sitting this one out: the dance of a dysfunctional relationship

    that time i danced back-up for the king of soul... :)

i can't dance like that anymore... not in the sense of me getting down with james brown and/or his likeness. i'm talking figuratively, people - in the relationship sense. i am sick and muhfuggin' tired of playing the role of sisyphus, doing the same dang thing, over and over again, expecting different results...

and so, i realized that it is time to truly examine my dating patterns. and what i'm finding kinda sucks. it is glaringly clear that every single one of my adult relationships has been a deliberate act of what i'm calling the push & pull six-step. i'm sure many of you can relate... i push. he pulls. i push more. he pulls away more. i give up. he pushes back. and we begin the round again. until one of us ends up with blistered feet, completely worn down from this... dance. the entire ordeal representing an awkwardly outward display of a fear of vulnerability. or maybe it's commitment. or of getting close to someone else... regardless of what it may be, it is definitely the result of some fucked up childhood issues.

and i mean it when i say that i can't do this dance anymore. i am so over playing hide-and-seek with my authentic self and being deathly afraid of simply sharing life time with another soul. what's the point of being afraid, anyhow? it's only another human being... totally not that serious. and really, fear has never saved me from hurt. in fact, i'm willing to posit that it reels that shit right on in.

today, i am willing to take a leap. to release the fear. of loving. of being loved. of leaving. of being left. of changed feelings. of vulnerability. of being alone. of losing. and moving on. these are all of the things i recognize that i and a few other folks i've known and loved, feared intensely throughout our not-so-delicate dance.

surrendering the fear means that all of the nagging childhood crap is gone! yay! i get it now. because the one thing that at least seventy-five percent of the men i've dated have in common is that they are children of divorce. bounced back and forth between two homes where they felt both wanted and unwanted at the same time...

meanwhile, on the other side of town, country, or planet, i sat waiting for my dad to show his face. to pop in whenever it became convenient for him to do so. wanting so bad for him to be there with me, but then not knowing how i should act when he was. whoa.

and because none of us had worked through to heal our issues, we were dysfunctional folks with complementary issues on a tragic trajectory of meeting one another and proceeding to perform that aforementioned dance. with years of practice behind us... a recipe for a whole lotta toes being stepped on, other partners cutting in, random song sit-outs, and a pathetic inability to move in sync to any beat.

as much as myself and the men drawn to me, for these fast-paced slow dances, wanted to remain together, the truth is, we couldn't. because deep down inside, we were seeking happiness from each other. and as difficult as it was to admit it, we weren't happy with ourselves. so we could hang it up trying to create it together. and we were afraid of it, on some level.

fear doesn't like to share the spotlight with other emotional states. happy people don't feel the need to push and/or pull. in the space of a healthy relationship, both partners are equally committed to maintaining its rhythm - together. what i'm calling the good love two-step... give. then take. and give. and take...

despite the bumps and bruises i've sustained through the years, i am grateful for each partner and every dance. all offered the chance for me to see a different aspect of old and open wounds. they afforded the opportunity for me to open a little bit more, explore deeper levels of hurt. which led to this point of no longer being willing to perform that dance, play the game, or run and hide. leading to a place where i am completely open and honest with myself about what it is i want and extremely sure about what it is i don't...

and so, as i open myself to the universe and invite authentic intimacy and love into my life, i am removing the taps from my shoes, shutting off the lights, and turning off that god-awful music... the six-step is done.