Thursday, January 7, 2010

Learning to shine my light

A few nights ago, Gentleman Jack and I were talking about our future and our past. I told him that I look forward to spending next New Year's Eve with him, wherever we are. We both agreed that there was no predicting this most recent New Year compared to where I was the previous New Year's Eve:

I was visiting my bloggy friends Rachel, Jim and David in San Francisco.

Soldier and I were no more, though he'd surprised me with a phone call from Baghdad on my birthday.

As I talked more about where things were with Soldier at that time, Gentleman Jack stopped me.

"Its weird. When I hear you talk about (Soldier), I can't relate to your emotions because... it doesn't even sound like you at all!"


I find myself, when talking about my previous relationship, sounding so disdainful. I don't like that feeling. I'm trying to look at it and figure it out.

I suppose, as QT Mama pointed out in her comment the other day, that I put a lot of pressure on myself. I do aim to figure out me, my life, my motivations, my reasons, my modus operandi, if you will.


This morning, when I recalled GJ's statement, it occurred to me:

I don't like who I was with Soldier in my life.

I can't say that I didn't love him or that he didn't love me. I believe all of that was true. I can't say that I don't still love him and I'm quite positive that he still loves me.

However, trying to be together, especially after he came home from war, was like water and oil. We just didn't mix.

Others have made the same observations about me and Soldier - especially after seeing me now with my Gentleman in my life.


I know that in my marriage, I was the driver. I asked him out. I made the plans. I made the decisions. He didn't even ask me to marry him until one of our mutual friends asked him, "Why haven't you married her yet?!" I was the one who decided on the separation and divorce as well.

I was so sick of driving. I was so tired. Soldier, however, was the most driven man I have ever met. He made all of the decisions all the way down to when, how and how often we would communicate. I liked letting someone else take the wheel for once in my life. What I didn't realize, until later, was that I felt as if my drive was gone.

I was only driven to do as he pleased.

I lost myself in that. Everyone that knows me saw that, saw my struggle. I nearly lost my job because I didn't know how to function without him!

I guess that is somewhat normal - to be attracted to the very opposite of the relationship you just left (i.e. my marriage). Perhaps that is when you learn if you prefer the opposite or maybe need to find a healthy middle ground.

I love who I am with my Gentleman. I see so much more balance. He allows me to be *me* - and yes, even if he's uncomfortable about some things, he's changing his own thoughts to learn to accept me. I'm doing the same as well. We're both opening up to things we'd never considered before.

He lets me shine.

Which is exactly what I was asking for and predicting that I needed. I'm not sure I could ask for anything more.

Besides, he's pretty darn shiny too.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
~ Marianne Williamson (this is the third time I've posted this quote on this blog)

"Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous."
~ Carrie Bradshaw


  1. reading and thinking...I need to put up my old archives. I forget how much I have to learn from myself. Even if I was a little different than I am now or it feels a little squicky to look back. Thanks for the reminding...xox

  2. Thank you, T. I think all of my blog buddies are sending me a message today. I have a lot of really important decisions to make. And those quotes really made an impact.

    Big hugs and much appreciation headed your way!

  3. It's a common thing to be in a bad relationship and not realizing fully until you're out that you didn't like who you were when you were with that person.

    I didn't like who I was when I was married...I'm loving who I am as a person now.

    Glad you are in the same place.

  4. Enjoyed your post today. I know I tried to change who I was for past relationships, or felt like someone was trying to squash the person I wanted to be. Nice to feel confirmation that A loves the "me" that I love best, and encourages me to shine.

  5. Great post today, T.

    You know, it really struck a chord with me...because as I think back on my marriage, I realize that, for the most part, I didn't like who I was when I was with him. But now? Now I am loving who this person is that I'm finding underneath it all. :-)

  6. You know, sometimes I look back at a certain relationship I had and wonder "WTF". Seriously. I let him treat me poorly, I put up with disgusting humiliating behavior, and I could go on and on.

    We live, we date, we learn. :) Good post today T, and you ARE too hard on yourself. Mucho love.

  7. T when you post things like this I want to cry. Its like you are in my head seeing what I am thinking.

    My Mr Heartbreaker was your Soldier. He made me feel exactly the same way as you describe here and after reading a book over the holidays alot of things came back - things I would rather forget to be honest :(

    My relationship with him was more destructive than my marriage!

  8. A lot of woman are guilty of losing themselves while trying to make a relationship work. I did that, and I wasn't aware I was doing that until I starting paying attention.

    If you say you like "who you are" with Rascal, that's saying you're being you; not to say that we can't improve ourselves or have a partner expand us with new ways of thinking, etc., but we are who we are,and any changes we make should be for us, no one else.

    It's a hard lesson to learn, but better than not learning it!

  9. T,
    Excellent quotes. Glad to hear that you are doing so well in this relationship. You sound ground yet still able to float.

  10. Yeah .. I was the driver in my marriage and it was so exhausting. Funny though, I'm on my own now so have to do all the driving - it's so much easier though. Don't have a dead weight to pull along.

  11. Great sentiment. It's important to let ourselves shine, and really like who we are. Then we'll attract the right partner. Sounds like you attracted Rascal with a you you like!

  12. More than realizing that you didn't like who you were in past relationships, you realize and are experiencing the joy of who you are with Rascal AND the freedom to be whom you were always MEANT to be. THAT is the true gift, and you articulated it well.

    Blessings on you and your relationship with Rascal, T. You've come a long, long way and look at your life now! ;)

  13. Oh girl I hear you. Thanks for sharing this post and the quotes. I'm glad you have found such a wonderful partner in Rascal. When you spoke about how hard it is to talk about the person you were in other relationships and how weird it feels, I can totally relate. Now that I am dating again, I've found it to be so strange to talk to a man about my ex and how I am not that person at all anymore. It's like taking a look back at myself and sometimes it isn't so flattering.

    This post made me think of a line in a Killer's song when he says "I don't mind if you don't mind because I don't shine if you don't shine." You and Rascal are so sweet :)

  14. It's wonderful that you've found someone that accepts you, for you! That's what everyone wants. =)

    I am definitely looking for that person. And have been discovering more of myself along the way.

    Way to go.

  15. T- How can we truly know and understand "good" until we have experienced "bad" and "unhealthy". Life lessons my dear. Learn and grow. Which you are doing.


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