On finding collateral beauty.

January 7, 2019

I am trying to genuinely accept what is transpiring in my life right now. Being completely open and honest about where I am in life as a result of love; without focusing on the minor details of what likely was the most difficult relationship and break up I have ever been involved in. Rather, the state of self and how I’d like to move forward with it.

When you are alone for extended periods at a time (think solitude, not loneliness) your thought patterns begin to shift. It’s one of my favourite parts of being alive especially when I am feeling confused or lost.

At some point in your solitude you will arrive at your truest self with no one to pass sympathy, no point to prove and no one to understand you but yourself.

It’s honest, it’s brutal and incredibly forgiving if you do the right work. What may start off with low self-esteem and external blame can end in self-acceptance and clarity beyond measure.

Thankfully, it is at this stage that I am able to write this.

I have been thinking about how the love I have previously experienced and the love I have been expecting were two completely different things. Both of which have been shaped by my earlier experiences in love and life, which I’ll get to later. The former made it easier for me to point responsibility at someone else for all the things that weren’t ‘right’ with me, the latter being a fixed idea that I wasn’t even prepared to work for. Funnily enough, neither were actually right for me nor deserving of him. Paradoxically I wasn’t deserving of the love I thought I wanted, concurrently nothing warranted the ‘love’ I actually received. Are you still with me?

After all was said and done, I found myself dangerously planted at the intersection of hope, expectation, denial, disappointment and fear. Wherever I looked, the spokes were closing in on me.

It’s hard work being in a relationship with yourself, never mind with another person.

I was living at the centre of dissonance because I wasn’t an example of the love I wanted – by loving back in the same way, by setting and committing to my boundaries or by taking the lead – and this was prevailing in all my previous relationships.

Whilst the past is showing up in my present, I contemplate more deeply as to why that is, in and out of my relationships – only one word comes to mind. Unfortunately, it’s the same word that has been the answer all these years, the same answer I love to ignore, and that is… negligence. Neglecting to address my internal battles, neglecting to accept my own culpabilities and neglecting the pursuit of self-awareness.

And so here is what I so pathetically failed to notice about myself in my last relationship…

The relationship you have with others is directly proportionate to the relationship you have with yourself.

And by saying that, I mean, in both good and bad times. In the way you communicate with others, how you deal with discrepancies and how you experience joy with others.

To give you some context, if you are feeling triggered in your relationships, that’s part of you coming up that you have not yet resolved within yourself. When you argue or defend yourself it really isn’t that the other person is wrong. That irritation you feel is a signifier that you have yet come to terms with your own reality and your perception of yourself. And when you hardcore repress your emotions, it comes up by way of pointing the finger at someone else.

This stuff is something else, really.

At the time, the ultimate form of contradiction was believing what someone else said about me whilst trying to maintain the identity I had spent my whole life creating. That dissonance didn’t lead me to look inward, to ask myself, ‘Why do I believe what is being said about me? Why is his opinion hurting me? Why is this massively triggering me?’, like it should have.

If I had sat with these questions for a minute I would have come to realise that I wasn’t even an example of who I said I was. I was holding onto this fabricated self-image and deep down I knew it.

Instead, I aggressively projected this onto them labelling them as someone who knew nothing of the ‘real’ me. Someone who could never know because of the limitations of their own reality, completely bypassing my own truth.

Neglecting the truest fact that traumas left unhealed turn into walking nightmares.

When you don’t work to resolve the relationship you have with yourself, you inevitably invite your baggage (and it’s a lot more than you think) into the relationships that you have. And it’s very easy for us to look to others than it is to look to ourselves and open what we have been carrying with us all along. Whether it is shifting blame, passing judgement or responsibility, it is a natural reaction as a result of suppressing and repressing emotions and traumas that we end up pointing the finger at others.

You really cannot enter a relationship when you are not at peace with yourself and not expect this to come up. Being at peace with yourself doesn’t mean being happy or content with your current circumstance, it means you are fully practising the art of self-love and care, that you have or are in the process of working on your past traumas or demons, you have unpacked your baggage, so to speak and you are ready to love and serve with all that you have, completely and unapologetically.

To be continued…

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It has been a long time since a man has yelled at me. Screamed in my face with the intention to 'put me in my place'....


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