I have said, mostly to myself, that I want a relationship where I can be completely real and vulnerable. But, what I wish for doesn’t always appear as I’d hope it would.
Yesterday, I was at the Love of Literacy luncheon where author Diane Ackerman spoke and showed the trailer of her book (soon to become movie), The Zookeepers Wife. If you don’t know the story, and I didn’t, I would recommend it. …the trailer brought me to tears. It wasn’t what was portrayed, but the images and bits of story that were steeped in compassion and commitment. I was a baby…before I caught myself and said no…not the place for this, before realizing that yes. Yes, maybe it was indeed.
The yes was finding that I have compartmentalized so much, that I have ceased to feel. I have walled off the extreme and the uncomfortable. I have extracted the deep feeling me, shaving her off, layer by layer, until what lay behind was a sterile, sun-bleached impersonation of what I had the illusion to be. It also paired with knowing that once I began to feel again, I abdicated my responsibility to someone who believed in me, and supported me, until he no longer agreed to be the mirror for my illusion of the whole person I dreamed of being.
Completely real and vulnerable? I value any relationship where I am allowed that freedom. Honestly, there are few, neither personal or private. I am not looking for the accolades and praise that many of us feel we have spoiled the millennials with, but rather the authentic reckoning of respect and acknowledgment that comes from another who is willing to share their time and presence, as equals. Oh hell, why is this so hard?
I have punished myself with the words of others and then when I found support, I punished myself with my own words. Maybe, just maybe it is time to bring that authentically real and vulnerable relationship home, from me to myself.
It is time to stop embracing what might be, or might not…what I deserve, or do not…the story as I make believe it is, rather than the story that is.
I deal with a lot of reality. But, do you like me? Did I do a good job? Do I like myself? I can teeter that fence like a master or just as easily straddle it with feet in the water on both sides of the fence. A master of delusion. And yet it is not moving me forward. It is spiraling me back to what I wish, to be protected positive, or to rationalizing against what I wish, protected negative.
Vulnerably open. I guess it’s just me. Vulnerably real, sometimes I like it and at others I don’t. (But it’s still better than pretending to live a happy life when it’s not). I think that when I start to let myself see what it means to be real, it will be time to let others in too. Until then, seize the day! My life is what I imagine and act as if it is. Or maybe it is just an illusion.