I started out writing this post a couple of days ago, but since then, I have become aware of something that has changed everything. I was given some insight into how I operate and how it affects my life. I’m having a hard time processing it. So I wrote this rather mixed up post with two analogies that don’t go together. The kind of thing only Shakespeare can get away with. And it turns out he’s dead. But bear with me. It’s at least short and ends with an interesting point…
On Friday, I started out writing about how I deal with relationships by trying to “do it right”. I used cute cooking analogies. I explained that how you cook something affects the result you get. If you cook at a high temperature for a short time, you get a different result than if you cook at a low temperature for a long time. Pan searing versus slow roasting. But that I had come to the realization that I was wrong thinking I could “do it right” when it came to relationships. That unlike food, people are autonomous. And that, as a good friend reminds me, I am only 50% of any relationship. So I was about to declare to you that I was going to give up trying to do it right in relationships. That I was going to start living like I couldn’t do it wrong.
Ok. Now that I have a little more clarity about my MO, let me give you a better analogy about the way I have been viewing relationships. I have been living like sad loneliness is all around, everywhere. And love is the very peak of a colossal mountain with dangerous terrain. That in order to love and be loved I am going to have to scale this mountain. I’ll have to be at the top of my game, in perfect physical and emotional shape, and even then, one false move and I could lose my footing, lose everything, and end up right back at the foot of the mountain. Or I could climb and climb forever and never reach the peak. There is only the peak, or sad loneliness. The journey will be treacherous. There is no room for error or a lack of focus. And my success, as well as my ability to succeed is doubtful.
So here is what a friend pointed out to me. That all of this caution, all of this tentativeness and focus and “doing it right” is doing it wrong. Because it’s dishonest. It’s inauthentic. It’s a manipulation. Because I am doing my best to be what I think I should be in order to be loved by this one, instead of just being who I am and finding the one who wants to love me. Because I’m so worried about not getting rejected, that I fail to notice that I’m not actually getting loved.
So let’s go back to my cooking analogy. I’m going to say that I was wrong about being wrong about doing it right. (No, it’s ok. Feel free to take a minute to diagram that sentence if you need to…I’ll wait.) I have been wanting something to come out slow roasted. But I have been unwilling to stand in the heat of an uncomfortable kitchen. So I’ve been pan searing it. And I have been pain-staking about pan searing it exactly right. But in the end, it still comes out pan seared. And that’s not what I want. So it’s time to turn off the stove top, turn on the oven and heat up the house.
I’m trying to remember that it might not come out right at first. That it might take a few tries before I get the dish I want. But at least I’m on the right track now…
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