Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: The Red Balloon

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Red Balloon

Remember that song from the 80s 99 Red Balloons. I never understood it. But the chorus was hypnotic--it would stay in your head for days. Perhaps that's why in talking about my current emotional state, I fell upon the metaphor of balloon. I've always used attachment to something outside myself (people, places, and things) to fill up my balloon. Now that my attachment to one person in particular is clearing itself out, I find my balloon is dragging along behind me--and myself with it...

I'm almost 40 years old and still unable to 'get it up' for my own life, my own accomplishments, my own interests. Perhaps this is what impotency feels like for men? Why success is so important to them...and yet they can in many ways be the master's of their own experience. They can create their success. I don't think I can create a positive, nurturing relationship in my life--I can't make anyone love me. Hence the powerlessness I feel over my own story. But what I need to recognize is that just because I can't change the facts, doesn't mean I can't change the experience.

How do I learn to fill up my own balloon? (I certainly have enough hot air!) But seriously, how do I become the arbiter of meaning and fulfillment in my own life? How do I release myself into the groundlessness of 'no outside validation' only inner affirmation? These are the questions I'm asking as I approach my 40th birthday. These are the same questions I've been asking myself for years; but it seems more pressing now. The story I tell about my Self now--the story I choose to create and believe--will be the story for the next many years.

I don't want to wake up still hoping for a man to fulfill me; but I don't want to close myself off to the possibility that intimacy and relationship can also bring happiness. The conundrum. The story of my life.

Here's to happy endings. . . . and new stories.


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