A Liberation of Sorts

Knowing that someone doesn’t want or love you can actually be quite freeing. Realizing how well I know my self-worth. :)

I tweeted that an hour ago. I think I’ve gone past the point of shame. I made a point of being more transparent a year ago. That said, I just went through a break up. If I’m completely honest, I will admit that I lost my bearings for a little bit. In fact, I lost them before I said “I’m done.” I was searching for them in his voice, hoping that something of mine was there. Truth is, it was my voice that I needed.

I had an inkling that there was a disjunction somewhere. We just didn’t fit. He was set in his ways, and I was malleable. His dreams were smaller than mine, but thankfully he never asked me to play small to make him feel like a man.

The inklings were little things- little nagging things. Being a detail-oriented person, I cannot deny the importance of small things. The small things make up the big things. A microscopic cell is the essential part of a mighty oak. In this case, the little things were cracks in the foundation. Uncertainties, doubts, half-truths, unfounded hopes… little things. My certainty went from “I love him” to “I think I like him.” And when he proposed (twice), I was seized with apprehension. I just couldn’t say “yes.” I could only look at the fading color of his love-words, their shrinking bloom. He no longer graced my dreams as a possibility, rather, he was the apparition that floated in the background. The gifts, graces and kindnesses lost their newness. It was far too early for the newness to wear off. I knew this. But momentum carried me forward until his unkind words stopped me in my tracks. I realized that I couldn’t make him stay, nor did I desire to keep him. “The center cannot hold:” and we had lost ours long before this moment.

After some wrestling with my insecurities, I reached the conclusion that this was not my fault. Things fall apart. I have somehow internalized the idea that everything that happens to me is something that I deserve. Similarly, I have not dislodged the idea of a God that condemns and punishes from my way of thinking. Somehow my human mind conceives of an utterly human God, who treats Creation in a most capricious and cavalier manner. Such a God does not embody the love that the Bible speaks of.

Deus Caritas Est…

1 John 4:7-12 (NIV)

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Not to meander too much, but I will be okay. One good-bye is a prelude to another hello.

Moving on…

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6 Comments

Filed under Artful Prose, Feminism, life, Religion, Theology, Womanism

6 responses to “A Liberation of Sorts

  1. Oh! I’m sorry to hear about your break-up.

    I’ve never been in a romantic relationship – but I think being rejected by people you like (or people who reject you before you try to ask them out) is similar to your tweet. My friend says that rejecting builds character, but I can’t say i readily agree. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why I’ve been rejected or why it continues to happen, so I’ve been thinking about taking a sort of break. It’s easy because I’m unemployed and spend a lot of time indoors, but it’s one of my fears when I start working again, or when I go to graduate school. I experienced a lot of grief at my old job, when I was the only person who was ignored when it came to romantic stuff. Everyone got hit on, except me – it made me think there was something wrong with me. :/

    I dunno – your post reminded me of all these things. Sometimes rejection can be good or freeing. Other times can be demoralizing and scarring. For me, I guess I’d need to reframe how important it is to have that validation? I’ve never been the “pretty girl” so I guess I’d need to work on this idea that it’s okay if people aren’t attracted to me, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But – it’s hard work! I dislike this.

    • aconerlycoleman

      I’ve found rejection to be protection, in a way. Better that someone rejects you upfront, than be strung along by a disinterested person. There is nothing wrong with you.

      I will say this- if your perception of self depends on validation from someone else, you will never be truly happy with yourself. People come and go- the person in the mirror is always there.

  2. Ari, you are so brave and wise. I’m sorry your relationship didn’t work out like you would have wanted it to, but I’m glad you found out before you said ‘I do.’ Circumstances definitely would have been worse then. God bless you as you continue to dream big and DO big things.

  3. This is beautiful, Arrianna. My favorite:

    “He no longer graced my dreams as a possibility, rather, he was the apparition that floated in the background.”

    I am almost here. Thank you for writing about it and for sharing this.

    • aconerlycoleman

      Thank you for reading! I can’t believe I wrote this 2 years ago! It’s startling to revisit my younger self.

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