Take notes and start swiping.
It was late Friday night. No, actually, it was early Saturday morning when I began binge watching TLC's Say Yes to The Dress.
I'm so grateful that, in this moment, I was able to see that within myself again. A much needed reminder that I'm open to the possibility of finding someone I might want to marry, again.
At this point in my marathon of crying and self realization, Tinder popped into my head. (Yes, Tinder, the dating app for smart phones everywhere — a "pick up" bar on the Internet.)
Probably sounds like bit of an oxymoron but, at 2 a.m., in bed, all alone, and absolutely no desire to walk all the way downstairs and spend money joining another site, crying about dresses, loss, and love — well — it seemed reasonable.
I had attempted (or downloaded with the intention) the app earlier this year, so I had a profile set up. The first go-round, I had only lasted 12 hours on the app, but the few minutes I had spent setting it up were very helpful when re-loading it at two in the morning. Allowing me to start swiping almost (right) away.
I admit, it was fun. I was giddy. Swiping away. I was so tired and yet, unable to sleep, causing a few tactical errors. Truthfully, I don't recommend starting at the crack of dawn, but at the same time, I also know that everything happens for a reason ... even starting a new dating process at ungodly hours.
In the days to come, of swiping, THIS is what I learned.
1. We all have endless possibilities.
I had forgotten all of the possibilities available to me. I had turn inward and “slept” for a long period of time; in doing so, I had forgotten how big life is. And that was my first "AH-HA moment" on Tinder — realizing that I had been living small, but didn't have to go on doing so.
Honestly, it hurt to realize it just how small I'd been living. I know I needed it, but when you face your weakness, it can hurt. By no means do I want to live small. I want to live my life out loud, the way I was designed to.
In fact, as day to carried on I became overwhelmed with the many selections to choose from. Deciding that, with the infinite possibilities also comes infinite responsibility (I think I learned that from the Justice League) ... I stopped looking and decided to manage the conversations I had going.
2. The only approval I need is from within.
After a few text exchanges and a brief phone conversation, with an incredibly sexy man, I realized he was full of insecurities (like the rest of us). He had been burned by women who were heavier than they appeared in their profile photos. And in short, he wanted to know what my butt was sizing up like.
While, some women might get angry with his request to prove their butt girth, I didn't. Frankly, I think we're entitled to like what we like. This was his preference. Just as I prefer pants that aren't pulled up to the nipples. We all have standards.
That wasn't bothering me ... not as much as the realization that this insanely hot man seemed to have real anxiety about butts. So-much-so that he felt the need to repeatedly request a photo of mine.
Not to mention, the other things that I picked up from him — his disdain for himself. He was a nice guy, beyond being hot, but he was seeing himself broken.
So, I thank him for reminding me that I don't need to look outside for approval and it's a painful thing to do so.
I had forgotten. I had just stopped looking all together, actually. I didn't look inside. I didn't look outside, because I had no approval anywhere near me (but especially from me).
3. I was (still am?) hiding from myself
I was pretending to myself that I was looking for “whatever," while I had an idea of what I wanted. However, for some reason I couldn't admit it to myself, thus, leading me to learn the following.
I had built up defenses — holding them between myself and everyone else. My perceived “beauty” became a shield and a way to control situations; my knowledge was a barrier between myself and anyone I conversed with (Ick). One too many defense mechanisms, if you ask me.
Just what do I mean? Well, take a look at these statements! When we aren't paying attention to what we're feeling or doing, they may actually sound in our thoughts and words like one thing (thus, translating to the following):
- "He is not enough." = "I am not enough."
- "He does not deserve me." = "I do not deserve love."
- "He is closed off." = "I am emotionally closed off."
This is merely a form of lying to yourself, in the sense that you're projecting your own issues onto someone else. By saying things like "He is so judgmental," you probably see that because he's reflecting your judgment back at you. We lie to ourselves and put things on others, when really, they're just our personal issues.
I was using a defense mechanisms to communicate, rather than just being open to whoever I was with at any time. But, my heart wasn't open. When our hearts aren't open, we can’t truly connect. Nor, can we truly communicate because everything becomes filtered through walls or defenses.
In seeing all of these things I was holding out in from of me as my “truth," I am able to look deeply and let these things go. What a gift.
I choose not to live as a walking defense mechanism. I choose to have deeply connected relationships, from every situation and angle — my parents, kids, friends, significant other, and so on.
4. I need to allow all that I can, to come in and through.
I felt a connection to one of the first dates I went on and it really showed me a lot of baggage I didn't know I was carrying. All of those lies I had, both, told and believed to keep myself "safe."
I tried to look away and come up with reasons that I felt this way that were completely unrelated to what was actually going on. I was a whirling dervish. Grasping at anything that wouldn't make it “my issue" ... when it was.
So, I allowed myself to crash and burn — forcing me to look and learn.
Once I allowed myself to see what was really there and stopped pushing against the person who just reflected it back at me, I could begin releasing.
I noticed that while talking to many men via text, I was telling the story of myself and remembering it, as well. Just as I had stopped giving myself approval, I had stopped allowing things to come in and out of my life. I had stopped being connected to myself, the one thing connecting me to everything.
When we allow things, we learn things about situations we see or experiences that we may not otherwise know. We have a deeper understanding of others and ourselves. Opening our hearts to all situations and then using our heads is a form of allowing. When we're open to everything, life is sweeter and richer — it flows.
We are naturally designed to let things come through our bodies as a part of this energy field. We stop that natural design by holding on to emotional situations or ideas that don't serve our best interest. That disconnects us from the greater field. It puts things in our way and builds defenses around us.
Allowing is so very powerful because it just lets things be as they are. Whatever is happening is OK, even if it doesn't feel like it. I don't need to control it. I don't need to stop it, unless I feel I should, but I will allow that feeling to come in and inform me. It allows us to do what we can, when we can, and let the rest go.
It's not always easy. But I'm working to allow more goodness and peace and everything else into my life. There is something for me in each moment to learn and grow. I just have to allow it.
5. I'm the always a student — thank you teachers.
I want to learn all that I can, every. single. day. It's a quest for me to truly understand human interaction. Although, I will probably never truly understand it as completely as I wish to, but I will continue to search and keep sharing what I find with anyone who wants to hear it.
I learn from my answers as much, if not more, than the person asking the question.
A question is asked, I open my heart and connect to the grid. I don't always do it, but quite often. It's almost an automatic response, now. It comes pouring out of me at times too fast for me to convey it well. Or, stop to check my spelling (not that I typically do, anyway).
I just let it happen. I do have knowledge of certain things I have acquired to assist others in letting their own issues go. I do have knowledge about many other things as well, but much of the truth is just coming through me. And I'm just as awed as the one asking. Even when it is something I know, I learn more by explaining it to others. It becomes deeper and truer and more defined or less as needed. It crystalizes in my brain in a way it had not previously.
I know nothing.
If you want to use Tinder, do it! I think it might be a “hook up” place for the younger set, but I have not seen much of that in my age parameters (that would be the old setting). A few ideas I have picked up from observation and men I have talked to:
If you get the chance to feel a connection that strips you of your ego and leaves you naked in front of yourself, try to learn all that you can. Try to remain still for as long as possible. It may hurt. You may want to run far, far away. You may need to run away for a bit or permanently. Just don’t try to make it something it isn’t.
Allow yourself to see what is there, in that moment and appreciate all you're getting from it every moment afterwards. It may be nothing more than a passing soul, but you'll be forever changed.
What you put into Tinder is what you will get out of Tinder, just like anything else in life. Take the time to make yourself look good, as if it's a first date.
If you want to talk to someone, talk to them. Waiting for them to make a move is not owning your own power — it's just a way to hide.
While I haven't found love with someone else, I have found it within myself again.
Start living the life you deserve by taking that first step right now. Contact Marcy Goss Garcea at yourreluctantgoddess.com, or on Facebook at Your Reluctant Goddess. Your first session is always free, contact her today to move into our personal power and joy.