I've been reading through old journals for the next book I'm writing. I came across an entry from May 20, 2001. I had been seeing a guy for the past year. It was the most serious relationship I'd had so far in my life. And it had been a very up and down relationship.
I was blown away by my insight and wisdom at the age of 23. I'll share some of it now.
"I want to persuade you from such relationships where you feel stressed, anxious, and used. It's not how a relationship should make you feel. Relationships can be fun, informative, rewarding, and a great learning experience. But never sacrifice yourself. Because if you have to make continual sacrifices that cause you pain, sorrow, stress, and anxiety, then that person and/or situation is not for you. It isn't what God intends for you. True - sometimes we are meant to learn valuable and painful lessons, but learn the lesson and move on for goodness sakes!
"Relationships are not easy. But when the sad, stressful, and anxiety-filled times outnumber the happy and blissful times, that relationship is causing you more pain and trouble than it's worth. Please remember that. And always follow your heart! For your heart will guide you and lead you to happiness if you let it.
"Remember to be true to yourself! Make yourself your first priority - not someone else! Do what makes you happy and what you feel your heart is calling you to do because that is what you are meant to be doing!
"You don't have to try to make a guy into what you want. If he isn't already it, he won't be it tomorrow or next year."
Wow. If I knew all that 12 years ago, why am I still making the same mistakes?
I'm feeling at a loss for words right now (yet, I'm writing this post). Let's see if I can formulate some thoughts here...
I know the Universe sends us situations from which we need to learn something. And we keep getting the same situations, perhaps dressed in different clothes, until we really GET whatever it is we're supposed to get. Obviously I hadn't really gotten what I thought I got at the age of 23. Despite my insightful journal writing, I still made the many of the same choices at the age of 34 in my most recent relationship.
I still tried to make a guy into what I wanted, instead of accepting who he was.
I often felt anxious and stressed in the relationship in general, and by specific things that would come up.
At least when the stressful times outweighed the blissful times, I did get out of the relationship this time. Eventually.
Since my boyfriend moved out almost one month ago now, my feelings have wavered back and forth. It went something like this:
Relief that he was out and I was free again.
Fear that I made an awful mistake - he's a good guy, after all!
Conviction that I needed a break, time to myself, so I told him I needed no contact for at least a month.
Longing - I missed him, so I texted him less than a week later and suggested we hang out.
I looked forward to seeing him again.
Knowing - When he was finally in my house again, it felt awkward.
Not wanting to admit I knew - We hung out again a week later (he's obviously still interested in me, so I gave it a shot, "for him").
Acceptance - I knew at that "hang out" that something just wasn't right. It was obvious.
I know what I need to do. And hopefully this time I'll really learn the lesson.
Quotes of the Day:
“The trouble is if you don’t spend your life yourself, other people spend it for you.” (Peter Shaffer)
“[H]iding how you really feel and trying to make everyone happy doesn't make you nice, it just makes you a liar.” (Jenny O'Conell)
"The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well." (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross)