I offer thanks to those before me
Thats all Ive got to say
cause maybe you squandered big bucks in your lifetime
Now I have to pay
But then again it feels like some sort of inspiration
To let the next life off the hook
But shell say look what I had to overcome from my last life
I think Ill write a book
How long till my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach the highest light
Except for galileo God rest his soul
(except for the resting soul of galileo)
King of night vision, king of insight
Indigo Girls, Galileo
Things have been a bit angsty around my house lately. Every time that I think I have a handle on things: on how I am feeling and relating and associating the different parts of my life, some new anxiety seems to explode in my face. But I think last night we may have pinned down part of the problem.
Last year, when my honey and I were trying to learn to communicate and really, truly, understand on e another, he was in a very similar emotional place to where I am now. The process of working through his feelings involved a lot of face to face talk time, a lot of probing and analyzing both his feelings and the relationship between those feelings and his intellectual beliefs, my emotions and beliefs, and, really, every other part of the system that is our relationship. It was hard, a lot of the time, but it was effective for him.
Now, I am experiencing a lot of the same types of emotions, insecurities and general negativity that he did then. The difference is, that I see those feelings being an inevitable consequence of the events in our lives. We are in a place right now where we are working toward a specified goal, but the path from here to there is decidedly not similar to the goal itself. As a result, I see a lot of the things I am feeling as things for me to acknowledge, communicate to him and then get past as opposed to real, long term issues that I need to address and come to terms with.
Last night, we realized that perhaps we have been going about things all wrong. He has tried to respond to my feelings in the same way that I responded to him last year, to help me explore, analyze and process these emotions. But instead of making things better, this seems to exacerbate the situation. Last night, we put these different bits of understanding together. Where he, being who he is, needed to poke and prod at this feelings, what I really need is to be distracted from them.
Of course, then we had to poke and prod at that, itself, which led into deeper discussions and greater analysis and so forth. But somewhere along the way, I think he really internalized what I had been trying to say. I have been feeling negative lately in a couple of very specific ways: I have been lonely when he is away, I have been anxious about the uncertainty in his relationship with Laura, I have been anxious about the uncertainty of my (future) relationship with Laura, I have been a bit anxious over my perception that he is in the throes of very intense emotions with her right now (because, of course, that is the way our emotions work – they start with a flash and if things ‘work’ then they settle into a comfortable, steady warmth), and similar things.
When I go down the list, I can say with absolute confidence that if things do work and we are approaching our goals, then all of the uncertainty absolutely goes away, my loneliness because not an issue, because I am no longer being excluded from a significant portion of his life – and now she is also in my life as well. His emotions (and hers) begin to settle into that comfortable place and I become confident that he is not being caught up and pulled away from me simply because that initial intensity is so appealing.
We talked about practical concerns I have expressed at times as well, and found the same general pattern to my worries. Really, I don’t think we identified a single negative thought in me that would not be significantly improved, if not eliminated, by us getting close to our goal. (And, of course, we don;t know if this can happen – but we do know that either it will work or it will stop, the only question is how long and how hard we try. If we stop, the bad feelings mostly go away as well – but the solution is less positive than if we can make it work.)
So then, after all of this, we finally got to th real heart of the matter. If I am feeling bad, but do I need from my honey to feel better? Unlike him, I do not feel that analyzing has been useful. So I told him that what I really need is for him to hear my concerns, be supportive and understanding and then let it go. But what does that mean?
I finally pinned it down. It means spend some good, positively focused time with me. Take me out for a meal; suggest we watch a movie; kiss me and mean it; hell, even suggest we run out to do some shopping or work on house cleaning or some other chore or activity that we can do together and simply feel good about doing.
Now we have to see if he can do that. If he can override his inclination to discuss and analyze (which just reinforces my negative feelings rather than solving anything) and instead lead my into a positive cycle of creating and experiencing positive emotions and experiences right now.
We’ll see. I think, at first, I am going to have to help, or at least make a conscious effort to not enable heavy discussions that lead us nowhere. Because I know I have been doing that, as well.
It’s amazing to me, how important it is – and hard it has been – for us to really know ourselves and apply that understanding to our every day behaviors. But we keep getting closer and that is enough for me right now.