Monday, April 13, 2009

There's a Light

My Nia teacher is nice, but I just feel like a lump around her. I don't interact with her. I mean, if we talk, I'm just going through the motions. I'm not really present. I'm just a zombie moving through life. I was there in Nia class thinking what is it with me, and it occurred to me that I felt like the light was turned out, like there was no life behind my eyes.

The next day, the light turned on. It was being with a particular individual that turned it on. He often tells me that I look radiant, and I believe him, because I feel radiant around him. Being around him is like having a ball of sunshine drop into my lap. The rest of my life is gray and cold. But I don't know what to do with this. It seems there should be a way to put more sunshine into my life. But where do I find it? Sure I know one person who turns on the light, but it's not about that one person. It's not like bringing that person more into my life is is what I need. What I have with this person is beautiful as it is, and is not meant to be more. Instead it's a matter of what are the attributes of our interactions that bring me sunshine, and how can I put into my life more things that have those attributes.

Other people have brought my sunshine in the past. What did all these cases have in common? It was mostly men, though not men who could potentially be compatible romantic partners. I don't think compatible romantic partners for me even exist. Sometimes the incompatibility was a factor in that it allowed for warmth to flow without it being a threat. Because that was another thing these cases had in common -- being around someone who treated me as if they liked me. That should not be such a rare thing. So one part is treating me as if they like me. Another part is not trying to get anything from me, being happy just to bask in who I am. But there has to be something more. We have to have common ground, to be on a similar intellectual level and to share values sufficiently that there is some understanding happening. I need to be able to open myself completely to receiving the warmth. With most people, I am somewhat closed off because there is some part of the other person that I don't want to get near. So, I need to trust in the other person's goodness enough to open myself to receiving the warmth they offer. And if the warmth I get comes from their positive view of me, it has to be a positive view of who I actually am. With many people, my way of thinking is so different from theirs, that though they may say that they like me, it's only their image of me that they like, and it has little to do with who I actually am.

What is this about being closed off to people because there is some part of them I don't want to get near? That's one reason I close off. The other is awkwardness, it's fear of opening a conversation that I won't know how to continue, fear of getting myself stranded in an interaction.

Can I find my inner sunshine? Instead of closing off to people, just shine out who I am even if it won't fit what they want me to be? That's my problem, I'm always trying to figure out what is expected of me and what people want from me, instead of just being myself.

But, here I am being hard on myself, saying I should just be able to shine even with no one to understand me. That's a kind of thinking that I don't like the fall into. The reality is that everyone thrives when they are loved. So I should stop telling mysef, "You can never be loved, but you nonetheless have to force yourself to shine as much as people who have the advantage of being loved." I don't think it that explicitly, but in a way that's the attitude behind what I expect from myself.

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