For months now, I’ve been sitting on some thoughts about which path to take moving forward. I haven’t been stagnant, exactly. I’ve just been taking in “data” as needed in the understanding that it will eventually lead me to some sort of conclusion about the matter. Such is my way. I’m an observer, first…..of external stimuli and internal response. In fact, I often find that if I just sit on things a bit and observe with patience, conclusions/solutions will often present themselves.
Such is the derivative of my most recent conclusion. A mere process working in the background for several months, it’s finally come to the forefront of my mind…..only to produce a conscious decision before being re-filed in the mental archives. But, this too, I’ll sit on for a moment. I’ll sit on it to confirm and verify…..preparing myself for the shift.
What shift? I’ll tell you. If I can find the words, that is….
The data I’ve been collecting has to do with “loyalty”……what it is, what it means, etc. The same time that I’ve been collecting data on this, I’ve also been collecting data on my own thought responses in regard to faithfulness, loyalty, freedom……and my past actions, experiences, and ideas in regard to those concepts, as well.
But, maybe I should begin by giving you, the reader, a little bit of background on me. Never wanting to date in high school, I (nevertheless) ended up in a relationship my senior year…..and just a few years later at the age of 20, I married the person. And this person, the father of my three children, was the only man I was ever physically intimate with until we separated just a short time before he died.
Let’s just say that I have strong tendencies to faithfulness and loyalty…..and I even took some pride in these tendencies. Yet, they’ve come at a very personal cost. The first, is that I spent years feeling deprived of valuable life experiences….while the man I married had his own experiences before I came along….and at one point before we were married with a woman in Japan. Although my own experiences did expand after his death in 2010, my effort to remain faithful and loyal in my relationships still cost me in that I remained this way despite a lack of any sort of commitment on the part of the other person……even while the men involved were happy enough to keep me hanging on and happy enough that I wasn’t seeing anyone else. In fact, the men referenced would likely have been too jealous and possessive if I had been involved with other people. (I believe this is what is commonly referred to as “wanting to have your cake and eat it too”…..but nevermind all that. This is about the responsibility I take for my part….)
And I did take responsibility…..right after one such relationship ended in 2020. I decided that I would do things differently. I decided that until things got serious…..until someone expressed interest in being exclusive….I would continue to date and/or keep my options open by talking to people. I believe my friend Christina once referred to this as “dating like a guy.” Whatever the case, this is what I did.
However, I am who I am to some extent. Although I found few issues with “keeping my options open,” I also found that my faithfulness and so-call loyalty isn’t just based on old ideas about purity or self-worth or anything else of the sort. In fact, it has more to do with my own inner guide and compass than expected….more to do with the emotional intimacy between two people and more to do with the heart than feelings of self-worth or external expectations, etc.
So, that’s all great. But where does that leave me now that I’m not in a committed relationship and don’t know that I want to be? First of all, allow me to point out that I could be in a committed relationship right now if I wanted that. I could be in a committed relationship with someone I think is a pretty awesome person, in fact. But that’s not what I want and this is all part of the equation, as well…..part of the data I’ve been collecting.
And at the forefront of all of this are the questions. What’s going on with me? Where am I in all of this? How do I feel? Am I clinging…..attached? Am I obsessing….over someone who doesn’t want me? Should I keep trying to meet people? Do I stay in the flow of all of that…..with the possibility that someone else and more great experiences await? Do I remain open or just shut myself off to all of it? A quick answer to this last question is a strong NO…..I shouldn’t shut myself off. But then…..why not? Because……because that’s the wrong answer and I know it.
And yet, here’s something else I know……now, after months. I’ve made a decision….a choice. I’ve chosen a path. Not for some sort of external outcome…..not for a partner or for being loved by another. The path I’m choosing is a path that takes me even deeper inward. In truth, the other path…..the path to whatever I thought I wanted…..has already disappeared from sight. It’s been erased…..and I’m not sad at all about it.
You see…..if there’s such a thing as a soul and if it wants for anything, it’s only to be more fully discovered…..integrated…..connected. The external and internal…..the light and the dark….they are one. You and me…..same thing. Choosing myself is no different than choosing you and in actuality, it IS choosing you.
I suppose that if I continued along in pursuit of someone to share my life with, I would still be choosing myself…..and perhaps you want this for me. But that’s just not where my heart is. And that’s also not because I cling to anything, either. Really, it’s just the opposite…..because we can’t really love when we cling.
No, my heart is somewhere else….somewhere other than the search for someone else. My heart is in THIS journey only……whatever it is and wherever it leads. And yet, loyalty has no value here. Only love has value. It’s not like I’m saving myself for God and taking a vow of celibacy. That’s needless and superficial….someone else’s rules. Where I’m going, there are no rules. Only love. If I remain celibate…..well, that won’t be a sacrifice. It will only be because everything else pales in comparison to THIS journey….and because the last thing I would want is to be unfair to anyone else. I just don’t think I have it in me to do that…..live a shallow 3D existence with someone else….potentially hurt another person that way.
No, I’m happy here…..with myself…..with THIS. And I’m excited about it. After all, I’ve spent the better part of my life not being fully ME. I’ve gone years without writing and putting myself out there. But now that I’ve opened up and have been doing this…..well, I care less and less about how it is all received. Does it make you uncomfortable? If yes, then….
I’ll see you on the other side.