Avoidance is a type of hiding

This video made me realize how deeply men hide. They hide behind tattoos, bodysculpting, gangs, violence, misleading words, humour, allegiances, prejudices, etc.

Women often demand that men be more transparent, communicate better, be more honest, vulnerable, etc. But I wonder how much of that is really genuine, and how much of it is rooted in a desire to not bear the burden of the thoughts that get triggered when faced with uncertainty? I’d surmise almost all of it is selfish.

Before you ask a man to show up as his true self, make sure you have the ability to create a space free of expectations, projections, your own fears and insecurities etc. Make sure it’s not a suit or a mould he’s stepping into. A role you want him to play so that you won’t have to deal with the thoughts that terrorize you in your solitude.

And take the time to differentiate and be honest with yourself about it. When we believe that others have what we’re deficient in, we place an unnecessary burden on them. A burden of entitlement and desperation. A desperation to flee the harsh atmosphere created by self-hating and self-erasing thoughts.

Camera tricks

Emotionally immature men view life like a picture, that they control and airbrush and they will pick you based on your pose, how you enhance his flow. You present yourself as an image to be framed by him.

But life is not a still shot. You’re in it but you don’t own it. You’re in it and it doesn’t matter how you show up in each frame. If you’re afraid of being moved by life in ways that you can’t control how you appear to the stationary bystander, then it’s no wonder that you gravitate towards a guy who has an iron grip on life and won’t budge unless it’s a better shot.

How do you expect a man to hold up to your intense scrutiny that requires him to be vulnerable and set aside his armours if you’re afraid of being vulnerable with your essence and move outside the frames? You can’t mix and match with life. You can’t cut and paste different facets as if life were a scrapbook. You have to move to the space you want to be met in. And that’s a tough but worthwhile journey, I’ll tell you that. Regardless of the outcome, you can never lose by seeking out your essence and truth.

Castaway

If you’re not present in your body, who is it that I’m opening up to? Your unsupervised words, empty of essence, can’t bear what I truly would like to say. Return with a nod and something generic from me. Watch me fade away…

The Infallible Mother

Few escape the feeling that mothers are to be honored, or the awareness that mothers are too often taken for granted, their sacrifices unappreciated. Yet many of us are secretly (or not so secretly) unsatisfied with what we got from our mothers, resentful that—whether their fault or not—they failed to provide important aspects of what we needed. And we’re paying the price.

These are sensitive issues—sensitive for mothers and sensitive for all of us.

Some, in a need to make mothers off-limits from criticism, become critical of those who are unsatisfied, blaming us for blaming our mothers, as if we are unfairly passing off the responsibility for our suffering. While I don’t deny that some may use blame as a distraction and fail to take responsibility for the arduous task of healing, what I see more often as a therapist is the enormous guilt and resistance people have to work through to stop protecting their mothers. It is as if, even within the privacy of our own minds, we are afraid to criticize her. We are protecting the image of mother inside, protecting our fragile relationship with her by denying anything that might unsettle it, and protecting ourselves from the disappointment, anger, and pain that we’ve kept out of consciousness. As I will explain in the chapters that follow, many don’t dare to uncover the painful truth of what was missing in their mothers because they are unprepared to deal with what this would mean.

Any relationship as complex as that between mother and child is going to include both love and hate. Most young children feel moments of hatred when their needs or wishes are frustrated, although many children wouldn’t dare express this, their bond with Mommy far too fragile. And virtually all children feel love for Mother, even when that love is buried or walled off. As Robert Karen eloquently reported in his compilation of research on attachment:

” […] children, love their parents. It’s built into the nature of being a child. They may be hurt, disappointed, caught in destructive modes of being that ward off any possibility of getting the love they yearn for, but to be attached, even anxiously attached, is to be in love. Each year the love may become a little more difficult to access; each year the child may disavow his wish for connection more firmly; he may even swear off his parents and deny that he has any love for them at all; but the love is there, as is the longing to actively express it and to have it returned, hidden like a burning sun.

Excerpt From: “The Emotionally Absent Mother: A Guide to Self-Healing and Getting the Love You Missed” by Jasmin Lee Cori.

quit playing games with my heart

“There is an emotional promiscuity we’ve noticed among many good young men and women. The young man understands something of the journey of the heart. He wants to talk, to “share the journey.” The woman is grateful to be pursued, she opens up. They share the intimacies of their lives – their wounds, their walks with God. But he never commits. He enjoys her… then leaves. And she wonders, What did I do wrong? She failed to see his passivity. He really did not ever commit or offer assurances that he would. 

— Stasi Eldredge

Microwave Love

“Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. And whatever their reasons you must leave. Because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready. There is more extraordinary love, more love that you have never seen, out here in this wide and wild universe. And there is the love that will be ready”

Nayyirah Waheed

I’m the ghostly friend

When you can look a thing dead in the eye, acknowledge that it exists, call it exactly what it is, and decide what role it will take in your life then, my Beloved, you have taken the first step toward your freedom.
Iyanla Vanzant

Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
Brené Brown


A while ago, I answered 25 thought-provoking questions, of which one was;

10. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
This is something I’ve thought about lately, and I’d say no. I just can’t figure out what’s missing, but there’s definitely a blind spot on how I view friendships.

I’ve ruminated this issue for almost a month now. I noticed that although I have great friends, I felt…unnoticed,invisible. I was often the one starting convos or checking up on people. The same thing rarely happened with me. In fact, if anyone showed me that they had taken notice to me in any way; noticing my pic on whatsapp or reading a post from 9 months ago,it would touch me so deeply and leave me mindblown with gratitude. Don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t lamenting this fact, in pondering it, but years of introspection has taught me one thing ; cause-and-effect. Everything that happens has some sort of connection to me. In this case; what was I doing/not doing that made me such a distant and reserved person? It had to be me, and not in a self-critical capacity, but I knew it was something fishy.

Well, I figured it out. I’m emotionally unavailable and I seek out emotionally unavailable people. Whenever a friend tries to strike up a conversation or writes me an email, I feel it’s so tedious because deep down I believe it’s only semantics and formalities because there’s nothing interesting about me, right? I feel uncomfortable with being in the spotlight and I feel that I’m selfishly hogging attention that I don’t deserve. So I seek out people with whom I have (mostly) one-sided interactions. I convince myself that these aloof people are secretly shy or, like me, don’t think they are worth the attention. But I’ll show them; I’ll care for them, and keep up with them, and pick up conversations whenever they drop ( never entertaining the thought that they dropped it on purpose). In short, I’d build a false sense of confidence in that empty space between us that we’ve evacuated . There’s no threat to my anxieties there and since I know that the other party isn’t interested in me, that only relaxes me because I know that I’ll forever remain behind the scenes.

Emotionally available people scare the crap out of me. I say it like I’m an emotionally unavailable person, but not really. I’m building the bridge to cross over to the other side, and I’ve explored countless issues related to unavailability in the form of codependency, lack of boundaries, standing up for myself, etc. There are always neighbouring issues before you get to the core issue.

It is when I looked at my friendships from this angle that I realized I had ignored the friends who were interested in me and instead I became pre-occupied with apathetic ‘friends’.

Besides, when I’m so pre-occupied with dodging emotional proximity and numbing my pain, I’ll be so self-centred that I won’t have the energy or ability to care about anybody else. In fact, the times that I notice how invisible I am are the few times I rear my head from behind the latest escapism project; how ironic! I go hide and then wonder why no one can find me.

Come to think of it, I do have great friends and I now see how evading my pain and unresolved issues destroys me behind my back. When I focus on others, I lose sight of myself and the things that really matter in life.

 

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Khalil Gibran

Gee, Khalil, did you have to rub it in my face like that? -_-

 

No more posts.