How to Run Away from Home without actually leaving
The start of a new year always fills me with a bit of anxiety. I know, it should be a joyful time to let go of the old and open oneself to the new. But what if one starts out feeling like they have to completely revamp their life?!
I am finding myself in just such a position and am working hard at figuring out a way I can start my life in a new direction; as in running away and joining the circus; without actually leaving my home at all.
I have been guilty of running away from my life when I was unhappy and I don't want to do that this time. It's like this old poem about walking down a street but falling in a hole. The story has the person walking down the same street and repeatedly falling in the hole, until they get smart enough to walk around the hole; then eventually they just stop walking down the same street and choose an entirely new street!
I am at that junction. I have been walking down the same street, falling in the same hole and am finally realizing that just dancing around the hole is not the long term solution that I seek.
No, I need to find a more permanent solution to this problem. A whole new "street" is what is called for.
In my case, the street in reference is the continued rejection I face by well meaning family members. I keep trying to avoid rejection but I'm still falling in to the hole! It would seem that I have corrected the problem and I will have a day or two of peace and well being. Then, the hole swallows me up again when I find myself on the rejection end of things and the dance continues.
What is needed is for me to get out of my own way. I must learn that all the love in the world is not the same as acceptance and appreciation. Oh, it's nice to be loved. Who among us doesn't long to be loved and more than just loved, but to be appreciated and accepted for the unique beings that we are? We are social beings and we need to have a sense of connectedness and belonging to be at our optimum wellness. Many people live long lives as loners, but are they as healthy as their non-loner counterparts? Are they as happy? I suppose they can cite that while they may be a bit lonely, they don't suffer from rejection and hurt like they would if they were not loner's and trusted their hearts to others a bit.
When one changes their entire life and moves to be near somebody, only to find that they are the only one invested, frustration and misery ensue. I know whereof I speak.
I moved my whole life to be near somebody that I love more than anybody in the whole world. I believed that this was the only thing that I needed to be happy. Well, I understood of course that I need balance of many things to be truly happy but felt that I was well on my way by just logistically getting nearer the object of my affection.
Who knew how wrong that could be?! I have spent almost as long since I relocated to try to find some happiness that is sustainable. Alas, it is fleeting at best and lacking at worst.
What I am learning is that I have to truly let go of this "dream" and live my own life on my own terms. It feels very scary and not at all as easy as it sounds. It seems to me to be counterintuitive to walk away from the person you love in order to be happier, but it is the only thing I have found that might have a chance of helping me feel less hurt and rejected.
I have decided that the only thing I can effectively change is myself. Oh, joy, that's all I have to do! Ya, right! Just change myself. Let me think about what that would entail. For me, it would be keeping all the love I have for this person in my heart and letting them know how very much they are loved. And the next step is to just let it be. That's right, love but stay rooted. Otherwise I am spinning out of control as this love giving machine, who's batteries are always running down because the love is coming from me, but not being returned.
I have thought to myself "I will just walk away; I don't have to love them" but then I feel sad to be gone and so I come back in pitching woo and the cycle continues.
I guess that there are some people who are very capable of letting another person love them fully and unconditionally and at the same time, being aloof and unconcerned with sharing any love with you. They can take your love, they just can't give any love back to you. Oh, they may tell you "I love you" and they may make the attempt at times to show you love. But, it will always fall short. Because they just aren't invested. And, if my attempt in this life is to live in balance, then this huge gap affection will only lead to sadness, rejection and unhappiness.
So, it is a subtle shift. Maybe a shift that only you are aware of. Maybe it's as simple as just disengaging from this person. Somehow this does not feel simple at all; but it must be more simple than packing up one's worldly belongings and leaving the state or the country only to one day realize that nothing really changed. Because, wherever you go...there you are!
I am practicing loving myself. I find that by loving myself first; the way I feel I love this other person, that I simply won't tolerate the rejection. I love myself too much to be rejected or neglected by anybody. So, that is my first step in dealing with this. Love myself!
How does this look you might ask? Well to me it is taking all the love I can muster and showering it on my own self. Not that I am going to write myself a love letter, or whisper sweet nothings in my own ear. No, but real love is something much less tangible and much deeper and lasting.
So, I will let go...with love. I am not going to be punitive or do anything to hurt the one who has hurt me. I will just learn to love myself first and make good choices that will benefit myself.
I have got a new street to start walking. I'm done with the dead end street with the big hole in the middle. That is so last year!
The New Year is the perfect time for me to practice walking down this new street and knowing that I will find new people and opportunities for love and fulfillment. And, I will always love the other person, just not more than I love myself.