If I told you about ego or mind hurt first, you would all relate. So I guess I will. Mind hurting or ego hurting is when we don’t get what we think we should, the guy we like doesn’t like us back, the girl we wanted to marry had other plans, the job that was perfect for us was given to someone else. Now all of these situations could also be heart hurts but mostly they are mind hurts, our egos are injured momentarily and we have a whole host of things that we do to feel better almost instantaneously. We tell ourselves that we didn’t really want that which we didn’t get. We find another guy to distract us from the loss of the guy that didn’t like us back, we marry some other girl quickly and with haste, we tell ourselves that we didn’t really want that job anyway or that the company is now going to fail or not do as well without our brilliance.
I call all of the above two/three year old mind. It is what we do as children to cover up when our inadequacies are uncovered. I mean hell we are only two, so how much competence are we supposed to have? But spend time with any two or three year old and you will see this very well developed ego rushing in to save face all over the place. And many of us never out grow it. Likely due to abuse or poor parenting of this particular age, most people leave it chronologically but practice it for the rest of their lives.
And we all do it for the same reason. This mind hurting or egoic hurting is way easier to deal with than true heart hurting. In all of the above scenarios, the situation is set up for immediate relief. Or almost immediate relief. There is no time spent hashing out what really happened. There is just a moving on from one thing to the next, one person to the next, one job to the next. The heart and soul crushing has been minimized, staved off with lofty ideas of ourselves, or morose thoughts about ourselves. What is wholly absent is our willingness to allow the pain that has just happened to land. We get busy, getting on with things so that we don’t have to feel the disappointment, shame, grief, fear, heartbreak. We move the fuck on because that is what we call forward progress.
But I would postulate here that this is not really living. I mean it passes for living today because we all live like this. Rare is the person who takes the time to allow whatever issue has come to the surface to really land. I think many of us think that we allow it to land, that we take the time, but that isn’t my experience of most people I know. If we do not immediately move on, then we immediately grasp for something to numb the pain: booze, drugs, exercise, shopping, sex, food. It doesn’t matter what we reach for…nope just that we reach…and then keep reaching, forever.
I have done it myself just this weekend. I just ended a six month relationship and I am already back on the dating sites. I have a lot of reasons why that would be really socially acceptable and somewhat true but in the end I have done what I have done for the following reasons:
1. I do not want to spend time thinking about why it didn’t work out with the last guy;
2. I do not know what to do with myself when I am not dating;
3. I use men to keep me entertained and life without them is boring to me;
4. I do not want to sit still with myself and actually feel the loss of this other person who I cared for even if he wasn’t the right guy for me.
Ok, that was hard to admit. And I have a very strong desire to go back and erase what I just wrote because it doesn’t make me look very good and also because I don’t want you to know this about me. Like at all. Sometimes intimacy, true intimate details are hard to hear and are not all that pretty…
Well anyone who knows me at all is not shocked at anything I just wrote. I am sure my close friends have said all of the above about me every time I have ended things with someone. Like every fucking single time. All of the above is to protect my heart and keep me from ever really addressing the fundamental and pervasive issue…I do not want to be hurt and so I have a well designed way of making sure that I never stop moving, so that I can never really feel much of anything. I mean I have gotten better, well my sponsor says I have, but really, truly I am still trying to just move the fuck on and forget about it all. NEXT!
But I am trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to feel the heart hurt. I so do not want to. The compulsion and it is a compulsion to move on is GIANT. It is overwhelming. It is almost all consuming to me. I date habitually because I do not want to feel. And that is super fucked up. Wow, I really didn’t plan to throw myself under the dating bus today but I guess I belong there so I guess it is all coming out exactly like it is supposed to…fuck. And I promised to tell the truth, I just wish it made me look better or less like an ass.
So here is the truth. I am not heart broken over the last guy. We had fun. It was nice. It was never going to be long term, at least for me, and now it is over and we have some weird friendship thing that is cool with me. I feel good about my decision and do not regret it at all. However, spending time committed to this last guy, brings up all the old shit from HIM. You know who, the one that I loved with all that I had and he left. That one. And I am forced to grapple with the following:
Was Lane really the love of my life?
If so, why keep trying to date, I missed my chance to love?
What is so wrong with me that someone whom I loved so much left?
How can I ever expect the universe to deliver anyone better?
Am I even wanting a relationship?
I love my life in so many ways, being locked down and committed seems like a big ask.
But if I am not trying, am I not really living?
And I don’t want to think about any of that. But I have to. I have to deal with the feelings that come up and cause me to seek out ways to hide. I do want to love someone again. I really don’t know what else to do with myself. I do not enjoy the callous, free spirited me that doesn’t give a fuck about anything. She is boring and tired and mostly full of shit. I really want to know someone, and allow them to know me and to build a life that is based on our mutual experiences and lives. That is what I really want but I am so fucking terrified that it just doesn’t exist for me that I have all these aberrant ways to protect my heart by only allowing myself to be hurt in the mind, while my heart remains carefully shielded and protected elsewhere. My heart has wholly left the building.
But that is not who I want to be. I can’t just stay with the ego hurt anymore than I can allow my stupid head to tell me a whole bunch of shit that makes me feel better and isn’t even fucking true. No, I have to allow space and room for the heart hurt to come in and change me. It isn’t the loss of the other person, it is that I tried and failed to connect again. This is the story of my life. And I am so very tired of it. Why is intimacy so hard for me? It seems almost cruel that I crave it and avoid it with equal ferocity. Just when I thought I was making so much progress….
Here I am again. Sort of willing to feel the heart hurt. Mine that I feel and that that I might have caused. I just left. Again. Buh Bye. And I feel almost nothing…at least that is what I tell myself and anyone else but the truth, that I really don’t want to utter is that I allowed myself to be with someone again who wasn’t capable of loving. Not really. And I allowed myself to stay until I couldn’t anymore. I began a process and then I got out. Much sooner than I would have in the past but not as soon as I saw the signs that showed me this person was not right for me. I avoided talking about the hard things and I am not even sure why…except that I didn’t want to involve my heart. I didn’t want to be vulnerable. I didn’t want to really invest. Again.
And that is what I have learned…again. Life lived without being all in isn’t all that great. It is an endless loop of stories designed to tell myself great fictions about myself and other people. It isn’t grimy and hard, it is just light and breezy and I am barely there. And it is so easy for me. But the connection I want and crave seems too much of an ask for me. I am terrified of it but still seek it out. I don’t know what else to do with it so I am sharing it because I have to get it out of my chest…the boredom of me feels like it might kill me.
So I took it to the trails yesterday and painted my heart hurt all over the landscape. It felt right with cloudy skies and the threat of rain. I allowed myself to be honest about all that I felt and all that I didn’t. I gave to the wild all the feelings that I run from and to and back again. I just allowed myself to disintegrate into the landscape. And I returned home, agitated and bored. Not sure what to do with myself. But I didn’t tell any stories. And I didn’t procure someone new to date. I sat in a chair in my living room, looking around the room and I just felt my fucking inconvenient feelings and allowed space for the agitation to be there and just be ok.
I allowed my heart to hurt and did my best to keep my ego out of it. No story to make it all better. No new myth conjured to make me feel better instantly. Just my life, in a moment of weakness where I can see that while I am not all that, I am a lot even for me sometimes. And there is so very little I can do about it except write it down and put it out there in the hopes that someone else might be helped or that it is relatable so that someone else doesn’t feel so all alone. That is all I know to do with my heart hurt. That and stop running from it…one day at a time.