(A Spiral Dance essay.)
Not for the first time in my life, nor even the third, an
important relationship in my life ended because the other person had an idea
about me that was wrong, or thought I had done something that in fact I had not
actually done. This has happened more than once, and in quiet moments of
self-reflection, I wonder. It's been on my mind today, sadness and bitter
regret and anger and hurt and contemplation and acceptance all mixed together.
More than a misunderstanding, the event itself, that has been
said to happen, can be a matter of perspective and interpretation, and
sometimes viewpoints are so relative that they seem to exist in different
universes. But people get very attached to the narratives that they create for
their lives, especially those in which they become locked into being in the
right, so that you must be wrong, and so justification and rationalization come
into play. Most people have egos that need to be fed, and are not capable of
suffering much contradiction. So your viewpoint might not even get a hearing,
or might get dismissed, and if you insist on creating a dialogue, which takes
two or isn't real, sometimes you get rebuffed. Nowhere.
So what did I contribute to the situation? It's a reasonable
question. Yet when the other party accuses you of something you know you didn't
do, and won't listen, it's a question impossible to answer. I've considered it
often, and with no feint towards justification I can honestly say I don't know.
Both parties feel wronged, but only one wishes to work it out.
For my part, I know well that I live my life at a level of
intensity and passion that some people simply don't like, and don't want to
engage. So maybe the other felt provoked. Yet sometimes the rationale for a
break-up is dishonest in that an excuse is found rather than the truth being
told. People look for an excuse to conceal their real, even unconscious,
intentions. Sometimes people think that's the best thing to do, or the least
likely to cause suffering, which itself can be another layer of delusion or
For my part, I always prefer telling the truth. It's easier,
it's simpler, and you don't have to waste time trying to remember which lie you
told to which person. But not everyone feels that way. Most lies we tell are
self-supporting justifications, or rationalizations that appear to make
sensible our most irrational urges and compulsions. Learning to live more
consciously means first of all that you have to stop lying to yourself.
And that can be the hardest work you've ever done on your own
self. I know for a fact that on at least one occasion, probably two, the person
pushed me away, or rather found a reason to break up with me, because my
presence was requiring them to stop lying to themselves about something in the
core of their being. I made them uncomfortable. Not deliberately, not because I
wanted to, but because of my insistence on honesty, and my refusal to go along
with the lies they were telling themselves. Lots of people do not like very
But in a relationship that's what I have to give. Honesty. I do
not do codependency, and the reason I do not do it is because it's always built
on lies we tell ourselves, like the idea that we don't deserve anything better.
People often reject honesty when it doesn't serve their self-aggrandizing
interests. Our illusions can seem more comfortable or pleasing to us. We are
all guilty of that, me too, once or twice in our lives. But codependent people
live within an even deeper tangle of delusions and despairs. They often believe
that love is supposed to hurt, so they work subconsciously to make it painful
even when it doesn't need to be.
Which is why I find it so fascinating that this pattern of being
rejected for something I never said or did keeps happening, in my life, that
people shove me out of their lives because they have decided to believe
something about me that isn't true. Of course, you don't always get a chance to
tell your side of a conflict.
I must consider if this is a flaw in myself, of which I am not
conscious. That's why I mentioned intensity and passion. It has been pointed
out to me by a few friends that my personality can, without my knowledge or
intention, dominate a room. I've been told I can change the mood of a room just
by walking into it. I have learned to be much more aware of that, since it's
not something I want to do, usually. I hold myself back. I rarely let show the
full force of my personality. I've gotten used to being invisible.
Maybe I just keep choosing complicated, damaged people to love.
Maybe the reason I end up alone is because I am in their lives for the period
of time it takes them to grow up, and then we're done, and we grow apart. Maybe
I should just open a finishing school.
But there is another possibility, if you examine life from an
archetypal, symbolic level, a level of oversight that floats above the everyday
and can look down upon events with dispassion and honesty, that the
relationship was already done, and it was time for me to move on. It wouldn't
be the first time I was severed from some situation and person that made me
feel comfortable and accepted, but like an eagle fledgling needs to be pushed
out of the nest so that it could learn to fly, I needed to be pushed out of my
So maybe when the job is done, some higher purpose forces me to
move on. You are of service, and you must go on to the next job. Maybe this
functions on the archetypal level of sacred contracts. Maybe that's my purpose,
here, my job. An unarticulated and secret function, as healer and shaman. Not
all healings are obvious, and you don't always get to know the outcome.
At this point I do not expect to ever have a permanent, long
term love relationship. It doesn't seem to be my fate. If I'm honest with
myself, it's not the way I'm wired. I will probably always be alone, which has
its own challenges. I don't seem to be wired for monogamy, anyway, nor shall I
be permitted its pleasures. Who cares? I've survived thus far, and who knows
what the future might bring.
All I know for certain is that here is a pattern. Patterns
always mean something. You have to pay attention whenever you discover a
pattern, or there is no chance of altering it. No doubt these musings will mean
nothing to anyone but me. So be it.
Labels: love, personal essay, shamanism, Spiral Dance essay, spirituality