Live Into It with Courage
A new year. A new slate. A fresh page in a new journal. A chance to build on what came before and be more than you once were.
I love New Year’s, and I love New Year’s resolutions.
In December I filled pages with reflections on my acting and filmmaking, my involvement with my community, my spiritual center, my health. I took quizzes and pored over the Artist’s Way for additional insight. What did I want to do that was impossible? I added it to my list. What did I want to do that scared me? That went on the list too.
Everything felt pretty groovy and zen until January 2, 2012. That’s how long it took real life to punch through the party hats.
In a Denver apartment dotted with empty champagne bottles and boxes of opened presents strewn under the tree, I fought bitterly with my boyfriend. Tears streamed down both of our faces. We didn’t hold back. For those who don’t know, I live in Seattle and my boyfriend lives in Denver. Long distance relationships are notoriously difficult, and we are under its curse. We fought because we were angry at the situation, angry that the other person can’t be there for us the way they used to be, frustrated with the costs of air travel, and the bitter truth that we are in each other’s lives without being involved in each other’s lives in the way that creates the most intimacy – the comforting rote of day to day routine.
We broke up. Then we got back together, holding each other and weeping. The rest of the day passed in tender service. “Can I get you a coffee? No, don’t get up, let me – ”
The emotional outpouring triggered a fight or flight scenario, my heart fluttering like a desperate bird toward flight. He never tried to stop me but just stood there, miserable, telling me he loved me while I said things like “I have to move on.” But why? We are still in love, truly. Life without him feels like a phantom-limb-relationship syndrome of someone who should be there who cannot; like a clock whose second hand is stuck, perpetually skipping, unable to advance.
In short, I am suffering. My ego wants to move in the opposite direction of suffering and remove the cause altogether. It targeted my boyfriend. I can’t do it, though. If I quit now, scar tissue would grow over it, but I would lose not only my best friend, but also the opportunity to follow one of my resolutions: to be more open emotionally. Yowza.
I realized that my ego’s “move away from suffering” protective-coating holds me back from going to the gym, from finishing that script, from getting up early enough to make a healthy lunch. Somewhere along the line, probably doing some necessary healing, this became the norm for me, and many good opportunities got missed in the name of a suffering-free existence. But that’s not what life is about, is it?
I’m grateful for the fight. It brought to light much of the work I want to do this year. A mentor told me to “Live into it with courage” in 2012.
Happy New Year.
Posted on January 10, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged courage, ego death, fighting, Holidays, long distance relationships, Long-distance relationship, New Year, New Year's resolution, own your power, Relationships, suffering. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.