human. I am a woman. At least now I have been healed from so many formative year wounds that unconsciously shaped many of my behaviours in my earlier adult life. Not only do I have my own experiences to draw and learn lessons from, there is also a lot more knowledge available that is easily accesible. There also seems to be conversations about many of the things that I struggled with and others that I did not apparently struggle with, but can most definitely identify with the underlying and causative emotional pain.
Surprisingly or not, the most powerful literature and conversations that help me, mostly relates to addiction and addictive behaviour.
Most recently these include:
Everything that I have listened to so far by Brene Brown.
Recovery: Freedom from our addictions by Russell Brand.
When I was listening to Russell Brand I felt a sense of exclusion from the club. Yes, that’s also me, I know what that feels like, that loneliness and desperation, but I have (mercifully) never run the gauntlet of hard drugs or promiscuity. I enjoyed it to hear that Brene Brown did not find a 12 step programme where it was felt that she fitted properly. There are many of us like that, we need a spiritual programme to heal and flourish, but where is it, where is our fellowship?
So I must have done other things to numb, even healthy things, like run. But then when I run only to numb, without doing my work, it becomes unhealthy. Yes, even fitness and exercise can become very unhealthy. I did take that to an extreme in a flirtation with anorexia nervosa in my pre-teen years. Anorexia is all about control and fear of change, but in the throws of it, it is unconscious, it is a way to survive that eventually kills if it is not healed.
Right now, I might be thinking that about all addictive behaviours. It is a way to survive that eventually kills if healing does not take place. Healing is available and possible and this is where every exploration of the 12 step programme leaves me with a small sense of disappointment. It is a wonderful programme that has enabled countless broken people to find new hope and a life that they could only dream of. But I think there is more to be had. After the healing of behaviours and consequently a life, there is healing that can go still deeper to the root and the heart of the wounds that shaped the survival strategies in the first place.
Anyhow, I might be on my own down here on what is becoming a rather long journally post. If you are still with me, good, I think I’m almost ready to wrap up.
I believe the foundation of healing is to discover connection with our own higher self and that own higher self with God, the Divine. This can be called by many words awakening, enlightenment, salvation.
It is the only way to dethrone the ego: the ego that can never be satisfied. It is the discovery of our own divine nature and in turn then that nature that dwells in every other human being. It is the beginning of acceptance and contentment, of respect and healthy boundaries, of truth and freedom, of joy and hope. It is the beginning of a new perspective and perception of our own selves, those around us and life itself. It takes time and practice and demands that we slow down and find a different way to live.
My programme in connection with romantic relationships:
Believers in Fairy Tales, no longer Anonymous.
Anyone care to join the conversation?