I was over my Soul Sister's house Mizrepresent and she had a post (Dueces) about finding/loving herself and it inspired this post.
Since my first relationship at 16, I realized that I was willing to sacrifice, compromise, and give more than I was able to receive in return. Given that I had a very dysfunctional view of what relationships were about thanks to my mum and stepdad; and dad and his several women; now current 4th wife whom I love, I can't fault myself for my misgivings and misunderstandings.
I became a serial monogamist and spent a good portion of my life in one long-term relationship after another. I stuck out relationships that I knew were unhealthy or destined to fail because that was my lesson learned and thought so little of my own emotional happiness. And given that I couldn't really talk to either of my parents about relationships, everything was a trial and error for me.
At some point in my life, I got sick and tired of all the bs and drama that I decided I needed to withdraw and give something back to myself. I took some much needed time out, worked on myself, and made a decision to want more for myself. That process lasted a little while and I was truly happy for and with myself; well, that lasted as long as I remained single. I once again got into a relationship that had its share of problems and given that I was only as good as I was single; began the toxic cycle.
Between the age of 24 and 38, I was in and out of relationships, love, heartbreak; and added more and more emotional scars to my existing repetoire. It wasn't until Oct of 2006 that I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired and took control and stock of my life and emotional well-being.
I entered into a celibate period in my life where I refused to date anyone but myself. I refused to allow myself to be controlled or manipulated into something that wasn't in my best interest. I sought professional help, pastoral assistance, read, prayed, and made a commitment to close the doors of past hurts and create the proverbial clean slate.
I shared my innermost thoughts with only those who I knew would be able to speak to me on a foundation of love and with purpose and intent. I knew and accepted that I would be told things that I didn't want to hear, but knew that the words were being said for my own good. I purged myself from negative thoughts, practices, and toxicity. I began to regard myself as a priority, someone worthy of being loved, and most importantly be able to love/accept/embrace myself for the whole woman I was becoming and currently am. It was no easy fete as learned behaviour is hard to unlearn, but that commitment was made with the intent of being carried out and I continued to grow and mature as each day passed.
In time and with patience, I finally reached my destination and I am who I am now. I know what I do and don't want; what I will and won't do or accept; and I do not allow others to define me or turn me into what they want me to be. I give freely, am fiercely loyal, and am harmless unless provoked; the latter being something that lends favor to the fact that I don't do bullsh*t and drama.
I live and love by some definitive rules and practices and they are deeply rooted in positivity, trust, respect, and communication. I am honest; sometimes to a fault as well as uncensored and candid. I will not sugar coat ish and call it candy just to appease someone. I've spent too much of my life doing this for fear of hurting someone else's feelings while hurting myself in the process. This is a practice that is unacceptable and is not tolerated. While I will not be mean or hurtful, I will speak with truth and explanation as to why I feel how I do. We can very well ultimately agree to disagree, but I will not allow my personal, social, and emotional integrity to be compromised.
One of these days, I'll be ready for a monogamous relationship again, but until then, I'm happily single by choice and when I do date it's because it's what I want to do and with whom I want to share my time with. Our status and intent for social time is clearly defined so no party can say they didn't know. I play know games where I'm not aware of the rules; relationships included. If we're going to be Friends; then that's what we'll be or if we're going to be Friends with Benefits; then that needs to be clearly defined. On-going communication is essential to our progression at any level as it serves as the cornerstone for understanding and growth.
So, as I approach my next new year in September, I am spending some time in review of my expiring year and seeing where I've grown, where I need work, and setting goals/projections of where I see myself next year. It's important for me to always climb the ladder of emotional success in order to be the best person I can be. Being completely and totally happy with myself is not optional; neither is fully loving the woman I am. I've come a long way from the self-esteem compromised girl who allowed herself and relationships circumstances to be a negative factor in her life. I'm a mature, secure, confident, aware, and most importantly whole being. The fractured pieces have finally come together and the view from my eyes is a clear one. Being jaded and disillusioned no longer exists.
Thanks to my Soul Sister for being my muse and giving me an ever growing awareness of self.
Love to live; live to love!