I stood along the Promenade, facing NYC’s skyline, twice this week. Once in happiness, and once in sadness.
Sometimes, being committed to your own Happiness can leave you feeling a little, well, — unhappy. When you’re connecting with new people, and their versions of Happiness, dualities are unavoidable. I am constantly reminding myself of this, but, no matter how many strings I tie around my finger, I still manage to forget. I’m often beaten by my own, one sided-ness.
I’ve been single, with intention, for over a year now. And, with my track record — that’s one heck of a clip flying solo.
Being unattached meant facing pieces of myself that, previously, had been easy to avoid. It meant becoming comfortable with who I am, in all my incarnations, and being beholden to no one. During this time, my only task has been to show up for myself, and to meet the eyes of whatever woman stares back at me from the mirror. For me, that’s been no small feat. But, I’m learning that progress is an inside job. And, sometimes, you have to trust yourself to show up and be present.
Structure and repetition have always made me feel safe. But, when it comes to my Happiness, I’m discovering that deviating from my master-plan always turns out to be the key to unlocking the parts of myself I’d kept well hidden.
Once hailed Queen Compromise, I’ve been known to bend or change little bits and pieces of myself to make parts of my life work. I’ve altered my own data. And, I’ve had a reasonable amount of success operating this way. I’ve held on to things that, surely, I should have lost sooner. And, I’ve made deals with the Devil that paid off — until they didn’t.
Historically, I haven’t always held fast to my beliefs if, by letting something of mine go, I could trade up. But, eventually, the act of constant compromise made me bitter. I had given myself away, piecemeal, and had nothing to show for it. So, when I set my sights on Happiness, I knew it was imperative that I only compromise in places where I’d left enough room to remain true to myself. To keep things brutally honest, even when the outcome was less than ideal. And, more often than not, this has been a painful act. Especially since I’ve been trying to get myself back out there and connect with new people, authentically.
In spite of disappointment, I haven’t lost hope. I am determined to believe that there is some kind of middle ground. If I didn’t believe this — I’d give up. So, this has become the one compromise that I’ve allowed to become a living, breathing part of my Willingness. — I leave room for things and people to move in and out of my life, without panicking. But, I have to manage that room carefully.
At first, limiting my space made me feel small. It felt like I might have to turn something away that seemed worthy of compromise. And, that’s the part that hurts. — When you want something so much that you’re willing to bargain, but somewhere inside, you know you can’t — not if you want to hold on to your Happiness in the long term.
But, I’ve found that, in the beginning, Willingness only creates only a tiny opening. And, if we try to size-up too quickly, we find ourselves lost in space. We only need enough room to hold what we already have, and, with time, our Willingness will build, creating even more room, and then we can allow ourselves to grow into something else, something bigger.
Even when the door is left ajar, there are only a few who will dare to push through. And, this is something we have to expect and accept — sometimes woefully — but always, without compromise. Never bargain with, or for, yourself.
While I can’t tell you what Willingness is, I can tell you what it isn’t. — It isn’t closing yourself off in the name of safety. And, it isn’t limiting yourself because you are unsure of the variable nature of the heart and its ability to morph, move, change, and grow.
Willingness is standing in one place with two different feelings. — Happy and Unhappy. — The promenade, in the sun and in the rain.
Some dualities are law. — For each reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction. — And so, we must remember to choose our reactions wisely. Compromise only for what will aid in growing our Happiness.
And, if something, or someone, good walks away, well, you get two feelings for the price of one. — Now, that’s a bargain.