Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Where are you and where are you going?
7Wannabe5
Posts: 6231
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am
Location: Au Sable River Watershed

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

"Passionate Marriage" is a brutal/great read in more ways than one. I was in similar situation at similar age when I read it.

Couple notes on the topic of "respect" vs "admiration." One thing I learned from sexual dichotomy theory is that if you are differentiated, you can choose to respect (verb) someone. Admiration is a bit more tricky, because it combines simple respect (of the sort you can also have for your enemies) with notion of responsibility/care. As humans engage in cognition with their environment, they are constantly making decisions about what they will/wish to "kill/evict" and what they will/wish to "live/keep." Respect is the recognition that another human has the will/skill to "kill/evict" as necessary and admiration is when respect is in alignment with shared values in terms of "live/keep." Obviously, only somebody with extreme low self-esteem would admire another human who wills/wishes to kill/evict him or that which he core values.

Anyways, the practice of respect is often fairly essential to sexual desire for human in feminine energy. The first step in the practice of respect is "ONLY follow literal instruction." IOW, contrary to popular belief, too much "obedience" is more likely to kill respect than too little "obedience." IOW, when somebody communicates that they don't/didn't respect you in intimate relationship, this is often indicative of deep hole need to respect somebody AKA fear of freedom. IOW, in terms of embodied metaphor, they were "looking to you" too much.

Jason

Re: Differentiation

Post by Jason »

suomalainen wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:44 pm

And this -- being able to embrace difficult truths and to tease out where my insecurities lie and how I can give space for them and where others' choices lie and how I can let go of any desire to control, this is real freedom. This is individuation, differentiation, transcendence. To live my life and to be the person I want to be regardless of how others treat me.
I have to say, that is some bona fide $10k per person, three-point, Ted Talk, wireless mic level preaching right there.

suomalainen
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen »

@cL, I dunno. Everyone has shit, sure, but for me, it's the shit that makes you human, and it's not the shit but how you deal with it that can engender respect and admiration. Although my ex's rejection of me burned when implicit and burned/burns when made explicit, I know it's not about me. There's a lid for every pot. I'm not her lid, no big deal. It still hurts, but I'll get over it. There's just some... base level of admiration that I think is probably required for a lasting relationship - some connection, some commonality, some shared depth that binds you through the shit. I've had deep connections last many many years (obviously not in the crucible of marriage), so I know it's possible. Maybe marriage isn't for me, maybe it was the wrong woman, maybe I was the wrong man, maybe we just didn't do it right, who knows. As a divorced friend of mine said, "You haven't given up on love yet, and that's something." Not sure what that means, but I'm still open to a deep relationship with a woman willing to see her shit and own it, from the start.

@ertyu, even among your levels, there's a desire (what you try to do) component and a skill (what you can do) component. I tend to think of myself as both introspective as well as open to feedback from other astute observers. Where I become a level 1 is when some moron gives me "feedback" that is completely devoid of her own introspection or, if the introspection is even there, it's unskilled. For the last few years, that was me and the ex, which just caused frustration all around. I knew something was wrong and I was trying to get at the source, but... just cock-blocked every which way I tried.

@7w5, if I understand you, I think I might agree with the assessment that my ex needed me to be "strong" because she was "weak" and lost respect for me when I wouldn't coddle her. I dunno. I hesitate to psychoanalyze others, even when I've lived with them for 19 years. I just wish she had been willing to go this deep earlier, when we might have had a chance. Like I fucking asked. Sigh.

@Jason can I get an "amen", brother?

suomalainen
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Intentionality

Post by suomalainen »

I have been biking a lot and thinking on my rides and drives to/from the trailhead. One of the things I used to fantasize about was vanlife, but as I was driving back from my ride this morning ... I realized that I'm living exactly the life I want. Somehow this coincided with me deleting a bunch of vanlife bookmarks that I had collected over the years. That got me thinking about how my life has changed and how someone here asked me to keep them apprised of that. So, without further ado, my list of how divorce has changed my life for the better:

1) Money - I don't really think about / worry about money any more even though I've lost (unrealized) about $150,000 in investments this year, and I'm also burning through cash fully supporting two households. Yes, I send a giant check to my ex twice a month, but every other dollar is a dollar that I spend intentionally and I no longer have to get irritated at her spending choices.

2) Ex - it's kinda funny. You can go a VERY long time with buried emotions or judgments or opinions and you can ignore them or suppress them or distract yourself from them, but they'll never go away until you deal with them. They're like a rock in your mind's shoe, causing mental blisters, never allowing you peace. But then, one day, they all come out. And you stare at them, horrified. You mourn. You're scared. It's a crazy fucking experience to have lived 20 years afraid to face the truth. But then once you face it, once you feel the fear, once you mourn - you can let it go, and you can move on. Freedom and fear, together - perhaps one of life's greatest gifts. Anyway,in a nutshell, this is my relationship with my ex-wife. Maybe at some point we can be friends again, and I thought I wanted to remain friends before the harsh stark reality of our relationship was laid bare in the last weeks and months. Now I just want distance. I need to heal from this. These wounds are so fucking deep.

On Monday (a week ago), my wife/ex-wife texted me she's "ready to start having the hard conversations"... and then said "let's talk money". Hahahahaha. Honey, I couldn't give two shits about money, that's not a hard conversation. Then we had about a week's worth of arguments purportedly about money, but it was laced with heavy emotion as there are clearly unresolved emotions on both sides and no appetite to resolve them together. I'll spare you all of my thoughts on that topic, but nevertheless, the practical crux of the argument was this: I argued that a post-nuptial agreement was a better choice so that we could continue to remain technically married so that 1) I could continue to file "married filing jointly" vs "single" (a 19k dollar difference), 2) she could remain on my health plan (a 7k dollar difference) and 3) we'd still both get the psychological benefit of knowing that the "hard conversations" have been had and the finances were resolved. Is the psychological benefit of a divorce really worth 26k dollars a year? I thought not. But then I went for a walk with my financial friend who is a professional investor for a living and loves monkeying with financial plans in his personal life. His reaction: "You're a fucking idiot. You know how much I love money. But get it over with. Get a deal done. You cannot overstate the benefit of moving on. Your orientation to her will change dramatically when it's final." So, yesterday, I spent five hours writing up a draft divorce settlement outline.

3) Me - as mentioned above, I'm living exactly the life I want. Some of this is from slowly cleaning out the rocks that had been gathering in my mind for 20 years (and as those blisters heal, I expect this to only get better), and some of it is from having my own space and only having the kids about half the time, but I have to admit that some of it is from covid, from working from home. Let me take those in order:

(a) Ex - my ex is a perfectly fine person, but she did not bring out the best in me. Maybe this is largely (or all) my fault for not just figuring out a way to be myself with her, but I just couldn't ... "live" when I lived at home with her. There was something about it that was off, and I noticed it every time I went back to the house to visit or watch the kids over the last 10 months. It's like ... a life-sucking force, I don't know how else to describe it. Maybe it's just an emotional trigger, I don't know, but the point is that I found it very difficult to be my best self with her. I think it's probably related to her subconsciously at least not having a very high opinion of me. But it also had to do with her weaknesses and inabilities as well. For example, with the kids, she always complained that I wasn't "available" to them (I assume this is mostly a complaint about me as they got older, like once they got into middle school; I played with them so goddamn much when they were little). So, the five of us would be downstairs in the evenings and the kids would just be doing their own thing and she and I would be doing our own thing, but ... I wasn't allowed to leave the living room because then I wasn't making myself "available" to them. It drove me insane to have to sit there with my thumb up my ass doing nothing that helped me while also doing nothing that helped them. So, freeing myself from her un-examined emotional baggage has been great.

(b) Having my own space gives me both space from her and space from the kids and perhaps more importantly, space from the everyday. I think I wrote a year or two ago about how scarcity of a thing increases its value. Having space from the kids allows me to have more intentional time with them. "What are we going to do because we only have a limited time together?" is vastly different from the "You still here?"-ness of living with someone every day. I'll write more about this below.

(c) Covid forced me to work from home. This has allowed me to do a couple of things:

(i) I cook for myself. I went through a period of doing the same sort of frozen prepared foods that the ex had a lot of at the house, but more and more I've been cooking for myself from scratch. Generally simple meals with more vegetables than I previously consumed. I think it was Jacob who once related a news article read about examining the stomach contents of a body frozen in ice or permafrost and they found something like 20 different species of plants. I'll never get that high, but I do like to get into double digits. I've also had two friends in similar situations who happen to eat a lot of veggies and talking with them / sharing cooking photos has been motivational to expand my repertoire.

(ii) I go for many more bike rides than before since I can schedule my time very flexibly and I don't have the added waste of commuting to/from work and walking to/from the garage multiple times a day. As a result, I feel pretty strong and I'm losing weight. I'm down about 10 pounds and don't feel any sense of deprivation as I have in my previous attempts at living more healthily.

(iii) I get plenty of alone time ... and I paradoxically end up doing fewer things, and I do them more slowly, more intentionally. This is of course partly the divorce and partly covid, but what I've found is that it's easier for me to not feel rushed or hectic. Like, in the past, I would get home from work and feel rushed to change out of my work clothes and grab a quick dinner and "relax" before it was time to go to sleep. Now, I spend time cooking and doing the dishes after. I hardly watch any TV at all aside from a bit of youtube to watch soccer or some late night shows.

(iv) I only get social time when I intentionally do it. At the beginning, the social isolation was very difficult, partly because covid was so unknown that when my state went in lockdown ... we went in lock.down. Now, I get out to play golf with some buddies; I go for walks with friends; I text and facetime those who don't live nearby. It's not the same as being in an office or going to a restaurant where people watching is available (restaurants are open around here , but NFW I'm going in one.)

4) Kids - I think this has been touched on already, but at the house, the kids would basically only want to play video games and watch shows. School, shows, homework, video games, rinse and repeat. The ex and I both agree that this is lame, but it seems to be every parent's cross to bear. But now that the hope of reconciliation has vaporized, I find myself staring at needing to make my place a real home for my kids. I have them two nights a week and every other weekend. What do I do?

(a) Their bedroom - for a while, it was one bed, one air mattress and one bean bag. Then I bought myself a bed so the kids have two beds and an air mattress. I intend to build a hanging bed so I can fit three beds in there. I am also toying with basically building a loft in their bedroom. The ceilings are nine feet, so having a place they can clamber around may still be good for the younger one(s). I could also maybe put up some climbing holds on the walls and under the loft so there's a bit of bouldering that could be done. I've always wanted to do rock climbing, but gyms were always too far away and too expensive for poor young me and now I'm too fat so my arms die after one workout.

(b) Living room - for a while, all I had was three bean bags. Then the ex bought a new couch and loveseat (because why wouldn't she?) and I took the old ones, so now there's at least some seating. This is also where I have my workdesk, so it's not the coziest place, but I think it probably serves its function (a place to play video games and watch shows).

(c) Activities - they can't just go outside and play, so I'm trying to think about how to be a single dad with them. The other day, my oldest told me that he and my ex were laughing about me and how I play video games on my phone too much and I let the kids play so many video games even though I've always railed against video games and what a waste of time they are. So, in my head I was like "you fucking idiot, now there's not a goddamn chance in the world you ever play video games at my house again. Idiot." So, it was just the kick in the pants I needed to make sure I utilize my time with them intentionally. I already have the snowboarding thing with them in the winter, and that has been a tremendously good thing for us. So notwithstanding the fact that I can't really afford it any more... I'll have to suck it up and do it anyway. But aside from that, a couple of days ago I told them that I had a homework assignment for them and made them write up a bucket list (the 11-year old was like, "wut?"). Then I made them make a list of their favorites memories over the last few years. Not a single one was "play video games all day". So even though they piss and moan about it, they all remember the travel they've done and the outdoor experiences they've had and they want to keep doing those. So we're going to start doing hikes once a week or two weeks so that they have experience with me doing the things I love to do (basically being outside).

***
Sorry for the massive brain dump. I guess I've had a lot on my mind and a lot of things have come to a head over the last week or so. But it feels good to face my truth and to learn from it and move forward. I'm ready to focus on my health and my kids while healing from my marriage, all with intention and not with subconscious needs or fears stealing the wheel. May you all find similar peace.

fingeek
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 8:16 am
Location: South Wales

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by fingeek »

Great to hear things are going in the right direction for you - I guess it's fair to say that you made the right decision!

suomalainen
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Let It Go

Post by suomalainen »

There are two songs that have struck me over the years related to my marriage, and I noticed at the time that they struck a chord in me and I knew at the time WHY they struck me, but I ... wasn't ready to face the truth insinuated by the resonance: the first is Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri, and the lines that struck me were these:
I've learned to live, half alive
...
And who do you think you are?
Runnin' 'round leaving scars
...
And it took so long just to feel alright
Remember how to put back the light in my eyes
I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed
I was driving with my family along a certain road in Octoberish 2014 when this song came on. I teared up at those lyrics. I can picture EXACTLY where on that road we were when those lyrics played. My ex and I had been having some fights and it was the first time that I just felt like it was over. There's a picture my sister took of the five us on a gazebo in some New England town center later that day on that drive. My ex and I both recognize the symbolism of that picture because it is an emotional trigger for us both bringing us back to the emotions and discussions of those couple of days. And yet it took 5 more years to actually get there.

and the second is Let It Go by James Bay:
...
Oh, this delusion in our heads
Is gonna bring us to our knees
So come on, let it go
Just let it be
Why don't you be you
And I'll be me
Everything that's broke
Leave it to the breeze
Why don't you be you
And I'll be me
And I'll be me
From throwing clothes across the floor
To teeth and claws and slamming doors at you
If this is all we're living for
Why are we doing it, doing it, doing it anymore?
I used to recognize myself
It's funny how reflections change
When we're becoming something else
I think it's time to walk away
So come on, let it go
Just let it be
Why don't you be you
And I'll be me
Everything that's broke
Leave it to the breeze
Why don't you be you
And I'll be me
And I'll be me
Tryna fit your hand inside mine
When we know it just don't belong
There's no force on earth
Could make it feel right, no
Tryna push this problem up the hill
When it's just too heavy to hold
Think now is the time to let it slide
So come on, let it go
Just let it be
Why don't you be you
And I'll be me
Everything that's broke
Leave it to the breeze
Let the ashes fall
Forget about me
Come on, let it go
Just let it be
Why don't you be you
And I'll be me
And I'll be me
This one has resonated a few times, but the strongest locational connection is walking out from my office along this under-grade walkway where it opens to the sky (before going under a roadway to the parking garage).

Anyway, I bring these up for two reasons:

1) Music is really powerful to me. It has made me wonder why, and ... not to get too mystical or anything, but I started wondering if the whole wave-particle duality of photons means that the entire universe (including us) is music, just resonating at different frequencies. (And on very rare occasions, two humans can resonate at the exact same frequency.) Anyway, just something I like to think about now and again. I did read something about somebody that has written something about the "hard problem" and consciousness being something about waves or something (very specific, I know). I'll have to google it, unless anyone knows what I'm referencing. I don't know if the emphasis of their writings is "pseudo" or "science", but either way, I tend to think of myself as a "poetic naturalist", and lately, I've been seeking more poetry. Anyway.

2) My ex and I are negotiating the divorce settlement. We have yet to hire a mediator/lawyer to finalize it and tell us if we're missing something, but it seems like we're down to the short strokes. I'm actually really looking forward to getting this finalized. And I think the reason for it is that it will allow me to bundle up that part, that stage, of my life and "let it go" and I can tell her and myself "why don't you be you, and I'll be me."

And yes, this journal will be me processing my divorce for some time. Check back later if you want to skip to the part where I'm a swinging (single dad) bachelor. For now, though, I'm just letting my change of circumstances settle - sulaa (digest, marinate, melt). There will be time for the next thing. Until then, there is time for this thing.

Oh, and by the way, I built a bitching hanging bed for my youngest son this weekend. Or, I should say, "we" built it. It feels nice to get my new life together, little bit by little bit.

SavingWithBabies
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:50 pm
Location: Midwest, USA

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by SavingWithBabies »

Just wanted to let you know it's really interesting to read about what you're going through and how you're processing it. Thank for sharing and I don't have anything to really say about it or anything like that. Just appreciate getting some kind of picture about what it's like. Best wishes.

Jason

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason »

Break up songs are often reflections on how things ended before they were stopped. Life doesn't end. It stops. For you. People tell me all the time "Stop being an asshole" as opposed to "Your time as an asshole has ended" because they know better. Mother's say "Stop being a baby" because they know you will always be a fucking baby. It's something I think about. Not stopping being an asshole or a baby but the difference between ending and stopping.

suomalainen
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen »

@jace, yeah, I dunno. I'm the one that left (stopped the marriage, or at least the husk of one), but I feel like it ended long before, and I feel like the one that was rejected. It's resulted in some ... strange ... dynamics. A couple of friends have told me "at some point you'll stop caring what she thinks". I have not quite reached that point, unfortunately, although I am finally very nearly there. I'm doing by very best to ignore the confusing snark accompanying the divorce negotiations, such as: she wants the divorce agreement to say that if I'm not at home for 4 hours during one of my visits with the kids, then the kids can have the option of going back to her house. As... if... I'm... going... to... keep... my... kids... hostage... when... I'm... not... even... there... wtf?

Anyway:
So come on, let it go
Just let it be
Why don't you be you
And I'll be me
8-)

Jason

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason »

That's my point - ending precedes stopping. Something ended in the relationship but the relationship proceeded until it was stopped. They are different concepts. My father's life ended for him. But it didn't stop for me. They end junior high school. You have to stop it. And I thought that was a theme in break up songs - the idea that things ended while the relationship was still going on. OK. It's ultimately fucking stupid. But it's all I got right now.

Do you know her attorney? Are these 4 hour bullshit issues coming from your wife or her representation? Seems kind of like a billable hour thing. Nothing like an acrimonious divorce to get you over the last caring hurdle.

suomalainen
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen »

Yeah, I know what you were saying. I was *gasp* agreeing with you. She got it from googling. We're not using lawyers (yet). I don't really see the point. I'm willing to give her pretty much everything she asks for that is workable and isn't dumb as shit. I'm also willing to just go in front of a judge and let them decide for us. I don't really care because I know I'll be fine either way. It's just how much brain damage is incurred along the way. For my part, I just want to move on.

Speaking of which, I had this thought that I was going to just sit on for a little while and let it mature, but I'll present it now in its immature form - I've written about this before, but I think it was sorta two disparate thoughts from two separate times that recently came together. One thought was the idea that life for me used to be about becoming. I was always preparing for the next thing: high school as prep for college -> college as prep for job or grad school -> grad school as prep for job -> first job as prep for second job / promotion, and on the religious side this life as prep for next life, etc. I was always looking at the next thing; the purpose of this current thing was solely to get to that next thing. The second thought was the idea that a midlife crisis is when you look around and think "This is it?" and you come out of the midlife crisis when you can look around at the exact same situation and say "You know what, actually this is pretty good."

My divorce is a little bit like that. I feel a little bit like I'm in a preparatory stage, putting my life back together after shattering it, but that sense of preparing is tempered by the ... wisdom? ... that the preparation is really all I got. On the one hand, this last year was pretty traumatizing, but on the other hand ... nothing really changed. Life still just moves on. I still have this person in my life, I still have 3 kids, I still have a job, I still have friends, I still have hobbies. I just changed my address and some of my daily activities and my legal status will change. Also, I've been clinging to my biking as my sanity throughout this latest part of the process and on the one hand I'm thinking "It's just biking" and on the other hand I'm thinking "and actually this is pretty good."

It basically comes down to expectation management. I'm old enough now and jaded enough to realize that life is shit. But I'm also getting to be even older enough to realize that this shit is actually pretty good. It's NOT going to just get better like I'm leveling up in some cosmic video game. It's going to get better because I made my every day look the way I wanted it to look, and now I can suck the marrow out of it. I can enjoy the slowness when it's slow (when the kids aren't here); I can enjoy the crazy when it's crazy (when the kids are here); it's just a matter of managing the transition. I've finally harmonized my desires/expectations (inner life) with my choices (outer life). Those fucking hippies were right - it's all about vibrations, man!

Life is good, man. It is total, purposeless bullshit. But it's good, too.

fingeek
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 8:16 am
Location: South Wales

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by fingeek »

Love this last set of observations, thank you for sharing. It's a useful indicator for me and others that are/will go through that midlife crisis stage and know that you can come out the other end with Everything Is Fine.

ertyu
Posts: 1217
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by ertyu »

I remember reading an article about the rise in contentment in later years where the author reported the same observation - not that his life changed, but that he emerged into a “this is actually quite alright” state/mentality. He reported this happened naturally so no affirmations or gimmicks required beyond standard emotional hygiene. Another article on the same topic, this time reporting on a study, accounted for this change like so: “all life goals have either been accomplished or given up on.” Given the relentless focus on goal achievement in popular culture, this really struck me and impressed me: that there is a peace to be had in not having to achieve everything and optimize all systems. You can argue that the contentment Suo reports has a similar origin: giving up on trying to force a marriage to work and accepting that even without it, things are actual quite alright.

suomalainen
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen »

@ertyu Well said. For my part, I did go through that "give up on goals" in my career a few years ago, and I think you're right - as it turns out, my interpersonal relationship in my marriage was a much greater strain on me personally than any other pressure point in my life (career was fine, kids were mostly fine, money was fine, etc). So in that sense, I guess I'm really grateful for the divorce experience, as painful as it has been and still is - it forced me to see that what was holding up my marriage were these "pictures" or "images" of what a life should be or what a life should look like. I really mourned the loss of "we'll never have family vacations again" or "we'll never gather around the campfire together again" or stuff like that. But two things: 1) why can't we do those things anyway? Why do I have to sleep with a person to have those experiences with them? I DON'T. and 2) the everyday makes up a FAR greater percentage of one's life than the "highlight videos". And every. single. time. I looked around me at just the day I had ahead of me or the day I had experienced, I, without exception, kept surprising myself that I could say "I wouldn't change a single thing about today." A contented Suo. Who'd've thought?

I do wonder every now and again whether I'll feel "lonely" whenever I'm here alone in my condo. But 1) the kids come over pretty much every other day, so there's not that much time alone and 2) I'd much rather be lonely and alone than lonely in company. Done the latter, no thank you. I think there's some societal programming or expectation, though, related to that. Almost like it's not okay to be alone. Like you're a weirdo. But once I recognize that and shed it, it doesn't bother me. Maybe I'll feel differently once the kids are all gone or if I'm lacking a romantic relationship for a long time. Who knows? A whole new life awaits!

suomalainen
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Hallelujah

Post by suomalainen »

Another song that I've loved over the years is Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". If you read about the history of this song and do some googling to hear different versions... the original Leonard Cohen version is weird as fuck. But he wrote additional verses which John Cale eventually arranged into the popular version you hear sung all the time today (John Cale (Shrek movie version), Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright (Shrek soundtrack version), etc.). Anyway, for some reason, the song got stuck in my head today and I ended up getting sucked into reading about all the versions, etc. One of the verses that doesn't make it into the popular versions of the song goes like this:
I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
This verse then reminded me of some soulful lyrics from "Down in the Valley" by Head and the Heart:
Down in the valley with whiskey rivers
These are the places you will find me hidin'
These are the places I will always go
...
Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways
As you might have surmised, getting divorced discombobulates you. I've read somewhere that it's akin to experiencing a death, except this is a death you choose to initiate (if you're the stop-er per @Jace). Choosing such a thing really exposes you, makes you vulnerable. In times of such vulnerability, I have sought to not shrink from it, but to embrace it with humility, and to allow myself to FEEL - to acknowledge, "I did my best, it wasn't much" but nevertheless to be able to "stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah" "even though it all went wrong." So, to cope, I go riding bikes "down in the valley with whiskey rivers, these are the places you will find me hidin', these are the places I will always go", praying "Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways."

In my research today, I came across this quote about the song by Cohen:
“There’s no solution to this mess,” Cohen once said, describing the human comedy at the heart of “Hallelujah. “The only moment that you can live here comfortably in these absolutely irreconcilable conflicts is in this moment when you embrace it all and you say 'Look, I don't understand a fucking thing at all—Hallelujah! That's the only moment that we live here fully as human beings.”
Or, as succinctly put by Nathaniel Rateliff in "Still Trying":
I don't know
I don't know
I don't know
I don't know a goddamn thing
So, even though I have felt extremely exposed, vulnerable, sad, raw ... I also have felt a concomitant dose of mercy and joy and peace and forgiveness. All of it, wrapped up in my humanity. I'm not sure if I've ever felt as fully human as I do right now.

Anyway, I sent this text to my ex last night:
I just wanted to say I'm sorry for the times I've been hurtful during this process. I'm navigating difficult emotions, often poorly. I don't like how things have been between us for the last few months. I don't think I'm ready to try building anything positive yet, but I did want to apologize for my additions to any negativity that we've been experiencing. It is my hope that finalizing our legal relationship will free us (or at least me) to allow things to just be and to let go and to ... be at peace. I'm not there yet.

suomalainen
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Resonance

Post by suomalainen »

A few months back, my ex and I started the formal process of divorcing. It began with a series of increasingly emotional / testy email exchanges purportedly about finances that culminated in an emotional denouement via an email she sent with a line that really resonated with me:
there’s a lot that could be said but I guess I want to say this:

We shouldn’t have gotten married. I know you’ve been saying that for years, but I couldn’t face it—couldn’t accept it. I kept trying to make us fit/work but we were not meant to work. Despite our own issues/demons we are not bad people—just two people trying to get the other to speak a language they don’t understand. And instead of growing together and helping one another work through those demons, we just ended up bringing out the worst in each other and hurting one another over and over.
...
We were young and inexperienced and made a huge choice that turned out not to be the best one. It’s an expensive lesson. And while I am devastated that you left, I am ready to let you/us go. I don’t want you as a partner and you don’t want me as a partner—not really. We both deserve partners who resonate. I want that for you. I want that for me.

It feels right to let it go.
Her recognition, acceptance and admission of the truth broke the logjam. Since then, all of the emotional baggage has been shunted aside and we both appear focused on maintaining positive relations, even if limited to negotiating the divorce and co-managing the kids. We have hired a divorce mediator ($4,800 retainer) and have agreed a parenting plan, with a financial settlement still to be finalized.

But the line about finding "partners who resonate" has stuck with me. This morning, I went for a walk with a friend who has been on the brink of divorce for years, but it is inconceivable to him that he leaves his kids, so he continues to suffer (for how much longer it is sustainable, I do not know). Anyway, his latest series of complaints about his spouse also contained this theme that his spouse essentially doesn't resonate with him. It seems to be a common theme in marriages.

Anyway, I think much of the universe is about resonance. Psychologically I suppose I can boil it down to confirmation bias. I think I’ve become a disciple of brute. I used to believe in free will and making choices and all of that. But as I’ve gotten older and as I have gone through this process of differentiating from my ex, I realize that I just can’t help but be me. The path to happiness isn't trying to prove to someone else that they’re wrong and that I am right, but it is to find the people, places, things and activities that resonate with me.

Can you change what you like, what you want, what you need? If so, the options are truly limitless. But if not, your options seem to be: be in alignment with yourself and be satisfied, or be misaligned and be unsatisfied. Based on my experience to date you cannot change who you are at base. Therefore, life is not about becoming; life is about discovering and accepting.

It’s almost as if there are two "you's": the first is the un- or sub-conscious "who you really are" and the second is your conscious mind that delusionally thinks that it is in control. But the truth is that we are utterly out of control. So, the choice is really how long we continue to attempt the Sisyphean task of aligning our unconscious with our conscious, before we accept the brutal truth that it is our conscious mind that must bend to our unconscious. Because once the two resonate... that is where I have found peace.

IlliniDave
Posts: 3039
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: Resonance

Post by IlliniDave »

suomalainen wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:58 pm
...The path to happiness isn't trying to prove to someone else that they’re wrong and that I am right, but it is to find the people, places, things and activities that resonate with me...
Some people never make it to that realization. I'm glad to hear the situation has turned the corner to where things can be constructive. Hope it continues down that path.

Zanka
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Zanka »

I am learning so much about myself everytime I open up this journal.

Thanks for sharing!

/Z

jacob
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by jacob »


classical_Liberal
Posts: 1938
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Resonance

Post by classical_Liberal »

suomalainen wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:58 pm
It’s almost as if there are two "you's": the first is the un- or sub-conscious "who you really are" and the second is your conscious mind that delusionally thinks that it is in control. But the truth is that we are utterly out of control.
This acceptance of "who you really are" reminds me of the first steps of addiction recoveries. One has to stop denying "what is" to move forward. I still tend to think if someone can begin to know themself, they can consciously make progress to minimizing any deleterious issues they naturally gravitate towards. People who are "scattered" can accept this and learn to focus only at critical points. People who are anxious can accept this and learn lifestyles that minimize it. People who are prone to depression... etc.

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