I’m learning more about myself than when the distraction of another relationship is present. As far as dating goes, history proves I’m not very good at it. The desire for a relationship is stronger than having the patience necessary to find the right person. So, as a result, I jump from relationship to relationship, with an average length of about a year. I’m growing weary of this pattern, becoming hardened within, and it’s beginning to feel like I’ll be the 40something single guy that dates 23 year olds who doesn’t give a shit except for himself. In my heart, I am not that guy but in practical speak, if I keep doing what I’m doing, I’m going to end up with the same results, year after year.
Last time I counted, I’ve published over 100,000 words on my blog but that was a long time ago. The average mystery novel is about 60,000 words so I could say I’ve written the equivalent of two or more books; free for the taking. Writing has been more for me than it has been for anyone that has spent the time to read what’s going on with me. Countless emails or messages I’ve received confirm that I’ve been able to relate to some; in that regard, I am glad to share my experience. But by organizing my tangled thoughts and emotions for my own eyes to see, there’s always an opening of light into the cause and effect of my own personal defects. And yet I remain somewhat of a mystery.
Writing can only do so much, I’m learning, and glimmers of that light have revealed my unwillingness to ask for help; self-will, if you will. Inside of me, there is a ghost telling me that whatever it is, I can figure it out; I’ll get through it; I’ll handle it; I’ll pull myself through. Whether it be a physical, financial, emotional, or spiritual problem, my initial reaction is to either bury it or deal with it by exercising my thoughts into action. The former results in a larger problem to deal with later; the latter convinces me that I know best; and both are evident that I have a bigger issue to deal with: My ego.
My ego is a creative mofo, convincing me that it needs to exist in order for Jon to be Jon. It’s been the driver of my thoughts, the manipulator of my emotions, and has created a false sense of self. My ego might have moved in the day after my age of innocence left, creating pain, suffering, and sorrow into my own and countless others’ life. Ego cannot survive in joy and true happiness; it needs problems and resistance in order to do that. It needs the fake me to be validated without being recognized or identified as something separate of me. My ego wants me to believe that me, Jon, is the ego itself. It is not.
My failed relationships are a direct result of my ego’s need to survive, and entering into those relationships were repeated unconscious decisions. Relationship to relationship, I’m feeding my ego with validation. Though all of my exes are physically attractive (except that one – blek!), it was their stamp of approval that was half the reason I chose these relationships to begin with. My ego made me believe I was good enough under false pretenses. All you’d have to do is kind of like me and I automatically kind of liked you, no strings attached except the big one. It’s someone else saying, “Hey Jon, you’re great,” when deep down, I haven’t felt that way about myself at all – not even close. When the ego-friendly food runs out, the validation, I begin looking for another All-You-Can-Eat buffet. The truth is that I’ve never felt like I was good enough in these relationships. And it’s only with rigorous honesty can I strip ego’s power over me.
Without my reaching out for help, seeking the advice of those wiser, listening to those with similar experiences, and surrendering to what is, I may have continued a lifelong, unconscious, and unfulfilled egoic life with continual disappointment and regret. It wasn’t easy initially but totally worth it, and it’s becoming my duty to give back to anyone that may want the same. People who were once strangers are becoming meaningful and loving friends, teaching me a way of life that is a lot easier when I can just let it be.
There is not a relationship that I regret (except that one – blek!) because each one helped me identify the exact nature of my faults, not then but now. Unconscious or not, I am still responsible for the parts I played. I highly doubt I’ll eliminate my ego entirely (LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK, by the way) but knowing my ego is NOT ME allows me to try and be a better person, a present dad, and one day, a husband to a wife that appreciates me for being exactly who I am, nothing more and nothing less. Whether she validates that or not, preferably with sexy time, only I will know if I’m being true to myself. And that’s what matters the most.