John Lennon once said, “Life happens while you’re busy making other plans.”
That’s for sure. We’re preparing for our imagined future when we’re missing what’s
right in front of us. Or, we just don’t want to feel what’s happening in front of us.
I met someone recently. We were “dating” (I’ll put that in air quotes!) for almost a
month and then . . .
No return texts or phone calls. Disappeared off social media.
Perhaps I was dating a BOT, I thought.
I wasn’t really familiar with that term until my friend Jenny came over and said,
“OMG. You’ve been ghosted!” like it was the most normal thing in the world.
To be ghosted.
Not sure I’d ever experienced the conscious ghosting of someone before. Sure, we’ve
all dated people and then you mutually sort of lose interest. Or get busy with your
lives. Or meet other people. Or just things find a natural way to evolve or turn into
But this was something different. I was in unchartered territory here. How do you
create closure or communicate with someone who “disappears?” How do you not
feel like the outcast in high school when someone ignores you completely? How do
you negotiate with your mind telling you all the reasons why someone would do
that? And how it must be your fault?
“Ummm . . . certainly he wouldn’t ghost me?”
So as I started to have feelings around being dumped – and not wanting to have
those feelings – I noticed how I tried to do things to not feel the discomfort I was
I thought about how to solve the disappearance. Devised plans. Came up with excuses. Rationalized behavior. I figured out how to fix what I felt, obviously, I must have done wrong. I turned to social media (his page!) to try to get answers and connect the dots in my mind of what would make him do this.
I kept thinking of ways to fix rather than accept.
Control rather than surrender.
Make me feel better rather than allow.
The stories that I told myself to move through all of this were all based in control.
And obviously, since I didn’t have any real information, my mind was coming up
with a bunch of “fake news.”
If I could do something – anything – that would give my mind some sort of answer –
which was not based on fact but a way for my mind to accept the idea that this had
happened, then I’d be able to control the situation in a way that would allow me to
But to feel better isn’t really feeling.
It’s trying to mask and cover-up what we don’t want to feel.
For sure you get through your stuff and eventually you do feel better. But that comes
with feeling feeling. Period. Even the gross, unwanted, icky, scary, uncomfortable
And what you eventually might discover is that a lot of those feelings are triggered
by the stories that we tell ourselves.
Get rid of the stories and you get rid of the ick.
Sort of like ghost stories.
They aren’t really real.