To the Warrior I Dated: a Treatise of Love and Apology

Sometimes we have to examine our intentions to understand our behavior

I’m on my apology tour to cleanse my soul and figured it was appropriate to acknowledge your impact on my life. I still love you a great deal and think highly of you even under the scope of my scrutinizing hindsight. But I think it’s fair for us both to realise how wrong things were between us. And I truly need to thank you for teaching me some very hard lessons about myself.

I now see how much we both put on metaphorical masks for each other. At first, the masks we were wearing were at least translucent so we could see each other, just not truly. Our masks were our intentions to be whatever the other wanted, which slowly fogged up, darkened, and then eventually became mirrors.

It’s like we were wearing the Mirror of Erised around each other

I saw too much of myself in you: the things I wanted to fix but felt incapable of doing so, the drive to gain approval, the ease at which I lied to others for their own benefit, the knowledge that nothing really matters but needing purpose regardless of the fact, thus making me absurd.

The passion I felt with you was familiar but new, thrilling but comfortable. I relished every moment with you but still I would second guess everything I said and did around you when away from your calming presence on me. I became addicted to your influence on me and designed my affectation to keep your affection. That was a mistake and I see why now.

There were so many times I could see the truth behind your words. Behaviors that told the real story behind your protestations. I started to think I could change myself, my wants and desires, to be with you. But then I remembered the slippery slope that becomes, slick with tears and sometimes blood. So I chose to stop, to think, and to resolve. I’m sorry it came out of the blue for you, and my anger during this time of revelation must have seemed unjust.

Lately, I’ve been finding the projection metaphor “people are mirrors” to be true. Accepting that we do in fact project ourselves onto others allows us the capability to behave sincerely. At the time, I was being true to my experiential knowledge of lashing out at those who could get in the way of what I wanted, especially if that person was me. I’m so sorry for the way I behaved with you when I was unable to be kind to myself.

Perspective is important when dealing with idioms

You got in my head a few times by calling me mean, and I’m actually grateful you did. I needed to know how my behavior hurts others feelings. Feelings matter more than most want to believe and I don’t want to be a person who acts as if they don’t. I have some pretty twisted conditioning I’ve been working to undo and how I treated you opened my eyes to my need for growth.

From the Wikipedia article “Greek Words for Love” I found these under the list of concepts:

• Éros (ἔρως érōs) means “love, mostly of the sexual passion”. The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love”. Plato refined his own definition: Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, “without physical attraction”. In the Symposium, the most famous ancient work on the subject, Plato has Socrates argue that eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth, the ideal Form of youthful beauty that leads us humans to feel erotic desire – thus suggesting that even that sensually based love aspires to the non-corporeal, spiritual plane of existence; that is, finding its truth, just like finding any truth, leads to transcendence. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth through the means of eros.
• Philia (φιλία philía) means “affectionate regard, friendship”, usually “between equals”. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. In his best-known work on ethics, Nicomachean Ethicsphilia is expressed variously as loyalty to friends (specifically, “brotherly love”), family, and community, and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity. Furthermore, in the same text philos is also the root of philautia denoting self-love and arising from it, a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.
• Philautia (Greek: φιλαυτία, romanized: philautía) means “self-love”. To love oneself or “regard for one’s own happiness or advantage” has been conceptualized both as a basic human necessity and as a moral flaw, akin to vanity and selfishness, synonymous with amour-propre or egotism. The Greeks further divided this love into positive and negative: one, the unhealthy version, is the self-obsessed love, and the other is the concept of self-compassion.

Warrior, I want you to know that it was being with you and the demise of our erotic relationship that allowed me to grow enough to understand the true importance of all the other kinds of love I had in my life, and opened my eyes to the love I still wanted for myself. I’ll always be grateful for that and hope our own relationship can evolve away from its fledgling beginnings: two people comfortable with each other’s inner child but too scared to be honest with themselves, into something more meaningful for us both.

Because while I saw too much of myself in you in times of hardship, and it scared me, I’ve grown to see that being vulnerable is the truest form of honesty. And because I don’t know if you have seen its merit yet, I worry you’ll continue to make the same mistakes that keep you from finding peace. Because my practicing at vulnerability with you gave me the confidence to practice it with everyone else who matters to me. I’m still not the best at it but like one of my saviors has often said, “Progress, not perfection.”

I hope you’ll let me be your mirror now, and see how our strange relationship shouldn’t be something that causes shame, but understanding. How our time wasn’t considered a waste for me. And I really do hope we can remain friends, because your importance regarding my personal growth weighs more than my guilt over bad behavior.

You’re entitled to your feelings about me, so I’m sending this out into the void of the internet and hope you’ll find it someday, but I know trying to engage with you directly may send the wrong message, and I more than ever want to be clear of my intentions. I’m done wearing masks that hide away my true self, and only wearing masks that protect myself and others from SARS.

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