The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Saturday, February 12, 2005


Again, all names have been removed:


The pain of self exploration is immeasurable.  Actually the anticipation of the pain is perhaps more painful.  Who knows.  I may move through this gracefully and look back wondering what the hell all of the fuss was about.
First though…forgive…Damn it! Forgive.  Forgive (EX-HUSBAND) for abandoning me when I most needed him to help me heal and grow.  Forgive him for leaving me stranded with CHILD, a house and no income.  Forgive myself for not seeing it coming.  Not recognizing the signs of impending doom.  Having not face that type of danger before, how could I have recognized the signs?  Duh!  I cannot be blamed for loving and trusting completely.  I gave my heart and never looked back.  Still, only I can take care of me, so I SHOULD have been more aware.  Forgiving us both is hard.  I so needed him to help me understand why I could not lose the weight.  I honestly think that the weight would have come, baby or not.  Just slower perhaps.  So what then?  Truth be known, the weight was an excuse on his part to cut and run when he felt trapped.  I cannot know this for a fact but subsequent behavior seems to indicate this.  I am sorry that he was not happy.  I am sad that I could not be for him, what he wanted but then again, would I have wanted to be any different than I was?  No.  So, ok, we both made mistakes.  We both hurt. 
Forgive (CURRENT HUSBAND) for not being the husband that I expected him to be.  Can I do that?  After so many promises broken?  So much hurt and so much anger!!  Did we set out clear expectations in the beginning?  Not when we first got together but later.  We talked and talked and talked about expectations. Nothing appreciable happened.  Still nothing appreciable happens.  Can I forgive him for not being what I still need him to be?  Ok.  How about this?  I can forgive HIM but I cannot forgive the behavior.  Can I forgive myself for being so trusting, once again, and naïve.  For wanting to believe that he really would change?  It’s like an abusive man hitting the woman and they saying “I’m sorry!, I won’t do it EVER again”  and she takes him back.  After the first couple of times, who’s the fool?  Her/Me.  How can I forgive such stupidity???  What I see/feel, is a girl/woman who so wants to be loved and cared for that she is willing to compromise a lot to get it. 
February 10, 2005
I will come back to the forgiveness issue again (and again), I’m sure.  However, moving forward….
Today I want to talk about Love or lack thereof…Hmmm…..Steve’s advice to look in the mirror..seems on the surface to be so trite and almost silly.  I mean,  just the though of looking in the mirror and telling ME that I love ME makes me want to giggle.  More out of embarrassment that anything else.  What, really, is there to love in me? 
We love and cherish our children, just because they ARE children.  All of that sweet innocence is just so easy to love.   This love is so pure.  So sweet, it makes me cry with joy.
We tend to love and cherish others for what they give us in return, for how they SEEM to complete us OR some other imagined reason.   This is some maladjusted love.  Something masquerading as Love.
As we mature we develop bumps and warts, both literally and figuratively.  It becomes ever more difficult to see beyond the appearances to the innocent within.  We create shields and masks to both guard the innocent and ward off the enemy.  Eventually, we lose sight of the innocent as it is lost in the false reality we have created. 
So now, My fake self and your fake self try to connect.  It’s amazing!  And no wonder we have such difficulty making relationships, of any sort, work.  All parties arrive under false pretenses, using pseudonyms.    Where is the honesty of the soul in that?  How can you love what you cannot touch or see or feel?
When I look in my mirror I see an old and tired woman.  Maybe not old in the way the world counts old but old from misuse.  Tired and world weary.  I am shocked to see her there.  Not what I expect to see.  In my dreams and my heart, I am young, wide eyed.  Eager to take on whatever Life sends my way.  This crone before me just cannot be me.  I am not what I appear to be!!
Steve's comment:
It is by engaging in all three aspects of life that we learn compasion  We look at others and say: "why can't they change?"  Whe we have yet to solve our own conundrms.  If we forgive and love ourselves, we can forgive and love others.  If we learn the lessons, we don't need to hold onto the pain--we can love, and yet be safe.  We can release the baggage that manefests in our bodies, our psyches, our inability to reach career goals.  And by learning to face our demons and dragons, we gain the ability to help others reach theirs.  Loving ourselves is the beginning.
There are lessons that cannot be put into words.  But a teacher can create a context in which a student can learn for themselves.  One of my great joys with Nicki practising Yoga is that now I can teach her some of those ineffable truths.  Thank God.  I've fought so hard for these understandings--I love offering short cuts to my loved ones.  That is what all of these posts and exercises are about--short cuts.  You still have to do the work.  It is still gruelling.  But there actually are paths out of the woods.  This is one of them.

No comments: