(We don't know where we'll end up ... but we're all starting at single.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The DLS: Traveling Ghosts

Given some recent events and the Halloween season, I feel it's appropriate time to air this one.  Dirty Little Secret #4: We all have a past: ghosts & their subsequent baggage that haunt us. One of my favorite shows, How I Met Your Mother aka HIMYM, did a wonderful job a few seasons back of addressing how sometimes we're blind to the baggage we still carry. In fact, this very episode brought My Ex back to me one time, showing the power of HIMYM's silly but relatable message.

I tend to be pretty aware of my ghosts - I've had to travel a rough but ultimately rewarding emotional landscape through the years - but even I get surprised on occasion by the little bigger than you think things that linger long after their time. Over the last two years especially, stemming from second real break-up with My Ex, I've really worked to put a lot of my ghosts to bed.  But in that relationship, a new one popped up: the Specter of Silence (SS). Silence can be healing and helpful, but it can also be used as a manipulative weapon.  I experienced a lot of the latter.

A few weeks ago, I accidentally questioned VS's intentions in a roundabout way.  To be fair, I am a direct (to a fault) person and it can get me into hot water. I was shocked when I realized how much of that question came from my past and apologized/explained. VS put me face-to-face with a new one: Selectively Silent Specter (SSS).  At first I panicked - I felt slammed back into my past with ferocious intensity - but after some time and some good advice from friends, something changed. I let go of that crippling fear induced by the SSS and in doing so, VS and I actually began talking again.

I'm not saying I've completely banished my fear of silence as a weapon, but I realized I have power and a choice.  I can spend time being angry/fearful about what's wrong or I can accept and appreciate what's right. After all, men have past ghosts, too...

~The DLS

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