Yesterday, I had lunch with a girlfriend. We both left our marriages within a year of eachother about twelve years ago. Since that time, we've both had a couple of relationships. One of mine actually doesn't belong in the category of 'relationship', as much as the 'things I never want to do in my life again' category. Though the gifts from having had that experience are many, the need to repeat it is gone. Being in relationship, however, being in love, loving another passionately, being intimate is something I continue to move into, grow with, and embrace.
Over lunch we talked about being in relationship today, or not. My girlfriend shared a dream she'd had where she watched a couple and their baby happily walk down the street. The husband treated the wife and child like they were the most precious beings in the world. They were so together, so connected, she said. Tears formed in her eyes. "I had that once," she whispered. "But I let it go."
"Did you really have it?" I asked. "When I was married, I never felt treasured. Special. Like I was a precious object held in loving hands."
"Neither did I," my friend replied.
"Then what did you let go?"
My friend hesitated before responding quietly, "The dream of having it."
Long ago I dreamt I would be in relationship with a man where I felt treasured, special, precious.
And then, I treated myself with disrespect, with disdain, with disregard. I trusted the untrustworthy. I accepted the unacceptable. I didn't love myself.
Today, I know I have value. I know I am worthy of love. Today, I treat myself like the miraculous gift I am. I am precious.
It's all in my perspective.
Long ago, I filtered my life through eyes focused on the past. I feared the past would be my present. I feared the past would repeat itself.
And it did. Sure, there was different packaging on the men, but the situations were very familiar. It's why I kept throwing myself into the arms of men looking for what I was missing. I believed they held the secret formula that would fill my hungry heart. I believed they held the holy grail of my fulfillment. Ultimately, it didn't really matter who the man was, what mattered was my hungry heart felt less empty in someone else's arms.
Today, I fill my heart from within. Today I embrace the possibility of love and loving and know, no one can fill my heart with love -- it is already full. Today, I expand into the joy of loving because I love myself enough to love without giving myself up for the sake of being loved.
When I let go of one perspective to shift my point of view, the past takes on a different hue. It becomes less front and centre, less all defining of this moment. Shadows lift, move back, light filters in. As I shift my perspective, the past becomes less threatening, my thinking becomes less all or nothing, as what happened yesterday becomes simply the backdrop to where I am today. It adds value without determining the light through which I see the present. Without the past darkening every moment, I am free to see my future in a different light.
C.C. and I have been dating for two months now. It's been a comfortable, relaxed relationship. Two people getting to know eachother. Two people learning about what makes the other tick.
Sometimes, my perspective of my relationship with C.C. is clouded by the triggers I carry from the past. Sometimes, my responses to 'in the moment' happenings, are filtered through my memories of someone else, something else, other than what's happening between us. Ghosts of partners past cloud my thinking, just as they can cloud his.
The gift in living consciously is the ability to recognize what is my stuff today, versus, what is stuff from yesterday masquerading as truth in this moment.
When I shift my perspective into the moment, I let go of seeing myself as a victim of the past as I firmly plant myself in this moment where I am all that I am meant to be in love.
The question is: What's your perspective? Is it rigid like a mountain range blocking the view to the other side? Or, is it a broad and sweeping plain, filled with limitless possibilities stretching beyond the sky above you as you step outside the narrow corridor of 'that was then and will always be' thinking into this is my one and only life. Are you willing to embrace yourself and your life with love so that you can step freely into being all that you are meant to be in freedom from yesterday?