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Running With The Shadows


You know that saying, when the Universe closes a door, it opens a window somewhere else in your life? I've always liked that idea, and I have tried to lean in to it. Then there's that other one, "God won't give you more than you can handle." I fucking hate that one! It' makes me want to scream, "What the hell made you think I could handle this??" Door after door had closed, I just wasn't convinced windows were actually opening and I was starting to feel like I might suffocate. The door to Twin closed and it almost killed me. The door to Vampire closed. And while I knew that was definitely for my highest good, the damage he did on the way out made the whole thing exponentially worse, and sent me spiraling back into the darkness. Even though he'd meant to harm me, that encounter would ultimately lead to many blessings and set me on my path to the light. But first, I had to survive the journey.

Facing our shadow self, doing battle in the depths of the mind, can be a harrowing experience. It can change us for the better and bring us closer to the light, as we move through that dark night of the soul. Or, it can root us to where we stand, refusing to see what we really are, and resisting the changes that must inevitably come when we finally face our truest self.

There were a lot of things I did not know were buried in there, things I had never allowed myself to see. And, I was completely unprepared for the tangibility of this new reality, until it plowed into me like a Mack truck.

OMG, I was a runner. I was THE runner... It had been me all along... Had I pushed them all away? Had I done this to myself??

In an unbalanced twin flame dynamic, which most of them are, one person is generally a runner and one is a chaser. My whole life I believed I was a chaser. People came in and out of our lives and I'd always chosen not to let (important) people go so easily. I didn't abandon friendships for no reason and I worked hard to keep in touch. It's one of the things I've always valued about my Mary Kay business, it gave me a reason to stay in contact with people, especially the ones I cared about. Other people leave. Not me. How could I possibly be a runner?? I'm clearly more like the chaser, right?

Except, it was all just a lie I'd let myself believe. In reality, I was a runner and I'd been one all my life. The truth of this realization hit me at a soccer game and sent me in to such a tailspin, I could barely breathe. I couldn't see and I surely couldn't drive. I remember just sitting in the car at Dylan's game, crying. I cried for the whole game, and for many days after as well. How could this be? How could I be a runner?? I wasn't the one who'd been doing all the leaving!!

To accept the truth of this revelation, I would need to re-examine the end of every serious relationship I'd ever known but, I had to know... Could it really be true? Or, was it possible for a person to be both? A runner AND a chaser?

I ended the relationship with my high school boyfriend because I was leaving for college... in Upstate New York... from Florida. We'd been together for about two years and he was a wonderful boyfriend. He was also a year behind me in school, and though I really loved him, for all intents and purposes, I was moving to New York! So okay, I wasn't running there. Whew!

I ended the relationship with my college boyfriend when I was living in Portland, Maine. He was also a wonderful boyfriend and we'd been together for two and a half years. He lived in Boston, which was just under two hours away, without snow. That's long distance, right? I loved him but, I was never fully comfortable with his deeply Italian family. They were very kind to me but, we wanted different things, especially when it came to kids and stuff. I know I didn't handle it very well, I should have been more upfront with him. Instead I "got busy" and kind of slipped away, and started dating an actor in one of the shows running at the theater where I worked. So yeah, I guess I was the runner in this one. Damn.

Of course the actor lived in New York and went back there when the show was over, making this one and even "longer" distance relationship. But he was the one who left, not me, so I'm good!

Except, the truth was that he'd asked me to come with him back to New York, to move in and make a life together. I adored him but I didn't want the life he had and I knew I didn't want to live in the City. So, we ended. And though we'd only see each other face to face a few times, we remain dear friends for almost 30 years. Did this count as running? I wasn't really sure.

And then there was that time at the Sizzler... One night, when my husband and I were still dating, I wanted to end it. I felt like I was suffocating in the relationship but when we met for dinner, I couldn't bring myself to say the words. To this day, he won't set foot in a Sizzler, though these days, there are different reasons for that. Not too long after the "failed break up dinner," I finally mustered the strength to ask him to move out. And when he actually did, I was furious! He left, I couldn't believe it! Except I knew I was the one who pushed him away; runner... Thankfully, I had the sense to go get him back!

And then there was Twin... though we'd known each other since junior high school, we hadn't stayed in touch or even seen each other in close to thirty years. In the beginning, before we understood our connection, there were emails here and there but that was all. Once the link between us had been established, the intensity was such that our relationship lasted less than a year before it exploded. Those were some of the happiest days of my life and, though we still lived more than a thousand miles apart, most days I literally felt like he was right next to me.

It ended badly. I was hurt, and I was angry at him for leaving, for leaving in total silence and for leaving me with so much pain. But when I could finally look back at the last day we communicated, I could see where I had started to push him away. Later that same night, I'd sent a text saying I couldn't continue on the same way any more and something needed to change. It was me. It was all me.

The next day, there was no response. I was so used to hearing from him by eleven am each day, so when I didn't hear from him, I finally sent an email at around 3 o'clock. He said, "What did you expect? You said you didn't want to continue!" It had never been my intention (I thought) to end our communication but, my words had hurt him, and he was gone. There was no discussion, and though I tried again and again, to explain I felt we needed to talk and adjust some things, it didn't matter. It was over and he was gone. Eight months later he reappeared for a day or two of exchanging emails and apologies but, it was never the same.

We both knew the relationship, although very real at the soul level, had no future in our human reality. Neither of us had any desire to cross lines that would put our marriages at risk. Yet our communication had bulldozed through the doors of my psychic awareness, opening them wider than ever before and, the astral connection was unlike anything I'd ever experienced. I knew there was more I was supposed to learn from this. Except I ran... And the realization that I had done this to myself was a very hard pill to swallow.

Dealing with the shadow-self is never easy and rarely rational. Depression that so often accompanies the journey, can twist and contort the mind and, it took me a long time to understand why I'd pushed Twin away. Even longer, to accept it was the right thing for both of us. Years later we would finally meet face to face. Thirty years had passed but I would have known him anywhere. But, perhaps that's a story for another day.

In the end the question remained... Am I still running?

I've come to accept that, to a certain extent I will always be a runner and maybe that's not such a bad thing after all.

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