TRIGGERS OF SHOULD
Do I stay? Do I not stay? Should I stay? I don't have to stay.
Thoughts bantered back and forth this morning as I woke. I found myself questioning if I should stay the night with the man that I've been seeing after my date tonight. I was so warm and cozy under my sheets as I laid in the darkness of the morning waiting for the sun to crack through my curtains at any moment. "I could have this quiet warmth tomorrow morning if I chose not to stay the night after our date tonight." I thought to myself. Or I could stay with him longer after the date in hopes of relishing additional time in getting to know him better. My thoughts found no conclusion.
The week prior I had stayed at his house thinking I was ready to move forward with our relationship. It ended up being a lot of fun with him - seeing where he lives, cooking dinner and staying warm with him inside the house as the night grew cold outside. But when it came time for bed, we laid on top of his sheets kissing and something instructed me that I wasn't ready for any of it. I grew immediately distant. When he asked if I was OK I responded "I'm not ready, I can't do this." Tears formed at the bottom of each of my eyes. Now that a week has gone by, I think back to my emotion and contemplate my confusion. What truly is it that I'm not ready for?
What happens when your heart has been broken from a relationship in the past and you give yourself time to mend? People advise to give yourself time and learn to love yourself after a breakup occurs. From my last relationship I've done just that. I've given myself time to find happiness on my own. I've given myself time to build the life that brings me joy and happiness. Within the time from my last break up to this very morning, I've truly learned what it means and what it takes to love myself - all of myself. But what happens when we've learned how to be happy on our own so well that now it's difficult letting someone else into this beautiful, new world?
About a month ago, I dog sat for my friends who took a vacation to Greece. I've known their dog Charlie for years and love him with all my heart. I like describing Charlie as a fury coyote with the most adorable big brown eyes. Charlie is a rescue and was abused when he was a puppy but each time I come over to the house I see that he remembers me and shows his excitement with tail wags and licks. I love watching Charlie when my friends go out of town. One of the nights I played with Charlie in the kitchen. Throwing his ball and lightly wrestling with him. He's such a special little creature. He was being so adorable within our playfulness so I went to grab my big, black SLR camera to capture his cuteness in a photograph. And just as I hit the button on my bulky camera the shutter noise scared him so much that he ran to the corner of the kitchen and coward to the floor. His eyes were filled with sadness and fear. Something triggered his past when I picked up my camera and my heart sank for him. I immediately put my camera on the table and went to calm Charlie. Laying on the floor with him I thought, "How could someone have hurt such a beautiful little creature?" After all of these years, living in a happy and safe home, he will never forget how he had been hurt in the past. I understand, Charlie.
We don't forget our hurt. The pain may become dull the longer we live our lives but we will always remember the dismay we once felt.
In life, time allows for us to move on, to get past the strife and to find happier existence but when we're triggered with reminiscence, how do we respond with strength?
I've invested a lot of myself into men I've dated in the past and I'm honestly kind of over it now. My life is so happy and so easy being on my own. When people ask if I'm single I pridefully and with a smile say, "yes." Is it the physical interaction that I'm hesitant in pursuing or am I genuinely weary of giving up my happy mental state; my proud single life?
Like Charlie, am I triggered by physical interaction with men now associating it with emotional trauma? Or were my tears symbolism for not being ready to make room for someone yet? Perhaps I need to keep living and taking steps as slowly as I desire and trust that the answer will come.
The power of our life is in our control. We call the shots and dictate how we chose for our lives to play out. For almost everything that we encounter - this is true. Of course, we can't control every situation and every outcome but we can control how we handle ourselves and how we chose to move forward.
When we don't have the answers right away to a question we've been meaning to answer - that is when we must allow for our hearts to best guide us within the moment and trust the love that we have for ourselves to call the shots. If we really look deep within - we know what we want. We know what we're striving to achieve. We know how we want to be treated. We know what kind of outcome we want as a result. We know. Trust it. Just trust yourself.
As I sit here writing all of this out - should I stay or should I not - what I really should be asking myself is what do you want right now? Look at the bigger picture - what do you want your life to become? Do you want a relationship now or not? If you do, does this relationship fit or not? What do you want your life to be today and the next day? I can control this. Whatever the answers to these questions may be - I control my reality. I tell myself - don't do what you think you should be doing. That's when triggers come up. That's when tears can surface.
Get rid of the should. Embrace the true desire.
Clear the mind of should and open it up to what brings the heart peace and joy. I think this is the only way we can guide ourselves away from our triggers. These questions are much more constructive in finding answers. Eliminating the should from our thoughts - This is how to stay warm and cozy within the darkness of the morning.