The reasons vary….why we hold back and don’t say the things we think or feel. And yet, at the core, the reasons are always the same. We’re afraid. We’re afraid of what someone might think of us, that we might hurt others with our words, or we might be the ones to get hurt. We’re afraid of rejection…..and rejecting. We’re afraid of loss….even the loss of those who offer us just a little reprieve from whatever it is we’re not willing to face or deal with. Being alone isn’t always easy. Humans desire the pleasure of others’ company. We seek friends and others to share in our experiences and activities. We seek love, touch, and physical intimacy. And often, we accept others into our worlds for temporary fulfillment of what we seek….even when we know a depth of feeling for the person is lacking or the person isn’t in alignment with our long-term goals and lives we look to build and create.
Last year, I experienced two very distinct moments of surrender to what I will refer to as “the universe” and its plan. Now, that all may sound like a bunch of nonsense. It’s neither “Christian” enough for some or “logical” enough for others. However, I suppose my own philosophical leanings and beliefs have always been rather grey. In the past, this has led me to keeping my mouth closed in most instances….neither wanting to offend or explain things that I felt no need to explain. After all, as far as I’m concerned, what people believe is personal to them. Who am I to say anything about that and who are they to say anything about my own beliefs or leanings? Never mind that my own thoughts and beliefs have changed through the years and will likely continue to evolve. Not one aspect of my current existence, identity, or being is set in stone.
And so, in actuality, my reference to “the universe” as some sort of higher power outside of myself is fairly new to me. Furthermore, I don’t actually see it so much as something outside of me or as an “other” at all. I see it as an extension of me, you, and everyone else. I see it as the whole of which we are all a part. Nevertheless, the whole knows more than me. While I am preoccupied with this one individual path in one particular time and place, the universe encompasses all paths, times, and places. So yeah, it knows and sees more than most of us…..except, perhaps, in those special instances when it reveals some of its knowledge. Such was the case for me last year…..
What were my distinct moments? One was the moment in which the axle on my small camper failed about 45 minutes east of Omaha, Nebraska. The other was during a simple drive to a car wash in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The first felt nothing short of divine intervention…..taking me back to a place I had recently left. The second was a reveal of my own feelings that had been hiding in the recesses of my own being…..buried by personal pursuits, goals, dreams, desires, past trauma/pain, new efforts to live in the moment, let go, and not become attached. Before the reveal, I had expected it….knew it would come sooner or later. However, I expected it to come as some sort of outside or exterior message….another divine intervention, perhaps. It didn’t.
That all being said, I learned that day that we don’t just dwell in the universe….it also dwells in us. It’s knowledge, as it turns out, is our knowledge….is a part of our very being. From my own glimpse of it, in fact, I knew one very important thing…..that my soul didn’t desire anything the universe didn’t also desire and vice versa. And the feelings that were revealed? Well, they were difficult, because love in this world means loss in this world…..sooner or later. And as my acceptance and surrender to my feelings continued to sink in, I also knew I would have to express them.
It took me awhile, but I did just that. As the days passed after the “reveal,” it became increasingly uncomfortable to not say the words. At one point, I got the distinct feeling that if I waited any longer it would be too late. Too late, for what….I did not know. And maybe the words were said too late when finally uttered, but it didn’t matter to me. They needed to be expressed, no matter the consequence. You see, I didn’t care whether they were reciprocated. I didn’t care where they led me. If I cared about myself at all, in fact, it was only to relieve myself of them. Truth doesn’t like to stay hidden…..and love can’t be dammed up like a river. It wants to flow. Who was I to try to stop it?
But all of this was months ago now…..and I have new words. I have words that need to be expressed again…..and again, not for myself. However, this time they’re in the form of an apology. You see, I ran away when my feelings weren’t reciprocated. I could have maintained a friendship with someone I loved, but I didn’t. In this moment, as I write this in fact, it hurts that I did this. Maybe the person doesn’t care and I can only hope that this is the case. But if the person does care, well an apology and explanation is in order even if I still can’t find it in me to contact him at this time. Perhaps soon, I’m thinking. I have a vision in my head for what I want to do and when it might be appropriate.
Until then, however, I just want to say to that person that my inability to maintain a friendship or contact does not mean that my feelings were/are in any way conditional. I never expected you to love me, nor did I seek that. There were so many instances where I didn’t want to go too deep…..conversations I never wanted to have. Because, honestly, I don’t know how to make anything work anymore. Married too long to the same person and now alone too long doing my own thing. I’m intelligent and feel I can solve most problems. But some solutions elude me. I want freedom….for myself and those I love. I don’t want to go back to the old ways….and I want those I love to break free from them. But I am nobody to say anything about the choices any of us make in life….the time frame in which we make them or don’t….responsibilities needing to be fulfilled. I do realize that I have the ability to be of help to anyone with who I involve myself….and I’m not opposed to that. But how I help, I’m not entirely sure. Although I have a wealth of experience and ability to draw from, my underlying purpose in this life has been put on hold far too many times. That truth stares me in the face every bit as much as the truth I came to realize that day driving to the car wash.
So see, it’s all well and good for me here in my world. I’ve never felt one stab of anger or pain of rejection. In fact, I felt oddly and unexpectedly whole after we parted. And I know you have other friends who love you and with who you’ve been previously romantically involved with…..friends who also love you unconditionally. I do feel that I may be missing out somehow by not also being a friend to you…..being present, somehow. And yet, still…..I just can’t. There are others for me too….others who I have maintained friendships with. I’m not going to try to say why this is different. It just is for me. I think that maybe once the love started flowing, it just didn’t want to stop and it’s too much. It’s overwhelming and intense. Even with the distance, lack of communication, and (for all practical purposes) being able to let you go……I still get reminders. And at this point, I’m afraid if we spoke or I saw you, I wouldn’t be able to contain myself.
And there it is. This is why I stay away. It’s not because my feelings have ever been conditional on yours or conditional on being romantically involved with you. I just can’t deal with them…..but believe I have a better chance at dealing with them this way. I suppose there’s a chance I’m wrong in this assessment. If so, maybe I’ll figure that out in time. Maybe one day I’ll wake up and the feelings will all be gone and I’ll realize my foolishness in all of this. Or maybe we’ll talk and I’ll realize that I grew past you. Maybe I’ll start spending time with someone else and the love will begin to flow there. I’m not sure that this is even possible, but…
One can sure hope.