There comes a time, during personal growth, where everything becomes blurred. What we thought we saw, or knew, so clearly is perhaps not exactly true. Once we choose to explore ourselves, our perceptions, we question our own motivations and our long held beliefs about what is real and true; everything becomes blurry and open for personal debate. Growing and learning from a relationship, or any situation for that matter, is important to becoming a better version of oneself, without taking the time to do so, we are destined to repeat our same mistakes.
I’ve made a personal decision to stop living in the past, and to stop standing in my own way. I’m coming to the realization that I am my own worst enemy; I am the person who is responsible for breaking my own heart and causing my own unhappiness. It’s going to be a long journey, but as a starting point I am focused on two things: allowing myself to see my past from a different perspective – one that allows me to take accountability and learn from my choices and mistakes, and allowing myself to be as open an vulnerable as is possible – not hiding behind the walls I’ve built up to protect myself from experiencing hurt, as these same walls trap me and prevent me from expressing and experiencing my own joy.
Looking quite clearly at my last relationship, I was the happiest that I had ever been with another person. I truly felt that I had met the person for whom I had been searching. Instead of expressing this happiness and joy, I bottled it up inside of myself, allowing myself alone to experience it in my own head. He never knew how happy he made me, God knows I rarely showed it, and I only told him when I was risking losing him. He has is own issues, and my behavior doesn’t change those – however, the reason I lost him was due to the fact that I was unable show him how much I loved him, for fear that it would drive him away. I keep thinking of a specific moment in time: a few years ago when we were on vacation with our kids. It was an incredibly hot, sunny day in southern Florida, our kids were splashing in the ocean’s tide, while we laid on a beach chair. I remember lying with my back against his chest, my arms stretched up above me, my hands holding onto the back of his neck. I remember thinking at that moment that this was the happiest moment of my life, lying in the sun with the man I loved, watching our children as they laughed and played. Instead of telling him this, I soaked it in, experienced it alone. There are many moments like this one, but this one sticks out in my head as a time that I could have showed him, told him, how happy I was, how happy he made me. Instead, I was too afraid to do so, so I kept it to myself.
The blurry feeling creeps in to make me question whether I ruined everything, or if he played his own hand in it. I’m genuinely not sure of who was really to blame, or if there was anyone who was solely to blame. Could it be that I pushed him away? That it is impossible to be with someone who only expresses unhappiness and ambivalence? Is it possible that his actions were just in reaction to my own? That I never saw what I was doing, but expected him to just know how I was feeling inside? These are the mistakes I never want to make again with another person. Although I wish that I had another chance to show these things to him, it seems that time has passed for us. We are working at being friends, and frankly I’m happy to be that for him, to be able to keep him in my life. I want him to be happy, even if it isn’t with me. Instead of ruining a friendship with him – which would have been my pattern, I am focused on being the best friend to him that I can possibly be. Perhaps this was what we were always meant to be to each other, and that is something for which to be thankful.
Personal growth, breaking your own patterns is difficult… but it is so worth it in the long run.