If you took a look at my life when I was in my early forties, I'm sure you'd shake your head as many did, and wonder exactly what I was thinking, what possessed me to make the choices I had made and life the live that I was living... and they didn't know the half of it. I was pretty good at wearing my "all is well" persona in public. You, my friend, know much of the real story, and the only plausible excuse I have for that relationship and the ones that went before it is to plead temporary insanity... or maybe not so temporary - that part is still open to debate. :-)
When I look at your life, and the relationship you recently left behind, I see much of that same mentality - living in hell at home, and living a lie in pubic. I know the damage that kind of duplicity does, and how easy it is to lose yourself in the process. What is real... what he tells you about yourself, what you hope and dream you are, or that creature in the mirror that you've come to loathe? What if he's right, what if you really are that bad? Even more frightening, what if you are nothing at all, worthless, hopeless?
Remember the Josie you met in my previous blog "Picking up Pieces" that documented my struggles as I came out of that relationship? That title said it all. My life was in pieces, my self-esteem was in pieces, and I truly had nothing left. I didn't even have a clue who I was anymore, what I liked, or what I wanted my life to be. All I knew for certain was that I didn't want it to be that way ever again. I wanted peace. I craved peace and quiet, both in my little duplex home and in my heart. I hear you longing for those things now... inner peace, quiet, and room to rediscover who you are, who you were meant to be.
I'd like to share with you some final words of advice I received from my ex. As I complained to him that it was so easy for men to move on (he had wasted no time in finding himself a new honey), he looked at me straight on and had the guts to say "You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself." I was so furious I was shaking, I had to look away for fear that I would deck him with every bit of rage pent up in my body! How dare he! He was the reason I was in the position of being without someone in my life. He was supposed to be that person, he was the one I had put years into loving, only to have that met with deception and ultimately rejection. And here he was telling me to stop feeling sorry for myself! But you know what, Sweetie? That anger fueled my determination to prove him wrong, and propelled me to move forward with my life. I finally stopped looking back at wreckage of my life, and began looking forward to what I could do to build a new life... not to just survive, but to begin to live again. In retrospect, I have to thank him for those words... as much as they hurt, I needed to hear them, and coming from him, they hit the mark. Because I love you, dear S, I want to share those words with you. It's time to move on.
I know a great deal of what you experienced in your past relationship. It was horrific. It grew and festered until it turned you into someone even you could barely recognize. But it's over now, and you have yourself to congratulate for breaking free! We all have to reach our own breaking point, and only then can we find the courage to put an end to it. Thank God you did! As much as my heart aches for the many years of pain your endured, it also smiles in acknowledgement of the survivor spirit that got you through it and kept you alive when it would have been so much easier to give up and die. Use that spirit to light the lamp on the pathway ahead of you now! You've made some awesome steps in a new direction, both in your new relationship and in your career change! You can have the life you've always dreamed of, the one you were meant to have, the one helping others!
There's just one thing you have to do, and it's a big step, an important one... find the courage to address the past and say what's done is done, over and done. We can't undo it and we certainly won't forget it, but we can approach it from the viewpoint of a lesson - oh Lord the things we've learned about ourselves, our relationships, and life! Don't spend another day or night of your life looking back and letting those memories overwhelm you, put them soundly in their place and decide that you are going to use your energy to move forward.
Surviving those experiences has made us strong, there is nothing life throws at us that we can't handle, we've proven that to ourselves! I can't wait to see the ways you grow and blossom in the next fifteen years. It took me longer to get out, and longer to get my head straight, so by the time you are sixty I expect you to be amazing, and I know I won't be disappointed in that, you are already well on your way. You have a gift to give, a heart full of love, and compassion for those who have walked the same road we have. What's done is done, but it is up to you to decide what is to come.
Look in the mirror and see the beautiful woman we see! Love her as I love her! Take care of yourself, be kind to yourself, make it possible for your light to shine! The very best years of your life are yet to be... all you need to do to make that happen is to believe!
This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are done and dance.
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