I'm beginning to believe that one of my biggest lessons is to learn to stay with myself. I've had a habit of abandoning relationships out of fear of abandonment.
Two years ago I ended a relationship feeling so disappointed; enough to encourage me to try new ways of living.
I replaced bar scenes and dating apps with making things in the evenings and taking myself on day trips. Like everything there were ups and downs. I had nights that left me literally gasping in tears. I learned quickly on how to soothe myself. I had happy, carefree days inspired by unexpected surprises. I'm practicing on savoring these moments and to be present.
And it's been like that ever since; a series of ups and downs and I tried to stay with myself. To not leave.
To my surprise because I stayed and didn't abandon - me. I noticed that I may have unlocked a part of myself that's different. I feel like I have more patience, a bit of expansiveness and an ability to see many different perspectives when similar experiences occurred in the past. It felt unusual at first but after some time I've adjusted to just being her from here onwards.
In past relationships I preoccupied with pleasing my partners. I laughed, talked, walked in ways that I thought would make them happy. Thinking back I was always aware of myself making that shift. The thought of being abandoned and the longing for belonging scared me enough to abandon myself. All of that was done out of love and kindness, but I know now that it didn't help anyone grow.
Today, with dating and relationships; I feel even more timid, but I'm willing to practice and learn. I've been going on dates lately and am noticing how familiar and aligned it feels when I laugh, talk and walk like myself. I'm also noticing how I feel when I'm not aligned because I start to behave in ways to avoid disappointment.
I'm learning to pause, take a breath and invite myself to not abandon me. To stay with myself and to stay with her and just be her, unconditaionlly. And, if I do abandon myself to be forgiving of that, since this is all practice.
Making art in the evenings is where I feel the safest. I feel nourished and the work usually tells me what's going on inside. All I have to do is show up at the easel.
Here's a little "hooray!" to staying. To not abandon myself, relationships or experiences. To staying, pausing and being here. Right here, right now.
Love and grace,