Self-Care Saturday: Do the Work+Feel the Feelings=Let Love In

This is La Conchita Church, built around 1520. It is a church that was-depending on historical record-on the site of where Hernan Cortes lived while living in Coyoacán during that time, or is the church he attended. There is a house nearby that says “House of Cortes” that apparently erroneously states that he lived there. In any case-he did live here in Coyoacán, a mile from where I’m staying. This part of Mexico City was the first municipality in the state of Mexico, and the first county. YES, this is after indigenous cultures were slaughtered by the Spanish. That said-apparently the indigenous members of Coyoacán didn’t like the Aztecs at Tenochtitlan in what is now the center and called Templo Mayor. SO, they banded with the Spanish to conquer the Aztecs. It’s all very bloody.

It is an interesting perspective to be in Mexico while they are about to elect their next senators, legislators, President. It’s loud and quiet at the same time. People are still going about their days. Granted, I don’t watch Mexican TV or listen to Mexican talk radio unless I’m in an Uber, but my take away is that it’s just as corrupt and complicated as the US. Tomorrow is the election. I think it’s cool that it happens on an Sunday when less people are working. Also, you can’t buy alcohol in stores or in restaurants on election day, and some places enforce that the day before, too. That kinda sucked for me, but I get it.

So I walked to my new favorite cafe, a hybrid of Mexican and Italian food, and tied to order a draft beer. Sadly, no beer due to the elections. They call it Ley Seca, Dry Law. BUT THEN a few hours later, the restaurant served wine and beer to the other patrons. Someone that speaks Spanish must have reminded the young servers that the law is just for election DAY. It’s ok. I had limonada mineral, which is sparkling lemonade, and it was lovely.

It’s kind of awesome that I’ve walked the route to the historical center of Coyoacán so many times that I just walk there by memory now. I know how the old streets connect. I know there on that corner is a commercial laundry right after the appliance store and then a hospital on the corner. There’s that dog that barks at me behind that gate, the tile of blue doves on that one house that I love, the yellow house with the geraniums, the pink house, the blue house, the Guadalupe cartoon, the varnished door, the huge gate. There’s the vendor that sells nuts and candies, the Krispy Kreme drive through, the pile of branches that have been there for two weeks, the garbage shoved in that light post.

I know a lot of it by heart, and that feels pretty special. I adore it here. It was my whole point-to live in a place and learn it, and to live somewhere safe where I could sort of kinda just a little, feel like I am a local for a minute.

I sat in the little cafe window seat at Ecos del Mundo,  ate a caprese salad and wrote in my journal and listened to music for hours. And then when I left there I went to the plaza in front of La Chonchita church and wrote for another hour. I had a lot to get out.

I wrote about all my damn drama. The stuff I’m too embarrassed to even admit to myself. The things that make me feel unlovable and make me retreat in intimate situations. The things I’m ashamed of and the things that scare me. I listened to my mix of music from my undergraduate college years, and the music made it visceral.

My favorite one on my playlist is filled with lyrics of poetry that are raw and stabbing-Beck’s Mellow Gold- “Loser.” Phew. It’s my favorite walking down the street in Mexico City song.

I tell you what, there’s no better double whammy than writing down your deep shit while listening to music that has lyrics like:

Today is gonna be the day they’re gonna throw it back to you. By now you should’ve somehow realized what you gotta do.  -Wonderwall, Oasis

or even more cutting:

When you were here before, couldn’t look you in the eye, you’re just like an angel,. Your skin makes me cry.

You float like a feather in a beautiful world. I wish I was special. You’re so fucking special. But I’m a creep. I’m a weirdo. What the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here. I want you to notice when I’m not around. -Creep, Radiohead

I know music like this is gonna bring it all out, no escaping. I know strong things will be confronted. So, it sounds bad, but it’s good.

I’m being asked to show up in my relationship in a way I have never been asked to do before by anyone. It’s a huge blessing of love. To be loved so much that he wants to be with me and wants to share as much as he can with me. That’s really hard to face. At first I didn’t understand and got defensive, but after the last several days of soul searching, I realize now what he is looking for. He just wants me to give myself to him, and to show up for him more in simple, little ways. Sitting on the couch, doing stuff on the house, going to a movie-just life.

But it makes me terrified. And so I’m not good at it, and I just keep hurting him.

So I wrote for hours and figured some shit out about myself. Some stuff I need, and some stuff that I can let go of because it’s habitual self-protection that I learned over years of relationship disasters in the past. Just because I’ve done things the same way for a long time, doesn’t mean that they are actually part of me. It just means they’re habits. So I’m trying to figure out what I’m okay with letting go of to show up for someone that I love.  What can I definitely not let go of? Do I need anything back?

I AM TERRIFIED to examine my emotional and behavioral habits in order to be a better partner to Tom. It’s so vulnerable and scary to do and if I’m honest, I’m scared it’s going to open up too big a hole in me that will allow me to get more hurt. What if it doesn’t work?  I put so much faith in my marriage. It was an unfailing bond, I never questioned its solidarity once. Until the last year when everything crumbled before my eyes.  It’s hard to bounce back from that kind sadness.

On a lighter note, it’s basically this situation but maybe just a little less cheesy. Love can be cheesy.

I’m just a girl, standing in front of a a boy…


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