Men + Myself + God

Month: January, 2013

Other Catfish in the Sea: Intention, Action, and Internet Dating

by Patia Braithwaite

I broke up with That Guy. I think I’ll call him The Besticle. Actually, he broke up with me for various reasons that I’m still too confused about to get into — give me a few weeks to find a lesson and then I’ll be willing to share. Until then…I got nothin’…

Ironically, with the dozens of posts about forgiveness and healing surrounding my other ex, Dr. Dolittle, breaking up with The Besticle actually feels worse. I’ve been in denial for a long time, but it’s clear. I’m still adjusting…coming to terms with the fact that it’s over, and I’m really really sad about it. Like…really really sad.

Sometimes tho, sadness looks
like “getting back out there,” and in the wake of this turmoil, I found myself on Match.com filling out a profile and posting cute pictures. I added info: books I’ve read, favorite
movies, how much I love my life…blah blah. I can sound really cute and well-adjusted if I try. ;-)

Anyway, I’ve connected with a few men, winked at a few, but during an email conversation with one particular guy, I was at a loss when he asked: So, why are you on Match?

That’s when it hit me that — I have to get the f*ck off Match.

Why? Because intention is such an important component to action. And when asked about my intentions, all I could think was: It’s a few weeks into 2013 and I am lonely, feeling rejected and unlovable. I’m feeling ugly and unworthy and much like a failure.

Don’t judge me, you guys. I’m being honest…

I started my Match profile in an attempt to feel desirable. I needed someone to want me the way I thought The Besticle wanted me. Without knowing it, I was asking for someone to validate me. External validation is the Achilles heel of my effing life.

Anyway, I didn’t tell homie on Match any of this. I actually haven’t responded, but after I do, I’m going to disconnect my profile and try to heal…

This is the part where I should lament for a few lines about how I’m so ready and deserving “of something real,” but the truth is, I am deserving and prepared BUT NOT necessarily READY for my soul partner. I’ve done so much inner work, I own my own emotional baggage and I understand my purpose in this life. But the truthier truth is…. I’m a little heartbroken. The Besticle was the first person I thought, “wow…I could do this forever and actually be happy.” Like the first ever. In my entire life. So out of respect for the gravity of the “forever thought,” I have to take some time and sit this out. I have to honor the validity of my feelings as they move out of my experience. And…even more…I have to mourn the ending of possibility.

Sometimes the hardest thing to let
go of is a really good idea. The Besticle and I…were a really good idea. So I have to sit with the hope, hurt, anger and rejection…until it diminishes. I’ll take my time, then I’ll be prepared AND ready to get back “out there.”

I don’t have all the answers, and I wouldn’t say I’m handling this well at
all, but this is what I know for sure: clear purpose and clear intention are central to emotional freedom and happiness.

In order to move through life in a way that supports our growth, we have to be aware of our intentions. We can’t just act or react (though that’s often the appealing option). We have to be clear before we act. Don’t misinterpret me: we don’t have to know the outcome, BUT we have to make peace with our own feelings and intentions. I have to acknowledge my feelings before moving forward.

I’m uncomfortable today, but I won’t be forever. And, while I am certain there are other fish in the sea, if I cast my net with the wrong intention…I’ll bring back things I do not want. And, if there’s anything that MTV can teach me, its that I must be clear about my intentions if I’m going to date (on and off the Internets). I won’t bring any ANY MORE impurities into my puddle of love. I have no interest in compounding my sadness and isolation.

I am only interested in releasing.

Quickie: Iyanla, Fixes Lives

by Patia Braithwaite

“Think love. See love. Invoke love from the attic of life. You are in good company, you know. You have lots of support and assistance. This is where Christ loves. This is where Buddha loves. This is where Krishna, Muktananda, and the archangels Michael, Ariel, Uriel, and Gabriel live. This is where the wise old grandmother’s live, the medicine women and the healers. This is where White Eagle lives. This is the realm of Spirit. This is the highest faculty of your mind. When you make it though all of your human stuff to this level of consciousness, you are keeping company with the masters. You, my dear, have become the light of the world — the loving light. I beseech you to do everything in your power to let your light shine.”

-Iyanla Vanzant

On the Other Side of Fear There is…

by Patia Braithwaite

So I was hanging out with my cousin and her newborn son, BOB, when my cousin needed to run an errand. She asked me to watch over him. Now I should mention that Bob is premature. He was supposed to be born on Christmas, but decided to arrive on Halloween (homie loves a good holiday). As a result, he seems small and breakable.

I’m really not good with breakables.
I’ve destroyed almost every iPhone I’ve ever owned.

My cousin gave me instructions (“If he cries a little bit, give him his pacifier. If he cries a lot, warm the bottle. If he REALLY cries give me a call and I’ll come home”). As soooon as she walked out of the door, Bob started to whimper. Then he started to cry. Then, he used his little arms and neck to wiggle his way upright and flail from side to side. I shit you not, I thought the kid was going to jump out of his bassinet and run.

I picked him up and he gripped my sweater (he’s got sharp nails). He wailed. He kicked his legs. I gave him his pacifier – he spit it out. I warmed the bottle — he  threw the bottle accross the room moved his head from side to side. The entire time my voice was trying to comfort him, my arms were moving frantically to warm bottles and follow instructions (all while he was in my arms), but in my head I was saying: He knows. He effing knows. The kid knows I’m useless. He knows that if ‘shit hits the fan’ he’s gonna be a goner.

Right after I called my cousin in a controlled panic (“Keeks, he won’t stop crying and he doesn’t want to eat”), I heard a rumble in Bob’s little belly. He was kicking his legs and straining his face. I knew the look on his face well: Bob was constipated! Bob had gas!

And so I did what I do best: I told him stories about my own personal struggles with gas and constipation so he wouldn’t feel so alone. I walked him up and down my cousin’s hardwood floors and rubbed his back. When my cousin came home (she was only gone like 15 minutes), she found a quiet baby and a calm Patia. She chatted with me for a second, got settlend, and when finally took her baby into her arms…I burst into tears. I was inconsolable.

I just didn’t want to kill him, I wailed.

I just didn’t want to hurt him.

I had all of this fear: fear that I wasn’t good enough; fear that I couldn’t take care of anyone; fear that I’d kill my newborn cousin. I’d been waiting my whole life for a newborn Bob to love, and here I was terrified I’d kill him. But underneath the fear, there was this overwhelming love. There was this desire to protect this kid, and love this kid and cherish him forever…when my tears dried and my cousin informed me that she would trust me watch her son again, I finally felt in touch with an indescribable love for Bob. Intellectually, I knew I loved the kid, but when I stopped crying and calmed down, I felt the love in the center of my chest. I was in touch with my feelings in this incredible way. I actually can’t wait to watch him again…

It’s funny, we spend our life trying to keep fear at arms-length, pretending it doesn’t exist, or trying to conquer fear like it’s our greatest adversary. But what if Fear is just Love’s ego. What if behind every single one of our fears, there is an energy of love just waiting to fill up the hallow space that fear carves out? If we all took a  second to step into our fears, I bet we’d find a wild love that lights up the whole world. Behind the fear of rejection and vulnerability there’s a love so accepting it heals everyone it touches; beyond the fear of death, there’s an intense love and reverence for life.

So how do we get to the love?

I’m a huge fan of self-reflection: writing letters to fear or meditating on the feeling, but the most important tactic for understanding fear is to jump out and swim with it — to open your eyes, look fear in the face and do what scares the shit out of you. In swimming with fear… in the getting pulled under by the currents of fear and allowing yourself to drown a bit, you find fear that you can swim better than you think. Fear isn’t the truth — its just love. It’s always about the love. No matter what your fear — rejection, vunlerability, being hurt, killing babies — there is the overwhelming desire to be the highest expression of yourself. The overwhelming desire to live as you truley are. The fear that you can’t do it? That’s just love wearing a Halloween costume.

What’s scaring the shit out of you today? Go do that…immediately.

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