After writing my last post, I had some further thoughts on my grief.
I am sorry for so very much that led me to leaving my marriage, but I know that despite there being so SO much to lose by leaving….I could not continue knowing that I was not being authentically me – and that I felt unable to be me.
Even though I have always been known for being chatty, the environment that I grew up in unfortunately did not prepare me well for emotional conversations, nor did I get good examples of how to relate to others in such ways. I would even go as far as saying that I very much raised myself from a young age.
Silence was my safety; I could not get hurt if I stayed silent. Thus this became my maladapted behaviour when my safety was threatened in any way.
I recognise that my grief also comes from the failings I perceive….from how I wish I was from the beginning of my relationship with husband – that I wish I could have been more me. However, I wouldn’t be the person I am today had that have been the case.
I am very grateful for all that I have experienced – the good, the bad and the ugly – for it makes me who I am today. But I am also saddened that my marriage is another victim of the failings of my family of origin. I know that there is more to it than just that and I most certainly do not solely place the blame on my lack of upbringing, but it saddens me nonetheless.
I also grieve that the failings of me caused me not to know my husband more. But he is not an easy man to know.
In many ways, husband was what I needed at the time that we courted and married. But, that no longer serves me – and that is okay.
The enormity of the grief was unexpected. The exhaustion too. So much exhaustion.
Whilst I have had extended family members pass away and have been in the presence of grief before, I have most certainly never felt such grief – like what I imagine it to be – before now.
Grief hits at unexpected moments, a memory or thought of things we’d planned. Or doing something that I used to do for him…….wondering who is going to do that for him now. Sometimes even looking at pictures of us can be difficult, not always, but on some days it is.
The grief has surprised me as I made peace with my decision a few months ago and it has been something I deeply pondered for longer. My decision is also something that I have felt strong intuition about. The more I listened to myself and allowed me to hear myself, the more it felt right for me.
I have been praised for my bravery and courage in making such a decision, as well as following through and acting on it. It certainly wasn’t an easy decision to make at all. Some people have definitely been shocked by the news, which was to be expected.
It seems to be when chatting with those whose opinions I value, who are shocked that have sometimes made me question myself. And I do know that nothing is black and white in this world.
But I also know what I want – and as much as it hurts at times, what I want are things that husband never was nor could be.
I’ve blogged about finding acceptance and inner peace recently, as well as in an earlier post or two.
The words of Kate Rose really say things for me much more powerfully, and more succinctly, than I have been able to.
In order to find my true answers, I must make peace with who I am.
I must heal myself.
And discover myself.
Not the self who I think others expect me to be; not the self who must be a certain way to stay safe; not the self who must conform to avoid harm or negative emotions.
The self that I am is all kinds of things to all kinds of people. Sometimes I am right, sometimes I am wrong.
But I am human.
And considering where I came from, I’m pretty fucking proud of myself.
There is absolutely no right or wrong, nor good or bad.
I can choose to accept and make peace with my perception of the way that husband loves me and the way that he participates in our life together; or I can ask for more, set out my needs and expectations.
“People grow when they are loved well. If you want to help others heal, love them without an agenda.” ~ Mike Mchargue
We can’t love someone under the guise of hoping they will change someday and become the person we really want them to be.
To love means to accept someone as they are, in their entirety, in this moment. Not just accept, but actually revel in who they are—including those parts that make us squirm because of what they might trigger within our own selves.
Yet so many of us have gotten into relationships with the hope and expectation that the person we are with will stop – or begin -doing certain things.
I came across this writer recently and so much of her writing really resonates with me, not just in this piece but other pieces she has written as well.This piece in particular, however, made me wonder if this was true of me and how I love my husband?
Sure there is much of him that I accept and love whole-heartedly; but there is also much that I only half-heartedly accepted when I first chose him, under the guise of hoping such traits and habits would change. These are things that I still view in the same way.Does the way that I love him, or not love him, affect how he loves me and shows his affection? If I showed him true unconditional love and acceptance, would his love show up differently to me?
If I take how husband is with our cat, as an example. One may say that cats are fickle, but pets in general show unconditional love. He gives affection freely to cat, perhaps because cat doesn’t love him any less when he’s tired or grumpy. Or when he is less affectionate on one day compared to another. Or when he doesn’t tidy up. He lavishes attention on her periodically and when he doesn’t, sure she may paw at him a little, but she doesn’t love him any less when he doesn’t give his affection than when he does.
I also know, that my experience of husband is how I interpret him. Everyone colours their experiences differently – if you and I both saw the exact same movie or concert, in the exact same location on the exact same day, my experience of it would be vastly different to yours – based on how we see things and what past experiences affect how we interpret the present.In considering this, is the way that I see husband making him show up exactly as I expect him to be? Are all the negatives that I taint him with in my mind making him step down to that perception?
Isn’t it true that when someone sees something positive in you, that this trait magnifies and becomes more positive? That if you think someone is untrustworthy or incapable of doing something, that they will continue to show up in this way to you?
Consider also the philosophy of ‘faking it til you make it’. When you do something repeatedly, as if you have already mastered it, don’t you keep getting better at the ‘faking’, which in turn becomes reality much faster? Because you have altered your perception, you also alter your reality.
I read something else recently that also resonated with me, “When I’m living in expectation, I’m not present since expectations always live in the future, in what hasn’t happened yet……..When someone does what I expected, then I expect it again in the future. When the day comes that my expectations are not fulfilled, then I am upset…….I am afraid to ask for what I desire, so I silently expect it, hoping it will happen. When my expectation is fulfilled, I am happy. When it isn’t, I am upset. Neither experience is powerful, for I am teaching myself that happiness and satisfaction lies “out there,” in the results or circumstances of life. Real power is found by realising that whatever experience I am having, I am the one creating it……In having expectations, there is no room for the miraculous or the extraordinary to show up, only for my expectation to be fulfilled or not”.
So, with all of this in mind……what if;
…..if I were to practice more presence?
…..if I were to look for all of the positives and acknowledge husband’s greatness, know that it is there?
…..if I showed him true unconditional love – because in the moments that he is grumpy or tired it’s more about him than it is about me;
…..if I practice asking for what I want rather than expecting it – and having less expectations.
What then would my experience of husband be? What would my experience of life be? What would my experience of myself be?