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Mind Field

There are days like today that I start out my day feeling good, calm, and clear only to realize later that I've wandered into a mine field. What's worse is that it's a mine field that I created, every mine is my own personal bomb, lovingly laid by my own hand, spoken with my own mouth, put just enough below the surface to destroy me if I don't tread gingerly. Step... Step.... Click... BOOOM!!!!

I have two best friends in the world. Both are hugely important to me. If I lost either I would be devistated:
One who I've been through thick and thin with, who I've faced demons with and have slayed them together, and who bares the scars of our relationship.
One who I've been counting on to get me through the rough patches, that has been my confidant and my counselor, and who counts on me to be theirs.

Those descriptions are sometimes interchangeable depending on the day, even though they are not interchangeable as individuals.. That is the nature of my life; The ebb and flow of my reality.

It's a reality that I have created. I've allowed it, even fostered it. But with it come all the land mines that I've seeded.

Each friend only hears the bad about the other.
Each one doesn't want the other to know about them.
Each friend mistrusts the other.
Each friend questions the other's motives.
Each friend is jealous of the other.
Each friend thinks the other is trying to replace them.
Each friend thinks the other is out to manipulate me.
Each friend thinks the other is flawed in some serious, possibly unfixable way.
Each friend thinks the other's marriage is a sham.
Each friend thinks they could do better than the other.
Each friend thinks I should limit contact with the other.
Each friend uses emotional blackmail to maintain control.

Words like "I'll make this easy for you" or "Maybe I won't come back" or "You don't really want me there anyway" or "Maybe I just need to quit" or "I think you need some space" or "I'm not needed there" or "Maybe you'll be too busy" just roll off the tongue. Just waiting on my to snap to attention and fight for them. To jump up an say "NO! I'll be a good boy! Please don't leave me!" And in each incident I reflect and I find ways to avoid conflict, to find common ground, to forgive, to forget, to feign indifference, and to get things back to "normal" while at the same time planting one more land mine.

At the end of the day, the problem isn't them. The problem is me. I want an integrated life. I want to be able to have both of them for what they bring to the table. They each are so similar and yet the reason I love them is so completely different. It's like the Goddess of Chaos in one (destruction, creation, creativity, excitement) and the Goddess of Order in the other (nurturing, logical, ordered, driven, relaxed). They are yin and yang, matter and anti-matter. I need both of them and yet I feel like their proximity makes an explosive combination that threatens to destroy us all.

The problem is me though. I haven't been strong enough to say these words:

"I am good enough and I deserve your friendship and your love."
"You are deserving of my love."
"I give you my love freely and without condition."
"I deserve to receive your love freely and without condition."
"I am doing the best I know to do, to care for you. Even if sometimes that means not caring for myself."
"I am doing the best I can to care for myself. Even if sometimes that makes you feel like I don't care about you."
"I want you and I to be a team always, doing the best for one another."
"I deserve it!"

Maybe I'm a egotistical, maybe I'm not all that great. Maybe I'm naive and unconditional love doesn't exist. Maybe expecting love without condition is a condition in itself. But I'm tired of the legalistic, negotiated, turf war kind of love that I feel like I've been receiving lately, where it's on everyone else's terms but mine. It seems like we're all so interested in establishing our bases, enforcing our boundaries, and guarding our territories that we abandon one another, choosing ideals over people.

From my perspective there's always a consequence involved. If I don't behave a certain way people withdraw, they pull their love away, they punish me. They call it "guarding themselves" or "protecting their hearts" or something along that line. But at the end of the day it feels like punishment. When someone displeases me the only consequence is my displeasure. I'm still here, I'm still loving, I don't withdraw for more than just a moment, I don't guard, I don't abandon, and I don't threaten.

I don't want to live that way. I don't feel that I have to. I deserve more. I refuse to live like everyone else. I want to take on life's challenges. I want to upset the balance of the world. I want to prove people wrong.

I want to be able to dream!

I want you both to be with me while I do.

If you choose not to, I'll still go on loving you, without condition.