Trying to Find My Courage

courage vs comfort

I have so much to say this morning, and feel like I should just not say a lot of it, at least not right now.  Talking to Scott dredged up a lot of old stuff, that I’m hoping will settle back down where it was.  Not longing, but anger, disappointment, confusion.  My head is spinning, my emotions are a little raw again.  And I don’t want to write anything that can be taken wrong, that might cause pain to Betty, that will fuel a divide that is already huge.

He said that Betty told him I was still in love with him.  It sounded as though she said it not in a jealous way, but kind of as a revelation.  I told him, well that’s not news Scott.  I told you I will always love you, and I will.  But that doesn’t mean I can be with you, or accept your behavior, or would ever trust you.

He asked me what I wanted from him now.  I thought about it….but nothing.  I want nothing.  I want to move on, I want to fall in love with someone who can love me back as passionately as I can love.  I am happy that we talked, even though it came to no good end yesterday.  I hate cutting off communication with anyone, I don’t think that refusing to communicate ever eases anything. Not that I want to be communicating with him the way we used to, constantly.  It is just easier to know we can communicate, than thinking that  we can never talk.   Especially with this frigging connection that we have, or at least that I have with him.  Sometimes I feel compelled to let him know what I’m feeling, and it’s nice to know I can, especially when it has to do with his health.

I have to talk and write, to work things out.  I had to stay silent in my marriage for so many years, just to stay safe, just to keep the sleeping dogs sleeping.  If they woke they were vicious.  I refuse to do that ever again.  It almost killed me then, really. When I left that marriage I was diabetic, way overweight (I’ve lost about 40 lbs since then) and my heart was beating irregularly, pounding in my chest.  I prayed every night, literally, “Please God, don’t let me have a heart attack while I sleep.  I can’t leave my son with his father as his only parent.”  Thankfully, that prayer was answered night after night.  When I moved out, it stopped the very first night I was alone, and it’s never come back.

I started writing during that time.  I started writing down what I was living with because I just thought, “I have to write this down.  No one will ever believe this.”  I discovered the therapeutic benefits of writing it out.  My ex didn’t know I did this, though the journals weren’t hidden.  He went through my room a number of times, to see if I was hiding money, because once he found $85 I had squirreled away.  He had to see the journals when he rifled through my drawers and closets, but ignored them, because for whatever reason, he was not interested in my thoughts.  Until I brought them to court, and the judge showed an interest.  Whatever.  I wrote them for me, but they had a bigger benefit than I ever imagined they would.

I won’t go there again.  I’ve learned to have the hard conversations.  Scott asked what he could do now,now that he’s done all this damage.  And he apologized.  I thanked him for that, I told him it was a good first step for him to recognize and feel remorse for the damage he did.  But what could he do now?  He seemed genuine, as if he wanted to know.  I said, “next time you have a choice to tell a hard truth or a pretty lie, choose the hard truth.  Just choose the truth.  Practice it.”

I’d like to tell him to journal his day, to look back and observe his behavior, to see where he was selfish, and where he stood up for something.  But that’s my method, it’s not his.  Even though, I’ve read bits of things he’s written and he’s very talented.

All of this pain, every bit of it, could have been avoided by the truth.  Well, ok, I still would have been hurt and sad to lose him, but I wouldn’t have had all the other emotions around it.  I would have gotten past it, through it.  All of Betty’s pain, and his current pain, would be non-existent.  I acknowledge that the pain I would have had, I could have just looked at myself, and taken responsibility for it, because I dismissed 100 red flags because I didn’t want them to be true.  I loved being in love, I loved him beyond reason, and refused to accept anything that said to me, “NO, not now, Deb, not this time.  Don’t do it. Stop…..”  Because I thought he just wanted to be alone, and work things out, I thought too, that someday he’d not want to be alone.  If I’d known he was in love with Betty, I would have let go.  Quickly.  It’s the one boundary I will not cross.  It’s the only one I ever set.

Yes I’m a little fixated, as was said in a comment to me on my apology blog.  I need complete understanding to let go of things, or as much as I can get.  And really, I had it, I will have it again, I will gain clarity again, once all this stuff that was dredged up settles back down.  I have been moving away from it, in small, but steady steps.

I am looking forward to my lunch date today.  We’re going to a new Mexican restaurant.  It will be fun to meet this man that I’ve been talking to all week.  I have no expectation though.  It has been nice, so far.  Sometimes meeting in person makes it better, sometimes you find out there’s no connection.  But it’s a brave thing to do, to put myself out there again.  It’s a step in the right direction, toward where I want to go.  Brene Brown says that making yourself vulnerable is the most courageous thing you can do.  I think she’s right.

Love and light.

Adder:  My date is off.  It’s fine.  He had a what appears to be a valid reason, and said maybe we can meet after work one day next week.  But I knew when Scott’s energy got thrown back into my life that this date might not happen, it’s just the way it is.  I was not focused on meeting a new man, I’ve been, obviously, focused on still working my way out of this old relationship.  That’s the way the energy ripples out.  I have some work to do still, and until I get it done, nothing will work out the way I dream about.

 

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Sitting With Our Sadness

Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten in dealing with difficult emotions is to “just sit with it.”  This advice was given to a meditation group I used to go to once a week.  And honestly, that’s often what we would do for an hour or so there, just sit with whatever we were feeling, in the dark, with quiet music playing, or crystal bowls.  The same facilitator would also tell us, “We don’t need to go excavating.  If you don’t know what is making you sad, it doesn’t matter, just allow yourself to be sad, if you feel sad.  Honor that….”

So, I’ve done a lot of that. I’ve sat through my anger, I’ve sat through my sadness. Sitting with it, allowing it to surface, honoring what I feel, not denying any of it. There are no bad emotions, only bad reactions to them.

Those emotions that we don’t allow, and honor, and instead bury, don’t die. They fester, and rot, and make us sick, literally. I believe that years of unhappy living in a terrible marriage contributed far more to my diabetes than issues of genetics or weight. I don’t believe the body is separate from the mind. As the mind tries to hide from the unpleasant emotions, those emotions pop out somewhere physically. All illnesses have an emotional component. This is reason enough for me, to allow myself to sit with my sadness, anger, confusion, and honor that. Generally, when I have sat long enough with them, they bubble up, and then dissipate.

Meditation is part of my daily routine. I meditate every morning, almost, for about 15 minutes. I find the quiet time generally re-centers me, prepares me to stay focused throughout my day. There are times I catch a quick 5 minute refresher during my lunch hour.

Last night I did it again. I have been told by some people that I talk to much, that I should maybe keep my thoughts to myself, and resist the temptation to tell people exactly what I think. Last night, I silenced my voice, and instead I sat with my angst, my sadness, my confusion. I allowed myself to feel it all, in the middle of the night. For 3 hours.

What happens, when you just sit with it, is that generally acceptance of what is comes to you. Last night was no exception. This morning I accept the reality of what was bothering me, I acknowledge that things are not what I want them to be, and I stop my efforts to make them so. I am reminded of Byron Katie, who says things like, “How do I know it’s supposed to be that way? Because it is….”

As water finds it’s way, I will try to go with the flow. It may seem to be taking me from what I want, but generally, it will get me where I need to be eventually. I may meander from the straight line I wanted to travel, but I may find something beautiful and unexpected in the bend in the river. I may end up where I originally wanted to be but with a richer, fuller appreciation of it. Or I may end up somewhere new and fabulous.

We need, I need, to trust that the universe knows our desires and is conspiring in our behalf to make them reality.