Shadows and Light

I’m doing the Deepak Chopra/Oprah 21 day free meditation “Become what you Believe”.  They offer these 21 day free meditations about 3 times a year, and I’ve done them all, I think.  They are invaluable.  The insight I get is generally very enlightening.

Today’s meditation was about the shadows, our darker, hidden beliefs about ourselves that, when brought to the light, lose their power.  I think I’ve had a few, lol, that have led me to not learning the lessons and so repeating them.

With my ex…when we met, and in the early years of our relationship, he was a different man. He was a nationally ranked swimmer.  He had what appeared to be a big close family, and his father ran a very successful business. The family exuded success. I was dazzled by the accumulation of wealth, and what seemed to be a close intact family.  It took me years to see the underlying dysfunction.  He and his older brother dislike each other immensely.  His father had a foul temper, and could lace into people, my ex and his wife, and anyone in his way, at any time.  He knew it…he always said, “I will knock people down, but I then give them a hand back up.”  Well yes, he did.  He gave them a hand when they were bloody and beaten and their brain scrambled, because then one was the most vulnerable to do what he wanted, to listen out of fear of being beat up again.  When my ex was young, it wasn’t just verbal, it was physical too, until my ex got too big and could and would have fought back. The brothers hated each other because one of them had to be at fault for anything that happened bad, and they learned to point the finger at each other from the time they were babies.  The mother, stood by and watched, and allowed it all, in the interest of “backing up her husband.’  Which was really just inability to face the fear of life alone.

So there was the dysfunction. It was all about power and control, it was a gift from my father-in-laws own alcoholic father, passed down through the generations, to my ex.  I hope to have broken the cycle by getting my son away from it, and working with him, to help him understand his own shadows.

But I digress.  The point is, the dysfunction.  S also had a family of origin that was dysfunctional.  More dysfunctional? I don’t know but small bits and pieces, because I never met them.  But in neither family was there unconditional love.  In both families the mother allowed the father to run rampant over the family. That I am sure of.

So, my own shadows.  When I realized this about my ex, gradually over the years, I began to consider leaving him, which would have been the best thing to do.  But I didn’t. Fear mostly.  Of many things.  Finally, the universe put in front of me something that was just unacceptable on all levels, and I was able to gather the strength to overcome all my fears, and I left him, and began a long battle to reclaim my life, and my son’s.  Leaving earlier would have been the right thing to do for my spiritual evolution.  With S, it didn’t take me as long.  Last summer, when I realized all he wanted was a physical relationship, I tried to leave him so many times, but again…I chose the easier path, and allowed myself to be pulled back in.  The universe actually helped me out, bringing Betty Boop back, because I needed something drastic to happen in order to get away from him for my own evolution.  I needed to regard myself with more value, more worth, and to stop believing obvious untruths that soothed my ego, but hurt my soul.

I chose the easy path too long with both. And even after Betty Boop came back, and he chose her for his own reasons, (choosing the easy path, perhaps? It’s way easier to repeat the lesson, than to rumble through it. But that’s his business, not mine.) I continued to talk to him, to want to find an easy path to stay in his life, but thank God, I loved myself enough then, to not take the one he offered.

I now need to learn that I DO deserve a healthy relationship.  I went from one so controlling I couldn’t breathe, to one so uncaring that it ripped me open.  I gave both men my full heart, I tried with both to make it work, no matter what it took.  And it took me…it took pieces of my soul in both cases.  It took me giving myself away.  I reclaimed myself from my ex, but then, I hadn’t learned the lesson, along came a different wolf in different sheep’s clothing, and I gave myself away again.

I think I am learning the lesson now.  I think I get it.  I am reclaiming myself from S.  I woke this morning feeling ownership of my life again.  I haven’t even checked the phone to see if he tried to leave a voicemail. I am hoping he’s finally leaving me alone, and has stopped trying to keep me on the periphery of his life.

Back to beliefs.  I really believe now that dysfunction does not have to be my lot.  I want, and will find a loving passionate relationship, or not.  But I’ll never settle for one that is again dysfunctional.  My eyes are open, I don’t want to repeat this lesson.  I don’t need another teacher.  LOL.  I see the shadow, and now, it’s in the light.  I will always have compassion for those like my ex, and S, who have been buried in dysfunction all their lives.  They have the choice to change it or not.  It’s not my job.  I can shine the light, it’s all I can do.  Its their choice, to stay in the darkness, and repeat the lessons, or bring their own shadows to the light.

As for me…Onward, as Liz Gilbert says. Onward.

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