The repeat of my life right now revolves around...men. But it's not just men. It's men and the sexual desires of men on...me...on women in general. When I was younger, I constantly had to struggle with the advances of men and boys. Some was the unwanted attention from peers who violated my personal space and forced themselves upon me. Some were grown men who did the same. Either way I never fully stood up for myself. I never let them know with no uncertainty that they were not allowed to do that to ME. I didn't fight hard enough. I didn't get angry enough. I didn't do enough. I also didn't deal with it. I let it pass. I put it in a closet ignoring the loud sounds and rumblings coming from behind the closed doors. Repeat.
I am back in the same situation. I have just left my husband of fourteen years because he was not the right partner for me. I knew it. Had a feeling from the beginning but ignored it because he treated me better than most guys I'd ever met. That's not good enough. Never was, never will be. And I only stayed as long as I did because I told myself I wasn't brave enough to go, that I couldn't do it on my own. Well, I know different now. I recognize me. And guess what? I am brave enough, strong enough and open enough to do what my heart tells me to. But with being open it has opened the doors to the closet of my past. The ghost of men and their desires is back to haunt.
I have been off balance for weeks. Just when I thought I had a sure foot-hold and that I was going to be alright...BAM! Life. Man do I wish life came with warning signs of when shit is going to happen. Sometimes we recognize that it is about to hit and other times we aren't paying attention or we get too comfortable and that's when we get our clock cleaned. 1-2-OUT! With the blows I have sustained it has left me exhausted and unsure of myself. I find myself angry and wanting to retreat and hide but this is a pattern mistake I seem to make. I don't want to do that, yet here I am doing it.
When the final straw of trust was broken and smashed beyond repair by someone, a man, whom I care deeply for I realized I was either going to drown in life or I was going to change and fight. Fight for what I want, what I need, what I absolutely will not tolerate. And with that fighting I continue to find me and the strong voice I have that speaks my heart into this life and to those that are in it. Me can protect me. Me can fight for me. Me can make a difference.
My ghost has involved the desires of men on my physical essence. Most don't look beyond that. They wouldn't. These men are only interested in the desires of the flesh and nothing more. Desires of the flesh are good but only if it goes beyond that, deeper. It can be quite an exalted moment in life. That, however, has not been what I have been experiencing. I have been subject to frivolous chat all leading to an end result of my body. Nothing more. It's come at me from many fronts and let me tell you, it gets old very fast and leaves me drained and exhausted to the bone. I simply felt beat up and I was very unsure of how to handle myself because I found "me" just wasn't there. Instead was a substitute version of me that I didn't recognize nor like. Something had to be done.
I chose to stop the pointless chat and noise. I decided to be up front when I didn't like something even if it made me come off as a bitch or snooty or snobby. I decided that I was still going to be open but that in my openness I was going to let my intuition tell me about a person and to listen to that intuition. My gut is ALWAYS right. And I decided that I would only seek the company of a man who wants to be my partner in this life and will treat me with the same love I treat myself. Any other is just a substitute and I won't do that. Not even playful flirting because if I am not willing to take it beyond that it needs to stop.
I recently finished the book Anam Cara by John O'Donohue. A book recommended to be my a friend, a man, who chose to have an in depth conversation with me and then build on that. Refreshing doesn't even begin to describe it. After I was told of this book I requested it at my local library and was put on a waiting list. In my move to my new place I was sorting through books and placing them in their new home and thought to myself that I really wished the book,Anam Cara, had been ready for me to pick up from the library because I wanted to read it that night before bed. Well, with the next book I picked up guess what book it was? Yes, none other than that book! I had bought it at the used book sale more than two years prior and here it was in my hand. It was a book I needed to read!
Anam Cara is a soul friend. Much like what many refer to as a soulmate. It was such a moving book that I read it twice. So much spoke to me. So much affirmed in me my own desires for a partner and why I need to know me and be confident in me in order for me to find him and it be successful and lasting, however long that is. I think what bothers me the most about the men who only physically desire is that I find the sharing of your body with another as an exalted moment. Sacred. In Anam Cara O'Donohue writes of a Well Spring of Love Within...
One of the lovely areas of love where space can be rendered beautiful is when two people make love. The one you love is the one to whom you can bring the full array and possibility and delight of your senses in the knowledge that they will be received in welcome and tenderness. Since the body is in the soul, the body is illuminated all around with soul-light. It is suffused with a gentle, sacred light. Making love with someone should not be merely a physical or mechanical release. It should engage the spiritual depth that awakens when you enter the soul of another person. The soul of a person is most intimate. You meet a person's soul before you meet that person's body. When you meet soul and body as one, you enter the world of the Other. If a person could bring a gentle and reverent recognition to the depth and beauty of that encounter, it would extend incredible possibilities of delight and ecstasy within lovemaking. It would free in both people this inner wellspring of deeper love. It would reunite them externally with this third force of light, the ancient circle, that actually brings the two souls together in the first place.
When someone sees the physical desires in that way, well, not much is wasted. There are no games that you play. It isn't "empty flirting" or "empty dating". You get to know someone and then you further it and THEN when it reaches that point of beyond friendship it's solid and beautiful. Something that is totally worth it.
So, I stand my ground against ANY and ALL that would try and violate those terms with their aggressive and unwanted advances. I am letting go of the idea of always being kind. Sometimes I have to show a little venom to let others know I am serious and will not stand for what they are giving me. And it is in that letting go that I learn more about me. "When you begin to let go it is amazing how enriched your life becomes. False things, which you have desperately held on to, move away very quickly from you. Then what is real, what you love deeply, and what really belongs to you comes deeper into you. Now no one can ever take them away from you." (Anam Cara)
I continue with the crazy adventure of recognizing me and feeling my way through it. It is good to be alone these days because I get to know me, which is always a beautiful thing. But I am also lonely. I have been lonely most of life, including my long marriage. My grandmother told me that my marriage and the man I chose to marry made me the "loneliest woman on the planet". Yes, that awful. There is a difference between being alone and lonely. I enjoy being alone. I am happy being alone. But lonely, not so much. These days I relish in my aloneness but keep myself open to true love. A partner. A partner that recognizes me and loves me for just me. I want with my future partner what Kahil Gibran offered in his writing The Prophet.
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.”
One day I will have a partner and it will be love. Not an empty love but a rich love that is as old as time.