New Year’s resolutions – a little late to be trotting those out, I know. Hell, most years I’ve already broken the perennial ones by now: drink less, eat better. Didn’t even really think about those this year, not with the New Crisis underway.

I don’t think I have drunk more than usual, for the most part, to deal with the turmoil; that’s what the Ativan’s for (and the meditation, for those days when I need to be a little more clear-headed or feel like I’m turning to the drugs just a little too much). And food: You wouldn’t think a vegan – even a bad one – would have to worry too much about diet. But the IMD, augmented by the holidays, meant more sugar and fat than is good for me, and less fruit and beans and other healthy things. So, I will get back on track naturally with the food, I think. The drink? Well…

No, my resolution is a little different this year. More about attitudes than actions. And definitely spawned by the New Crisis.

I really have Dr. Chomsky to thank for it. During one of our sessions, he talked about expectations. I had what proved to be unrealistic expectations about the Fex, about who she is and how she interprets the world. I expected her to think and feel more like me, or that she would over time.


We are very different people, something I‘ve come to see so acutely during the separation. My emotions run amok; hers are corralled and controlled and parceled out in only the smallest doses, at least around me. And it was ever thus, really.

Our being different people is pretty darn obvious. You would think a smart guy might have detected that before. But for so long, I assumed my way of processing emotions and relating to people was healthy. Her shutting down and glossing over was something that could be changed. Should be change, so she would be healthier, and more like me, which would just make things so much better. For me.

But, uh, people don’t work like that. She processed the world in the way that felt right, felt normal. Or was simply the only way she knew. It was her. She was no more inclined to change it than I would be to want to feel less, express less. I have felt emotional pain like never before these past 8 months or so. Would I rather have been numb, as she has seemed to be so often, before and during the IMD? No. This is me. All life is suffering. I don’t seek it out, but I want to truly feel it when it comes. And the happiness too. And then let them all go, all the emotions. Because nothing is permanent.

Those last few line, of course, reflect some of the Buddhist thought I have increasingly turned to during the New Crisis. It has comforted. But for all the oneness the Buddha preaches, I see also that the physical us, not our Buddha essence, is very individualistic. The Fex would never see the world the way I do, experience emotions as I do – or at least could not express them in the same way. And no woman I fall in love with will either, even if she is that elusive soul mate.

So, for me, the lesson learned this year, the resolution I hope to follow: have no expectations of others. Now, that is not all encompassing (ah, of course, the New Year’s hedge to go with the resolution). I expect people to follow certain standards of civility and morality. But how they think, how they feel, how they treat me; ultimately, I have no influence over that, and I won’t expect any certain behavior.

Perhaps some of you have known this for years. Me, I’m a slow learner. But better late than never. And if I have to go through a divorce to learn this, so be it. It will not be all for naught.

Now, I just have to find the resolve to move forward. It has been a struggle at times in the brief New Year. Sometimes it feels like the well of inner strength is close to tapped out. But I will find a reserve, I know. Or least I expect so. Yes, the self-expectations are still there. Can they ever be abandoned? Maybe they are only ones we should ever have. No answers here. Still learning.


~ by mburgan on January 6, 2011.

2 Responses to “Resolve”

  1. can’t control others..or change their way of thinking, or how they treat us, we can though not accept certain behavior.

    and of course you have the resolve to move forward, you will be fine, and hopefully find some happiness

  2. Yes, hopefully. It has already come in small doses. Now just need to sustain it, through work, writing, relationships, travel, growth and learning. We shall see what the New Year brings…

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