Coming out of the dark, I get motivation again to achieve new goals. Mourning over a dead relationship is still holding me back. Anxiety from lack of understanding still cripples my heart. Guilt for not leading us better, wanting to make amends and knowing that its impossible at the same time. I've had to do a lot of letting go of people in my life, but I almost never initiate it. I never want to be the one to give up on a relationship, because I just value relationships too much. I find Jesus there. That's one of the blessings and curses of my trauma wounds. I am so grateful to anyone who receives and reciprocates my love, even in small ways that most people seem to take for granted. The pain of disappointment or failure in a relationship, is proportionate to the joy I have in it. There is an extremism to my attachment to people that will make the suffering of detachment extreme too. The deeper the relationship goes the more dangerous it will be. But to avoid the possibility of this pain would be to miss out on the joy as well. I think a lot of hurt people take this route, but I have continually refused to concede this territory to fear. Every time I lose someone, I experience it as losing God, or at least a big part of God. I think it was C.S. Lewis who said the closer one approaches to the persons or work one is called to, the greater the temptation to idolatry will be. So, vocational relationships are the hardest to get over. I know I am being purified of my temptation to idolatry now.
People are the closest we can get to the incarnate God in this life; it is through them that we learn everything about God. People are ends in themselves, and Christians are sharers of the divine nature, why wouldn't we expect to be able to commit ourselves to others with an extreme love? God is found in human persons most fully when we love them more than our own life. But, who would dare love a stranger this way? Almost no one, ever. Even for a very good friend, few would ever love enough to die. What about being tortured for someone you love? Who wants to sign up for that? I sign up for that... with people, in my arrogance, relying too much on my own power to bear it. Even while we were still sinners (i.e. terrible friends and abusive lovers) Christ died for us. This is what we believe. God gives completely, He doesn't 'guard his heart' as we like to say. His heart is pierced for us, as is His mother's. However, He let God the Father do all the work through Him, and He knew how to do that perfectly. He didn't try to control his life. In order to follow Him, I must love myself more than my own life first. I must die for myself! Waiting on the Father to give my identity back to me, as it should be. Then and only then will I possess the gift of myself I so long to give away.
I am not who I thought I would be at this point in my life. I accept this and I repent of trying to force God’s hand. I am finding myself. I am happy with my job. It is not all revealed yet, but there is stability in this work that I desperately need. I am free in mind to pray and study and think while I work, but I am also in constant interior struggle for the same reason. This is good too. I need to learn to master my thoughts anew. I don't know why its so hard, after this breakup, but it just is. I am not the same person I was before. It feels like I am being forced to step backwards. But that is okay too. I need to be grateful for my humiliations. It was easier in school when I had so many intellectual friends and projects. It was easy for me to succeed and be happy in that environment because my mind was obsessed about whatever it was focused on at the time. Relationships were relatively automatic. Except the vocational ones. I am certain that I was created to serve a woman. My personality is just not at home without that intimacy, either the reality of it or the promise of it. I am sure of this. I feel terrible sometimes about my last attempt. It just didn't end well for me. I still feel betrayed and abused. I was clear from the beginning about my needs and my wounds. She didn't listen. I never really wanted to be ‘just friends’, at least not friends in a casual sense. I wanted her to be a best friend, which is what I mean by 'sister' (celibate or not, that part still doesn’t matter to me much). But I absolutely needed trust, vulnerability, commitment, and a degree of exclusivity. If those aspects weren’t available, I would have pulled away from her. I guess in order to learn the lessons I am, those things had to be, at least conceptually, offered to me and then taken away, in this extremely triggering manner. I still don't understand why God let it end like that. It has hurt my perception of God and of myself. So much deception. Self-deception most likely. No reasonable answers. I needed much much more than she was able to give me in terms of effort in communication and keeping in touch. It would have helped me immensely to process. My imagination is very unkind. I let myself wait way too long and suffer way too much. The months and months of no contact destroyed the friendship that I thought we still had. When we broke up, she stopped caring for me, and that was not okay with me. I tried to tell her I needed regular contact. She just wasn't willing or able to engage me on my terms. That's fine, but its not a kind of relationship I want to be in. I should have been more assertive about my needs, but I was prideful about how much I could suffer for her. Our last contact destroyed the only good thoughts about her I had left to hold on to. Now the memory of what I thought we were is just poison to my life. I can't understand it and it drives me into a self-destructive loop of trying to reconcile two unbridgeable realities. I had to just cut her off and push her out of my heart as much as possible. After seven months, I've finally let go of my hope for a positive relationship with her anytime in the near future. I got too messed up by it. I need to stop letting myself think about it, even though I never wanted to do that to her. But the anxiety has become unbearable. My weakness has become too apparent. My wounds make the difficulty much more torturous than it should be, but that is my lot; I’ve got to give God more space and opportunity to help me through the dark days that come. I don't judge her. I really don't. I think she is doing her best. I just should have been much more careful with myself. I expected too much from her. I am too old, and too needy for a normal girl. I am grateful she even tried. There were so many red flags that I ignored, thinking that I could help her grow. But I unknowningly sacrificed my ability to help her relationally when I let things become romantic between us. I thought it was a natural outgrowth of our friendship, but it was all too fast for her. I didn't really think she was ready, but I went with my feelings instead of leading with my reason. She wasn't exactly transparent or consistent either. Nevertheless, I was supposed to lead, but I let her lead me on instead. I regret that. Its a lesson I'll never forget. I truly desired her good and sanctification above all else, and I still do. I made a good and holy gift. Now all I can do is pray for her.
December Rose is my routine of self discipline for the coming month and my bulwark against the storm that I know will soon return. This is a daily commitment to specific goals and activities to fill my time and move me towards a longer term vision. In general, I must become a rock solid lover at home and a spiritual leader in public. The next steps are just simple activities, balancing my intellectual, physical, emotional, and pastoral health in the larger life of my relationship with the Spirit of the Lord. I'll be rotating through the activities from day to day to keep things fresh and give myself the advantage of some spontaneity. All in all it will be difficult during this busy month at work, but I already have some of these habits rolling and I am rising without an alarm at 3am or so now. So, I will check in with you as I progress through the month, and share my projects with you here, as always. Happy Thanksgiving and Blessed Advent! Pray for me! I pray for you all in my rosaries each day.