Recurring themes of independence, self-identity, and self-nurturing have quite literally become my shadow lately. I started 2014 with a bang! I stumbled around in the dark for a bit then I climbed my way out of a self-induced downward spiral that I now understand was a necessary wake up call. A call that may well be my “A-HA!” moment of a lifetime. My before & after. My second chance. I realized right then and there that truth & honesty with myself and my love were the only things that were going to pull me up out of the pit into which I had slowly descended. Sounds simple, huh? Not so easy for me and I am guessing there are others as well.
What have I learned? I have learned that remaining faithful to our identity can be a tough truth to follow. Humans have an inherent desire to belong, to experience communion, and to be part of a greater whole. Often times we allow those echoes of the human experience to muddle our instincts and temper our truest desires… water them down until we believe that what we have been doing for “x” number of years is really our truth. We learn from an early age that there are dreams that others have for us, they may be in line with our own spirit, but many times they may not. If we silence the call and rhythm of our heart at that time; reclaiming them later in life becomes increasingly more difficult. Our upbringing and family life shape many facets of who we one day become. Such begins the toughest dance from which to extract ourselves. Our partner-self may begin tapping our shoulder to “cut in” early and persist for many years – or it may wait until that moment that we are about to fall out from exhaustion, after years of the drunken stupor we call marriage, parenting, career or caretaker – and finally pluck us from the security of all that we have known into either a waltz of resignation or one of resilience.
If could retrace my selfhood back to a time during which I was truly independent what would I tell myself? What would I tell friends I have in my life now who struggle with so much togetherness? I would tell myself and them that marriage is a two-way street. It requires respect and understanding from both sides. It requires unlimited heart-felt talks to get past the not-so-foreseen character flaws that always show up after forever becomes decreed. I want to tell her that losing herself now will build most assuredly into resentment later. Implore to her that habits, words, actions and attitudes now will strengthen as time goes on… to be sure that they feed the nurturing, esteem-building, love-producing ones rather than the negative, confidence-breaking ones. I would use every last breath to implore her to keep her independence. Marriage can still be a union of souls never meant to be broken while each partner maintains the most basic essence of themselves. Think about it! If you were an independent, soul-searching, larger-than-life person when you decided that forever & ever was the best thing for you both; then wouldn’t it be reasonable to hold onto those parts of yourself that attracted your mate to you in the first place? Because from where I stand… this is a far cry from where I feel I am most days.
Take a step back. Find some minutes, hours or days to reconnect to your soul and rejuvenate your spirit. Give yourself the gift of enjoying a few things that are for YOU and only you… not everything has to be about two people all the time, and shouldn’t be. Stand on your own two feet in the light of exhilarating possibility. Learn to love yourself again for who you were when you fell in love… when the world was yours to conquer and the future held the possibility of all of your fairy tales. Only then will the glass slipper fit again…
Love & Light