Balancing Hunting and Having (and Do I Deserve It?)
The things I like (mostly music, a few TV series), I like to collect. I’m a moderate completist. I like to have everything by a band and listen to their creative arc over and over. I have a few friends who are just as nutty as I am about this and we can talk about this stuff for hours.
When I was preparing to move out on my own (a two-year process), I started to get rid of things. I held onto everything usually, but I knew it was time to unload stuff and I was ready. That act is still with me. Music is the best example; I buy an album, enjoy it for years, don’t listen to it for a couple of years, get rid of it, then a few years later I “remember” how much I enjoyed it and buy it again and possibly go through the same cycle again. Having something taking up space bothered me after a while and I would feel a drive to clear out some of it that, at the time, I felt I could do without.
It wasn’t until after my marriage, and moving to NC, that I noticed I was doing that in relationships. I didn’t start dating until then. I never thought I was the type of person who hunted and gathered. I thought I collected and enjoyed, but somewhere the happiness of the having paled with the thrill of the hunt. Facebook is the biggest example of this; how many people do you know who “collect” friends? It was transient behavior that lacked any real connection. It didn’t stop me from being myself, but I wasn’t myself as much as I wanted to be.
Hunting is a primal behavior done for survival. I don’t need music for survival, though I certainly felt I couldn’t live without it. I didn’t need to be married, or how I was feeling it, for someone to agree to marry me, for my survival, but I felt I did at that time. I didn’t hunt for a wife; we crossed paths and we both initiated. I collected someone who made me feel I loved myself. She probably collected me also. Did I love her? Yes, but it took me a while because I didn’t love myself and I feel the same thing was happening with her. We learned together.
The having has taken me much longer to appreciate. Why would this be so? If I have something or someone enter my life that I wanted, why does the having feeling only last a short time? Because the material object or person was not what I really wanted. It made me feel good, but what I really wanted was to feel a deep connection. Ironically, this behavior drove me away from the one thing I wanted a deeper connection with; myself.
With the exception of when I was married, if the amounts of time I was involved in a relationship and when I was single were flipped, it would look like I can’t be on my own; that I always had to have someone. But it’s not that way. I’m single for long stretches and involved for brief periods. I asked myself while out on a walk, “Why this is?” Somewhere in that walk, the answer came to me: I keep myself single more often so I can always be in a state of hunting. So my life looked like this:
It’s a true addictive behavior. Soon enough, the happy part disappears and pretty soon, so does the having, as I got farther away from my spiritual source. When I look back, I really see it was happening in my marriage too. My wife at that time noted to me more than once that it felt like we’d become more like roommates than a married couple. She was right. But there was something deeper going on that I hadn’t realized until I turned this blog in. I had to add this because this was behind it all: I felt I didn’t deserve anything. No matter how sincere I was or how much I believed, there was a part of me that overrode everything: “I don’t care how much you love this person, or how much you believe what you believe; you don’t deserve it.” That’s why the hunting always happened; it was covering a constant state of not deserving.
When I took the Trinity Energy Progression™, the biggest part of it was about unconditional love…of yourself! If someone were to ask me at that time if I loved myself, there would’ve been a pause and not a very enthusiastic answer; “Yeah, I guess so.” With Trinity, I pushed through that and sooner than I expected; I could say that I did love myself and knew what that actually felt like.
But this habit still remained in my life. It wasn’t until a year-and-a-half after taking Trinity that all of this came into conscious thought as I was preparing (notice another preparation) to take the Facilitators retreat to Mt. Shasta in California (July 2015). I notice now that it wasn’t until I typed the above sentence that I realized I am repeating the same process I did when I moved out of the house I grew up in; getting rid of the stuff I don’t use anymore so moving will be easier. But this time there’s a twist; it’s not material things, it’s behaviors and concepts that I have outgrown. I am moving out of my old consciousness and into my new one but I won’t be returning to them and therefore, will break the cycle. My ego is feeling the ‘empty nest’ like my mom did; ‘Will I exist if I am not doing what you asked me to do?’ The answer is yes you will exist and in a much higher and brighter way than you ever imagined.
Emotions and behaviors are like this: by doing what you’re doing, they can be pointing out what the issue is. The drive to hunt pointed to a deep feeling of not deserving what I hunted for. That’s how emotions and behaviors can work. They are circular. Always ask yourself why you are really doing what you’re doing. It could reveal a deeper drive that is unconscious. When you bring those to light; your life is yours to live again.
The way to balance all of this is to love myself unconditionally. Nothing external is needed. It’s true that I can’t go home again because I never left it. It was always inside just waiting to be remembered.