Sunday, April 01, 2007

Once again with feeling

I don't believe in coincidence.

That being said, I wonder sometimes why the same people keep popping up my life again and again when I thought things were finished. People aren't the only things that keep popping up; situations pop up over and over. It took me a long time to figure out what was happening. After all, didn't the people get it? We were done. Time to move on. And yet, they kept coming back as if to haunt me or someone would mention their name or I'd meet someone who knew them and things would start all over again. It was as if the Universe wouldn't let me get past the past.

That is because the Universe was giving me a kick in the pants to let me know I had unfinished business or there was something yet to learn that I had missed the first time. Sometimes the Universe was giving me another chance because either the other person or I had take the wrong path. I've learned to listen and pay attention. Like I said, I don't believe in coincidence.

I recently connected with some old friends from high school who mentioned someone I've been trying to put into the file I marked "Finished" and shove to the back of the drawer. It was so unexpected. We're chatting about high school and mutual friends and acquaintances and suddenly they drop a bomb. The "Finished" file was open again and I knew I'd have to deal with it again or it would keep popping up when I least expected it and when I thought the past was past. I was living in a fool's paradise.

I know why I've walked away from people and situations in my life. Things weren't working or the other person couldn't get his act together or because I was tired of waiting. I'm a very patient person . . . about some things. Waiting for people to make up their minds is not my long suit. It's like when I was married to Nick.

"Where would you like to go to eat? What movie would you like to see? What would you like do tonight?"

Any of those questions would be opening the door to a long back and forth discussion of, "I don't know. What would you like to eat, see, do?" The worst times were while we were driving on the freeway and I was the one driving (or worse yet, he was driving). There is no time to waffle. A decision must be made or we'd spend hours circling the city on the outer belt or end up driving down into parts of town best not see up close and personal in the dark of night or during a storm. I made the decision. I got impatient. I didn't want to waste time doing the, "I don't know? Whatever you want is fine with me." dance.

Whether I like it or not, the Universe doesn't care how impatient I can be. It continues to throw me back into situations or face to face with people and demands I pay attention and make the right decision. I can be stubborn. When I'm done, I'm done. But the Universe doesn't care when I think someone is done, especially when It isn't satisfied with my decision. I can kick and scream and pout and ignore the Universe all I want, but until I do what I'm supposed to do I'm going to keep coming face to face with what I've left undone or did badly. I know I should have done it right the first time, but I don't always know what right is or was.

I thought I was doing what was best for the other person by walking away. Or maybe I thought it was time to leave. (I've always known when it's time to leave the party.) Many times I have been wrong and it was because I was so focused on playing the martyr or on licking my wounds and bearing my broken heart to the grave that I didn't realize all I had done was run away because I couldn't face the other person or open my mouth and say what was on my mind and in my heart. I knew best. What arrogance!

I made a decision for someone else thinking I knew best. I thought they would be better off without me, that I was hurting them too much, that it would hurt less if I was out of their life and out of the way. I was wrong. I had no right to make that decision. In any relationship between two people there are two points of view to consider. I don't have the right to make the decision for someone else and to do so is the height of arrogance and conceit. It's not like making a decision about where to eat, what to watch or which route to take to put a stop to the endless round of "I don't know, what do you want".

I can say it's because I don't want to hurt them any more. I can play the martyr. I can decide walking away and ignoring them will hurt them less, but it's not my decision. It's not completely their decision either. It is our decision. But that means we have to talk it out, be completely honest about the present and the future, put our intentions and our emotions and thoughts on the table and work it out together. I don't like anyone making decisions for me, so I'm certain no one else wants me to make decisions for them. Relationships are two-way streets.

I'm not talking about cutting a toxic influence out of my life or turning away from someone whose only intention is to suck the energy, creativity and life from me. That's a different story. Only an idiot who is allergic to poison ivy takes off all their clothes and rolls around and beds down in it and expects not to be affected.

I've learned. It takes a few kicks from the Universe sometimes (I am stubborn) but eventually I get the message that I'm not done yet. Until I open my eyes and pay attention, that person is going to keep popping up in one way or another like a manic jack-in-the-box. The message can be subtle at first, but eventually the Universe gets tired of waiting and makes the decision for me, forcing me to face my fears and the other person whether I like it or not. It doesn't matter how much time has passed and it doesn't matter if I've said my goodbyes, as long as I've left something undone or made a decision for someone else I had no right to make, my past will come back to haunt me and I will have to face my fears.

Who knows. Today may be the day.

That is all. Disperse.

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