Pieces Broken

And I’ll give you all my pieces broken
In your hands, there’s nothing that you can’t fix
My heart is frayed, my scars are open
So put me back together now, stitch by stitch
Put me back together now, stitch by stitch.

Javier Colon

I have been trying to recreate a conversation I had on Tuesday for this post and like most bursts of inspiration or epiphany – everything after those original words seems slightly hollow.

I have been very impressed and entertained by the singing contest The Voice and although I loved all four of the finalists, I was sooo happy to see Javier Colon come out on top! His original song, Stitch by Stitch is not only well written and beautiful, but it really speaks to me right now. I thought it was an appropriate anthem for this journey I’m on.

I have been learning a lot about behavior in summer school and I can’t help but connect it back to my own experience, especially in terms of my reluctance to go out on a limb and face rejection again. I’ve learned about positive and negative reinforcement this last week and how either reinforcement affects one’s behavior. I think back to past rejections or all the well-meaning comments and critiques from my mother as I grew and I’m starting to understand my own behavior much more – my tendency toward avoidance and my comfortable shell of fear.

One of my best friends commented recently that I turn into a different person around straight men – especially men I would be interested in. Like Clark Kent and Superman, I have been skilled at transforming into someone else to protect myself and stay out of risky situations, but at what expense. I don’t want to spend any more time living as a multiple… a shadow self.

A week ago, I had another epiphany after I was nudged toward the truth by a friend about a unhealthy relationship. I have been settling for less than I deserve. I’m sad to back away from this situation because I was getting some important positive reinforcement from the relationship, however I wasn’t getting everything I need. Not even close. Once I sort through my feelings and find my bearings, I think it will be safe to be open to this person again, but for now I had to get some clarity and give myself some room to breathe. I also was told that my time and energy spent on this less than ideal relationship was blocking a REAL relationship from coming into my life.

I started a new book called The Gift of Imperfection. I’m not very far into it, but I think it will offer some insight and strategies for dealing with my lingering feelings of unworthiness.

After some urging, I finished (mostly) my online profile on a dating site. I feel like I represented myself truthfully and I’m excited to see what adventures are ahead. I’m still scared out of my mind, but proud that I am no longer waiting until I get thinner, more successful, more together, better etc. to give it another try. I have only done it one other time and in all honesty, I didn’t give it much of a chance the last go around. I had a couple emails back and forth with a couple of guys, but I never accepted any offers for dates and quit before my month was up.

I’m trying to keep my expectations in check and have an open mind and heart. My pieces still feel a bit broken, but I’m taking time to get my real self put back together stitch by stitch.

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