I run and I miss him. I notice that I’m running when I’ve already been at it a couple miles; I’m neither enjoying nor struggling with it. I’m merely hurtling my body through space in an accustomed way while my brain runs and runs; attachment theory, core wounds, one-sided conversations and conversations we’ve had already. I turn over and over questions of forgiveness and responsibility, spin round and round how to explain it to him, how smart he is, how he has to understand.
I barely register the roots and branches or the whizzing canopy of leaves and vines approaching and receding. I don’t feel my body, I don’t feel oneness with nature, I am all anxiety and longing to connect.
I miss my sweet boyfriend. I miss his adorably groggy face in the morning and his midday text messages. I miss his voice and his laughter, the conversations where he blows my mind. I miss the way he tidies up the kitchen. I miss his kind eyes smiling at me and the feeling of his hand holding mine. Holy shit it hurts.
My entire being is persistently struggling to find my way back to him. I look very carefully at myself; at how badly I am hurting and how I’m reinforcing my sense of powerlessness by auto-piloting my self care with all my attention on him. I remind myself gently that I will talk to him Friday, I will do all I can. I remind myself that I am very capable of being in relationship. I am working hard on my healing; I know myself. I am clear about my needs and I have a deep capacity to reciprocate partnership.
Right now my partner is not present with me. I need to be present with myself, so I redirect my most skillful, loving attention toward me. Strengthen the neural pathways that reinforce your sense of power, I tell myself. What’s happening right now?
I am running. There are trees, and there is a rock. That rock is solid; it isn’t going anywhere. I gaze at the rock–I identify with it. I practice turning my attention to my own tender heart and labored breathing. I practice treating myself with the great care and respect that I deserve. When I don’t like my pace, I remind myself that my nervous system is overwrought, that this is the result of troubled sleep and dysregulation. That I’ve lost ten pounds in two weeks and that I am struggling. I give myself grace. I am running. I am in the woods, it is beautiful here. I do not feel happy or strong or powerful–I feel sad; but I am enough. I have nothing to prove. I keep running, and I love myself.