Thursday is the first day of Fall here in New England. On September 22nd we’ll experience the Autumnal Equinox. There’ll be an almost perfect balance of day and night, dark and light. The sun will cross over the celestial equator and the days will become shorter as our evenings arrive earlier and stay longer. As they do, I’m planning my next love affair.
I said good-bye to my short but passionate Summer. I hung on until it was clear Summer left me. The night air has cooled and darkness comes noticably sooner. As a woman from the Northeast, I consider myself hardy, hearty, and resistant. Each season requires some kind of preparation, and no amount of holding on to the last can either make one stay longer than it’s supposed to or do any good. Change is inevitable. Necessary. Expected, even when we don’t expect it.
It’s no secret I fall in love. I love, love. I fall in love with gestures, images, music, ideas, words and most recently, the wrong lover. Like Summer it was a a long build up but a short affair. Now, Fall has arrived, and I’ve begun to let that go. I am so tired from the heat and from holding on. I’m ready to fall into Fall.
I’ve been attempting a very intentionl shift to do something different, something for me, something that fills the space I kept for him and absorbs the energy I reserved to love him. Something that starts on the first day of Fall and wakes me with renewed energy. I’m looking to smile, feel passionate and alive and excited. I am tired of being tired. I want to fall into something beautiful.
I’m taking all my mislaid attention, energy and affection and turning it in toward me, the human I am and the mother I fight to be. A shift in focus. I couldn’t find a reason not to give to myself everything I’d given to him, to everyone. Everyone except me. I always thought I was honoring me by giving of myself, instead of to myself. I’ve been depleted, though. I need to fall back.
At first this shift felt uncomfortable and forced. Actually, it didn’t feel like my choice at all…because it wasn’t. I would have given until my last day. I had to be hurt and alone to realize exactly how much of myself I gave up and how little I consider me. I was left as though in tree pose. Autumn’s wind blowing me around, leaves being plucked off, my balance was off…I lost my focus. My eyes darted around for something steady, something reliable, so I could regain balance.
I self-talked, wrote, willed, yoga’d and often cried myself through heartbreak, anger and grief. It was ugly. Making progress toward this Fall…from one love to another…requires intentional thought and provokes some tough-to-describe feelings about how it left me standing here. I am the only steady and reliable thing I had to focus on.
I turned off the hurt so I could analyze facts and reason. I had to cry out about my loss and then come out of myself, turn around, and respond sternly. These are the conversations I had with myself about this past Summer…about this passing love.
When he stepped out…
I lost the greatest love of my life. So far. Life is not over. How lucky to have loved someone like that. No one else could ever have loved you because you held onto and saved that space for only him. Now it is available, so do something for you.
I lost the love who is also my oldest friend. A friend shows up for you how and when you need him. Duration of a friendship does not determine its quality and depth. Let someone else in.
I lost the person I most enjoyed being held by. Let someone else hold you. There are a lot of arms out there, and some are strong enough to not let go. You will be okay.
I lost the person I most enjoyed being silently stared at by. Other people were staring, you just never looked back. Look around.
I lost the person I spoke to every day. Every. Single. Day. You did. You lost that. Very few of those conversations were about you, how you are, what your dreams are. You are okay.
I lost the person I was the most honest, the most comfortable and the most safe with. Yes, You did. You will be okay. You will find that again.
I lost the person who knows the most about me. And he used that knowledge to be hurtful. The list of negative adjectives he used on you were angry. Someone who knew and loved you would know you couldn’t survive that.
The rest of my life is still very much in tact. Not much changed at all when he left, I wasn’t getting what I needed from the relationship emotionally. I never had his time when I arranged it. I was very much an afterthought. A back-up option if something else wasn’t available. I only heard from him if he needed me. That’s not mutually beneficial. You couldn’t depend on him. Walk away.
I lost a love who didn’t love me, think of me, consider me or want me as much as I, him. Yup. That’s not awful. Someone will come along who wants your kind of love. Someone will come along and love you the ways you need to experience love. Let it go and be grateful for the opportunity to practice loving. Now go love yourself and your own happiness that much.
So, as I enter Fall, the Autumnal Equinox, I decided to name it…FALLing in Love With Myself . I will focus on a regular yoga practice. I will bring myself to a safe mat each day. I will be the woman I need to be for me.
I have no intention of spending time analyzing any of the adjectives he used to describe me. I have no plans for personality changes. I have no desire to try to make myself fit into anyone, or anything. I have spent a lifetime being harder on myself than anyone ever could. I’ve spent decades giving attention to everything that is “wrong” with me and never deeply considered my own happiness. I have no plans to do any fixing.
I do plan to spend a great deal of time learning and loving. I plan to appreciate the qualities I have to offer this world, my children, my friends and my lovers. I plan to embrace Fall and her long dark evenings, as I wrap myself up in a blanket of self care. I will meet myself on my mat every day. I will listen to my breath. I will pay gentle attention to my body and treat myself to kindness. I will calm my mind.
Not because I’m broken, but because I’m worthy. I want to fill myself and love myself. I’m looking forward to a season of supermoons, crisp air and beautiful foliage. I will take lovers and vacations. I will pick apples and eat pumpkin pies. I will walk the beach during full moons, naked if the air is tolerable. I will read, and write and sleep. But mostly I am looking forward to feeling what happens when I really, really FALL in Love With Myself.