I sat staring at this meme today for an extensive period of time. The sentiment resonated with me in the depths of my soul. It forced me to go to places from my past in my mind that honestly, I would have preferred to avoid.
I have learned that in order for me to grow I have to accept my truths and look at the realities of my decisions through a lens of objectivity. Holding on to fear and refusing to face facts will hold me hostage to those experiences and I will run the risk of repeating past hurts.
As I recalled each of my exes beginning with the most recent and working my way backward, I discovered that they each entered in with EGO. I on the other hand, entered in with LOVE. Wow, what an aha moment. It is so clear in hindsight. How could I have not have seen it before?
For them, I looked good on paper. It was about what I could do for them. It was about what I brought to the table. It was about how their image improved based on their conquest. It was always about what they could get out of the relationship. I liken it to big game hunting. Every hunter wants to bring back the biggest kill and have the greatest story to tell to his buddies. The problem with that, I was the kill.
Conversely, I went in with LOVE. In each case I wanted nothing from them but mutual love and respect. In each instance I knew upfront they had nothing monetarily to offer me. I could do that for myself. My driver was the emotional connection with someone. I signed up to build the kind of love that says “I got your back” and “When the world comes for you, I will be your shelter”. Despite the differences, I believed this was possible each time. So I gave my all upfront. I don’t believe in holding back, after all life is short and we are meant to live it while we can. I thought that the love and commitment was mutual. I entered in believing that it was genuine and in it’s purity it would be be enough to sustain the relationship despite the dramatically different backgrounds and disparities of resources.
I realize now that what I tried to do was love them enough for both of us. Eventually I would see that it was one sided. By that time though, invariably , I had given so much that I was left feeling broken, both emotionally and financially. I gave till I had nothing left to give before I would allow myself the permission to end it. That methodology will always fail with the person who is EGO driven because the egomaniac places no value on love.
My last relationship however. I didn’t allow it to go that far. Fortunately I had learned from past mistakes. This time, I invested some time in reflection of the relationship. In doing so I had to acknowledged that it was once again completely one sided. The difference the last time from all the times before. I didn’t question it, I didn’t try to figure it out and I certainly did not re-invest time and emotion trying to fix it. No, this time. I ended it.
Now today, I see he was EGO driven, I was love driven. I have identified the source of the disconnect. Now, going forward, I know what to be on the look out for. I just feel so grateful when I can take a bad situation, find the blessing in the mess and add a new tool to my happiness tool box!