Yes, it’s consistently been near 110 degrees for the last couple weeks in Phoenix, and many people are in their pools.
The pool I’m talking about, however, is my dating pool.
David, you may be asking…
What does the dating pool and Bill Murray eating a Baby Ruth that looks like poo have to do with thriving beyond trauma!?
It has everything to do with thriving beyond trauma, damn it!
And if you haven’t figured out the loose associative stream of consciousness writing style I employ yet…
You’re in for a treat! (And not a candy bar that looks like poo, but close) 😉
Do It Badly…
Is ‘badly’ even a word? Maybe it’s just written poorly? 😉
Well, if I write it, you read, or say it… It’s a fucking word…
Apparently GK Chesterton thought so, too…
Which, by the way, I just thought of that quote and had never heard of the GK Chesterton until I googled it. Evidently, he did a lot of writing. I like him already.
Anyway… I digress.
So, yes, writing about my (mis)adventures in dating has everything to do with thriving beyond trauma!
Were it not for my trauma, I might not struggle with dating so much…
Hmmmm… N’est Pas?
So, for me today, learning through trial-and-error and breaking old trauma-fueled, codependent patterns is paramount in my life.
If I want to continue to thrive and grow, I need to confront these issues head on.
And not just confront them….
Embrace them, rub them on my face, and roll around naked in the motherfuckers!
(The motherfuckers being my affectionate pet name for my issues, that is.)
So, as I’ve written about (possibly ad nauseum for a few of you), I threw my hat into the dating ring, or for the sake of consistent metaphors – I dove into the dating pool.
And I swam in it for almost a month!
I swam long enough to get carried away by the currents of fantasy, potential love, connection, sexual desire, and feel the sting of disappointment and shattered expectations, bitterness, craziness, loneliness – just another typical Saturday night.
And so, my friends, I swam in that dating poor poorly, or badly… I don’t know, Where’s my grammerly? Even grammerly is spelled wrong… *sigh*
Yes, I came, I saw, I swam, and took some big gulps of bleach water, burned my eyes, and came to gasping on the side of the pool as my sponsor gave me mouth to mouth (metaphorically). I think he’d let me die if it came down to it.
I kid, I kid… relax…
So, yes, mission accomplished!
I dated poorly.
Fortunately, I don’t think I owe any amends or did any harm.
I just found myself entirely too wrapped up in finding Miss Right and it was becoming a huge distraction.
I went into it with the best of intentions – thinking that I was ready because of how happy I have been living my dreams.
I thought I set my standards higher and was clear on ye ol’ red flags… (see post https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/05/16/stop-painting-red-flags-green/).
As soon as I started getting some attention – I dove the fuck in!
And there’s no shame in that.
It is perfectly natural to want to love and be loved.
I recognize that I am still in a place in my recovery where breaking old relationship patterns is part of the drill…
For the first time ever in my life, I have the focus and drive to explore and express exactly who the fuck I am…
And clearly, right now is not the time to try to make a partner manifest…
It’s time to be with me…
I Am What I Am…
I realize the header for this section is a Popeye quote, and then I posted two different memes…
Don’t look so surprised.
I often use the Annie Lamott quote, “I may not be much, but I’m all I think about,” when I share in 12-Step meetings as a cheeky way to make fun of my self-centeredness.
Then, I found a related quote by Phillip K Dick about being all I have…
Plus I could resist using a quote by someone named Phil Dick… XD
And regardless of the phallic nature of my comments… I like the second quote better.
It touched my heart.
But yes, I also have to embrace that although I am by no means a bad guy, I am and have been frequently driven by self-centered fear.
Even though I am growing in confidence day by day through consistent commitment to my physical, emotional, and spiritual development, there’s still very much a part of me that wants to be adored and rescued.
And as David Goggins said… no one’s coming to rescue you (motherfucker) – either he said the motherfucker part or the Samuel L Jackson in my head did. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Okay, okay, Sam… I’ll get to the point.
So yes, I am on a journey of practicing enough self-love and service to others that my happiness is not dependent on the attention, affection, or approval of others.
I know I’ve written about our social instinct and need for approval while simultaneously not needing others’ approval. It is a paradox that we both need and don’t need approval. (see post https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/05/31/you-dont-need-their-approval-or-do-you/).
But where I’m at in life today, is that I am discovering a very loving, energetic, creative, resilient person (muthafucka) who is finally coming into his own without having to be in a relationship…
Most of my life I have been in a romantic relationship of one kind or another.
My identity was firmly fixed in trying to not only be a people pleaser, a bad boy, a good boy, a bread-winner, a caretaker, being taken care of, a lover, an approval seeker, a rebel, and damn it, if mama wasn’t happy, no body was happy kind of guy. I pull in for love fiercely and push away when I feel (sometimes delusionally) rejected.
The inconsistency of my love and attachment styles are crazy-making. Trust me, I have references…
I have read the book Attached and therein discovered my anxious, avoidant, disorganized attachment styles… Oh fucking boy!
Knowing this shit is great, but living it is an entirely different deal!
Self-knowledge is not the answer!
I have to do things differently to grow into the partner I want to attract.
Since I met my ex-wife 26 1/2 years ago, I have not been single for more than six months.
In fact, I am currently at my record for being single…
I am what they call a serial monogamist.
I jump from relationship to relationship.
I am a die-hard, cry at Moulin Rouge, write fucking poetry, buy you roses for the first date, hopeless romantic…
I live in a fucking fantasy world and wait with bated breath for The One…
And I will lie to myself about how wonderful you are (which most of you are wonderful) and how sincere and in-love I am with you.
And it’s true…
At least at the time…
I am legitimately fascinated by and enamored with women…
And at the same time, I consistently give up the things in my life that make me feel alive so that I can feel the ease, comfort, and exhilaration of making eye contact with you and feeling loved and wanted…
I know this is an inside job, and the love that sustains me will come from within and from my Higher Power…
I know there is that magic connection that will some day manifest in my life…
But for today, I need to keep my priorities straight and make my own magic.
I need to continue to outgrow the codependent pattern that makes the woman in my life my Higher Power.
I think I wrote in the post, “Holding Space for Heartbreak,” that she is not the problem and she is not the solution. (see post https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/05/17/holding-space-for-heartbreak/).
All I need is within me…
And within me is a passionate man with a Sacred Calling to grow and be of service.
And gosh darn it….
I like that guy!
In The Deep End
As much as I lean heavily on self-disclosure, and in many ways see it as one of my strengths, there’s a huge part of me that screaming right now…
Why the fuck are you writing this shit for everyone to see?
Any potential girlfriend will read this shit and make a run for it!
See what I mean?
There’s this preoccupation with being noticed and approved of…
That is a God-given instinct that needs to be tempered. My social instinct and desire for love have far exceed their intended purpose to the point of obsessive and compulsive thoughts and behaviors….
So, I embrace the demon of yearning and learn to dance with it.
And besides, the right woman will read this someday and appreciate my honesty and vulnerability….
But back to the demon dancing!
Feeling lonely will not kill me.
The truth is I am not alone.
I have a host of friends.
I have a CrossFit and recovery community.
I have family.
I have roommates…
I have a Higher Power.
And most importantly…
I have me.
So instead of diving into the deep-end of intoxicated, misguided infatuation with someone I have a few things in common with and gives me some brief attention, I am swimming out to the deep-end of my discomfort to learn to float…
And be free…
I deleted the dating app.
I informed a friend that I will not flirt with her anymore because I am not prepared to date her because I am not ready.
I surrender my preoccupation with romance and trust that the Universe will provide the right partner when the time is right.
I am right where I am supposed to be…
I have a tremendous gift and opportunity to live my dreams and choose my destiny.
Creativity is flowing through me regularly, and I am in-love with my life.
Today is the best day of my life.
The most important thing is whatever is right in front of me in this moment…
I am right where I am supposed to be…
And so are you!
Swimming into the deep-end and removing myself from the dating pool is where I will and need to grow the most.
Learning to fully embrace myself, my fears, my shortcomings, my gifts, and my dreams is uncharted territory.
Yes, I have been on this path for a long time…
But now is the time to stop ignoring my intuition and the Universe.
No more bullshitting myself.
I am not getting any younger, and I do not want to squander the time I have left chasing love and ignoring my dreams.
I realize this post has been mostly about me, and I have given little-to-no advice.
It’s my hope that by sharing my journey of thriving beyond trauma and navigating recovering from codependent patterns, you will relate and find the courage to make some changes in your life.
Now is the time to value yourself enough to find out what’s important to you.
I know I frequently rally on chasing your dreams.
And that’s important.
It’s important to identify what’s holding you back and begin your journey of healing.
If you consistently have relationship challenges, get help.
I have done a lot of recovery work, therapy, and read many books on the subject.
Although I still struggle, I also have a lot of experience and knowledge.
The thing is, one can still know a lot about a topic and still need to follow their own damn advice!
I offer Life Coaching services and can help you unpack some of your relationship struggles and set you off in the right direction to create happy and healthy relationships.
You don’t have to figure this out on your own.
If you’re anything like me, you need the extra support.
We’re in this together.
Be well 🙂
Thank you for reading my latest self-revealing post on thriving beyond trauma. Please like, comment, follow, and reach out. As mentioned, I offer Life Coaching services. If you are feeling sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, reach out and we’ll get you on track.