I had to be alone to be with someone.
I have this theory that relationships reflect how we feel about ourselves. In my 20s, I was in a verbally abusive relationship, and looking back, I recognize that I was complacent in the abuse. I didn't like myself much at the time, and our relationship only reaffirmed what I was already thinking. Years later while reading ‘The Four Agreements’ I came across a passage speaking about how the abuse or love we allow someone else to give us always matches our level of self-abuse or self-love. If someone mistreats us just a little bit more than we mistreat ourselves, we would probably leave. That really resonated with me.
I’ve been in back to back relationships since age 14. After each one finished, I promised myself to take some time alone, but two weeks later I’d find myself falling into a new co-dependent relationship (always from an insecure place), it was a pattern that had to end. With this in mind, after returning to the US from my mental hiatus, I took three years to be by myself.
I frequently refer to this quote from Blaise Pascal: “All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”When you're still, shit comes up that can seem scary, but with a slight shift in perspective it may actually not be all that unbearable anymore. When you sit and digest those feelings, you realize that the monsters chasing you in your dreams are actually just you; turn and face them.
Today, my relationship mirrors the love and positivity I feel for myself. It’s magic, and I’m very grateful to be with my partner.