Refusing to hold his tail up and other signs of growth

My poor mom has been housebound for two weeks. She is on zero-weight bearing from her foot surgery and with our lovely icy weather its just safer to stay indoors. Yesterday she devoted the afternoon to watching “The Dog Whisperer.” The story that stood out was about the runt of the liter that had no self-esteem.

The dog was very skittish, timid and fearful of people and most situations. Caesar came and said the way to make it feel better was to hold its tail up. It is a signal to the dog to be proud, be confident and to own its territory. This is why in dog shows they will hold the tail up while they are being judged. With this simple act they assume a difference stance and exude self-esteem. It’s amazing what we as human use to build our self-esteem. For some its job, cars, money, relationships or we seek constant reassurance and acts from others.

I’ve been having serious doubt about the guy I’ve been talking to lately. I knew immediately that he wasn’t ready for a relationship. There are lots of ex-wife issues, kid problems and job stuff abounding. He has a lot going on in his life. He doesn’t have the time or space for anything beyond friends. He doubts himself, what he has to offer and what he wants out of life right now. I recognized it and I made peace with it. In the past I would have chased after him, hung in there until the bitter end and convinced myself it was going to be different in the end. I thought we could just be friends, I really hoped for that. Everyone needs a friend.

But after a huge discussion today we decided to part ways. I realized that I was still reassuring him a lot. I got tired of explaining what I meant cause he took everything the wrong way. In essence I got tired of holding his tail up. I realized that even as his friend it was unhealthy for me. While I had completely detached from the notion of any sort of relationship he really isn’t even ready to be friends, which is ok. His reality is just really different from mine. No big deal.

So its over. No hard feelings. No lingering phone calls. No more text messages. It’s just done and I’m relieved.

Then last night as I was pondering the day I realized how huge that was for me. I wasn’t considering it my duty to fix him or make him a project. I simply decided to give him the room he needs to deal with his stuff without me. It’s ok to say no, I can’t help you. While hard to do it saves a lot of heartache.

Then I realized I used to be just like him. I was so insecure. When in a relationships I needed constant validation that everything was ok. I was so afraid of rocking the boat that the boat never went anywhere. God really has been working in my life and I didn’t even notice until just now. How about that. I am no longer the insecure girl that hides behind sarcasm to keep people at arms distance. Wow! That is amazing. I know what I have to offer in a relationship. I don’t have to constantly feel like the lucky one and that they putting up with me and I need to be eternally grateful for their presence bestowed upon me.

WHI-HOO! That is growth sister.


About Marti

After a year-long sabbatical in Southern California I am returning to Ohio to try and resume my life. Who knew you went home again to start living.

Posted on December 3, 2008, in Mi Familia and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Wow Marti – you are very smart for walking away now. It took me a long time to learn that. I dated a man for about a year and a half and I was constantly trying to reassure him about my feelings. It became so draining that I just couldn’t do it anymore. To this day he blames me for destroying him. People have issues and what they choose to do with those issues is up to them. Good for you – pull out your bag of healthy apples and move on. Take care.

  2. Awesome post Marti- sounds like you did the right thing. And, who knows… maybe God brought him into (and out of) your life just for the purpose of showing you how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown.

  3. You go girl. I’m proud of you. You’ve come a long way and its neat to see how it all comes together isn’t it?

  4. Thanks for the encouragement, it’s been a long road, but I’m finally learning its better to be alone than in an unhealthy relationship.

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