I feel like I’m emerging from one of my caterpillar/larva/pupa/chrysalis/butterfly cycles. I’ve been diving so deep inside myself over the past several weeks that each time I’ve tried to sit down and write the words have come out stilted and seem unfamiliar in print.
I love these ‘fertile void’ periods. They have been a part of my process as long as I can remember, although I still have to resist the temptation to beat myself up for not writing, or being more productive in other ways. I know that whatever is working inside me will produce results if I am patient enough to wait for it.
Waiting is something I’ve been learning about during this time. Being able to wait requires patience, and patience requires being able to accept what is, as it is, right now, without letting ourselves be disturbed by wanting it to be different. A dear friend reminded me of that a few days ago, and I’ve been thinking a lot about it since then.
This year I tried dating again. I was serious about it, was willing to take the time to meet new guys, find out if we could build something together. I didn’t have much success, in creating something long term, but I did get to know some great guys. They just weren’t my guys.
So did I flunk relationships? I don’t think so. I simply needed to remind myself of all the relationships I am already in, that are working quite well, that give me a deep sense of fulfillment in my life.
Another friend sent me a chapter from the book Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes in Women’s Lives by Jean Shinoda Bolen that talks about the “Virgin Goddesses” — Artemis, Hestia and Athena. Virgin in this sense doesn’t mean anything about sexual experience, it means those who have not been “penetrated” by the demands of society or by the dominance of men in their lives. They are independent, live from within their souls and according to their own values, not by those dictated by others.
I can see that I have a lot of that energy going on inside of me–else why would I be able to walk away from situations, relationships, experiences that don’t seem a fit for me so easily? I have secretly harbored a fear that I might be cold somehow, or unfeeling because I do that. But I know how deeply I feel things, and care about others. For me, it isn’t about not caring. It is more about not being able to continue down a path, any path, that doesn’t fit my higher purpose and/or my sense of my authentic self.
Yet I still grapple with the inner desire to partner up with someone.
Am I “destined” to live the rest of my life “un-partnered”? Am I too demanding to just let go and “be” with a man? Am I too much like the model I was given by my mother, who based her life around my father for 62 years, so that when I get into a relationship I unconsciously slip into an emotionally submissive role that quickly feels untenable so I have to get out of it quickly? Am I too strong? Do I have unrealistic expectations? Am I afraid of being too vulnerable?
One thing the past year has given me is an ability to surrender to vulnerability. I have a much clearer understanding about the order of things–and how little we can actually influence what goes on around us. I still say what I mean and explain things to people, but I have no illusions that they will change their lives because of anything I say or do. I see my role as a catalyst–then it is up to them to act on what they choose–and live the way that works for them.
So, I feel comfortable being around others being themselves. I am open to seeing what comes, not attached to making something happen. I feel free to live my life the way I choose. What does that lead to? I’m not sure, but I think this question of relationships is going to be with me for a while.