We are often called deeper into our experience than we would like and sometimes we are pushed.

At the well rounded, yet not quite mature age of 48 I was catapulted into an experience that I did not expect, one that almost destroyed me. It took me years to regain my footing and rebuild a foundation that had been demolished. It has been my opinion, my hope, perhaps my ability to lie to myself, that I have come a long way since then. So long in fact that I firmly believe I now know what it takes to be IN relationship with another, or do I?

I proclaim I want a “real, committed, deep” relationship, but do I? I have done a lot of work on myself over the years and would like to believe I am evolved, but am I or do I come with so many conditions that love will be impossible? Have my core beliefs and the demons that perpetuate them just become more subtle in their attack? Have they changed the wrapping paper and put new bows onto the same old compartmentalized boxes?

Prayer is a funny thing ~ when you pray for specifics, you usually get them but they RARELY arrive as you would expect. I have some consistent prayers – show me how to be of service, show me how to love more, show me how to be love, lead me to optimal emotional, spiritual, physical, psychological well-being and health and lead me to my greatest relationship yet.

I have had the occasion to discuss relationships with several friends over the last while, mostly male friends and I have gained some interesting perspective. I have had copious amounts of conversations with my female friends about relationships and love later in life but it is rare for men to have real discussions about this.

Recently I listened as a group of male friends discussed the difficulty finding a good woman and relationship. I listened as they described what they were looking for. We are all of the same age, all out of long term relationships and all seeking one, but are we?

I listened in amazement at the conditions that they were placing on prospective females. She would have to realize that they are very busy and the only free time they really have is Friday night. It would be imperative that they be as involved in and committed to physical fitness as they are. She would have to accept and understand that they have friends; female friends and that they spend a lot of time with them, so she would have to be ok with that – no room for jealousy or possessiveness. She would need to be everything in the bedroom and have a banging body. She could not bring young children to the relationship as theirs were all grown. She would need to be ready to retire soon as they were. She would need to have her own home because they were not sure they wanted to share theirs. Best of all, she would need to live close because they were not prepared to be driving for more than 30 minutes to see her. Hell she should be easy to find!!

As I listened to them I was struck by what they professed to want and how vastly different that was in comparison to what they were prepared to give. Had they placed so many conditions on a relationship that it made it impossible to find? 

Did they purposefully make themselves so busy there is no time for a relationship?

Did they REALLY want a relationship or is professing to want one the new ‘socially acceptable’ way to not be judged, not be hurt or rejected, or are they simply too selfish for a relationship?

As I listened to them I realized that I have said some of the same things. HOLY HELL how does that make sense when I have been saying that I am ready to be IN relationship again?

Have I, like my male friends, placed so many conditions on what my next relationship looks like that it cannot come to me? Do I simply expound the desire for a relationship because it is socially acceptable and sounds better than saying or facing the possibility that I am not loveable?

BAM, there it is again, PUSHED further into my experience!

Has my ‘unloveable’ centre just been rolled in shiny new glitter to look pretty and call itself ‘conditions’? Is that why there are so many? Is it easier to say that there is simply no one out there that can meet me where I am and where I want to be than to risk?

Have I spent so much time fortifying walls in the name of evolution that I forgot people can’t climb that high?

If I were to drop the conditions, I risk being seen as I really am and possibly rejected for it. Is that what we all are so afraid of; being seen and rejected? Is being single easier than facing rejection? Do we keep ourselves busy so as not to be rejected? Do we list all the attributes the next person must bring knowing full well no self respecting person would put up with all those conditions just so we do not have to risk rejection?

Maybe my prayer is being answered, maybe my greatest relationship yet is the one with me, without the conditions I put on myself and others. Maybe I can’t be IN relationship until I shed another layer of the dead, useless skin that no longer serves me.

Maybe I need to learn to embrace myself more fully and put to rest my dearest held beliefs, including how I see myself so I can resurrect myself anew?

Damn, I am being pushed deeper into my experience.