21 August 2008

A Gift to Myself

Listening to a radio show yesterday, I heard the question:

If you were dying soon and had only one phone call to make, who would you call and what would you say?

Normally this kind of question doesn’t work for me. I’m not good at choosing a favorite this or a best that. But the answer came to me immediately.

Anthony. I’d call Anthony and tell him I was sorry, that I never meant to hurt him, and that I love him deeply and dearly.

The radio host ended her show with the obvious question: Then why haven’t you called?

Well, in my case, it’s because he’s clearly asked me to leave him the hell alone. And because I love him, I am respecting his desire not to have contact with me.

But I miss the daylights out of him. Not as my partner/boyfriend. I still believe that our differences and desires were such that being a couple wasn’t the best configuration for us. But Anthony was also my best friend, and I miss his friendship. I miss his playfulness and humor and kindness. I miss our shared history. I miss his companionship, his voice, his silly notes, his cats. I miss being a part of his life, and his participation in mine.

I also remain convinced that breaking up was the best thing for both of us. I hear reports of his life and, from what I hear, he is indeed finding his wings. Which is what I’d hoped would happen when I removed my mothering self from his day-to-day life.

It’s an interesting combination of emotions, to be living with Ronnie and still missing Ant. And it’s hard, knowing that Anthony feels so strongly against me. I never, ever, meant harm.

On a related note: Melanie, my teacher, made an intriguing suggestion to me in class last night. We were discussing which attachments are holding us back. I realized that my biggest challenge was my attachment to how other people think of me. (This probably goes back to growing up with a volatile mother, and becoming hypersensitive to other people’s moods as a survival mechanism.)

Melanie suggested giving myself a birthday present. (I turn 50 this coming Sunday!) She says she does this every year. One year she gave herself the gift of not having to participate in boring conversations for a year. Anyway, she proposed that I gift myself with not caring what other people think of me.

Hmmm… Is this possible? I’ve been told that, at 50, women do exactly this. They stop giving a rat’s ass what others think and step into their own power. I like the idea. Of course, I still care what I think of myself – my integrity remains intact. I guess the idea is to become my own mirror, rather than looking to others for validation.

It’s worth a try!

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