Friday, November 25, 2016

False Personal Crusades: An Ego-Driven Diversion from the Real Work

A little over four years ago, I allowed myself to be sucked into a false agenda of acting in a personal saviorship role to my current, soon-to-be-former wife.

The hook was very appealing to my scheming monkey mind. I could put off assuming personal responsibility for my own affairs, for my own psychological healing and well-being, under the compelling pretence of helping someone else who was in a far worse predicament than I was. My sense of morality, of the virtuousness of helping others, was co-opted through the weakness of an egotistical pride that fed on the idea of being a martyr for a superficially noble, yet ultimately hopeless cause that would supposedly earn me my glorious place on the loftier end of an imagined totem pole of do-gooders. As my wife so perceptively pointed out many times, I was trying to “polish my halo” and “buy my way into heaven” through self-abnegation and suffering. As it turns out, the only thing that that suffering did for me was to teach me the lesson of taking care of myself first before taking on the problems of the world or any other person.

I am now a shell of who I was four years ago, energetically speaking. The cognitive dissonance of being on the disempowering power trip of trying to assume control of another person’s journey to well-being—against her own will—was one of the factors that took its toll on my energy system over the ensuing four years. The crazy dramas and power struggles we’ve had are another. Not to mention the stress of associating mostly with people who had little respect for personal boundaries, who were stuck in self-defeating thought patterns and behaviors, and who acted out their intuitive distrust of my motives in countless sabotaging ways. I isolated myself from those who could truly act as partners and catalysts for positive change in favor of constant firefighting and busywork on the home front.

The end result was inevitable: burnout and disillusionment. The good news is that I’ve now exhausted that excuse for not committing to the real work. I have so much to do. I don’t know how much of it will manifest in blog postings here, but given my proclivity for writing, some portion of it most likely will.

There’s no denying that some real good has resulted from my misguided efforts to do good. Some beautiful moments were enjoyed. Many valuable insights were gained. But whatever good has come of it all has come from behind the veil of separation, in spite of my egotistical motives and tendencies, from the wellspring of life and love that no man can lay claim to for himself alone.

And so it is that I embark on my own journey as an individual. The bitter tears of disillusionment and release have been shed and the last remaining sentimental ties severed. All that remains for me here is to do what I can for a transition of caretaking responsibility that will ensure my wife’s safety and well-being on a basic level in future. Following that, I make my exit as gracefully as I can.

In addition to the warnings, observations, and advice of loved ones, I have had the benefit of many enlightening messages and resources on relationship dynamics that have helped me get to this point. If the topic interests you, or if you suspect you may be trapped in a similar entanglement, look up “victim-perpetrator-rescuer triangle.” We all have to discern, choose, and find our own way, but so much suffering can be avoided by learning about the ways we trip ourselves up and perpetuate destructive patterns in relationship. No one wants to end something they’ve invested their entire life in, based their whole identity on. But when all the signs point to that something being a hindrance rather than a help to your personal well-being and sovereign self-actualization, then it pays to pay attention and be willing to drop the rationalizations that hold you back.

Love you all.

Signing off,

No comments:

Post a Comment