pause. pivot. shift.

As someone who is usually all or nothing, this week has proven to be a good reminder that life is rarely black and white–that I need to practice more moderation and remember to see the gray areas.  That’s not exactly easy for me, though I usually see the gray…I just sometimes purposely choose to add some ink to that well.  Ha.

So, while I beat myself up hard core for not being as evolved as I thought and still falling into old patterns, I’ve got to give myself some damn credit.

Turns out?  Both things are true.  Yes.  My old patterns ARE clearly still present.  I’m very much feeling the same things I usually feel in these types of situations.  And that sucks.  It sucks because it’s really hard to not feel those things, and it’s even harder to know if those things are my actual feelings…or the feelings I’ve been conditioned to feel, given the circumstances.

BUT…and this is HUGE…I’m no longer blindly engaging these things.  I’m no longer being blindsided by my own crap.  I’m recognizing my own patterns and how my own behavior reinforces these patterns.  I’m seeing how other people have these patterns and I’m seeing how it relates to my own patterns–and WHY.  And while I can’t help but feel what I feel, I don’t believe it’s all my shit.  I’m not blaming myself for our mutual crap.  And even better?  I am standing up for myself.  I’m showing up for me.  I’m not people pleasing or giving in–when giving in would be highly toxic to me and oh-so-easy.  I’m saying no and explaining why–but not overexplaining or justifying.  It’s enough that I don’t want to.  And I’m not allowing people to talk me out of self-care in service to meeting just their needs.  And better yet?  I’m recognizing this sort of thing as a red flag.  A big red flag.  And I’m angry about it.  Not apologizing for feeling angry about it.  And I’m saying it pisses me off.  I put down a boundary.  I explained why I needed it.  I called people on stepping on it and didn’t redraw it to make them happy.  I committed to it because I needed it.  And I am pretty damn proud of myself.

I’m learning that people who love you–as opposed to saying they love you–those who ACTUALLY do–don’t try to negotiate your boundaries.  They don’t keep pushing when you tell them to stop.  And if they do, they are operating from really unhealthy places.  And that fuels the unhealthy in me.  So, just standing my ground helps me find the healthy in me–even if I still feel all those unhealthy things I’ve been bullied into feeling.

And I’m recognizing that unhealthy love–no matter how intoxicating or romantic–is not loving.  It’s not love, really, at all.  It’s all the things I’m trying to heal.  And anyone who loves me doesn’t want me to be sick or broken–as long as it means I am there for them to use and spit out.

And maybe what I’m feeling isn’t avoidant.  Maybe it’s healthy.  Maybe it’s an appropriate response to disease.  Because the more he chases and manipulates me–or tries to–the more I want nothing to do with it.  The more I recede and back away.  This is the pattern of an avoidant when faced with a love addict, sure.  But seeing that pattern takes all attraction out of the equation.

It helps me know I deserve more.  So much more than the crap I’ve always allowed and settled for.  A kind, loving relationship where my boundaries are respected and maybe actually celebrated.

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