Diamonds and Pearls
Yesterday was absolutely amazing…
I know that I am the type of person who has to experience and explore all the minutiae in a situation, even the really, really, really unpleasant ones. I have to run my fingers mentally along every sharp edge, and I have to get cut every way possible in order to grasp whatever stone it is I’m holding at the time. And I don’t just grasp it, I squeeze it hard, holding it deep inside myself and using the intensity of my emotions to superheat it. I take the lumps of coal in my life, and in my own slow, painstaking process, I turn them into diamonds. It cannot be rushed. It cannot be abbreviated. The process is as important as, if not more precious than, the product. It can take years.
About a month ago I began an excrutiating journey, looking at the way I form bonds with people and the ways in which I process interactions with them. I was given a tiny piece of information Saturday night at PT1109 by someone who didn’t even know how valuable his gift to me was: Based on how I now know he jumps from person to person in a desparate bid to find someone who can get him to feel something, I now know and totally embrace the fact that I didn’t do anything wrong with/to Allen. I was right to say good-bye and walk away.
With that one little keystone in place, my arches were suddenly completely solid and sure. They will stand for thousands of years. All the doubt that was making my walls unsteady is gone: I know that my instinct is a true foundation, and now I am completely comfortable building on the truth that I am responsible only for my own actions and feelings. And if that means that I judge someone or some situation to be incompatible with me for whatever reason, I do not have to justify it or apologize for it. I cannot doubt it. It is enough to realize that my instinct has spoken. Of course it’s easy for anyone to simply say these altruisms, but how intimately do people in general resonate with the truth of them? I no longer simply feel the truth in it, I know it. I have faith in it. This truth is as much a part of me now as my identity is.
With this diamond coming out of the mine, others began coming forth as well: If Allen’s emotional situation isn’t my fault, then it isn’t my fault that Scott or Michael abused me. I now don’t even feel as I need to offer the weak apology, “It takes two to tango – I tolerated it.” Fuck that. They intimidated, manipulated, and abused me, and the reason I “tolerated” it is because I didn’t have the time and space I needed to process it quicker. It’s hard enough to be responsible for me, so I refuse to do it for them. So, now that also means that Randy isn’t my fault either. Neither is my Dad. Neither are the homophobes who tried to grind me into dust. These people have to carry the responsibility for their own actions, I cannot do it for them anymore.
With that truth then comes this one: I love people, but I do not have to sacrifice everything in myself for them. If I give until my wings are tattered, that’s my choice, but I can choose more carefully to whom I give. Also, I will give because it feels good to me to do so, not because I am trying to fix the recipient. I feel the need to reiterate Devon’s Platinum Rule: Do unto yourself as you would have others do unto you.
I have been happiest in my life when I have been on my own. If you are in a relationship, and if you are happy, that’s great. BUT PLEASE DON’T PUSH YOUR RELATIONSHIP STATUS ON OTHERS. “Aw, but you’re so great – why are you alone?” Because… I FUCKING LIKE IT! I cannot say it enough: Being alone and being lonely are not necessarily the same. Not everyone is wired for long term situations: I do not need a man, I want a man. There is a huge gulf of difference between the two. I am so freaking pleased with being totally and utterly me, without having to make silly compromises about how I fold my socks or whether I load the dishwasher “properly.” I can lay a huge portion of my past challenges in this life at the feet of my relationships (e.g. anorexia, dysmorphia, inability to accept compliments, fear of vulnerability, etc.).
Whoever I meet as a perspective partner from this point forward had better be strong enough to be my man. He’d better have a fetish for big fellas too: My body might be only 5’7″ and 150 pounds, but my soul is at least 6′ and 180 pounds. He’d better be mature enough to mean it when he says, “I want you to tell me what you’re thinking and feeling.”
I would encourage anyone who has (or wants to develop) the emotional fortitude to stand it, to not push the grains of sand away immediately. When appropriate for you personally (actually, that is a misnomer, since irritation generally doesn’t feel appropriate), take those tiny spurs and embrace them. Lacquer them with your meditation, and turn them into pearls. I do not mean to say that you should look for agony, but there can be an exquisite type of beauty born of suffering. Do you think the earth felt nothing in forming its many staggering landscapes? Without becoming a martyr or masochistic about it, find the strength to surround your pain with wisdom.
(Update, 7/20/13: The content of this entry forms the basis of both “dancerjack: Fisher of Men” and “The Parable of the Platinum Rule, Part 3” in “The Gospel According to Anteros.”)