Dear Future Husband, A Response

http://thoughtcatalog.com/jessie-ma/2014/01/dear-future-husband/

It’s crazy how subtle day-to-day realizations can collect to produce major shifts in your perspective. It’s been around a year since I wrote this post; at the time, it was an honest, vulnerable representation of what I hoped the “perfect” person and “ideal” relationship would feel like. Re-reading it now, I can’t help but be critical and almost disgusted with my own words. So flawed. So naive and dangerously unrealistic. Smh. Like I said, a lot can change with quiet mini-epiphanies throughout a year. Here are some major ideas I want to point out / refresh with the things I’ve learned.

1. “I Love Love” vs. “I Love YOU.”

In the piece, I talk mostly about what this person does TO me, FOR me, but not about ..the person themselves. It’s hard to admit, but I’m only just realizing how insulting that is: To build the idea of a relationship together, completely TOP-DOWN based on the things I want out of it, and not on the person. I wasn’t writing about someone I love, I was writing about someone who could help me love myself.

Of course there are qualities we look for in people. But focusing primarily on our desires does not make a future spouse, or any legitimate relationship.. it makes a damn rebound.

I define a ‘rebound,’ (not by the time between them and your last relationship, but) as an interest having little to do with the person.

It has to do with your interest in the things they can offer you.

Someone who can supply the tools to fill a void or undo some damage that no one but yourself should be responsible for.

I would hate for someone to love me only for what I can give them, and not for who I am.

Yet here I was, desperate for someone to flatter me, comfort me, using them as a crutch while calling them my lover.

How sad it is to reduce someone to a shell- “As long as you can make me feel __, it doesn’t matter who you are! Just love me!”

It didn’t even occur to me that I was placing the idea of a relationship over the value of a person. I never even thought about genuinely appreciating someone. Now, before I can say that I love someone, I have to first be confident in saying,

“I love you for you, not for me.”

2. Love > Want.

Once I understood that fault in my mindset, I began to see that so many of my relationships were based on “want,” not “love.”

While love does carry with it a sense of desire,
Pure “want” is not love. It’s self-love.

“Want” comes with jealousy, entitlement, bitterness, disappointment.
“Want” hurts if you don’t “get.”

Love” is about appreciation, support, acceptance, gratitude.
“Love” doesn’t get affected by “not getting.” Love is beautiful. Love is warm. Love is natural and easy.

I have to remind myself that loving someone should not necessitate a feeling of possession. In fact, my “want” for someone, and the need to control and dictate how much of them I “have” only pollutes the pure and wonderful love I could have for them.

Simply put,
People do not belong to each other.

Do what you feel. I can only act on my own emotions. I express love as I feel it, and welcome its reciprocation. I refuse to let my pride and expectations (“want”-words) suppress what I naturally feel for anyone.


3. Rejecting the Concept of “Deserving”

Do people deserve to get hurt? Did victims of rape and murder deserve that? Do we lose loved ones in natural disasters and freak accidents because we.. deserve it?

The more I’m exposed to the random atrocities that plague this world, the more I want to reject the idea that anyone deserves anything.

If the world functioned in a way where people got exactly what they deserved, we’d have no need for prisons or courts or hospitals or heartache. Some things just happen.

Some people just love. And some people don’t. Sometimes we break our own hearts for someone else, and sometimes it’s not enough.

By attempting to take control of people’s feelings or the situations surrounding it, we’re assuming that, “because I’ve been through ___, or because feel this for you, because I’m willing to do ___, consequently, ___ needs to happen.

All the faults right here. Not only is it horrendously unsound to view human relationships as an exchange, even if that were to work out, what good is a love you have to ask for? A love that you feel entitled to, not a love that you’re not thankful and happy to receive?

The more contrived it is, the more you’re contradicting yourself: If you feel that you truly “deserve” something, should it not come organically? Aka, stop writing about things you think you deserve, i.e. a future husband, JESSIE. You don’t get a prize for enduring pain. All’s (un)fair in love and war.

 


4. The Deepest Need of the Human Heart is to Feel Connected.

So we’ve established that, for any healthy, real relationship to develop, you must first 1. love the person. Not the idea of them. 2. Love, not want them. And 3. not feel like you should have them. Okay, got it.

Now, how do I love someone?

There is no conventional way to fall in love. There is no formula. Every love story is unique and magical. But in lasting relationships, I found a definite a pre-requisite.

The only way to love someone is to KNOW them first.

Without knowing them, you can so easily commit fallacy #1- loving the idea of someone, not them. Who are they, even?

When I think of individual people I know who are awesome at life, who just seem to be confident and composed no matter what, I noticed that they have one thing in common:

They are not necessarily the most talented, positive people. What makes them unbreakable is that they are self-aware. The more centered you are, the more you know yourself, the more you are in touch with and continually develop your ideals and beliefs and principles, the less you are negatively affected by external influences.

That’s your center. Your core. What makes you, uniquely, divinely, impeccably “You.”

Analogously, in a relationship involving two people, the couples that are resilient are the ones that truly understand each other. Situations are arbitrary. Heck, feelings are pretty arbitrary. But if your love is based on genuine understanding, of each other and of the relationship, there is little else that could shake that.

Human beings, as social creatures, are naturally hungry to feel connected. That “click” we have with our closest friends- the feeling of “You get me!”- gives me such a rush.

Alas, romantically, the ones you fall for are not always going to be the ones who speak the same love language, same dialect and accent. Sometimes they do have a more intrinsic understanding of what you mean and what you want. Sometimes they’re on a completely different page. But it’s about getting to know their language. If you’re willing to learn, over time, there will be less and less room for mistranslation of good intentions.

If I could narrow down all of the lessons I’ve learned in the recent past,

I would say that most of the harsh, painful, heart-shattering feelings I’ve experienced had nothing to do with love, or the lack of it.

It had to do with my understanding of a person, or the lack of it.

I admit I loved “love” too much. Too often, I wasn’t willing to do the work to know someone organically; got overexcited and jumped the gun. I went for the fluttery feeling, the cute things, the shallow things. I built the relationship top-down, clumsily, prematurely, without taking the time to get to know them.

Goal: Be able to say, “I know you. And I love you, for you, all of you.”


5. Love is (just) a Feeling. A Relationship is An Action, A Choice, A Continued Commitment

I’d always thought that if I could feel so much “love” for someone, a relationship will be second nature. Yet sometimes, love isn’t enough. Sometimes, more often than we’d like, love fails.

Loving someone, with a love that stays, is a renewable choice.

Maybe I didn’t love my exes enough to choose them. But there is a higher likelihood that, it’s not the lack of the love, but that I placed too much importance on the feeling, not the practice of it. So when I started to doubt my feelings, the relationship was placed in jeopardy as well.

“How long will it take us to learn that feelings can’t be trusted? They may help point us in the right direction, but they should NEVER be the sole foundation on which an entire relationship is based. Because at the end of the day, feelings come- and then feelings go. Those who build their relationships on the foundation of “feeling” will find that when the rain comes- their love quickly crumbles.

Last-Year-Me would’ve found this article insultingly unromantic and have dismissed it right away. But I’m learning. And some lessons require you to accept that maybe you were wrong. Perhaps my errors in judgement and action, not my feelings, were the culprits behind much of my heartbreak and loss.

But I know, now, that exercising your mind is NOT disrespecting your heart. If anything, it’s putting into practice what YOU KNOW your heart ultimately feels, even though it may not feel it all the time.

I now believe in my capacity to feel, as well as my ability to choose accordingly, not just blindly acting on impulse and emotion on a whim. I’ve hurt so many people, including myself, that way.

Love is great. But it’s also fickle as shit. Your soul will decide on a mate, then a few months later change its mind.

A lasting relationship is a day to day commitment, advancing love from a feeling to an action. And that’s not unromantic at all. In fact, what could be more romantic than choosing to love someone despite the flaws or doubts? Forget the stars and moons aligning to destine someone for you. The real magical part of love is choosing to stay in it.

 

6. Stop Waiting For/Writing To.. Anyone

And finally,
The part I am most critical about in the piece,
is that, (no matter how I worded it,)
I was waiting for someone.

And that’s always been my biggest weakness- that instead of being fully comfortable with myself, I always relied on another person to complete me. My life has always carried traces of “what ifs” for another, even at a time when I confidently claimed that “I’m fine doing me.” Seriously? Look at the title of the damn post!

Yes. I’ll always be soft. I’ll always be a romantic. I’ll always crave to love and be loved. But there is a difference between wanting something, and needing it. I made love a necessity in my life, rather than an added luxury. Which bred so many of my fallacies within relationships.

I was giving parts of my heart away to strangers, hoping (expecting) to receive more in return, without the commitment to the relationship or even a legitimate understanding of them. I’m so sorry. To you and to myself. I was also robbed of the chance to be in love, by my own failings.

Goal: Give my heart away and not feel like I have to ask for it back. 

P.S.-I want to point out the end of the piece, that dramatic last line.. “I’m dying to meet you.” Haha. The only thing I that makes me laugh more than that is the insinuation (paragraph 3) that I remained abstinent waiting for my future husband. Lol please.

 

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Want vs. Love

Don’t let “wanting” someone get in the way of “loving” them.

While love does carry with it a sense of desire,

Pure “want” is selfish. It’s not love. It’s self-love.

“Want” comes with jealousy, entitlement, bitterness, controlling. “Want” hurts if you don’t “get.”

“Love” is about appreciation, support, acceptance, gratitude. “Love” doesn’t get affected by “not getting.”

Love people

More than you

Want them

Or anything

From them.

It’ll save you both.

The Root of Real Love

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve written about how “Love =/= Relationships.” I’ve commented on it, cried about it, been straight up angry over it- but I never examined it, thought about it practically.

Why is it that, even with so much love, so much affection for someone else, and the best intentions TO manifest that love (in a relationship), so many couples end up hurting each other? Losing themselves? Becoming who they “aren’t,” separating, becoming strangers, or even hating each other?

It’s tragic. So tragic. The mistranslation of good intentions, to me, is one of the most heartbreaking things to experience, or even to witness. How can something so inherently “good” become so bad for people?

So I started to think about what “love” actually is. I’d always thought that if I could feel so much “love” for someone, a relationship will be second nature. Yet sometimes, love isn’t enough. Sometimes, more often than we’d like, love fails.

I put this thought on hold.

During this holiday break, I’ve been reconnecting with a lot of old friends. Which has been almost overwhelmingly fulfilling and enjoyable- and the answer to the question I put on layaway, came to me slowly. Disguised as instinctual “empathy.”

What we overlook about empathy, (and love,) is that there is an undercurrent, a deeper phenomenon that is implied, required for these feelings to exist:

“Understanding.”

In order for you to feel for someone else, you have to know them. Otherwise, what is there to love?

– – –

My friends from my younger days have a unique bond, and are very very special to me. Since our high school spanned from 7th to 12th grade, we closely shared 6 years of our lives, then stayed connected with annual traditions and catch-ups and all the digital communication 21st century technology allows for. In short, we’ve been friends, good friends, for 11 years and counting.

11 years is an arbitrarily short or long time, but in proportion to the total number of years we’ve been alive, it’s significant. I would say it’s enough to claim that we know each other pretty darn well.

But I never appreciated this. Or even noticed it. Then when I started obsessing over the question of “Why love isn’t enough,” I started to recognize when it was enough.

It’s enough when it’s based off genuine understanding.

During our “Holiday Sleepover” (yes, we’re early-20-something-year-olds who have slumber parties), we go around in a circle and do our “Catch-Up Session.” Basically, update everyone else on the major categories of our lives: School/Work, Love/Relationships, Friends/Family (We all care deeply for each other’s families. Like I said, we grew up together.)

– – –

Here’s what I realized DURING this year’s Catch-Up:

1. I know these people. I know them from the ground, up. I knew them when we were 12, I know them when we are 23. 

2. No matter what anyone is currently doing, or has done between the times we were in contact, I still know them. Updating each other on the details of our lives is for curiosity and interest, adding to and decorating the “them” I already know.

3. I love these people. Truly. The reason that time apart nor whatever they did during that time shakes my love for them, is because of 1.– I know and love them for who they are. 

When my friends told me stories of success, happiness, and triumph, I smiled and laughed with them. I celebrated and shared their joy.

When they talked about heartbreak, feeling lost in the world, family members who were ill, my heart wept for them. I sniffled and mourned and quietly prayed for them.

Then I realized.. That’s what love is. The foundation, the stuff that’s built over years of friendship and bonding and fighting and silly moments. Heavy moments. Quiet moments. Of conflict and resolution. Special events. Lazy days on the same couch. All the things that lead to me being able to confidently say, “I know you. And I love you.” 

image

People are like the compasses we used in geometry,

There is the point, “You,” where the compass pivots from. The “x”

And anywhere, in any given area of the 360 degrees you can go, as long as I know and love “you,” your center, the flexibility to say, or do, anything, be anything, will never change who you are. It will never change how I see you or how much I care about you. 

The force that holds that center together, for us, is the strong friendship forged over a decade.

For families, the love for each other comes not necessarily from knowing every detail of every members’ lives, but the simple fact that you’re.. related. Blood. That’s the root of familial love.

Within an individual, to know yourself, you need to be in touch with, and develop, continually, your ideals and beliefs and principles. And practice them. The more you are aware and self-assured of your personal schema, the more untouchable you’ll be to external influences. That’s your center. That’s your core. What makes you, uniquely, divinely, impeccably “You.” Nourish and protect it.

I like to envision people as trees. I’ve talked about this to several of my friends before, and eventually just sketched out my visualization:

image

That’s (roughly) how I see people. The 3 major levels to “know” someone. But I wanted to note how important the roots are. That’s the base of understanding. It’s the ‘x” where you plant your compass.

 

image

When it came to catching up with my friends, I realized they were just filling me in on the parts of their lives that were above ground level. But branches fall off. Leaves change colors. Yet the tree is still a tree.

The reason we feel like we’re “right where we left off,” is because who we fundamentally are in our roots, is understood to be unchanging.

– – –

Within romantic relationships, we tend to confuse the trunk and the leaves and branches for “love.” We think that sharing parts of our lives, friend circles, participating in the same activities, taking cute photos, whispering sweet words before bedtime, constitutes love. Sure, they are all a part of it. Exchange of affection is one of my most favorite parts of being in love. Having someone experience things with me is so nice. But it’s not all love is.

I’m beginning to see that

true love for someone else,

stems

always,

always,

from the roots.

image

And I’ve discovered, in retrospect, that my relationships that failed, hurt me, left me confused and disappointed in “love,” were relationships that had little or no foundation. The deeper the roots, the higher the branches- and we didn’t reach very far down.

I saw these guys, not for who they really were.
I saw them only in the context of our relationship.

Boyfriend first, Person second.

So any time they were hurtful or unloving, it dramatically altered the way I saw them or felt about them. I began to see good guys as bad guys just because they were a bad boyfriend.

Wheras, the few relationships where I took the time to know and understand the other person, I could see their mistakes simply as mistakes, and love them just the same. I could see the sweet things they did and appreciate them, but these things did not make or break the relationship.

– – –

I admit I loved “love” too much. Too often, I wasn’t willing to do the work to know someone organically, from the ground-up; got overexcited and jumped the gun. Went for the fluttery feeling, the cute things, the shallow things. I built the relationship top-down, clumsily, prematurely, with no regard for who the person actually was.

I loved love,

not “you.”

I never even really knew “you.”

And this is why people change. How they become something they’re not. Because they lose sight of their roots, seeing each other only through the sensitive and critical lenses of a relationship.

– – –

If I could narrow down all of the lessons I’ve learned in this past year,

I would say that most of the harsh, painful, heart-shattering feelings I’ve experienced had nothing to do with love, or the lack of it.

It had to do with my understanding of a person, or the lack of it.

– – –

I’m not dismissing or minimizing the “love” I felt. The love other people felt for me. But I am determined to stay mindful of my approach to people and to relationships. I want to know and love people, in a genuine way. With no expectations or plans of pursuing anything beyond that.

It’s true- love cannot be forced. It has to come naturally, over time, through understanding- just as a tree grows from a seed. Even though you can’t see it. Even though that’s not where the fruit or flowers are. The roots need to grow. They’ll make all the beauty happen later.

5 Lessons from 5 People

1. He taught me that finding love in another inspires creative energy-
He called me his favorite muse

2. He taught me that young love doesn’t have to be immature, that the depth of relationships are not required to be correlated with age-
He would’ve married me if I agreed

3. He taught me the rewards of waiting, about a love that grows over time from a spark to a wildfire-
He was too late for my impatience and neediness

4. He taught me the value of my body, as a temple, something precious to him-
He didn’t realize I irreversibly thought of myself as so little.

5. He taught me the greatest tragedy is not being unloved. It’s love. Powerful, transformative, destructive love between two good people who turn out to be real fucking bad for each other-
He lost himself to keep me. I lost myself to keep him. We both are (/have) people we didn’t want to be (/want).

 

New Year, Best You

Think of the person you want to be. The best, most ideal version of “you.” Someone you like, someone you love, someone you’re proud of and can be confident in.

May you attract souls that bring you closer to becoming that person.

And may you strive to be someone who helps others get to their best, as well.

(This is my only resolution for 2015.)

One of the worst, most conflicting and confusing feelings,

is being happy, but empty.

I am pretty happy going through the motions of my day. I’m not on edge or breaking down every second..

but I don’t necessarily feel fulfilled.

I don’t feel any substance to my happiness.

Everything is so fleeting.

 

The only thing worse than getting your heart broken by someone else?
Breaking it yourself.

I’ve been dumped before. Rejected. Told "It’s over," "This isn’t going to work," "I don’t see us together." Long story short, yeah. I’ve had my heart broken. 
In those cases, I was sad. Offended. Defensive. Insecure. But I was NOT conflicted. I was dictated, given no choice but to mourn and move on. The one that I still loved, made me get over them. Heartbreaking, right? 
One of these instances was with my high school sweetheart. I adored him more than anything. As did he, me. 
Alas, I was young and dumb and didn’t realize the consequences of my actions. I cheated on him. And upon confession, he told me it was over. 
Understandable.
But it hurt. I cried and begged and screamed anyway. It hurt like hell. For months. Years, even. And throughout this recovery, the whole time, I felt like I was the victim. After all, HE broke up with ME. 
What I still didn’t see, was that HE was given the most agonizing and torturous ultimatum of all time…
When the person you love, still loves youbut, now, being with them includes this hurt that they irreversibly introduced to your life.
He knew that my mistake was something he wouldn’t be able to forgive. So he made he choice. A brave choice. (Even though “brave” would’ve been the last thing I called it at the time.)
See, cheating is obviously a “dealbreaker” in a relationship. And as sorry and guilty as the cheater feels, the REAL person who is “heartbroken” is the one who has to choose to live with the hurt, or live without their loved one. The worst part of the process is deciding. 
1) To stay with their significant other requires a great deal of patience, understanding, and willingness to rebuild trust WITHOUT constantly feeling uncomfortable and cynical, accusatory and entitled. 
2) The other choice is to break up.
Once the cheater has made their mistake, the other person is inevitably given these two options. And either one is going to hurt. That’s where real heartbreak is. 
Any relationship where there is cheating involved is, automatically heartbreaking. Tainted. No matter how strong you become after, in my eyes, there was a bond that was broken. Kudos to those who can do it, but if I were my ex, I would’ve done the same. I would’ve chosen to let go of someone I loved, if it meant that the best relationship I could ever have with them is one of incomplete faithfulness. 
Now.
What I’ve come to find, recently,
is that a lot of my friends experience similar feelings with their significant others. 
Dissatisfaction. Hurt. Events that are questionable and painful
BUT still not enough to be complete dealbreakers.
I was in the same boat. So many things about someone I loved, hurt me, but I couldn’t find the one thing that was “enough” to make me leave. 
This sounds so twisted, but sometimes, after huge fights, I would say "Sometimes I wish you would just cheat on me, so that I would know what to do.”
Fucked up, right?
But it’s true. 
Being with someone who hurts you, but doesn’t hurt you enough to make you feel like you have a legitimate excuse to leave, might not be as painful as someone who is, without a question, bad for you (i.e. someone who cheats, physically abuses you, etc.) BUT it is CERTAINLY more conflicting and SELF-inflicting.
Constantly asking myself "Am I able to accept them anyways?" or "How much can I forgive?" made me question MYSELF as a person.
But then I started to wonder,
Why is he giving me so much to forgive?
Why is there so much I find hard to accept?
I wasn’t the problem,
He was.
And just because he never hit or cheated on me,
doesn’t mean that how he hurt me wasn’t “enough” of a reason for me to leave.
The fact that I was questioning myself so much should’ve been enough.
The fact that I was forgetting how to love, constantly insecure, hating myself, losing my self-respect, being depressed and suicidal
should have been enough.
Someone doesn’t have to CHEAT on you for you to finally realize that they are fucking hurting you. Ugh Jessie you stupid girl. Even forgivable-bad events, can add up until you have this mountain of hurt that YOU KNOW YOU CAN’T GET OVER. 
—-
This whole idea reminds me of animals who get caught in animal traps. 
They know that if they sit and wait, a hunter will come and capture them. 
So what do they have to do?
Chew their own leg off. 
To me, 
breaking up with someone because they’ve hurt you too much, is exactly this.
Breaking your own heart. Amputating your own limb. So that you may be free from the ominous future if you allow yourself to stay in a situation that you know is harmful to you.
But how does one start chewing?
How do you sink your teeth into your own leg, and just
do it?
I know he is bad for me
and is only going to be worse.
But that means, now, that
I have to break my own heart.
I’m not sure how to. I don’t know if I can.

The only thing worse than getting your heart broken by someone else?

Breaking it yourself.

I’ve been dumped before. Rejected. Told “It’s over,” “This isn’t going to work,” “I don’t see us together.” Long story short, yeah. I’ve had my heart broken.

In those cases, I was sad. Offended. Defensive. Insecure. But I was NOT conflicted. I was dictated, given no choice but to mourn and move on. The one that I still loved, made me get over them. Heartbreaking, right?

One of these instances was with my high school sweetheart. I adored him more than anything. As did he, me.

Alas, I was young and dumb and didn’t realize the consequences of my actions. I cheated on him. And upon confession, he told me it was over.

Understandable.

But it hurt. I cried and begged and screamed anyway. It hurt like hell. For months. Years, even. And throughout this recovery, the whole time, I felt like I was the victim. After all, HE broke up with ME.

What I still didn’t see, was that HE was given the most agonizing and torturous ultimatum of all time…

When the person you love, still loves you
but, now, being with them includes this hurt that they irreversibly introduced to your life.

He knew that my mistake was something he wouldn’t be able to forgive. So he made he choice. A brave choice. (Even though “brave” would’ve been the last thing I called it at the time.)

See, cheating is obviously a “dealbreaker” in a relationship. And as sorry and guilty as the cheater feels, the REAL person who is “heartbroken” is the one who has to choose to live with the hurt, or live without their loved one. The worst part of the process is deciding.

1) To stay with their significant other requires a great deal of patience, understanding, and willingness to rebuild trust WITHOUT constantly feeling uncomfortable and cynical, accusatory and entitled.

2) The other choice is to break up.

Once the cheater has made their mistake, the other person is inevitably giventhese two options. And either one is going to hurt. That’s where real heartbreak is.

Any relationship where there is cheating involved is, automatically heartbreaking. Tainted. No matter how strong you become after, in my eyes, there was a bond that was broken. Kudos to those who can do it, but if I were my ex, I would’ve done the same. I would’ve chosen to let go of someone I loved, if it meant that the best relationship I could ever have with them is one of incomplete faithfulness.

Now.

What I’ve come to find, recently,

is that a lot of my friends experience similar feelings with their significant others.

Dissatisfaction. Hurt. Events that are questionable and painful

BUT still not enough to be complete dealbreakers.

I was in the same boat. So many things about someone I loved, hurt me, but I couldn’t find the one thing that was “enough” to make me leave.

This sounds so twisted, but sometimes, after huge fights, I would say“Sometimes I wish you would just cheat on me, so that I would know what to do.”

Fucked up, right?

But it’s true.

Being with someone who hurts you, but doesn’t hurt you enough to make you feel like you have a legitimate excuse to leave, might not be as painful as someone who is, without a question, bad for you (i.e. someone who cheats, physically abuses you, etc.) BUT it is CERTAINLY more conflicting and SELF-inflicting.

Constantly asking myself “Am I able to accept them anyways?” or “How much can I forgive?” made me question MYSELF as a person.

But then I started to wonder,

Why is he giving me so much to forgive?

Why is there so much I find hard to accept?

I wasn’t the problem,

He was.

And just because he never hit or cheated on me,

doesn’t mean that how he hurt me wasn’t “enough” of a reason for me to leave.

The fact that I was questioning myself so much should’ve been enough.

The fact that I was forgetting how to love, constantly insecure, hating myself, losing my self-respect, being depressed and suicidal

should have been enough.

Someone doesn’t have to CHEAT on you for you to finally realize that they are fucking hurting you. Ugh Jessie you stupid girl. Even forgivable-bad events, can add up until you have this mountain of hurt that YOU KNOW YOU CAN’T GET OVER. 

—-

This whole idea reminds me of animals who get caught in animal traps.

They know that if they sit and wait, a hunter will come and capture them.

So what do they have to do?

Chew their own leg off.

To me,

breaking up with someone because they’ve hurt you too much, is exactly this.

Breaking your own heart. Amputating your own limb. So that you may be free from the ominous future if you allow yourself to stay in a situation that you know is harmful to you.

But how does one start chewing?

How do you sink your teeth into your own leg, and just

do it?

I know he is bad for me

and is only going to be worse.

But that means, now, that

I have to break my own heart.

I’m not sure how to. I don’t know if I can.

 

You can learn a lot about love through sex.

Reciprocity.

I learned that someone who wants you,
is just as desirable as someone you want

that someone who wants to kiss you
is better than someone who kisses you back.

The way he asked for me,
made me beg for him.

The way he made me feel,
made me want to make HIM feel as good.

He taught me that none of us are special,
we’re just mountains of cells.

but when he touched me like he meant it
I knew I’d be his forever.

It feels so. fucking. good.
simply to be wanted.

I could fall in love with you
just for loving me.

The Learning Curve of Letting Go

The Learning Curve of Letting Go
Once you realize how impermanent everything in life is (or, how impermanent life itself is,) and begin to understand how easily even the things that feel like “forever” can dissipate (sometimes without warning,) it forces you to become more accepting of “letting go.” It took me countless painful experiences, but I can do it now. Simply because I know it’s possible. Simply because, such is life.
My friend recently shared with me her thoughts on the “momentary-ness” of everything. She explained human experiences in terms of energy- how it can be neither created nor destroyed. Thus, how loss and gain doesn’t truly exist. Things are “only transformed or perhaps redirected, kinetic to static, from life to death.”
This concept reminds me of the line, “So it goes” from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five- three simple words that densely drip with meaning and philosophy. Though colored with a bit more cynicism than I’d like, “So it goes” looks through life and the universe as holistically, from the Tralfamadorian (alien)- perspective:
All moments in time co-exist at once. According to these aliens, when someone is in pain, or dead, in one moment, they are alive and well in all the other moments within their lifetime. And outside of it. The moment exists, plain and simple, just as important (or not) as any other moment. (*Think Interstellar’s Tesseract scene.) In the book, it’s mean to denote a sense of detachment, or even of blatant unconcern, as a way for the main character, Billy Pilgrim, to desensitize himself from the traumas of war and recurrent confrontations with death.
To me, “So it goes” illustrates human experiences, including death, as inevitable but not necessarily tragic. As my friend illustrated, we are simply moving through experiences, recycling energies.
Perhaps this is why, with age and experience, skin gets thicker, and our minds take the reins over our hearts. It’s only natural to accumulate more losses and gains over time, events that indirectly teach us just how little control we have over most things.
Not that I’m becoming more emotionless or defeated, but the bad feelings that would have made me inconsolable when I was younger, the feelings that pierce and break and shatter me to pieces- they still do. But they also move through me more quickly, as my brain is able to digest these feelings by taking them as moments, as experiences. I’ve had a lot of practice with loss. Practice that I never asked for. But that’s exactly how I get better by handling it. I know I will lose many things that I’m not prepared to… so I’ve learned to let go.
"And yet,"
It’s the phrase that appears in The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, in comparable quantities as “So it goes” does in Slaughterhouse Five. And that’s it- the hook- the thing you can’t let go of- against all knowledge- casting off better judgement- as slaves to our mortality, but bigger slaves to our hearts, THIS is what makes us human. Because I know we can’t control much, I know we’re only human, I know it’ll all amount to dust in the end, tomorrow, in a year, when I die—-
and yet.
If we were truly meant to equalize every experience, filter out all meaning, dismiss the inherent importance of individual life and death, just kill me now. What ARE we living for, then? The book itself about loss. Yet it is filled with nuances of love- crazy love, reckless love, against all hope or reason.. love. It contains 3 stories within the story, weaving through each other via characters and parallels. I love The History of Love because it’s dramatic, emotional, beautifully written, imaginative, and most importantly, makes me think,.. “No, so it does NOT go.”
After every grandiose statement that seems so DEFINITE, theres always a second perspective, clamping down right at the moment of highest emotion, introduced with the phrase, “and yet,”
I guess if you’re looking for a TL;DR summary, it’d be that “so it goes, and yet” which also reads “and yet, so it goes,” is an examination of the relationship between the practical, and the vulnerable.
When I get too attached to something, then lose it, I tell myself,"This may mean the world to you right now, and yet, so it goes.."
When I need to embrace my softness to allow myself to feel the full range of love and happiness, but become fearful of the dangers of infusing meaning to impermanent feelings I tell myself,"So it goes….. and yet,"
I believe that the head and the heart can work in harmony & synergy, by focusing the spotlight on the mindsets we must call for in specific situations. This is my reminder that life needs both perspectives. The little girl in me who wants to love, and the wiser cynic in me that knows it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. They need to work together. There is a balance between softness and sense that I will always strive to embody. This is what this means.
Anything can have transformative power- but how you let it, when you let it, and the opportunity that comes with each loss, depends on you.

The Learning Curve of Letting Go

Once you realize how impermanent everything in life is (or, how impermanent life itself is,) and begin to understand how easily even the things that feel like “forever” can dissipate (sometimes without warning,) it forces you to become more accepting of “letting go.” It took me countless painful experiences, but I can do it now. Simply because I know it’s possible. Simply because, such is life.

My friend recently shared with me her thoughts on the “momentary-ness” of everything. She explained human experiences in terms of energy- how it can be neither created nor destroyed. Thus, how loss and gain doesn’t truly exist. Things are “only transformed or perhaps redirected, kinetic to static, from life to death.”

This concept reminds me of the line, “So it goes” from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five- three simple words that densely drip with meaning and philosophy. Though colored with a bit more cynicism than I’d like, “So it goes” looks through life and the universe as holistically, from the Tralfamadorian (alien)- perspective:

All moments in time co-exist at once. According to these aliens, when someone is in pain, or dead, in one moment, they are alive and well in all the other moments within their lifetime. And outside of it. The moment exists, plain and simple, just as important (or not) as any other moment. (*Think Interstellar’s Tesseract scene.) In the book, it’s mean to denote a sense of detachment, or even of blatant unconcern, as a way for the main character, Billy Pilgrim, to desensitize himself from the traumas of war and recurrent confrontations with death.

To me, “So it goes” illustrates human experiences, including death, as inevitable but not necessarily tragic. As my friend illustrated, we are simply moving through experiences, recycling energies.

Perhaps this is why, with age and experience, skin gets thicker, and our minds take the reins over our hearts. It’s only natural to accumulate more losses and gains over time, events that indirectly teach us just how little control we have over most things.

Not that I’m becoming more emotionless or defeated, but the bad feelings that would have made me inconsolable when I was younger, the feelings that pierce and break and shatter me to pieces- they still do. But they also move through me more quickly, as my brain is able to digest these feelings by taking them as moments, as experiences. I’ve had a lot of practice with loss. Practice that I never asked for. But that’s exactly how I get better by handling it. I know I will lose many things that I’m not prepared to… so I’ve learned to let go.

“And yet,”

It’s the phrase that appears in The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, in comparable quantities as “So it goes” does in Slaughterhouse Five. And that’s it- the hook- the thing you can’t let go of- against all knowledge- casting off better judgement- as slaves to our mortality, but bigger slaves to our hearts, THIS is what makes us human. Because I know we can’t control much, I know we’re only human, I know it’ll all amount to dust in the end, tomorrow, in a year, when I die—-

and yet.

If we were truly meant to equalize every experience, filter out all meaning, dismiss the inherent importance of individual life and death, just kill me now. What ARE we living for, then? The book itself about loss. Yet it is filled with nuances of love- crazy love, reckless love, against all hope or reason.. love. It contains 3 stories within the story, weaving through each other via characters and parallels. I love The History of Love because it’s dramatic, emotional, beautifully written, imaginative, and most importantly, makes me think,.. “No, so it does NOT go.”

After every grandiose statement that seems so DEFINITE, theres always a second perspective, clamping down right at the moment of highest emotion, introduced with the phrase, “and yet,”

I guess if you’re looking for a TL;DR summary, it’d be that “so it goes, and yet” which also reads “and yet, so it goes,” is an examination of the relationship between the practical, and the vulnerable.

When I get too attached to something, then lose it, I tell myself,
“This may mean the world to you right now, and yet, so it goes..”

When I need to embrace my softness to allow myself to feel the full range of love and happiness, but become fearful of the dangers of infusing meaning to impermanent feelings I tell myself,
“So it goes….. and yet,”

I believe that the head and the heart can work in harmony & synergy, by focusing the spotlight on the mindsets we must call for in specific situations. This is my reminder that life needs both perspectives. The little girl in me who wants to love, and the wiser cynic in me that knows it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. They need to work together. There is a balance between softness and sense that I will always strive to embody. This is what this means.

Anything can have transformative power- but how you let it, when you let it, and the opportunity that comes with each loss, depends on you.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve written on “love =/= relationships.” Whether it was the driving theme behind, or simply mentioned in, a piece of writing, I have (especially in the past few years) realized, experienced, and lived out the fact that love does not necessitate, equal, or translate to a relationship. Not always, and if it does, not always perfectly.

Okay. We’ve established that. Or, at least I’ve established that, for myself. So now my question is: What happens from here?

It’s eerily and almost humorously coincidental how a number of my friends have been confiding to me on the same issue. What do you do when you love someone SO much, and they love you back SO much (which in itself, is freakin’ hard enough to come across – shouldn’t the rest just be easy??) BUT the way that the love manifests itself (aka “the relationship”) is a mess.

See, “love” is a feeling. It’s that flittery-fluttery warm sugar cupcakey smiles and rainbows feeling. A “relationship” consists of the nuts and bolts, the logistics, the idiosyncrasies, the communication, the day in and day out dynamics of that love. Love is the soul. A Relationship is the body.

Those who believe in “mind over matter” are probably also devout believers in “love conquers all.” I had once been an active member in the movement, but every time something got lost in translation between me and the person I loved, I got a little more jaded. “Sh*t.. maybe love ISN’T enough…”

If that feeling really was enough, why would so many people who are “in love” be frustrated and dissatisfied?

For me, I’ve loved someone fully, adored them head to toe, accepted their everything. UNTIL. Some of the flaws that I wouldn’t have initially thought to be problematic started to cut into the relationship. See, I can love and love and love to no end. But in the face of a threat to my love, coming from the person themselves, deliberately or not, I start to question.

I’ve never questioned how I actually felt about this person. I’d never doubted how much I loved him. Or how much he loved me, even. But I did start to second-guess whether they were right for me. I wondered whether the relationship would ever progress to a point where their personal shortcomings were either fixed or made irrelevant to the success of the relationship.

I realized that love is indeed, not enough, for it must be supplemented by practices in communication, affection, transparency, vulnerability, trust, comfort, assurance, and the like. You could have the most beautiful voice. But even the best singers have benefited from technical training, to learn how to be aware and in control of how they operate that beautiful voice.

In a way, love isn’t enough to make a relationship. But I do believe that love is enough to allow for a chance at one. I kept believing that “if he loves me enough, things would get better.” But I was wrong. He loved and loved me, but the extra affection wasn’t doing anything to assuage the pain from his past transgressions. What I needed wasn’t MORE love, it was a more mindful and proficient love. I knew past mistakes weren’t signs of not loving me, rather of clumsiness and inexperience. What I needed was evidence of 1.. realization 2. true apology 3. effort to make sure those mistakes didn’t repeat and continue to damage our relationship.

I believed that, even if love wasn’t enough to make things perfect overnight, it would be enough to prompt him to make an effort to TRY. If you loved someone SO fucking much, but you knew you weren’t making them happy in the relationship… wouldn’t you try?

So, in case if anyone’s wondering.

What broke my heart wasn’t the lack of love.

What broke my heart was the lack of a relationship.

What broke my heart was someone who loved me enough to cry and beg and scream and break,

But not enough

To try.