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    « Lick It. Bite It. Suck it. (part 1) | Main | Cleaning Up After A Filthy Combination »

    A Filthy Combination (Part 3)

    Before delving into this post, I recommend reading parts one and two, “A Filthy Combination”, and “Cleaning Up After A Filthy Combination".

             Shaming myself about feeling shame is one of the the highest forms of heart sabotage. There’s absolutely nowhere to go with myself if I don’t first accept how I feel. If I can’t do this, then I’m totally screwed before the gun goes off. I’ve lost the race before it begins.
            Right after an initial awareness, the first, crucial, all important, vitally necessary rung on this ladder of growth is some modicum of self acceptance. Just like climbing a physical ladder, I have to get some footing on this rung before I can climb any others. I can’t leap frog over this, or any other rung, for that matter. Just like walking before crawling, skipping that step will fuck you up later on. And it’s what so many of us do, because self acceptance can be so internally difficult that we say “Fuck it for now. I’ll accept myself later, when I’m healthier, when I get closer to the top of the ladder.” But it doesn’t work that way. We’ve got it backwards.
            We can’t even get near the top of the ladder until we at least begin the process of better accepting ourselves. In fact, we can’t really climb the ladder at all without a decent dose of self acceptance, even if it’s only fleeting. If we skip that step completely and keep climbing, it’s as tough the step gets removed from the ladder. And this step is crucial in holding the ladder steady and making it strong. The higher we climb, we may think that we’re seeing more, but the ladder itself is actually getting more shaky because the first step is gone, and we’re higher up the ladder, therefore putting more pressure on the whole structure.
            Just like with a physical ladder, the physics change completely if there’s no first rung. What should be a sturdy vehicle for growth is now a shaky apparatus that will eventually fail and send us crashing to the ground. Without that first rung of some self-acceptance, the whole ladder is different. The ladder is incomplete. Our growth is therefore incomplete. And somewhat unstable. We must cultivate self acceptance from the beginning. As we climb, as we grow, we can get better at it. We learn to be kinder to ourselves, and accept ourselves more and more. But we can’t just skip it entirely.
            Being with somebody who could accept the naked truth about me was a tremendous help. All of the work was, and is, mine, but having this woman in my corner was invaluable. She didn’t think less of me because I thought less of myself. When I admitted that I was jealous, thought she disappeared on me, and that I felt vulnerable and worthless, she didn’t run away. She didn’t find me less attractive. She didn’t get turned off. All the things I feared she would do, she didn’t do. All of the things I feared she would say that would hurt me, she didn’t say.
            In fact, opening up about this painful place inside me and sharing it with her brought us closer. And this is really my whole point about relationships. If we can dare to be ourselves and share all of that with the one we’re with; if we can risk doing that most terrifying of all human endeavors - being exactly who we are in the moment - and show the world nothing but that, we open up the endless possibilities that such a courageous act provides us. If we dare to show ourselves, we dare to heal. We can not heal if we hide. If we hide from ourselves, we will never heal. And we’re all hurting in some way, on some level. Take that to the bank. If we don’t hide from ourselves, but hide from the world, in other words, if we play it safe, we only heal somewhat. If we take the next step and show ourselves to the world, we open up possibilities in our lives that are not available any other way. We live a fuller, richer, more authentic life.
            If, however, we can go even deeper, and open up all of ourselves, even the painful, messy parts, to our partner; if we can cultivate a truly intimate relationship, then we have the potential for healing on the very deepest of levels. I have come to know this over the past year, after my heart got shattered.
            When I became willing to show all of myself to another, I began a unique process that can’t be done any other way. It doesn’t even matter if I ever got the chance to show her (I didn’t). I simply became willing. For the first time in my life, I wanted to show myself completely to a woman. That new found openness and desire is all I needed to start down the path of truly deep healing.
            I don’t have a special woman in my life to do that with right now, but that doesn’t matter. That will happen. Because I know that’s where I’m headed. What I have been able to do is share so much more of myself with my own life. Through this blog. Through being even more of myself out in the world than before (even though those who know me may say that wasn’t possible, because they saw me as so out there to begin with. Just goes to show how much I hid and how much more there is to me). I’ve shared so much more of myself through my words and actions with loved ones. Through digging deeper into myself. Through cultivating the kinds of relationships I want. And through letting go of relationships that I can’t make work, no matter what I do.

    ©2009 Clint Piatelli. All Rights (and a very tall ladder of Wrongs) Reserved.

    Reader Comments (3)

    Wait a second. Who was waiting for you when you got home? The universal truth is that we are all our own worst critic. Communication is the key. All of this could have been resolved with one reassuring glance across the room. If only we all got that. Luckily, I have received one of those glances. I hope that all of us receive one some day and have the sense to embody its true meaning. The simple translation would be, "It is okay. I love you." Has trust, just like Elvis, left the building? Trust and viginity are so similar. You only get one shot, then it is gone.

    May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGlen Carliss

    I so agree with Glen: "communication is the key."
    The hard thing is how men and women think
    differently as well as react differently. Now had
    you said to your girl "I walked by all of these girls
    and they were checking me out" there would have
    been hell to pay! Guys you know what I am talking
    about here. Clint you know ahead of time you
    wouldn't have said that to your girl so being the
    smart guy you are you would have avoided a
    hurtful situation. Your girl could have said to you
    "Clint I got to tell you something funny..
    all of these guys were checking me out...
    but you know...Clint..none of them compare
    to you." Something like that would have
    been cool, perhaps? It is all about communication
    and thinking ahead of time. How will she/he feel
    if I say this to her/him? How could he/she take this
    the wrong way?

    I was at a party once and another girl who was a
    friend gave me a hug and a peck on the cheek and
    my girlfriend of one month was totally pissed!!
    All of my friends knew this friend was a flirt and
    that was just her. I explained to her countless times
    this girl was just a friend and she was flirty.
    I countless times told my girlfriend she was the
    one and only one ....all day long! My girlfriend brought
    that evening up for months until I finally said "Look...I have
    said I am sorry too many times...either you finally forgive me
    and we let this go....or we hold on to this and this
    will not work." She looked at me and with a smile
    said "okay, I'm letting this go." Thereafter we were
    fine on that incident.

    A challenging part of a relationship is keeping
    your partner secure and not making it a
    "questioning game".

    Diamond Dave

    May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Lee Roth

    Gentlemen, thank you for your responses. You have both given something different in your comments, which leads me to believe you both took something different from the post itself. I appreciate the perspectives.

    Glen, I don't agree that trust and virginity "only get one shot, then it's gone". I look at trust as a process. Unlike virginity, which really is here one day and gone the next, never to return. Trust can be fragile, though. But I would argue that if it goes deep, it takes a lot more to erode it.

    Although this was a painful incident for me, I'm grateful that it gave us the opportunity to work together. And I'm grateful that it allowed me to look at a dark place in me that needed some light.


    June 1, 2009 | Registered CommenterClint Piatelli

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