Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'll Be Happy When...

When you release small snippets of your life--what you're doing, current frames of mind--you're pretty much putting yourself out there and allowing yourself to be an object of scrutiny. I realize that's what I've done by blogging about my Ex. And understandably, I've been getting some backlash and not so good feedback about the fact that we still correspond. At first I made up my mind to build up my little bubble again, and keep all things Ex-ish unspoken. But instead, I'd rather say a few things to make a post to set record straight about who I am, who he is, and who "we" are. Just to clear some doubt for some of you who are critical of the friendship I have with him.

As some of my older readers may know, I went through a pretty rough patch in February. I was having problems accepting the reality of my relationship with Ex. It broke my heart that I had deep feelings for him, but it seemed like all he wanted from me was sex. I made up my mind, as I have on various occasions, to stop talking to him. It was the advice I was getting from all my friends and family. STOP TALKING TO HIM! Avoid him at ALL costs! If you see him, run in the opposite direction! If he tries to talk to him, look straight through him! Be an outright Bitch! And most importantly, pretend he doesn't exist!

For a long time, I took everyone's advice. I tried to steer clear of him as much as possible. I deleted his phone number. I mean-mugged him when we crossed paths. I tried to pretend he didn't exist. But the more I pretended, the more he did exist. I ran into him everywhere. I rerouted my path and he somehow wound up in it. I changed my schedule, and there he was. I felt like he was some bad omen. It made me feel terrible because I couldn't get rid of him. I felt trapped. Like the only way I'd ever really find peace would be to move. Or leave my school.

I made it to the end of the year in one piece, ecstatic that I'd be able to get away from him. Even more ecstatic that the next year, our residencies would be totally different and we wouldn't EVER have a reason to run into each other. That is, until I realized that his girlfriend would be staying directly across the street from the apartment I'd be living in.

I was exasperated. Will it ever end??? Why can't I get away from him? Why is the Universe forcing us together? Why can't I just have peace and move on from him?

I ascertained that the rest of my collegiate career would undoubtedly be ruined if I stayed in another area where I'd run into him again, so I gave up my apartment. Forget that I had no idea where I would be staying next semester. I was guaranteed to not be around him OR his girlfriend, and that was all that mattered to me. I always swore that the only real way for me to move on from him was to get physical distance from him. But for some reason, I couldn't shake this guy. I couldn't for the life of me get away from him.

Does anyone else see how ridiculous this mentality is?

When I went to the meditation center, I came to some heavy realizations about myself. I was the girl who blamed everyone and everything else, without even realizing it. I was the I'll be happy when...Girl.

I'll be happy when he breaks up with her.
I'll be happy when he ends up with me.
I'll be happy when I have some space.
I'll be happy when he stops calling me.
I'll be happy when I graduate and move.
I'll be happy when I'm with someone new.

The list could go on for days and days. But the truth of the matter is, none of these things could ever make me happy if I'm still holding on to pain in my heart. Pain, anger, resentment, jealousy, longing. These are all things that were inside me. So, no matter how far I ran, or whether he broke up with her or not, I'd still be miserable because I'd still be holding all those toxic feelings inside. The only way to really be happy was to eliminate THOSE things. I had to stop relying on external factors to make me happy, because that's really all those things were. I hinged my happiness on some event that could possibly never happen. Some things that I had no real control over. And even if I did have control over them, those things wouldn't resolve the pain I was harboring. So, in affect, I crippled myself. Restricting my happiness to a few unlikely occurrences was inhibiting my ability to be happy at all. The only way to be happy was to get to the root of my pain. Deep inside of me.

That's exactly what I was able to do with Vipassana. And as a result, I've been able to release all those feelings that kept me unhappy. All of them. Now, I'm not saying that I'm immune to pain or heartbreak. Believing that would pretty much set me up for disappointment. But I have employed the principles of Vipassana in dealing with anything life throws at me. A cruel comment, an insult, a mistake. It's a fleeting moment. It's impermanent. So, why let it get you down? You see, we have no control over what happens to us in life. But we DO have control over how we react. We DO have control over how long things effect us. We have control over ourselves.

I used to think it was God's twisted sense of humor who forced us together so often, when all I desired was to be apart from him. But now I'm starting to realize that He's forcing us together as a challenge to me. Whenever I'd run away from Ex, things would always go the same way. I'm able to keep up the dodge game for a while, but at the expense of my nerves. Everywhere I went, I was nervous I'd run into him. And when I did see him, my heart would beat a mile a minute as I tried to pretend not to see him. I'd try to look like I was happy and calm, when I was really freaking out on the inside. I'd get frazzled by the entire encounter. Not to mention, it kept me on guard about seeing him at all times. In the end, I'd always end up back in the same position when I was found. Sleeping with him, and hating myself for being so weak-willed. Is this way of life really conducive to getting over a person? Not for me.

It took me a long time to realize that, what works for some people, doesn't work for all. Some find that they are their strongest when they erase all traces of their exs from their lives. When they totally and completely cut all ties. But I've found, since coming back from Vipassana, that I've been my strongest when I am in contact with my ex. In my case, it was pure weakness that made me run. But it's strength that's making me stay and face the music. Because, essentially, I'm facing myself.

There were a couple of friendships and relationships that, prior to going to the camp, I was ready to cut off. Some, because I didn't think I was strong enough to handle, and others because I didn't feel like dealing with the drama and negativity they had in their lives. But I learned that, blocking people from my life just because it takes too much effort to maintain the relationship, is pure cowardice. And I'm speaking of my male and female friends now. So, I decided to not run from them, and make an effort to fix them.

I know I've demonized Ex something serious on this blog. I've written about how much he's hurt me. It's no wonder you guys think it's a bad idea for me to remain friends with him. And it's totally understandable why you'd wonder how I'd want to be friends with someone who has broken my heart so many times. But the truth is, he's a good person. And the mistakes he's made in the past doesn't take away from that. Just as I didn't consider myself any less of a good person when I was in my messy affair with him. People make mistakes. Even good ones. And, while I wouldn't consider him as a romantic partner ever again, I do consider him a good friend, and I do have love for him. We do have friction sometimes, but what friendship doesn't? Friendship wise, we're great. It's only when things get physical, that things get messy. I'm taking great precaution to ensure that doesn't happen.

I know some of you are still unconvinced, but that's alright with me. I know myself. I know the peace I've found. And I know that I'm happy. Really and truly, I'm happy. A lot of people in my life, present company excluded, have tried to convince me that my happiness is just a phase. That, when the going gets tough, I'm going to stop meditating and fall back into my old miseries. I merely laugh those people off. Because, what they don't realize is, they only make me stronger. They make me more determined. They only fuel my ability to let their negative comments roll off my back. I've learned far too much about myself through my journey to allow something like Words kill my joy.

7 comments:

J said...

You shouldn't have to censor yourself on your blog. You do you, that is what I like about your blog. Keep your head up and know that you aren't the only one keeping up with an Ex or two.

Much love...

Experience is the best teacher. said...

Babe, you are 100% correct that the same tactics don't work for everyone. Especially in this area of life. You know yourself better than anyone else, and as long as you're not allowing your true desires and happiness to be compromised, keep doing whatever you want. I don't need to remind you that you're a grown woman, capable of making good choices for your own life :-)

unequivocal difference said...

*snaps*

I can't remember who or what reminded me of this throughout my life, but those who want you to mire in negativity do so because that's where they are at. Misery loves company, indeed!

Only you can define you... And bravo on doing so.

Juan Thomas said...

It’s interesting to come across this blog posting. Back in February, at the 2-year mark of arguably the worst day of my life (http://issacharman.blogspot.com/2009/02/2-years-later.html), I was going to write a blog about my ex-girlfriend, how she denied me the chance to be a father for the first time, and how it has affected me overall. I probably would’ve spent a good percentage of the blog ripping her apart for what she did. But a friend of mine—a fellow Christian—laid some power Scriptures on my heart and I decided against writing that blog. Instead, I wrote about the many trials I overcame in the 2 years since that abortion. In the end, that blog brought more peace to me than the blog I intended to write. I think you should try to maintain a positive outlook on your situation…remember the good times, think about the life experiences that the relationship afforded you. There is a saying that “misery loves company” and I believe it does. I think it’s very unfortunate for anybody to continue to feed their negative feelings, thoughts, and expressions. After a while, they become a part of you and once they’re deeply-rooted, it becomes more difficult to shake them off.

I’ll be following your blog from this point forward.

Bloggal said...

@ j: thank you for the compliment. censorship is the worst when it comes to blogging. i'm glad you appreciate the honesty.

@ experience: i've always had a problem doing what's best for myself instead of listening to what works for other people. as much as i know that the advice of others comes from a place of love and concern, i end up even more confused. i finally came to a place where i can consider the input of others, while still being able to recognize my own voice.

@ unequivocal:

"Misery loves company, indeed!"

this is so true, it's not even funny. you have to just learn to let things roll off your back, otherwise, you'll be as miserable as the person who's trying to bring you down.

@ juan: thank you for the comment.
i know exactly what you're talking about. i've written a ton of posts about my ex and how much he hurt me. and none of them made me feel better. it's when you finally get to a place where you've found peace and closure, that you can talk about the people who hurt you without slandering them.

i appreciatve you coming through and i hope you continue read and comment. i'll make sure to stop your blog soon.

Gem said...

Hey hunbun. This is wonderful. Change does have to come from within. It's so simple, yet it rarely occurs to us when we need it to. I feel that I don't even have to tell you to stay strong, because you are.

Qucifer said...

Sugar is whatever works for you, that's how you have to live your life

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