“Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.” I could feasibly have that tattooed to the lenses of my eyes, I enjoy the mantra so much. I am queen of reminding us all to look just forward of where we stand, not too far ahead, but certainly not backwards. With all this fully in mind, I have found it challenged by the ever-passing nature of Father Time and the way life changes and grows with or without one’s permission.
I have had the strange experience lately of encountering nearly every ex from the past 5 years – heck, the past ever – and their new romances. I can’t count a single ex-boyfriend as not being currently attached, co-habitating, married, or divorced and remarried. Okay there’s one who’s single, but he’s a (darling) hot (super hot) mess (meant in the kindest way possible) in regards to making sound decisions about both life and mating. So why does this bother me?
It doesn’t, per se. I’m not pining over any of these relationships, actually quite the contrary. I’m so grateful for everything each one of them has taught me. I’m most grateful, though, for the past two years of aloneness. The only time I’ve had in my life, since becoming dating age, of being truly companionless. In the past two years I have dabbled in dating. A couple semi-serious beaus. A couple more potential beaus turned friends or thank-gosh-I-never-have-to-see-him-agains. Nothing I’ve experienced in the past two years has shaken me from what felt, and still feels, like a consequential, pivotal moment in my life. Intuitively I have known to remain unattached, despite opportunities and the human instinctual craving for a partner. I am unspeakably grateful that I’ve listened to this intuitive current and let it carry me along. I’ve grown and gained more in this small space of time than I could have possibly imagined from where I stood three years ago.
What this time has offered me is independence; perspective; a strong foundation on which to stand. But that doesn’t mean I’m immune to the subconscious, egoistic musings of my little inner devil, hunkered on one of my shoulders, shrouded in shadows. The one that whispers my flaws into my ear when my guard is down, the one that steps up to battle with my archangel, perched gracefully on the opposite shoulder, warring over my imperfections and shortcomings in the space between my ears. That same little devil is the one who murmurs in lucid moments how interesting it is that every one of my exes have found love again. How coincidental that I have not. How amusing that I am the only one still alone.
Every once in a while I let that little devil finish a soliloquy. More often than not my archangel knocks the fool off his perch before a hurtful sentence is finished. My rational reaction is always to reiterate the first portion of this essay to myself when those thoughts pop up. But there’s bound to be a little residue of the piteous image he painted, bound to catch a glimpse of the shapes before its colors dissolve. It’s in those moments that I see myself as pathetic, alone, almost suspended in time; suspended in what it felt like to be in these relationships, what it felt like to be important to these men. That’s the strangest part and the hardest to confess. I don’t miss them, I don’t miss the relationships; what I miss is the feeling of mattering to these people. The feeling of being cared about, thought about all the time. Very egoistic, of this I’m acutely aware, and yet…it persists.
Why does it matter to me that I’m no longer on these guys’ radar? I don’t feel irritated towards their new girlfriends and wives (with the exception of one, though my spirit work is towards liberation from that; in the meantime at least my nickname for her is without a curse word). It matters because the ego says it matters. The ego, also known as the devil, is a total bastard. He (no offense, I don’t mean to attribute universal gender to this force, it just happens to appears as an ugly little bird in my mind, and just so happens to be male) tinkers with things that are perfectly well, otherwise. He whispers heinous untruths in the dark of night and glazes over the most pleasant of mood in the heat of day. But do you want to know a secret? Okay it’s completely not a secret, but one might think it’s a secret given the seeming confidentiality of what I’m about to say.
We control our little devils.
Yep. Not what you were expecting, right? Or maybe it is. Either way, it’s the truth. These little bird assholes are figments of our imagination. Elements of our own consciousness. There is no separation; the devil and the archangel are not two separate entities. They are one. It is all one.
Here’s another whopper.
This is not about my exes. This isn’t even about human relationships in general. It’s about emotions and what we let them do to us. Emotions are also figments of our imagination. Elements of our own consciousness. Bear with me…but a thought has a vibrational frequency. A thought elicits an emotion. We then attach identifications to that emotion, “good” or “bad.” But even the descriptions, the concepts, of “good” and “bad” are creations of our own mind. What’s “good” to me might be “bad” to the guy next-door. Who says what I see as and call the color blue is actually blue to you too?
Our thoughts, and subsequent decision to either believe the thought(s) or not, create our reality. Our choices to either, as Byron Katie says, “love what is” or argue with reality are occurring all day long, every single day. We are constantly having thoughts and either believing them or questioning them. When we question a thought, we liberate our reality. We liberate our Selves. When we don’t question a thought, when we just go with it mindlessly, numbly, as though we haven’t any say in the matter at all…we are bound in limitation.
The unquestioned thought is bound in limitation. The questioned thought is boundless liberation.
So no, this isn’t about feeling like a pathetic 25-year-old spinster just because my exes have moved on to other relationships and I haven’t. This isn’t even about the fact that I’ve chosen not to embark upon another relationship until I’ve thoroughly and luxuriously enjoyed the one with my very Self; until I’ve come to know Sara on a cellular level, body, mind and spirit; using this sacred time of youth and vigor to explore my life on my terms and my terms alone, with no strings attached and no one to consider by myself. This isn’t about saying their way is right and mine is wrong, or vice versa.
This is about the fact that we are all exactly where we’re meant to be. This is a solo trek, this leg of my journey. Perhaps my whole journey will be, but I find that doubtful. I am a creature that relishes the physical, spiritual and emotional coupling of another human being too much to feasibly see myself a lone rider for always. What matters is that this leg of my voyage is being flown solo, and I trust the Divine Mother and her guidance of my intuition wholly. The relationships of my past happened in realms that were absolutely perfect. I carry with me little threads of those human beings, just as they carry with them a little fiber of my own cloth. This is about loving oneself enough to not need the attention, adoration, or even interest of others, much less exes. This is about fulfilling oneself enough to not crave external validation. This is about being so whole, so totally complete, that attention, adoration, interest and validation from outside are like a cool breeze, warm sand, the caress of sun…lovely, pleasurable, even dreamy – but still totally impermanent. Because the breeze will fade, the sand will cool and the sun will set. But in the still air, evening sand and brilliant glow of sunset, we will sit in reverence with the core of unchanging nature, with the greatest companion of all; ourselves.
So I nod at my singleness. I smile sheepishly at my egoism. I sigh contentedly at my journey. Then I look lovingly at the fingers of my dearest companion, my most intimate friend, and watch them as they whirl about the keyboard, typing these words. I observe her selecting her final words and gazing at her finished essay. I feel grateful towards her, for cultivating the courage to brave this odyssey. I feel love towards her, for finding the peace to enjoy this quest so much. And finally I feel joy towards her, abundant gratitude, as she rises slowly and heads to the kitchen to brew a nice cup of tea for us. Me, myself, and I.