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Are you attracting the Dark Knight of Your Own Soul?

Are you attracting the Dark Knight of Your Own Soul?

Are you still waiting for a man to rescue you? Except, the men you keep attracting are not the White Knights. Instead they are the reflection of all the ways you doubt yourself and all the parts of you that you don’t believe are ‘good enough’.

You are attracting the Dark Knight; the one who is the epitome of the dark sadness in your soul. Yet you accept his negative behaviours, his emotional abuse, his dismissiveness, his devaluing of you and non-acceptance because you do those things to yourself little by little every day. You don’t believe you’re worth anymore.

And deep down you know this. You know you are the root of the pattern. You probably even have a good idea where it’s come from. Maybe it’s from your childhood and your teens. Maybe your Dad didn’t listen to you, made you feel small. Maybe you never felt you could speak up and instead you focused on being the good girl. Trying to do the ‘right thing’. But you were never easy. People sometimes found you difficult. ‘Why can’t you just ‘get over’ things?’ they’d ask you.

But you never could. Your very unique and capricious soul was marked with discontent of yourself as you tried to be one thing and wanted desperately to be another.

Fast forward and now you’re an adult. But those marks of the past persist and now manifest in your entrenched ‘not good enoughness’. So you attract the same and you accept the same. Your Dark Knight arrives.

The curious thing is the Dark Knight often looks exactly like his White Knight brother. They are, after all, two sides of the same coin because we all, even you, have light and shadow within us. It’s just up to us to manage the shadows and grow the light.

The Dark Knight is just as shiny on the surface. He is just as good-looking and just as attentive (for a moment or two). But soon enough his shadows make themselves known. He doesn’t return calls, belittles you just a little, suggests oh so subtly that maybe you need to change yourself…condense yourself into a box he’s more comfortable with. And you respond in kind, oh so subtly, because it’s more comfortable that way. It’s the pattern you adhere to. It’s your comfortable zone. And your mind is happy there, sort of. Your soul weeps but it often seems like the pain of conformity and the life you’ve lived for so long, is preferable to unhooking your caboose and letting go of someone else’s direction. Far better to conform to their projection.

For the Dark Knight is merely your reflection and you are responsible for your predicament. I know these words seem harsh. I’ve directed them to myself often enough. But I know them to be true. For my boundaries are decided by me and if I don’t put any in place then how does anyone know they’re there?

My heart will still search for love in the Dark Knight because I wish to find it there. I crave it. I see his potential. But therein lies the trick of the light because his potential is mine. He is me. But I must cut him loose in order to allow my light to shine. His shadows are his to manage and he is my reflection. I cannot allow his shadows to suffocate my light. Yet I have done, so many times. So many Dark Knights have galloped in and swept me away and I have loved them. I have given myself unto them willingly. Desperately seeking the light of love that glimmers within them.

But they cannot light the match that ignites my lantern. They will instead snuff it out as they simply do what I do to myself, time and again. I snuff out my own light with my feelings of not being worthy, of not being enough, of not deserving more, of not being heard.

But I am done with the Dark Knights. I cannot carry their shadows any longer. And I know the White Knight can only come unto me when my own light shines brightly; when my own shadows are gently but firmly confined back where they should be.

I must focus on my light. I must be accountable for dealing with my own shadows and sending them on their way, one by one. Only then will I stop attracting the Dark Knights of My Own Soul.

Only then will the White Knight come.

Only then will I be free of the shadows of me.

Only then will I realise, perhaps my White Knight, is me.

Lucretia Ackfield is a writer and transformational teacher who helps women unlock their intuitive power so they can become their own White Knights. For more information about her programs and tips about using your intuition, join her Facebook group Rock Your Inner Channel or visit her Facebook page Lucretia’s Words.

Men, Feral Cats and the Single Life

Men, Feral Cats and the Single Life

There was a moment during the editing process for The Men I’ve Almost Dated, when I said I wanted to rewrite the entire thing. I think my editor, Kristy, almost had conniptions at that point. There she was trying to steer me towards the finishing line while I was suggesting a rewind to the beginning.

I was half-serious because as I re-read my stories, it felt like they were written by someone else. Oh, I knew I’d definitely done all the things in the book and lived through those experiences. But the person I’d become was very different from that 30-something woman who somewhat blindly made her way out of a 10-year marriage, through divorce and into the dysfunctional world of dating.

Take for instance my chapter entitled, Why Men Are Like Feral Cats. Even now it seems like an outrageous statement to make but, back then, I came across a number of men who were exactly like our feline friends. As I wrote, ‘Men couldn’t have anything in common with previously domesticated but now wild animals running the streets with absolutely no sense of responsibility. Could they?’

If you’ve been single for any period of time you’ll know the types of ‘cats’ I’m referring to here. In my book I’ve broken them down into some categories. These include the Never-Been-Faithful Cat who ‘flirts and behaves like the most unattached man with any attractive woman within a five-kilometre radius.’ There’s the Shameless Cat who ‘will chat up multiple women in the same location, within minutes of each other’ (for him it’s purely a numbers game). And of course, there’s the Shady Cat. He’s the one disguised as the nice guy until his partner is out of earshot (or in the next room) and then suddenly he’s all hands and innuendo.

Are you seeing the similarities yet between some men and feral cats? I’ll give you a hint…it may have something to do with their need to copulate with as many females as possible, regardless of their relationship status.

Fortunately, I‘ve also come to know some lovely men who don’t resemble feral cats in any way whatsoever. Ladies they do exist, thank goodness! But the feral cats are still out there and when I look back at the woman who had those experiences, I shake my head ruefully. I was so naïve about men and human behaviour when I ventured into the Land of Single. Learning about feral cats was just one of the lessons I learned the hard way.

As I read my book from beginning to end, I realised how much I’d grown from all the experiences it described. I was wiser but in many ways, when it comes to men, yet still just as clueless.

Today I wonder if that will ever change? Or is that just one of the constant mysteries of life…that men and women are different creatures so we must always be prone to miscommunication, misdirection and misdemeanors while we navigate the dating world?

I’m not sure, but I’m still out there hoping for the best. Except these days, I can usually spot a ‘feral cat’ at 10 paces.

Would you like to read more about men, feral cats, divorce and dysfunctional dating? The Men I’ve Almost Dated is available now in eBook and paperback. Get your copy today!

‘No one will want to date you!’

‘No one will want to date you!’

It’s interesting to observe people’s reactions when I start telling people about some of the less than ideal male behaviour I’ve described in my book, The Men I’ve Almost Dated. The thing is, I’ve been pretty honest about my dating experiences and often men don’t come off as behaving very well.

One recent conversation with a couple (let’s call them Maggie and James) went something like this.

‘I think it sounds great!’ Maggie said enthusiastically after I’d briefly described the content of the book.

‘Are you dating anyone now?’ James asked.

‘No,’ I said.

‘Well no one’s going to ask you out once you publish,’ he said. ‘No one will want to date you!’

‘Of course they will. It will just weed at the ones she doesn’t want because they’ll know she’ll just call them on their crap if they try it on,’ Maggie said indignantly.

Hmmm.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not naïve to the fact that occasionally the things I mention in my book might polarise opinion or make some people uncomfortable. The very topics of divorce, dating, sex and pursuing the wrong men is highly topical and a lot of people will have opinions about it.

The suggestion that I will be deemed less attractive by the opposite sex because I’m honest about some very ordinary male behaviour is a little disconcerting yet not surprising. The inference from James’ comments was that I might be too ‘scary’ or ‘intimidating’ because I put it all out there.

I’ve heard this argument before about women being ‘intimidating’ or ‘too confident’ and that it apparently scares men off. James’ remarks were just another edition of that same old story. Honestly, I think these types of comments are just another way to keep women small. The very idea that we should hold ourselves back in some way to make men more comfortable is completely repellant to me. That being said, I don’t believe women are better than men or that we should exclude them from our lives. Relationships between men and women are a delicate balancing act that should be based on mutual respect and freedom to be precisely who you are. But that’s a soapbox for another day.

In the meantime, am I worried that no man will ever ask me out once they read my book?

Um, no, because I’m more in Maggie’s camp and hope that it actually turns away the players from my life. Because the truth is, I don’t want any more men I’ve almost dated. I want the real thing now. If some men find me too intimidating, full frontal or whatever because I choose to tell a story based on my perspectives and experience, then they are clearly not the men for me.

And I’m really 100 percent okay with that.

The Men I’ve Almost Dated is now on sale. Find out more>

 

 

 

 

 

Holding Hands

HandsShe felt him holding her hand
Then he was gone
His touch had been light
Feather-like
Dancing streams of daylight
In her world

Then gone
Taken
Removed without heart it seemed
She thought about that hand later
And wondered why
He’d ever held hers at all

Strange to think of that now
Much later
A recurring thought
It’s true
Holding someone’s hand
And believing it could be true

But a hand is not a relationship
That requires much more
Although it seemed like
Wait, none of that
They were satellites
Nothing more
Another time
Another place
Another shore
Can’t wait
Wanting more

Just a hand
Offering less
Confusion
Just a test
Hating this

A tide needs more than a hand
To guide it back to shore.

Why it doesn’t pay to be the ‘cool girl’

salsa cat

Being the cool girl has never worked for me. I’ve tried to play it cool, not crowd the guy I’m interested in, not acted needy, not asked for anything from him (like, even a date) but it’s never gone well. Instead I’ve frequently ended up frustrated, frequently screwed over (figuratively, if not metaphorically, speaking) and then in true Lucy-style I’ve exploded.

Yes, exploded.

It’s not a part of my personality I’m particularly proud of, this capacity to lose my head and throw a bit of a tantrum. But I am startling good at it. The crazy thing is the explosion and tantrum are a direct result of trying to be the cool girl. So I bring it upon myself. Then of course, the man in question often freaks out, withdraws, throws a tantrum back and well, you get the drift.

It’s a no-win situation for me.

Someone reminded me recently of my tendency to become more than a little high-handed in my tantrum-phase. They are completely right. It’s easy to take the high ground when you feel wronged. Particularly when the object of your affection is proving evasive, indecisive or bloody-minded. But every time this has happened I know it’s only got to that point because I was trying to play it cool at the start. When I talk to others about this, it seems to be a bit of an epidemic. Women feel like they should play it cool so they don’t seem ‘needy’ while men think that if a woman isn’t playing it cool then there’s something wrong with her. Yep, that little gem came from an ex of mine who, when his mate said the girl he wanted to date told him she was available any night of the following week, my ex said, ‘Mate, I’d be careful there. There’s probably something wrong with her.’ He meant it!! Meanwhile I said, flabbergasted at his stupidity, ‘Maybe she just really likes him!’

Is it any wonder the male/female dating dynamic is a freaking mess?! (And yes, that was a red flag conversation I should’ve paid more attention to with my ex).

As I work my way through the last edits of my book, evidence of my tantrum-throwing behaviour is particularly apparent in Part 2: Dysfunctional Dating and Other Disasters. In one situation, I’d been playing the ‘cool girl’ with a man I’ve called Salsa Cat. He was in my dance class and he’d been flirting with me and coming on to me for months and months. It was obvious, it was frequent and it was persistent. Then we hit a turning point when he told me that he didn’t want me invading his personal space…when he had been actively and intentionally invading mine for months. Gah!! What followed was a Lucy-tantrum that I believe could have been avoided if I’d just not tried to be the ‘cool girl’ in the first place.

“I threw myself on the bed that night and shed tears of frustration and disappointment. I was terribly hurt. Then anger started to bubble up inside me. A couple of days later I did something I had never done as a single woman before – I told a man he’d upset me. Instead of just taking it, blaming myself and feeling like crap, I stood up for myself and said it wasn’t good enough.

Actually, let’s face it, I completely lost my temper and acted like a crazy person. Salsa Cat bore the brunt of years of singledom involving game-playing, non-committal and dishonest men.

I kept as far away from him as possible during the next class– that’s quite a feat when you’re dancing salsa. At the end of the our first dance together I very particularly and noticeably disengaged my fingers from his and moved on to the next dance partner, and then the next and so on around the circle of about 20 men. A few minutes later we were opposite each other again. My anger was palpable and visible in every line of my body.

‘What’s wrong?’ he asked.

‘I’d just hate to invade your personal space,’ I said sarcastically. Then we changed partners.

He wasn’t so cheerful by the time we danced together again. ‘I don’t know what your problem is. But I’m not doing anything,’ he ground out. I somehow restrained myself from punching him in the nose and flounced off to the next partner. I danced my way around the circle, forcing a smile for everyone else and continued to fume.

He was apologising as soon as I was within earshot. ‘I’m sorry,’ he said. ‘I know my behaviour must have seemed a bit hot and cold.’

‘Yes,’ I said, ‘It has been.’ Then I moved on to the next partner.

The class finished a few minutes later but he didn’t seek me out to explain further. Instead he retreated to his group of friends and watched me nervously, casting sideways glances in my direction as I walked out the door.

He didn’t show up for end-of-term classes the following week. I guess he felt like an idiot and didn’t want to face a psycho dance partner again. Or maybe his absence had nothing at all to do with me.

It was a month before I saw him again and this time he did seek me out after class. He sat down beside me while I talked to two of our classmates, Dave and Ken. But Dave and Ken didn’t get the hint that they should move on and I couldn’t just end the conversation abruptly without being impolite. So I was stuck.

I guess Salsa Cat got sick of waiting because he got up and left after a minute or two. I’d started seeing someone else by that point so I didn’t run after him. We would dance together over the following years but he never gave me any further explanation. To this day, I’m still not sure what he was thinking.

There was never a resolution with Salsa Cat. Ever. My tantrum-throwing was not conducive to creating a situation where any kind of honest conversation could happen.

I think there is a middle-ground between cool girl and ‘honesty with a bludgeon and resulting head trauma’. Unfortunately, it’s clear I haven’t mastered that yet. Instead I seem to swing from one extreme to the other with the occasional explosion. The extremes don’t lead to a healthy relationship with the opposite sex so the middle ground is kind of important.

Anyway, whenever I talk with single friends about this, my advice is always the same. Be as honest as possible (in an open non-bludgeon-type way), as early as possible, and let the cards fall where they will. Maybe the object of your affection will not respond positively or in the way you like. But it’s not needy to want to know where you stand and if you play the ‘cool girl’ you’re just reducing yourself in your own eyes because you’re not saying what you want and you’re not being who you really are. You may also be leaving yourself open to be taken advantage of if the man/woman in question isn’t genuine.

Of course, I’m still mastering this advice myself. It’s an ongoing process. But playing the ‘cool girl’ has never worked out for me. Instead it has possibly shut doors that could’ve been left open, and that is really quite sad. I also I think I’d rather be not a ‘cool girl’ because acting like a passive-aggressive nightmare in a dance class is not a good look. Just saying.

Why Men Are Like Feral Cats…and other reflections on single life

feral catsMy book editing is nearly done. Just one more read-through and it will be ready for final checking by my editor Kristy. She’s been so patiently waiting and encouraging me over the past few months but I think I gave her a bit of a ‘moment’ in our conversation last week when I said I wanted to rewrite the whole thing.

I was half-serious with the comment because when I read through my book now it feels like it was written by someone else. Oh, I know I’ve definitely done all the things in that book and lived through those experiences. But the person I am now is so very different from that 30-something woman who somewhat blindly found her way out of a 10-year marriage, through divorce and into the dysfunctional world of dating.

Take for instance my chapter entitled, Why Men Are Like Feral Cats. Even now it seems like an outrageous statement to make but, back then, I came across a number of men who were exactly like our feline friends. As I wrote, ‘Men couldn’t have anything in common with previously domesticated but now wild animals running the streets with absolutely no sense of responsibility. Could they?’

If you’ve been single for any period of time you’ll know the types of ‘cats’ I’m referring to here. In my book I’ve broken them down into some categories. These include the Never-Been-Faithful Cat who ‘flirts and behaves like the most unattached man with any attractive woman within a five-kilometre radius.’ There’s the Shameless Cat who ‘will chat up multiple women in the same location, within minutes of each other’ (for him it’s purely a numbers game). And of course, there’s the Shady Cat. He’s the one disguised as the nice guy until his partner is out of earshot (or in the next room) and then suddenly he’s all hands and innuendo.

Are you seeing the similarities yet between some men and feral cats? I’ll give you a hint…it may have something to do with their need to copulate with as many females as possible, regardless of their relationship status.

Fortunately, I have also come to know some lovely men who don’t resemble feral cats in any way whatsoever. Ladies they do exist, thank goodness! But the feral cats are still out there and when I look back at the woman who had those experiences, I shake my head ruefully. I was so naïve about men and human behaviour when I ventured into the Land of Single. And learning about feral cats was just one of the lessons I had to learn the hard way.

I’m still single now but, as I read through my book from beginning to end for what is probably the last time, I know how much I’ve grown from all the experiences it describes. I’m wiser but in many ways, when it comes to men, I’m still just as clueless. Does that ever change, I wonder? Or is that just one of the constant mysteries of life…that men and women are such different creatures that we must always be prone to miscommunication, misdirection and misdemeanors while we navigate the dating world?

I’m not sure, but I’m still out there hoping for the best. Except these days, I can usually spot a ‘feral cat’ at 10 paces.