I don't ever remember having a massage that wasn't ticklish on my back. I tense up so much when someone massages my back. I enjoy it, and yet it can also make me tense up all the way down to my toes. I wonder what it would feel like to not do that. The massage therapist said with practice I could learn to relax those muscles. It was really clear to her that I was carrying a lot in my back and shoulders. She said I seemed very "guarded." I recognize that we carry emotions in our muscles and tissues and that there's an emotional-physical connection. If you can learn with practice to be physically relaxed, what would the emotional counterpart be? That might be an interesting goal. Where might I go on this journey of personal discovery and growth if I learned how to be relaxed physically for a massage. If I was able to do that, what would that mean for my emotional health. Then on the flip-side (in a completely contorted tangled acrobatic flipping kind of way), I wonder what it would be like to be so emotional healthy? I feel like I'm pretty emotionally healthy now. If you've got it ALL figured out, then you don't really need anyone's help. I realize even as I'm typing this that I've got faulty logic involved here, but this is the internal argument that I'm struggling against.
I had lunch with my friend R today. We talked about how my divorce situation is different from hers because I have to, as she said, "buck up" for the sake of the boys. That's largely a good thing because it gives me a reason to be positive and move forward with my life. But when she said that, I instantly realized the connection between my tendency to "buck up" and my guarded back muscles carrying all that grief.
My dear friend who just broke up with her boyfriend (and who shares many of my same growth areas) is reading a book called Why Men Love Bitches. Aside from my really not liking the B word, from what she's told me, the book makes sense and seems to corroborate some of the ideas that have been percolating in my mind about the failure of my marriage. I was too nice. I didn't make him work hard. Not in the beginning or anytime throughout. And in theory, men need to feel needed. They need to feel like they're winning something. Now, given who he is, I don't think that he would have worked hard, but I would have gone through this all much sooner. This is not about regret, I don't regret that I was in a 10-year marriage that resulted in my three beautiful boys. But it is about learning from the past for the sake of my future. It seems like I need to learn to be more needy. I know that's not quite right, but it's something like that. And I should also learn how to fully relax and receive a massage. I guess I need to learn how to receive. That's the ticket. Not to be needy, but to receive.
Tonight, my divorced male colleague texted me at nearly 10 asking if I wanted to go out on a platonic date. That was interesting and worthy of a whole blog entry in and of itself. I drove him back to his apartment at the end and was talking about how I need an oil change, and he offered to do it for me. I told him that wasn't necessary; he didn't need to do that for me. He seemed quite sincere in offering, reiterating more than once that he would be more than happy to do it. I of course told him that was very kind but unnecessary, that I could pay to get it done, he didn't need to spend his time doing that. Now, this is a platonic work friendship, but I started wondering, how should I have acted differently if this was a romantic interest. Would I take him up on it? Would I have taken him up on it before? I think taking him up on in it might be the right thing to do if I was trying to advance a romantic relationship (which I'm DEFINITELY not in this case). Did I do that kind of thing with my STBEX? In the beginning? I can't even remember.
The theme here is in learning how to receive, from oil changes to massages. I'm understanding at a theoretical level that men need to feel like they are achieving something and feeling needed. They can't feel needed if you don't need anything.
When I dropped him off tonight, past midnight, we hugged goodnight. I had double-clarified when we first got to the restaurant that this was indeed as he texted, a "platonic" date. We were on the same page. We talked about a lot of different stuff. He's a nice guy, but even if I was ready to date someone, and even if we didn't work together, there would be no interest on my part. There's zero chemistry for me. Zero. And yet, as we hugged goodnight, I thought to myself, how very much I would like to be held by a man and tenderly cared for, even just for a night. If I didn't know him from work and if there could be such a one night stand, I just might have fallen for it, even with the zero chemistry. What does that mean, just that I'm lonely?
Crap. I'd better go to bed. It's nearly 2 am, and I have a school to lead in the morning.