Before I met Conrad, the first man I seriously dated after my daughters' father and I split up was SY. He was handsome, dashing, very charming, intelligent, a dreamer and a very devout Catholic. He fell in love with me at first sight he eventually told me. In fact, he'd left the party where I was at because he was terrified by the feelings that swept over him. "I'd probably have asked you to marry me on the spot if I'd stayed," he later said. Given that he was in the process of determining whether or not to join a monastary, that was pretty heady stuff.
I was charmed. And fell in love.
But I was also conscious enough to know I had issues -- and one very serious concern. It was over three years since my marriage had broken up. In that time, I'd hunkered down into my writing and was starting to gain traction. I'd had some success with a couple of projects and wanted to keep pushing them forward. "I know how to be a writer," I told SY one day while talking about my fears. "And, I know how to be in relationship. What I don't know is whether or not I can do the both at the same time."
Three years later, SY and I called it quits. And, I learnt a valuable lesson. Writing and being in relationship are difficult tasks for me to balance at the same time. I met Conrad very shortly thereafter and never had to test my writer's muscle with him. I quit writing as soon as I started falling into the emotional terror of that relationship. Writing is about truth for me, in that relationship, my truth was leeching out and I could not face myself on the written page. I stopped writing.
It's nine years since that first fateful encounter with Conrad. In that time I have ridden the roller coaster of abuse, fallen into the depths of despair, been suicidal and almost lost my life. In that time I have risen above the horror and trauma and pain of the past and stepped with joy and confidence into being all I'm meant to be when I walk freely in the light of my existence. I've been writing -- and I've been fearing writing.
And, I've entered into relationship again.
My fear rises. Can I write and be in relationship?
I'd like to blame not writing on relationship, or having a man in my life but truthfully, not writing is about me blocking myself off from the muse's call. It's about me stepping back from my creativity and closing myself off from the call. Not writing is about me -- and no one else. It's about my fears overriding my courage.
Last night I was supposed to go to dinner and a movie with a girlfriend. She had to cancel at the last minute and I relished an entire evening by myself at home alone. Both girls were out, C.C. and I had plans to meet up later. I had several hours to delve into writing.
Did I write?
Nope. I poured myself a glass of wine, curled up on the couch, pulled out a new book a girlfriend had given me and cracked it open. Now, there is nothing more satisfying than sitting in a pool of lamplight, its golden glow cast upon the the words lined up in symmetrical perfection upon the page. I love sitting in the quiet of the room, the shadows pushed back as I fall into the story unfolding before my eager eyes. I love reading.
Love writing more.
But last night, I didn't write. I didn't take the opportunity to use that time for myself by diving into my own creativity.
Successful people do what other people won't.
Now, I'm not upset that I spent the evening reading -- I loved it. What concerns me is the fact that I know within me is the seed of self-sabotage that has often, in the past, taken root and circumvented my expressing my creative whole.
What's important for me is to be honest, truthful and forthright with myself. To acknowledge that what I did last night wasn't about taking time out to read and relax. It was designed to avoid.
Yup. I was in avoidance mode. I've been treading those murky waters for some time now -- and it's time for me to turn up for myself, get honest, get real and get back on track.
Fear is the opportunity to be courageous.
I fear being in relationship -- not because I fear the other person might hurt me. I am smart enough to know how to keep myself safe and still be vulnerable and open to relationship.
Nope, my fear comes from my knowledge that sometimes, I use relationship as an excuse to not do the things I love. The things that are right for me. The things that bring me joy.
Sometimes, I use relationship (or any host of excuses like being busy, tired, over-worked) for the reason why I'm not committed to my Be. Do. Have to be my most incredible self.
See, I was skirting my writing before C.C. and I entered relational waters. I was already running from my truth.
Time to stop. Take a breath and be real honest with myself.
Time to embrace myself for having the courage to stand up and acknowledge -- I've been cheating on myself.
Time to acknowledge -- this is my one and only life. It's up to me to live it up. It's up to me to get my worth out of the value I create by being all that I am meant to be when I live passionately and fearlessly in love with my very own, one and only life.
The question is: Are you willing to get real with your truth? Are you willing to turn up for you and acknowledge where you might be letting yourself down -- not because of someone else, but rather, because you're afraid of being the most magnificent human being you are? Are you willing to get real?