Awhile back I was asked the question, “Do you know the enemy?” Me being me, I immediately answered, “Absolutely! I am my own worst enemy.” And while I can honestly answer the question, getting over myself has proven to be a little more difficult.
Recently, I’ve alluded to a life altering event in my life and, while I’m still not ready to disclose what it was, I will say that it rocked me clear to my foundation. It literally affects every aspect of my life including dating and relationships and will for the rest of my life. Since receiving the news almost two months ago, I have gone through a myriad of emotions. While I have tried to find the positive and to be grateful even for the bad, I have to admit that I have not done so successfully.
My immediate reaction was anger both at the parties involved and at myself. Sadness and frustration followed and I couldn’t help but think, “Like dating isn’t already hard enough. Now I have to deal with this too?” I felt a helplessness and a hopelessness that I haven’t felt in a long time. Try as I might, I’ve had an extremely difficult time coming to terms with it, and I’ve realized that now more than ever I’ve become my own worst enemy.
Everything I’ve worked on and for in terms of my own personal growth seemed to vanish overnight. Old beliefs and insecurities flared up, and I was honestly ready to throw in the towel and just get another cat.
Then, yesterday morning, while surfing the net I came across an article on Huffington Post by Dr. Alex Benzer entitled The Tao of Dating: 5 Principles to Overcome Any Challenge in Your Love Life. In describing Principle 5: Get Out of Your Own Way, Dr. Alex says, “So much pain in dating is self-inflicted and has to do with upholding our own importance or appeasing the ego.” Now, I don’t know about upholding my own importance or appeasing my ego, but I definitely believe that much of my pain in dating is self-inflicted. Further reading led me to this:
The Buddhists have this nifty concept called anatta, or no-self. It basically means that nothing in the universe has a fixed identity – especially you. If you’re breathing and have a heartbeat and just read this phrase, billions of things changed in your mind and body right now. So you’re fundamentally not the same you were five seconds ago, let alone five years ago. So quit trying to defend something that essentially isn’t there.
And there was my aha moment. You see, I’m pretty hard on myself where my past is concerned. When I said earlier that dating for me was already hard enough, it was my past that I was referring to. While I’ve overcome much, the fact that I’ve been married and divorced four times still trips me up. And, while I recognized in theory, that I’m not the same person I was then, it still tripped me up. After all, what man in his right man wants to date a woman who’s been married four times? But here Dr. Alex, author of The Tao of Dating : A Smart Woman’s Guide to Embracing Your Inner Goddess and Finding the Fulfillment You Deserve, was telling me that I had been defending something that essentially isn’t there. It made sense to me and I realized that I don’t have to a) come to terms with it or b) defend it. It is what it is. Rather, it was what it was.
It is not the here and now. It is no longer relevant just as the disturbing events of the last few months aren’t relevant. By taking my ego out of the equation I can focus on other more important things in my life. I can learn again to live in abundance and to lead with love. Because, you see, many of us are our own worst enemies and, indeed, our own worst critics. In my life, it’s time to take that crap off the table.