Still Learning

I guess I’m still evolving as a human. A good sign I’m sure. *I’m also feeling long winded tonight*

A lot has transpired lately between TFA and I.1 A huge chunk is hard to discuss as I do not wish to violate his wish for privacy. However, there are things in my head I need to force into the open so it can receive a proper beating from my id. Most of you following my love life know it has most definitely been a rocky road. LOL The last break up and several the jump starts in between make for interesting reading if nothing else.

My capacity to love is almost boundless. That said, one of my biggest shortcomings is I often feel like it is not enough unless that love is returned. What an ugly road that leads too. To love someone unconditionally means to love w/o limits and w/o the need for validation. Don’t get me wrong, we all need a little validation from time to time. However, that is a huge jump from needing constant validation of self thru the expression from another.2 I have no doubts that TFA came into my life for a reason. I am being given a chance to examine my behavior and shortcomings. I can either improve upon them or continue to wallow in self-doubt.

With that in mind, I am discovering I can let go of my fears. TFA has a lot on his plate right now beyond just worrying about his connection to me.3 He will often withdraw when things are particularly difficult or he is struggling. Bouncing around the planet every few days does nothing to give one a sense of comfort either. Anyway, when he withdraws my reaction is to begin doubting my self-worth. I’m realizing more and more what a waste of effort that is. I feel very strongly for him. As I sit here contemplating, I’m hit with the realization I’m not concerned if he loves me back. Oh sure, I’d like it if he did but that is beyond the point. For the first time in my life, I find I’m not needing validation for the way I feel. I feel the way I do and that is enough. I find looking on it this way significantly diminishes my fear of loss or rejection. I feel almost free in a way. Is it possible I am truly learning to love unconditionally? Wouldn’t that be one for the record books? No, I’m not so foolish to think this little epiphany will solve everything. Yet, it is a very startling and uplifting outlook on my future.

TFA sent me an email tonight apologizing for his recent bout of withdrawal.4 He often does when he has a chance to process things and comes back to his feeling of comfort. It actually tickles me that I’m able to see the pattern and not react to it. I’m digressing. . . I responded back with a reply that may soothe him or blow up in my face. I’ve been holding back a lot of how I feel and trying very hard not to project my own issues onto him. My reply tonight had a lot to do with how I feel. I am proud to say I was able to express it without the implication that I need his love in return. And frankly, it is not the outcome that is important to me. It is the honest expression of my feelings without any expectation that is important. If he bails, that will be on his terms and will not change the way I feel. I can still come away knowing I am learning to love without limitations. I can hold my head up and be confident in myself and know that no one else need justify my feelings other than me.

*I’ve come back afterwards to add more here*

After letting my comments above stew for awhile, I find I’m in an incredibly good mood. What a very free feeling it is to find myself letting go of a fear that has plagued me my whole life. It is not gone but it is my hope I am learning to move beyond the hard-wired emotion. Fear is a base emotion originally meant to protect us. However, in the world today it often serves just the opposite. To think I can finally rise above it is a very empowering feeling. I used to say in my old journals that “hope springs eternal”. I don’t think I ever truly believed it before but I definitely think I do now.

  1. You’ve read the parts I choose to share. What is lacking are the private posts of me having pity parties. []
  2. Try saying that five times real fast. []
  3. I am starkly reminded of my own situation a few years ago. It was no easy task going thru a breakup, moving twice in 30 days, the death of my father, and a struggling financial setting. []
  4. He is currently in Athens []

Up or Down


Vacation last week was very uneventful after TFA left. Well, that isn’t exactly true. We had a little drama but it was mostly self-induced. I learned something about myself though. For all my growing these past 4 years, I still have a ways to go.

The night before he left, TFA walled himself off from me. I could literally see the barriers come crashing down. He withdrew from me for a few days afterwards and it drove me nuts. The why doesn’t really matter as we’ve already worked thru it. It was only indirectly related to me. After talking about it later, I think we’ve crossed the last hurdle between us. The reason I bring it up is because what happened afterwards. After he left, I felt miserable. I started thinking some pretty negative thoughts and acting on my old fears. One of the biggest fears I struggle with is “am I enough?“. I know where it comes from so no need to beat that horse again. However, it is a fear that has plagued me my whole adult life. Sometimes to the point of crippling my ability to move beyond it. Surprised?

So I found myself thinking familiar thoughts. What did I do? Did I say or do something out of line? Was I overly attentive? Was I attentive enough? Did he change his mind about how he felt about me? Was he disappointed? Did I not measure up? Basically, I was beating myself up wondering what I had done wrong. For two days I put myself thru this. Being off work only made it worse as I had nothing to distract me.1 However, the morning of day three I snapped out of it. Reason and sanity prevailed.

I remembered I am a good man. I have my faults, sure enough. However, I have worked very hard to be a good man and to have the qualities in myself I desire in another. I have a lot to offer someone. And, my ability to love is boundless. If he can’t see or accept it, for whatever reason, then that isn’t my issue at all. So I gave up on my little pity party and felt better. No matter what happened, I was confident in myself again. The irony was he called me right after and told me what was going on. Turns out, it had nothing to do with me at all. 2

When I was younger, the pity party would have continued. I would not have snapped out of it. This incident has shown me I have, in fact, grown quite a bit. I still need some work but hey, don’t we all? lol I’m a little proud of myself actually. I’m beginning to look beyond the old fears and actually take stock in my own self-worth. A nice feeling.

All this coming up has shown me something else. I’ve fallen for him. Maybe not the deep abiding love that comes from being nurtured and reforged over time but love in its infancy. The line has been crossed for me. A good feeling but a scary one.

  1. Well, there was the new Ratchet & Clank game. []
  2. Ok, that isn’t true either. His developing feelings for me were involved but not the heart of the problem. []