This is my May 19, 2019 Self Care Sunday Part 2. When I wrote Part I, I was not feeling inspired to write about any particular Self Care topic. After taking a long walk this morning and thinking about relationships a lot while I walked, I decided to write this Part II. So, when you get done reading this post about relationships, please scroll down and read Part I too 🙂
Having healthy relationships is considered to be a key component in practicing good Self Care. Honestly, I was bad at maintaining healthy relationships in years past. In years past, did not maintain or enforce proper boundaries. I was a giver to my own detriment. I allowed folks to take advantage of my loyalties. I assumed everyone would respect me and I naively believed love was the answer for all problems.
Massive changes swept though my life a few years ago. While I was spiraling through them, I was trying to keep all of my relationships status quo. Until the day I realized, my relationships were contributing to the problem. It wasn’t easy to step back and see what I accepted in life. It wasn’t easy to distance myself from unfulfilling relationships in my life. It wasn’t easy to choose me instead of them. It wasn’t easy but that critical act of self care, completely changed me and my life. I became stronger once I saw the truth in my life. The quality of all of my relationships greatly improved once I started exercising good self care in all interactions.
I can’t write about relationships without writing about my relationships with men in my life. At this time, I will give a warning that I am about to be really vulnerable and reveal the truth of who I am. I do so without fear or shame. I do so because it’s essential for me to live in authenticity.
I am 100% heterosexual. I like men. I enjoy men. I am wildly attracted to Blue Love because of his boy next door down to earth demeanor. I also seem to be wildly drawn to the bright blue eyes and grey hair combo. But, the truth is I haven’t been very good in my relationships with men throughout my life mostly because I never learned how to do it.
My father died when I was seven. My mother was widowed at 36 years old with five kids and never remarried because she was so heartbroken. A male member of family abused me. I didn’t date in high school. I was pretty and popular in high school but I was also very reserved. I didn’t really let many people into my world. While many of my friends were losing their virginity, I waited until I was 21. I lost it to a narcissist. It took me years to break free from him. He attempted to make amends with me and rekindle our relationship 20 years ago but that day was the last day I spoke to him. I asked him to not contact me again and he’s respected that request.
My sister’s death in 1999 broke me in a way I can’t really explain. I spiraled through depression and reckless behaviors. I was in one casual relationship after another until about 2007. There was a man who was 17 years older than I am. I knew him socially. I will call him “Tom” but that’s not his real name. Well, “Tom” and I were wildly attracted to each other. I am still attracted to him. I truly believe we were soul mates. We were not the kind of soul mates that end up spending their lives together. We were the kind of soul mates that came into each other’s lives to help each other grow. The below quote from Elizabeth Gilbert explains how “Tom” and I were soul mates.
All I can really say is what happened between “Tom” and I wasn’t pretty. It was painful for both of us. I truly believe “Tom” loves me even today but he understood something that I wasn’t ready to see or accept until 2011…He knew we were on different speeds in life and love just wasn’t enough for our relationship to be successful. We wanted different things. And, well, I am a strong willed female and he’s an old school guy who likes to call the shots. That’s a recipe for dynamite between a man and women. We are both stubborn. It became a battle of the wills and both of us lost. We ended UGLY! It ended in a very pubic explosion between us. I haven’t spoke to him since I walked out that day on September 15, 2011.
I last saw “Tom” at my best friend’s funeral last year but I chose to maintain a distance. I didn’t speak to him or even go anywhere near him mostly because I don’t need to relive that drama. When it’s done, it’s done! But here’s the thing about “Tom”. It was because of “Tom” that I let go of the life I used to have. It’s because of “Tom” that I learned to see myself, love myself and accept myself. It’s because of “Tom” that I have the life I have today. While I have no desire to talk to “Tom” or have him in my life today, I will always love him and be grateful to him for helping me grow. Perhaps that was his purpose in my life. He was sent to me to help me grow. That’s why I think he was a soul mate.
In recent years, I’ve take a time out from relationships mostly because I needed to work on myself. I wanted to look at my life. I wanted to decided what I want. I wanted to ground myself in authenticity as Linda without anyone else to worry about.
As I reflect on relationships, I know one thing to be true now. I am growth oriented. I will always need to grow in all aspects of my life. I may be 52 but that certainly doesn’t mean that I will be slowing down. I fully plan to take risks, try new things, learn new stuff and grow personally, professionally and spiritually until I take my last breath. Any man who chooses to be in my life as my partner now must be willing to approach life this way. And, in return, I will support and help him achieve his wildest aspirations. I will help him reach for the next level. I will help him strategize his next move. I will be his motivation when he is feeling uninspired. I will be the voice in his ear saying “I love you. You got this!”
There is one thing I know now for sure about relationships. “Tom” taught me that in a relationship both individuals must want to live life on the same speeds. One person can’t be growing while the other is standing still. It won’t work and it will be unfulfilling for both. I also need a guy who knows I am his equal. I am his match. While I like to be a submissive and uninhibited in the bedroom, outside of the bedroom I expect respect and to be treated as an equal. I also tend to be a direct communicator. I need to be able to respectfully say what I need to say. I don’t mind fighting. I am #DTF – that could mean Down To Fight or Down To F$*K depending on the situation. 😂🔥💙 I don’t mind going a few rounds just to air something out as long as we respect each other’s boundaries. If you act like an ass, you shall be called out for acting like an ass. But neither should hit below the belt and no fighting in public – PERIOD! I will not walk on rice paper for anyone anymore.
I really don’t need much to make me happy in a relationship. I need someone who is willing to grow, who treats me with respect as an equal, who enjoys sparing; doesn’t mind a woman who challenges him by keeping things real with honesty and truth. Most importantly, I need and want love in my relationships. I am not interested in companionship. I am perfectly fine being single. I enjoy my own company. I am not lonely. I do not need company just for the sake of not being alone. So, any man who wants to be in my life better be prepared to give and share affection – LOVE. He will be loved, hugged and adored and must love me in return. At the end of the day, I do still believe love is the answer for all problems.
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Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋
Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved
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