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Friday, March 27, 2009

That Dance Called: "Letting Go!"

"I Love, I Love To Do My Thing
Ha, and I, I Don’t Need No One Else.
Sometimes I Feels So Nice, Good God...
I Jump Back, I Wanna Kiss My Self!” –
James Brown from “Superbad”


For the past week my personal grief has been a self-conscious little dance of avoidance.

Step One: Turn away.

Step Two: Lean back from people who don’t give a shit, and even those who PRETEND to give a shit.

Step Three: Cover your ears to platitudes, and probing questions of “how are you?”

Step Four: There is no step four. You simply allow the dancer to dance in his corner, alone.

I’ve never been very good at reaching out when in need. I’m usually the reachee. Through some Grand Design, through fate or destiny, I’d long ago been assigned the role of The Strong, Dependable One. We so-called 'Strong Dependables' do have reps, you know. There are unwritten, unspoken, and yet understood rules that we do not allow the hue of our fears, or the blue of our tears to the reach the surface of our public skin.

Because of this, we can be seen as Superbad Superhuman Mofos. Our needs are rarely if ever considered. Our feelings don’t really matter.

We are appointed to be the net that catches those weaker ones who fall all around us. We give great hugs, and good late-night phone. We know when to nod quietly… and when or how to provide the right words. Our shoulders grow strong and wide from the weight of our boundless feats of empathy. We are longtime companions to the misunderstood, brokenhearted, and the lonely.

This is what we do. We get damn good at it, too. So damned good at it, we become these scholars and superheroes at it, even though, it’s a thankless gig, most of the time.

But… what… ABOUT… US? Don’t we MATTER? Are we not worthy of the same strong nets to catch US should we ever fall from the ledges of OUR lives?

Apparently, NOT!

Last night, I ‘broke up’ with a once closeasthis friend of mine. It was TIME. It was due time. It had long been passed the time, but being a person who collects and keeps souvenirs, I hold on to people longer than I should, longer than necessary, and longer than they even deserve to be held. Maybe that’s a very human trait. The friendship was not working in a way that provided mutual dependency or accountability. The relationship was not nourishing or fulfilling to my spirit. In the role of GIVER: I was the one EXPECTED to remember birthdays, anniversaries. I was to be the thoughtful one, the in-the-moment one whose caring and consideration was a GIVEN... while my own birthdays, anniversaries, triumphs and tragedies would traditionally go unnoticed, unacknowledged, uncelebrated, unfelt. But that’s cool. I don’t bitch, much. We can’t expect people to be the way we want them to be (though sometimes, a lil mutual appreciation would be nice).

The final straw came because I realized the worst offense of all in any relationship is to be taken advantage of, taken for granted, and just plain TAKEN.

When we reach that place where we give much and receive little, when we become an option as opposed to a priority, and when we become conditioned to being treated as if we don’t matter, then, for one’s own sense of self-worth, it’s time to reevaluate our place in that relationship.

And so, I’m doing that Dance of Letting Go.

It’s not done with hard steps that lack of grace. It’s not some deeply attitudinal selfish-assed boogie. It’s a dance done by moving away from the constricting atoms around us. It’s believing in your own stars, and orbiting your own moon, your own sun. There’s no partner involved… and none is necessary, unless you find a good one who can keep time with you, and who can accentuate and compliment your rhythm.

The people we surround ourselves with should add to the cadence of your lives, and not stumble around blindly or clueless, as if oblivious to the beat…

So… I’m doing the Dance of Letting Go. And I’m doin’ it, and doin’ it, and doin’ it WELL!



Snatch JOY!



Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

You said it in these words "The people we surround ourselves with should add to the cadence of your lives, and not stumble around blindly or clueless, as if oblivious to the beat…"

Just this past week, two friends have said to me "You seem sad" and I just had to let them know how much that meant to me.

While others probably noticed but didn't want to get involved, they did and while also making me look more closely at myself and my funk (not like James Brown's Funk), it showed they cared enough to get involved.

I am going to work on getting past this space (soon as I get off the computer, lol) but know they would be there for me if I need them...and I do believe they won't avoid me when and if I do ask of them...

It was kind of sad, too, that both of them thought it was them, maybe they had done something to make me angry at them or avoid them. The first words out of my mouth to them was "It's not you, it's me" and it reinforced I need to keep in touch with them (well, one is my boss so I see her almost every day) so they also feel loved and needed.

Yes, Snatch Joy!

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Feel ya mane. Sometimes ya gotta make the break and get back to what's healthy for your OWN well being. I'm a support net kinda guy myself.

The key to any successful and fruitful relationship is that it must be a union between two WHOLE beings. There can be no "need" for each other. Love, yes. Want, yes. But no need. Both individuals perfectly happy on their own, but it's just even better when sharing life together.

Marvin D Wilson

Solomon said...

I used to surround myself with people that took and took, but never gave anything back.

I don't do that anymore, if people are playing that game, they were neer my friends to begin with, so I don't associate with them anymore.

maaga..... said...

man i feel's like i am usually the one who gives advice to my friends (and on some narcissistic level i think i love the fact that they come to me) but when i need a shoulder to lean's not that they're not there...but a part of me feels like i would be disappointing them on some level by having problems...i say to myself..."how can they confidently come to me with their problems if they see i'm so messed up?"...hence my constant internalizing and tug-of-war...ever so often i have to remind myself that...i am only human...human and imperfect...and while i have trouble with that from time to time i accept it...and try to teach myself to take a break and allow others to be there for me as well.....thanks for sharing your thoughts and stories.


Lovebabz said...

Clearly we are on the same path. I feel like we are two trains running (nod to August Wilson).

Perhaps it is about Spring, and the Lenten Journey. The gift of goodbye when we are ready is that indeed...a gift.

Getting divorced and being the one who is being let go of is its own journey, very much a part of the divine plan. I am convinced people come and ago to teach, share, remind and push us on down the road.

I got hugs for you :)


Lovebabz said...

Oh and I LOVE your playlist! I have it on as I am making dinner...sauteed eggplant & onions with vine ripe tomatoes over spagetti and of course a perfectly chilled glass of shiraz.

RachelW said...

So hard, letting go. I'm one of those, too, like you; yes, I have felt some friendships were very one-sided, and perhaps not healthy for me, but I got something out of feeling *needed*. Feeling necessary, important, a touchstone, even when my own needs were ignored. It is so freeing, so lightening to let go, isn't it? Like your lungs are freed up from the huge weight that sat on top of them, and you can breathe deeply again. So freeing you feel like dancing! Letting go. Enjoy!

CurvyGurl ♥ said...

I feel ya, Lin. I'm also the giver in most of my relationships. Some are worth the committment while others aren't...especially those who refuse to extend a simple thank you from time to time. You're right, givers often have this mask of superhuman capabilities, but too much of that and we become doormats. It's not easy to let go, but doing the dance is necessary to free your heart and time for people who reciprocate love, care and support. Like Teri said, Snatch that JOY!


D-Place said...

You're doing the right thing. I find myself in that same situation a lot and have let go of many.

joaquin carvel said...

i love that you have james brown doing the dancing - nobody in the world danced better by themselves than him.

and i'm always struck by your rhythm - even in a conversational piece, the music pulls me along as much as the words do.

i am not much of a reacher-outer either. in a strange way, i think it sets me up for needy people, because i don't talk much about my own problems. but then it makes it hard for good people to get close to me too - i can go as deep as they want in their stuff, but don't want to let them very far into mine - which makes me the lopsided one.

anyway - this really moved me and led to a long overdue and not entirely pleasant look in the mirror - so thank you - your dance of letting go made me think, and i think i need to make some changes, and do a little dancing of my own.

Mizrepresent said...

Now that was truly digging in, and what you let out was a breath of fresh air...exhaling. I've been cutting the negative away for awhile now...and with everyday i gain a little more peace and my vision is clear. In your own words brutha

"snatch joy"

Lovebabz said...

Riding by on my bike to see if you are around...the lights on but no one is home.

You are missed :)

Keith said...

I feel you man...I had a platonic female friend just like that...Every birthday,I mad sure she had a card and a personal phone call from me. Even paid for all of her drinks at the bar.

My Birthday comes around and I get a text two days afterwords.

It wasn't just that, it was other things like the the things you mentioned in your post.

I am in the process of divesting..just like you. I swear, you were in my head with this one.

Self-Proclaimed Mistress of Nothing said...

I can relate to this so much. I have been the one to always run to the rescue of others but had no one to rescue me.

Over the course of the past year, I have released friendships that were unbalanced and lacked nourishment for my spirit. I made room for new relationships that were balanced and I finally, for the first time ever, have two or three beautiful friends who are on equal footing with me.

It feels so wonderful when you, the rescuer, finally have someone to call when the whole world feels like it's collapsing on you. ♥ said...

erk, been there, done that, hurts like hell to let a great friend go but hurts more to let them hang around and take advantage of you...the dull ache of the loss is still with me but wouldn't change a thing cos the friends that meet you half way and give back as much as you give out and then some, are the greatest ones to have around

Piratedred said...

Now I to "Do the Dance"