I don't remember exactly what I read on Facebook yesterday to trigger this realization, but it had a profound impact. The post sent me swirling back in time to a little more than a year ago. I was browsing the dating site, viewing the profile of my now boyfriend. I have a knack for reading people. He was awesome! He had oodles of pictures on his profile so I got to read his many different sides. Then I thanked God and Guides for their assistance. And then I asked them to leave the rest a mystery. I wanted to be surprised from there on out. I didn't want a constant stream of information from them like I had received with my previous boyfriend. Not that I didn't appreciate it. Sometimes a little mystery is a good thing.
It didn't occur to me until yesterday that there was more than mystery that I was needing. This experience has much to teach me about trust. Trusting myself and trust in another person. It will teach me to let go. Release fear. Release tension. Release control. It will teach me to set new boundaries. Boundaries that will protect my family and I, but that aren't so rigid that others cannot become close to us.Can I do these things?
To most this may seem like an easy task. Just let go and do it. If only it were that easy for me. I find myself debating on how much of my past to share here. I feel that I must acknowledge what is what and how it has made me who I am at this moment. But in acknowledgement we sometimes find pain, sadness, and what we may view as weakness in ourselves (even though if someone else were sharing the same story we would not say that about them).
I was married for 8 years, 9 years. Oh who remembers? I do know that I have succeeded in blocking most of those years out. Marriage to that man was a nightmare to put it simply. Before him I was strong, independent, fun, and little wild. OK so maybe not all of those are good traits. There was a lot of abuse, not just physical. I will leave it at that. By the end, I was at the lowest point of my life. If he didn't kill me in a fit of rage, I was going to do it myself.
I caught my reflection in our bathroom mirror one afternoon and I did not recognize myself. I was quiet, afraid to speak. I was sad or angry all of the time. I felt alone. I had a memory flash, a memory of who I was before I met my husband. I wondered how I got to the sad life I had in my marriage. How did I ever let him get that much control over me? How did I come to settle for a life without love? A life being lived in constant fear and pain? I knew I could not go on in this way much longer. I knew suicide was not the answer. My children would be left to be raised by this monster. I hit my knees and prayed.
Several months later, my prayers were answered and my children and I were out on our own. I began to re-create myself so to say. I was trying to go back to being the person that I was before I met my husband. Reverse in life does not work the same as it does in a car. I recall something Blue said to me one night at the Southside, "There are no mulligans in life. You only get one shot. Do it right." I then decided that my hero was Wonder Woman. No need for a man. I was going to do everything for myself. That doesn't mean I didn't date. And I can't say I didn't get attached. I just didn't let any of them get too close. No way was another man going to control me!
Up until this moment the phrase "control freak" would not be a way I would have described myself. Hmmm well if the shoe fits, wear it. In order to repair my trust issues I must be willing to release control. Now I'm not saying completely, but the reigns could use a little slack. There also can be no more settling, no more making excuses. Love, acceptance, patience... are all magical gifts we should give to each other, but so few of us practice.
Before you can truly love another, you must love yourself. What does that mean? Feel free to add your answer to this question. To me it means to acknowledge what you want in this life, what is important to you and then settle for nothing less.