This is what I was meditating on tonight. I have read this paragraph a hundred times, but never understood it until this moment. Okay actually I don't understand it, I'm more confused than ever, and you poor souls have to read me hashing it out.
I have convinced myself, quite well actually, that I had put all my heartbreak, mistakes, regrets, etc. in the past, and was moving forward. But then I read, “Let go of the people…that no longer represent who you are”. That really struck a nerve. I began to examine how I define myself, or even more simply, how I introduce myself. Quite often, not far into conversation, the words divorce, single mother, smokin’ hot, creep into conversation. And while those might be necessary to explain circumstance, they do not explain me, who I am, what I stand for. Except for smokin' hot, totally represent in that area.
“You have the inability to give up what has already been taken.”
Cling, cleave, and hold fast to all of our shattered dreams and broken hearts. Even in revenge or hatred, we cling to what we used to have. We hold on to “what might have been” for such a long time, for some it may be forever. What is lost will not be returned to us. As much as I believe we live in a miraculous world of endless possibility, my Ex-husband may never see the error of his ways. It seems forgive and forget gets mangled in our wounds and scars.
I don’t want you to get the idea that I am missing my marriage one bit, I do not. But it never did occur to me until tonight that I did sorely miss the thought of it. The happy ever after that I had sworn before God and friends, was broken. I also think (gulp) that I use divorce as a bit of an excuse sometimes for how hard things are. Not that I'm sitting on my tush doing nothing, but there is the blame piece. I have someone to be mad at when things aren't going my way, or aren't how I wish they would be.
I think for as much healing as I have done, I do catch myself saying, “my life was never supposed to be like this.” It makes me angry and resentful. In that moment, I think if he had never done x, y, and z, we might still be married and I wouldn’t have to deal with this. That’s a little smoke and mirrors game my heart and head plays with one another. Because if I rationally sit down and think about it, my life would be worse, I would be miserable living with an addict, and my children in an unsafe place. Why do I have any anger in moving forward to a better happier place? In many ways I know my life is richer, fuller, more satisfying as it is now. But sometimes it’s damn hard, and I just don’t feel like pulling up the boot straps and soldiering on.
I never should've quit therapy, because I could use some insight here. If I am ten times happier than I've ever been, why am I still angry about not having what "could've been". Could've been is complete crap and I don't want it, why do I still care? I should be happy in this moment. (for the most part I am) I am utterly perplexed. Is it human nature? Time? Realization? It'd be nice if it were realization and I could call this post good and move on.
And so now, I am still holding on, just a little bit. Not for unrequited love, but holding on to my past, allowing it to define me. I get so wrapped up in all those labels from the past that I don't allow any room for the future. So herein lays my conundrum:
How much of the past can we let go, without losing who we are?
I am a firm believer that my past has shaped me. I am not a believer in regrets. Yes, I have done asinine, foolish and wrong
illegal things in my life, but I have learned
from those things and it has made me who I am today. Apparently I am a
slow learner in some areas of Life Lessons 101 as I have repeated a course or two.
If I release all the heartbreak, will I love with compassion next time?
The only conclusion I have at this point is the last line,
“Surrender rather than waste time and energy clinging to suffocating familiarity.”
Surrender. And see where the wind will take me.
Does forgive and forget exist? Can we release the past without losing who we are?