Sunday, February 14, 2010

happy valentine's day

i've been thinking a lot about loss lately. not just any loss, but the loss of love that comes from a life partner... it's a word with such sad connotations,  evoking feelings of pain and angst, and can also be a trap to self pity if not checked and dealt with head on. when someone loses a person that they see as dear to them or precious to the heart, it can cause a lot of confusing and conflicting emotions. people blame themselves for mistakes that were made and repeat mantras that can lead to dead ends: "if only i had acted differently...." "if only i had thought through that course of action..." "if only i had foresight when i needed it...". we all, as humans, have the ability to ruminate on past mistakes that can lead to loss, and in some cases, it is good to reflect on the "if only's"--if only for a little while--to gain clarity and perspective on what could have been done differently so that these same mistakes aren't made in the future...

not so recently, i lost a person who was very dear to me, not through death or deportation but through disappearance--his willing disappearance from my life. for a while, i thought nothing could be greater than the loss of him as my lover and partner. i sunk into my own despair and depression over the "what if's", and "maybe's" that accompanied my profound sense of longing for what  no longer existed; and i thought i would not heal from the terrible pain that accompanied his strategic exit. 

for a while, i blamed myself for what i saw as grave misgivings in who i was as a person (his leaving rattled me that much), i would think about the reasons why he left and what i could have done to have prevented it (a torture that went on for more than a year). it took a lot of work to get to the point where i could see clearly that what i'd lost only brought to the forefront deeper issues that needed to be addressed by me, and so i began the long hard journey of unpacking my baggage and airing it out.

it's been a rocky road, but now that i can see the light glinting off the branches of my tree, i feel more at peace with myself than i've been in a long time. i've started to do the things that i need to to take care of myself, first and foremost: quitting smoking (very recently, this is going to be a daily battle for a while lol), exercising, going to therapy, concentrating on my friends and family--the people who have truly been there to support me--i even have a crush (which is an accomplishment for me...)

it's been almost a year and a 1/2 since the departing of my ex partner, and in that time i've had the chance to break down to my core and grow up from my roots, sprouting new flowers on my branches. i am in the early spring stages of a revised outlook and perspective on myself and on life in general, and i find that loss has helped me to become a better me. someone more capable of living and loving to her fullest.

i no longer blame him for leaving (he was in a tough position), and i no longer see him as my enemy, just someone who didn't know how to do what he needed to do for himself without hurting me deeply in the process. i can now say that i still love this person without the anger boiling over into rage or the pain stabbing me so that i can feel it physically. and i can wish him the best on his path called life, hoping that he finds his own peace.

loss, for me, has been challenging and revealing. it's opened my eyes to perspectives and ways that i would not have seen had it not been for someone else's decision to leave. and for that, i am truly grateful.  now, when i think about loss, i think about winning. i think about how sometimes we don't process the ying with the yang, the good and the bad,  the fact that there is no right and wrong in these situations, there is just growth from adversity and triumph from struggle...
i am so glad for this particular loss because i realize what i learned in this relationship all happened after the fact, and maybe that was the point in the first place (they do say some people are only in our lives for a season). he was that. a seasonal lover. but i am me, permanently :)

i haven't changed that much (no point in getting all lost and "switching up"), but i have grown and developed in ways that i didn't think possible, and it's all due to loss. sounds funny to say it that way, but it's true.

so big up to losing, dusting off, and growing from the experience...

there's nothing like losing, to win you. ;)