I love who I have become. I fought hard to become her. This is true but requires texture and depth explanatorily. By dint of the collusion, or collision, between my own rebel spirit and my obvious need to remain feral (with domestic appearance) I began the Beguine. However, this dance, should it be a requirement for life, requires a partner even if he is crap at dancing and refuses to learn the steps. No matter, for now. What I mean is that the outcome, the people we both became as a result of many influences, the greatest of which (or is it whom) was each other created another thing. I did not become the woman I am proud of all my myself. And he did not become the man he became all by himself. No. It was a collusion, a collision, a pull back, a lot of swearing and door slamming, a deal of punishments and witholdments and a lot of coming together for happy times along the road, no matter the outside troubles, most of whom were the in-laws.
Since he chose to leave, I have gone through the swingles. I have self-doubted, doubted more, felt angry, lost and pointless. I decide I need to learn self love. Well, that’s what they tell us and it has a hook to it, one I grabbed because loving self sounded wonderful even as it had always meant ‘selfish’ and that word nobody wants as an addendum on their CV. I puzzle back through my memories and remember well dropping to my knees in the face of the word of it, although not literally. My belly clutched itself into a fist and my lungs decided to pause for too long. My dress suddenly looked like a balloon and my make up, drag queen. It took days and nights of introspection before I could actually bring my whole self back into the room. Selfish? No, no no, not me, not me, surely…….Total agony, judgement, no point living on. You may guess I worked on the stage.
Moving on to the nownow I am set back a bit from the bloodpain of that judgement, one I oftentimes laid around my own shoulders like a wrap made of scalpels. Now I am able to consider and, best of all, to challenge. I know that the word ‘selfish’ has many meanings and that being selfish is, at times, many times, a grand thing, but it is the intent that matters as intent does in every move we make. I don’t want to put another down, nor elevate myself above another. I know that. To me this is one of the most pointless and ridiculous things we ever do as human beings. Nobody wins, especially the ‘selfish’ one, not in that scenario. But in order to be who we long to be, that person we might keep secret for fear of the ‘selfish’ title being foisted upon us, is the one who will never sleep, who will never leave us, who will always keep knocking at the door of our heart.
Learning to self-love is a journey worth making. I hated myself for decades. I allowed the bright moments of external acceptance to be my rewards for being whom someone else wanted me to be and thus acceptable, loved even. Those moments lit the rooms of my life and I hoped they were enough, but they were not, are not. And the good news is that this true person, the real one, is still looking for me to love her, is faithful as a dog and still there, still knocking at the door of my heart. For a wee trip back into the old definition book, I looked up Self Love and here is what came up, in the dictionary, on Google and in Roget’s Thesaurus:-
What is another word for self-love? ; pride · conceitedness ; ego · egocentricity ; egotism · pomposity ; pridefulness · pompousness ; smugness · vanity
Hmmm. Methinks change is required. I flounce, I dance away from this, I barf it out, but it is still there in print. All of those definitions are about being either less than or more than someone else. So where am I? In a wasteland and waiting patiently for intelligent change. I’ll wait along with Self Love. She’s a powerful woman /man. Androgynous. And the way out of the old thinking. The feral way.