“Should I Stay or Should I Go Now”…Love Part III

“Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So ya gotta let me know
Should I cool it or should I blow? ”
The Clash

A funny thing about living past my 20’s and 30’s is that I can’t help but notice trends in my coping style. I can’t help but gather data that paints a picture of who I’ve become. I suppose, on one hand, it’s another way of saying, “the choices you make define you.” But I think it’s more than that. In my 20’s, despite my best intentions and attempts at self-awareness, I thought I was breaking patterns. I thought I was defining myself. I did try, and that counts for something. I believe it was part of the process, and I’m not un-proud of who I am. It’s a boon for me that I love big and I love hard. It’s an emblem I am not ashamed of. But I spent much of my life loving and leaving fast and I see now how it’s led me here. I’m good. I’m where I am in the moment, and it’s OK. I guess I just wonder if I was meant to be or could have been someone or something else. If I could have been more. I wonder if there is still time.

Mostly I’m just surprised by how much I thought I was creating of myself when in fact I was simply responding to programming and becoming.

Despite my most deliberate efforts, I lived my defining years through a set of experiences I had very little choice in making. My childhood imprinted the belief that told me who I was so the choices I made were choices I was bound to make.

Should I stay or should I go was my subtext and I didn’t even know it. In a way, should I stay or should I go determined the course of my life. It certainly determined who and how I loved.

I wasn’t able to see how I had internalized my childhood life until after I had made choices based on it. It was only through reflection of that “lack of choice” that I was able to finally begin becoming the person I wanted to be. I suppose that too was a process in the making, and part and parcel of being a person, so it’s OK. I guess I just wish I hadn’t taken so long.

Nevertheless, here I am, not too much worse for the ware. I’m still standing. I haven’t given up. I’m happy. I’m not happy in the way I thought I would be in my twenties. But deep in my being, I know happiness because of what I’ve lived through. I know a new happiness because of the love of people who stood by me, including love I’m learning to give myself. I guess at the end of the day, that’s pretty impressive.

“No one’s gone till they’re gone”.
Fear the Walking Dead.

I find this idea of “becoming’ endlessly fascinating. And I always wonder how “being” applies to love.

I want to know, realize, and become everything I possibly can. I want to see, really see, who I am. I want to be the best version of myself. Mostly, though, I want to help guide my son’s childhood with as enlightened a hand as possible. I want to know I did my best to help him walk a path where he makes better choices in his defining years than perhaps I did. At least less desperate choices.

I live by gut and heart…and then the brain. I love my passion and my drive, I’m OK making my way through the heart first. That being said, I was smart enough to marry a computer developer and inventor who lives by data. Also, Buddha’s diagnosis has proven impossible to survive without data and logic So, luckily, I have also come to appreciate, if not love, data.

I can be taught.

This sentence, I love data, if you knew me when, is a complete juxtaposition of who I was or wanted to be many years ago. But there it is. Life and experience that lead to a choice where I am now an avid gawker of data. (Just for the record, I don’t have a spreadsheet or anything. I write I think, I reflect. Some systems just don’t need to change.)

With new wisdom, experience, love and forgiveness, fault and failure I use this data not only to understand myself but how I define love. Because to me, it all boils down to love. How I love myself determines how I love others. The better I love others the better I love myself. Round and round it goes until purpose, contribution, peace, and happiness all collide. At least that’s my theory.

I want love to be what defines me. Big love.

Collecting four decades of data on my personality, partner choices, jobs, achievements, and relationships I found some interesting trends. Trends that help me understand what love means to me and how to love better!

Here are my 10 most common trends based on this data.

1. I am loyal to a fault
2. I crave affection and soothing in atypical amounts. Meaning I need more than a lot of love to make up for love taken as a child.
3. Justice is subjective unless you’re cruel to others. Then your just an asshole.
4. I am an addict, therefore, until my 40’s, my life was seen in stark black and white.
5. I want to save the world from loneliness and unworthiness. I want to be saved from loneliness and unworthiness.
6. I believe in hard work and purpose. The search for the meaning of life.
7. I am a good leader, not a great employee.
8. I believe I am good enough for success but don’t really believe I deserve it.
9. I have judgment for people who have children that aren’t willing to become what they need you to be to raise them without loneliness and unworthiness.
10. Perfectionism is a blessing and a curse but not something I’m entirely willing to give up. It’s a mark of my coding.
11. If you hurt me, you are dead to me…forever. Without even a goodbye. You are erased.

And here lies the rub. Number 11: If you hurt me, you are dead to me…forever.

“Should I stay or should I go?” Most likely, I will go.

Not very enlightened.

My subconscious definition of love is equal to abandonment or enmeshment. So, I believe that if you love me, you will leave me or assimilate me. In attempts to hold my own boundaries, to be myself, I leave people as fast as I fall in love with them. At least I used to.

I am learning that’s it’s allowed, even right, to redefine love as we go along defining ourselves. I didn’t believe that as a child and think it’s why I’m happier now. I have given myself permission, more and more each year, to chose love that works for me rather than let love just happen to me.

If you hurt me enough, you will be dead to me. But if you keep trying to communicate, to understand me as I try to understand you, I won’t run anymore. I will stick it out.

Your path isn’t mine to decide. You have the choice. I don’t want to run. I don’t want to be a runner. I just want to know I’m worth more than tolerating abuse. I want a big love that’s real love.

I’m not entirely healed so if you love me, please don’t fuck with me. I will go and that will be that.

I want to choose to stay instead of go. I want to see who I can be, how much better I can love when I stay instead of go.

 

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