The New Normal

Living life as a single dad with options, relationships, recovery, co-parenting and a distant divorce

My HP (Originally posted December 15, 2014)

Along this journey I have decided that I have to let go of the possibility of staying with my wife. I have even given up the idea that I NEED to be back with her. I have also given up the idea for the time being that I should be in any kind of an intimate relationship with a female. I believe what I did with my wife and what I did with the other woman, and (important) women in my life, is to make them into my so-called Higher Power. My God. I elevate them, give them uncouth adoration. All at the expense of the self; my self.

 Unfortunately, in being totally selfless, while it is an idealogue’s thought that one should be to reach his/her enlightenment, it is not practical or realistic to find happiness in the neglect of one’s self. It is the self that makes us a useful part of this world.
 With self-denial of things as simple as occasional choice of doing what gives us joy a breeding ground for resentment arises. Indeed my original concept of my Higher Power was equally the source of resentment. That HP was a rule maker, an ultimate disciplinarian, an epithet of shame and an impossible being to pacify. Growing up Catholic-ish I thought the lowest rungs of purgatory were too kind for me. Funny how this conception mirrors my parents. My mom with her overt shaming, verbal and sometimes physical abuse and my dad’s more passive aggressive approach where nothing was ever done quite right.
Thus I find after a time of placing my selflessness in my earthly higher powers, my resentment of feeling my loss of self, in addition to being controlled and judged would and will always surface. This resentment, and at times sheer hatred for these authorities would fuel my anger and deviant behavior. Ironically, I think the women I sought the comfort of, if they were to enter into something real with me and not a torrid affair or online interactions would have the honor of experiencing this resentment and anger for themselves. Indeed, it might have made parting ways with the affair person much easier for her. In hindsight I think it was my resentment and anger towards her lies and deception that made ending the affair easy for me. Coldly, easy

I don’t only make women my Higher Power. I do the same with most people, I put them in a hierarchy. Everyone is either above or below me. That is, people are either my higher power or I am theirs. This whole concept is silly and wrong. Of course there are some instances where you choose to be led, i.e. my company’s CEO is in charge of my workplace I choose to follow his lead for the most part. Or my kids are obviously in need of a parental higher power so that one day they can live as responsible and contributing adults. Despite this, too much emphasis on either being above or below people becomes unnatural. I should be able to feel comfortable in my own skin and disagree with my boss(es) respectfully as should my kids be able to challenge me and make good cases for things such as later bedtimes or allowances.

I think where I am at now is the realization and belief that my Higher Power, however defined:
  • Is on my side and provides all I need and occasionally a little of I want if I look for it with the right mind
  • Is a presence I can feel at any time with a little prayer and meditation
  • Wants to see me do well in life
  • Wants me to be free of excessive want and obsession
  • Wants me to be sane (in my affair I was very much insane)
  • Wants me to see other’s as equals as best I can and recognize and help those who need it when I can and not at the expense of self.
  • Wants me to form healthy relationships with people, not ones based on dependency and resentment
  • Is forgiving and can lead me back to sanity when I fall apart

In order to be all that (a potentially tall order for any HP applying for the position) I need to also believe to my core that my HP is NOT:

  • Another human being. Even those “above” me in certain areas (e.g. a boss) have frailties and imperfections that can prevent any and all of the above qualities.
  • Someone or something I can obsess over to the expense of being a productive person in work, at home or in life in general
  • Tangible to this world, but can be seen in the compassion and fellowship of others and in the providence that occasionally occurs along life’s journey
  • Deceiving
  • Cruel or shaming, but does want the best from and for me
  • Rooted in fear, but is a source of strength
  • Just a metaphor, but a dynamic being capable of compassion with a presence I can feel

Again, this seems to be a pretty tall order to fill, but as I said my HP is a dynamic being and there is all the time in life to explore all the facets of he/she/it. It is central for me to realize that any relationship I may enter, be it reconciling with my wife or a new life partner, I must keep to what my HP is and what my HP is not.

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