Choose you, love you, screw him

by Mike Masters on January 6, 2010

Choose you

Choose you

Today’s post is from my good friend up in Canada, Skye Blue. We were supposed to exchange guest posts but I got my computer stolen :( and I will be taking a break from blogging for a little while. In the mean time I hope you enjoy Skye’s excellent post and visit her site Metanotherfrog.com

CHOOSE YOU

‘Huh? You’ve got nothing to complain about, you’ve found a good one. I’ve been out on dates with guys who take me out on dates to the movies and then have the audacity to not sit with me. Not because we were fighting or because the theatres full. Just for no good reason at all, just to get his rocks off I suppose.’

The words above were uttered by a smart, cute, vivacious and talented acquaintance of mine over dinner, after another woman at our table complained about some minor transgression her boyfriend made. As a stand alone, her declaration is a somewhat shocking and funny sound bite. But I took pause when I heard it. In part, because it is only one of many stories she has related about the way she has allowed the men who come into her life to disrespect and mistreat her; stories that make me wonder why she doesn’t see her own worth or grasp the importance of setting clear boundaries/minimum standards for the type of treatment she expects from a man. But more importantly, her comment made me take notice because I recognized myself in her words.

When will I stop deserting baby? / When will I start staying with myself?
– Lyrisc from So Unsexy, by Alanis Morrisette

The fact is as much as I’d like to say I’m smarter than that I’ve allowed myself to be mistreated by men too – albeit to a much lesser degree (or so I tell myself). Although as I get older, I’m slowly cultivating deeper and less shakeable feelings of self-worth and self-esteem, I know that am not nearly as confident about setting boundaries regarding how men should treat me and/or maintaining the standards I already have in place as I’d like to be. When faced with a situation/interaction in which I realize I have to set a new boundary with a man I want to keep in my life I still have to consciously coach myself through it.

Don’t abandon yourself again. This time CHOOSE YOU. CHOOSE YOU!”

That is the silent cry that runs through my mind as I struggle to stand my ground and stay true to myself in spite of my fear that he’ll walk away. For the record, intellectually I recognize that if a boundary I set causes a man to walk away he simply wasn’t the right man for me, but in the face of strong emotional attachments (healthy or otherwise) this is a scary place to be.

On the occasions (that are occurring more and more frequently I’m happy to report) when I succeed at setting a much needed boundary with a man, one that supports and values me and our connection, before I settle into the new space I’ve created with him and revel in the comfort I’ve found there, there is always a period of time – it could be a few hours or as much as a few days – when I’m spinning.

Every time we choose safety, we reinforce fear. – Cheri Huber

By spinning I mean my heart races, I feel ‘shaky’, nervous, and unsure of myself.  I’ve been through this enough times to know that the spinning is my FEAR of the unknown kicking in – the part of me that wants to cling to the status quo and not change things – because as bad as the status quo might be the known and familiar patterns and ways of being in the world feel safe. Luckily, I’m realizing that safe doesn’t serve me well. Safe often leaves me feeling numb, unhappy, stupid, less than, disregarded, neglected and under appreciated. So I’m working hard to overcome my fears, so I get to a place where I always CHOOSE ME.

Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it. – Bill Cosby

Now I’ll admit that CHOOSING ME and unlearning the habits that reinforce my fear induced patterns is not easy. CHOOSING ME requires being still and listening to the often tiny inner voice that is begging me to trust that I can have what I want and that I deserve more simply because I am here – walking this earth. Making the decision to CHOOSE ME forces me to make hard decisions, to forego instant and short term gratification, and to be disciplined (even when I really don’t want to be) for the sake of long term gain. With respect to my dating life, this means walking away from any and all enticing men who cross my path that I know aren’t right for me, as I continue to wait patiently – while the tension of my desire to meet someone I can really connect with gnaws at my insides – for the right man to show up. Of course the waiting is soooo hard (FML), because I, like everyone else, craves touch, affection and intimacy. But because I trust that it will all be worth it – I continue to wait, to CHOOSE ME.

As I learn to CHOOSE ME more consistently I find myself in a new space. In this new space I more readily put myself and my desires first. I am also slowly starting to believe – really and truly believe, beyond intellectual rationalizing – that I can have the things I want, including a healthy and loving relationship with a man.

Although I’d like to think that my friend and I are the only people out here settling for less than they deserve or want by making poor decisions about who or what they allow into their lives, I know better. Too many of us sabotage and hold ourselves back from getting what we really want in life – be it a suitable mate, losing weight, earning more money, etc. – because we fail to make the choices that support our dreams. Fortunately this is learned behaviour that can be corrected with practice. All you have to do is make the decision to let go of the fear, doubt, pain, bad habits or whatever may be preventing you from moving forward and instead…

CHOOSE YOU.
The awesome guest post was written by Skye Blue

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 max May 6, 2010 at 8:47 am

“Choose you” is excellent advice.
The number one reason I shy away from relationships right now is that I don’t trust myself to do it. As someone who has endured unbelievable levels of disrespect in my past relationships (everyone say hello to the girl who goes on movie dates with men who don’t sit next to her!), I’ve finally come to know what my boundaries are. In my head they are firm and non-negotiable. But when I get in situations where I’m feeling someone, they become fluid and then non-existent.
Until I trust myself to firmly and unequivocally choose me, I choose singlehood.

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2 Skye Blue May 6, 2010 at 9:17 am

Oh Ms. Max! Say it ain’t so. There has to be a happy medium no?

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3 Elizabeth Rose May 6, 2010 at 8:59 am

Well said my friend! It is a quote from your lips I have taken on as my mantra, “I am my own project” which I’d like to think is helping me to choose me.

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4 Skye Blue May 6, 2010 at 9:18 am

Thanks for the love girl! Lord knows, I’m my own project too.

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5 Elissa May 6, 2010 at 9:46 am

This is by far one of the best posts i have ever read. And for me, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I have been doing exactly this for the last 2 months. I keep telling myself that its self-destructive and I’m just hurting myself, but its like i don’t listen to my inner voice.

I mean this sentence “Safe often leaves me feeling numb, unhappy, stupid, less than, disregarded, neglected and under appreciated” is exactly how i have been feeling and yet i can’t break the pattern. So maybe now I will stop doing this shit to myself.
.-= Elissa´s last blog ..Like sand through the hour glass… =-.

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6 Skye Blue May 6, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Elissa, you are too kind. Thank you so much for your comment and I’m so glad that this post showed up at the right time for you.

Re not listening to your inner voice and playing it safe – I think we all struggle with listening to our intuition, even though it never steers us wrong and sticking with safe is just so damn seductive isn’t it?

Take it from me ridding yourself of the patterns that hold you back is usually a long and arduous process – there are rarely any short cuts. So remember to be patient with and compassionate to yourself along the way.

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7 Dee Dee Tickles May 6, 2010 at 11:14 am

Safe will often lead you to illness as well. After a 20 year marriage of choosing everyone but myself and seeing no happiness, I applaud this great advice for everyone alike. There is no other way of finding the true love and happiness that you desire if you don’t choose yourself first and always. Thank you Skye…

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8 Skye Blue May 6, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Dee Dee – “After a 20 year marriage of choosing everyone but myself and seeing no happiness…”

Here’s to you for finding the courage to do what you needed to do to be happy. I applaud you for your strength despite the challenging times you are facing. Thanks so much for your comments.
.-= Skye Blue´s last undefined ..Response cached until Fri 7 @ 18:17 GMT (Refreshes in 19.25 Hours) =-.

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9 Zoë May 6, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Skye, I adore you. This post only confirms my suspicion that you are one amazing woman. And Canadian too, so extra points! ;)

I think we all struggle with the balance of choosing ourselves and choosing to love others. It’s difficult and certain societal expectations (I grew up Christian, which has its own complicated perspectives on loving) can certainly stir us up, to the point where we need to cut through these strings and find our own authentic path.

My favourite (notice the Canadian spelling?) quote from this piece was this, by Cheri Huber: “Every time we choose safety, we reinforce fear.” Absolutely! I think a critical part of our journey towards a more authentic existence is to challenge ourselves, despite the fears we may encounter.

Finally, Mike, what a wonderful decision to include Skye as a guest blogger! I hope it won’t be the only time. :)
.-= Zoë´s last blog ..“The Man’s Guide to Love”: A Review (part 2) =-.

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10 Skye Blue May 6, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Zoë, it takes an amazing Canadian woman, to know an amazing Canadian woman, right? Thanks so much for all the love.

Re your comment – “I think a critical part of our journey towards a more authentic existence is to challenge ourselves, despite the fears we may encounter.”

So true, although it’s much easier said than done. Challenging oneself to do things differently is an important part of breaking free of the patterns that bind you and finding ways of being that really work for you.
.-= Skye Blue´s last undefined ..Response cached until Fri 7 @ 18:17 GMT (Refreshes in 13.75 Hours) =-.

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11 Heather May 7, 2010 at 6:33 am

It is really comforting to hear another quality woman express the quest towards cultivating a healthy self-esteem in spite of or in accompaniment to dating. Recently, I have had many men ask why a woman like me has been single. Self-effacing comments would emerge from my lips, like, “Oh, I think I am very picky.” When the truth is that no one has met my standards, and that is A-Okay. My instincts this past year told me that whenever I feel that “need to be touched gnawing at my insides” to immerse myself in projects that nurture me- whether that is working out, reading, (self-pleasure is A-okay, too ;) or embarking on a new adventure- like facing a fear that’s been holding me back- to embrace these moments. They are here for me. My instincts encouraging this a reveals a major truth- you will never go wrong as a woman the more you learn how to better nurture and love yourself- in fact, you will need this spirit skill all the more when you meet Him to keep yourself grounded in the relationship, both able enjoy healthy space when needed, and, ultimately know how to Receive Love. Thank you much for sharing your insights. I wish you much peace and patience on your journey. I know your while You are waiting with Grace, your King is doing the same. Cultivating himself. Being prepared for you.

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12 Skye Blue May 7, 2010 at 8:41 am

Wow. Please know the thanks for sharing of the insights thing is mutual. The line you wrote stating:

“…you will never go wrong as a woman the more you learn how to better nurture and love yourself- in fact, you will need this spirit skill all the more when you meet Him to keep yourself grounded in the relationship, both able enjoy healthy space when needed, and, ultimately know how to Receive Love.”

is definitely one to grow on.

S
.-= Skye Blue´s last undefined ..Response cached until Fri 7 @ 18:17 GMT (Refreshes in 0.67 Hours) =-.

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13 Kelly Seal May 8, 2010 at 6:33 am

Hi Skye…thanks for this post. With all of the advice floating around about how women should change our dating habits, we often forget about ourselves and reinforcing our own esteem. I can’t believe your friend went out with guys who wouldn’t even sit with her in the theatre! I’ve been out with guys who disrespected me, and I kept on with them hoping that one day they would change and really see me for who I was. Not the case. These guys were all about themselves and what they could get.
It took me a while to realize that when I started respecting myself, the right guys would come into my life. Even if they didn’t last, there was more fun and less drama, which for me was more supportive and less destructive to my self worth.
Anyway, thanks so much. Great post.
.-= Kelly Seal´s last blog ..Are niche online dating sites a good thing? =-.

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14 Skye Blue May 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Kelly, thank you so much for your comments.

As with Heather, the thanks is mutual here too. Your line…

“It took me a while to realize that when I started respecting myself, the right guys would come into my life. Even if they didn’t last, there was more fun and less drama, which for me was more supportive and less destructive to my self worth.”

is so true. Sadly, I think too few women ever realize this.

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15 Heather May 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Thanks, Skye. I look forward to reading more about your journey. We women must support each other more towards greater worth.
.-= Heather´s last blog ..This Mother’s Day =-.

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