I've been in an abusive relationship before. It never became physical but the mental, emotional, and even spiritual warfare was real. The miscellaneous, unexplained bruises on my body left in the wake of the relationship were real. I remember that in one the last conversations I had with him I could feel a piercing pain in my throat. That pain was real. Sickness came over me just like it did when we first met. I remember in our final meeting after I cried in my house for hours determined to only cry once over the situation how I sat across from him. I think I put a curse on him in that moment. I had no words; I just rocked back and forth staring at him. In my head I said, "You are going to get it." I came home after it was all over, moving states, a shell of young woman.
All of that over a relationship that lasted no more than six months. I met him when I was lonely and had something to prove to myself. I wanted to have a successful relationship and I didn't want to go about that time in my life alone. Most of my peers had partners and from the outside looking in, it looked great, desirable. Then he showed up. There were warning signs from the beginning. He had a dark, gloomy energy despite his seemingly positive, helpful demeanor. His car was full of bags which meant he didn't really have a home and had too much baggage (emotional, mental, and physical). There were other signs that only I would get, my personal intuitive clues, like his writing style, his name, and his appearance amongst others. The biggest sign for me was that during my month and half long sickness, he cared little about my comfort or wellness. The same person who professed his love for me within three weeks of knowing me.
Of course, he had to have redeemable qualities. Why would I have been with him? He was helpful with technology...even though you can't convince me that he didn't break my external drive that had all of my artwork on it. He was a great dancer...even though he only seemed to dance with himself (awkward). He knew how to apologize...except not to me, but to men he was afraid of, I have never heard more beautiful apologies. He was affectionate...mostly in public. He was nice to me, in public. He was health conscious, obsessively so (annoyingly so). He was witty. He was creative. He had awesome friends. He took out the trash. He cleaned my house without my asking. He was incredibly helpful...but it didn't come without a price.
I feel I attracted him into my life because of the larger questions I was asking rooted in my limited understanding of relationships and the desire I had to be in a relationship. I wanted to understand my parents failed relationship. I wanted to understand a lot of the relationships I saw my close friends experiencing. Even though I knew they weren't great relationships, I didn't know the reasons exactly. This guy served as an amazing teacher. He helped me see the things I needed to heal. When he inadvertently helped to recreate an unpleasant scene of my parent's past (that I only knew in story form) I knew I had issues to work out. He showed me that difference between unconditional love and whatever he thought he was offering. My great desire not to fail in a relationship showed me some of the greatest ways they do fail: Lack of honest communication, running away from childhood issues, not healing from past traumas, lack of self-love, lack of self-awareness, inability to forgive, lack of integrity, ignoring your intuition, and lack of self-control to name several.
I felt so much shame when it was all over. I was ashamed that I chose someone who would call me names and disrespect me in private and public. I was ashamed that I even spent a day with him. I was ashamed I shared myself with him at all. I was ashamed I didn't beat him up. I was ashamed that I was afraid to end the relationship. I was ashamed that I didn't listen to my intuition. I was ashamed that the relationship proved my imperfection. I was ashamed that I was sad that the relationship ended. I was ashamed that in ways he pulled away from me before I did from him. I was ashamed that I would have this story to tell.
When I came home, my mother and an unlikely friend nursed me back to health. I was supposed to be celebrating a great accomplishment I made in my life, but I instead found myself weak, underweight, distraught, and dramatically laying on my mother's bed in a state of shock. They loved me and gave me room to forgive myself. I wrote angry unsent letters (no one would let me send them). If communication with him wasn't necessary, I didn't do it. After awhile and a few self-help books, I was able to see that in ways we were both hurt children. The big difference was that I was actively addressing my issues. It was my budding awareness of myself that created an exit for me. My ego and inner child took a beating, but my heart didn't, it was just starting to reveal itself to me. Following that relationship I made healing, forgiveness, self-awareness, and self-love my priority. I love the woman I have become. I'm thankful for that relationship. I can now identify those kinds of relationships with very little effort and even though no one likes to hear it, I'm accurate.
And for those of you who are wondering, he did "get it"...but when someone lives in that much pain, there isn't much that truly hurts them. Pain is their modus operandi. They feel lost without it as much as they claim to dislike it. So my little "Celie, Color Purple" moment was reflecting who he was and did very little to change his circumstance. It also did nothing for me. I didn't get up and leave empowered...and in the years that followed I felt no satisfaction. What if I, in that moment, decided to beam him love of the unconditional variety? No more words, wanting nothing in return, looking into his eyes, calling on the purest of love to flow through me, and beaming it straight at him. Release. Hmmm...
I remember years ago I had this pivotal conversation with my "first love" in a restaurant after we had been broken up for some time. He wanted to get back together but for me there was no way. I loved him deeply, but I couldn't be with him. Midway in the conversation, he asked me in his southern accent, "Are you really going to walk away from all of this love?" I remember looking at him blankly with disbelief and apathy behind my eyes as I remembered all that had transpired for get me to that place. For us, all possibilities had been exhausted in my heart and mind, and I had no more to offer. I listen to this song and think about that time, that feeling. Deep down I wanted a reason to be with him. I wanted something to forgive. This would have been the song for that time, but somehow it wasn't in my rotation. I am writing about it now, over a decade later, and from an entirely different point of view.
So what is the deal with this song now? As I look back with wisdom, I have always been my first love even when I didn't know it. Sorry homie. I sometimes need reasons to get up out of my bed, cook, work, move, but I don't need a reason to be me. I don't need a reason to love myself. I would tell that girl sitting in that restaurant that you either love and trust without reason or not at all, but first you have to direct all of that love to yourself. Lately I have been having a lot of conversations about love and trust with friends and this is the song I tend to hear. I asked my friend not so long ago why does she trust her husband. She started to look for reasons. I asked another friend, who is afraid to open their heart to someone else, if they trusted themselves. They said they did and then I asked why. They started to look for reasons to make their case. As they did this they realized they didn't always trust themselves. They were trick questions in a sense. Trust rooted in love needs no reason. You never need a reason to love or trust yourself. If you can do that for yourself, you can love someone else in the same way. The hesitation we feel is that we want a guarantee. We want to know we won't be hurt. Love is your guarantee.
Luther sings that he never knew he would be standing alone and outside with no one to love. Really? Is there a shiny car around, a puddle, a window? Because all you have to do is look in the reflection to realize you have someone to love. It is time to love yourself. Open the door to your heart and step inside. Sit a spell. All relationships begin with the one you have with yourself. Love without reason, trust without reason, and walk faithfully in love. You can't control someone else nor should you want to unless you want to be controlled as well. You can't make someone stay. You can't make someone honest. But here is the cool thing: real love is on an entirely different frequency. Look in the mirror and realize that you don't need a reason to love yourself and you will feel this frequency. Love is your guarantee.
So I thought I would have a bit of fun with a new series called Love Insights. I have always been a bit of a relationship/love counselor and I have definitely gotten better over the years due to my own journey. I don't know about y'all but I always have a song playing in my head. There always seems to be a song for the occasion, especially when it comes to relationships... So I have decided to offer my insight by the songs that seem to pop in my head when I am in these sessions. I hope you enjoy...
First up: Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars
Hee hee hee! This song started playing in my head recently and I won't tell you why. Let's just say I understand, I really understand. Speaking of heaven, did you know that in Hebrew my name roughly translates to Heaven or the firmament? Go Bruno with your little man self! I like this song; it speaks to me. In this song he realizes that it is possible that he has been locked out of heaven. Why is that? I say it is because if you are having sex solely based on physical pleasure you have completely missed the point. You have indeed been locked out of heaven. Oh what? What is that you say? Swimming in my world is something spiritual? Hmmm. Is sex a spiritual experience? Of course it is, but the real question is: Do you know how to do the spiritual alchemy to make magic happen? As much as I appreciate this cute little guy, I'm not convinced by this song that he does. It sounds like he is completely afraid to open his heart to this heavenly women but doesn't mind being in the midst of her magic. What a waste!
Awww, it looks like Bruno is sleeping on the power of spiritual alchemy with that closed heart. This happens often, but no matter how casual you try to make it, there is no way getting around it, sex is a spiritual act. And what does that mean? Spiritual? Even Bruno (like most people) flirts with the concept in the song. The term spiritual really describes our non-physical reality. Magic is when the spiritual world manifests into the physical world and animates it with all of its glory. Your very presence on this earth is evidence of magic. I mean, sex starts in the mind a.k.a. nonphysical reality first. <---- *coughs* magic *coughs* When you are having sex, the real action is happening in the spiritual world. The amount of energy that is generated during sex is off the charts especially if you are open. You are literally creating worlds, heavens, when you are bumping your beauties. The problem is that most people create in the spiritual world and then attempt to wash away the realities they created for reasons of shame, misguided concepts of sin, delusion, and the list goes on...or they just turn a blind eye to it all. *shakes head* In Bruno's case, he can see paradise and that is where he stops and gets lazy.
What brings your creations into this physical reality? What is the fuel? Drumroll please......emotions. Anger, sadness, peace, and fear will work, but love, oh love, is the good stuff, the stuff crack and molly wishes it was. See that is what is missing from this whole equation. The beat is awesome and has a nice build, there are even grunts in the background, but just like the song ends, so does he. If he took the leap into love we would have an entirely different song: Think a transcendent Marvin Gaye like 10 minute track with layered background vocals delicately programming your subconscious mind to strip down naked and plunge into a sea of ecstasy to retrieve treasures only found at the bottom. You see only love could take you there. Only love would give you the courage to dive that deep. Only love could give you the push to come out of that water whole and completely transformed. Bruno ain't talking about that.
In conclusion we have a man that gets that sex might be magical but isn't talking about how they should use the energy that they have generated. He gets that he has been opened, but hasn't described how he is going to use those emotions. He will get on his knees but isn't diving. What a pity! Ladies, it's cute and complimentary to know you have the gates to heaven, but in this song that is where it ends. I would tell that heavenly woman to chuck the deuces if he isn't talking about alchemy. What are they creating? Don't just talk about how great it is. Make some magic happen! Dive deep! If not, what is she bringing into her world through her lovely gate haphazardly? Hmmmmm. Maybe she needs to think more deeply about what/who she opens her legs to. <<<<<I've got a post for that.
Now I will go back jammin!