Will I fail you or save you?
Will I give you another chance to be happy or sentence you to a life of misery?
For so long these questions have lingered in my mind.
What do you do when you realize the partner you have been sharing your life with for years is not your true love? How do you come to terms with the fact that what started as deep, passionate love is now only a strong feeling of affection?
School doesn't teach you how to handle situations like that, you go by what you feel is the right thing to do. But what is it? We all want to do the right thing, but the right thing is often the hardest. It requires courage, clarity of mind and a desire to use our will in a loving manner. Not an easy list to complete.
How many times growing up I have listened to the words "till death do us apart"? Marriage is not easy to break. There is so much involved in it: feelings, fears, families's feelings and fears, friends, assets, money, children and so much more.
2018 marked my 7th anniversary with my ex husband. We met in 2011 and the relationship started with fireworks.
Over the span of 7 years we created the most beautiful memories. We travelled across the world, from Jordan to Palestine, Israel, Cuba, Mexico, Europe, India, Canada and USA. We moved to USA 4 years into the relationship and started a family when we were both in a financially stable situation.
When I moved out of the house our hearts were not only broken but tired.
I was tired of trying to find the right way to love each other. Tired of finding out the best way to make things work and tired of dimming my own light to make the other shine better. The efforts we put into chamfering our differences had taken away a lot of our passion and left us with a sense of void and frustration.
Mind you, Love does require effort. It would be utopian to think that two people can come together and have no issues whatsoever. But when every day is spent figuring out how to keep things together something must be wrong at the foundation level, and that was the problem we had.
Letting go has been easy at first. After so much fighting against the storm, sinking felt like a relief. But not for long.
If you spend a long time on the battle field you cannot expect to leave it without wounds.
The frustrations I felt over the 7 years we were together were not only the results of different views/believes/personalities. They were a desperate call of my soul and every time I ignored one, a piece of me would be lost in the fight.
I wasn't the person I knew myself to be, and that in itself is not a bad thing if the new person you have become is a better version of yourself. But I wasn't that. I didn't know who I was. I had put my partner before me for so long, ignored my own opinions and suppressed my desires so much that I didn't know anymore what I wanted or who I wanted to be.
Going downhill is so easy, specially when you are given a push.
I thought that sacrificing myself to love another was the right thing to do but I was wrong. Sacrificing yourself to love another is just as wrong as letting someone else sacrifice their life to love us. And should we even call that love? Love is unconditional and it entails respecting someone else's will, even when that someone is us.
Few years ago I bumped into a famous poem written by Charlie Chaplin. That time I was struck by these words but I couldn't say those were lessons I had mastered in my own life. They felt so right to me, yet so different from what I felt and did in my own life.
Today that same poem is a faithful summary of the lessons I have learned and mastered along the way. I would never try to paraphrase it. Here it is:
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!
Doing the right thing IS difficult but knowing what is the right thing and not doing it is an act of cowardice that hurts not only us but also those who love and surround us.
Fears are scary, I agree. Have i not succumbed to them so many times in the past?
But they cannot lead our life and become the reason for our actions. The price to pay is too high, much more than the little reward we get by avoiding them.
Today my ex husband and I can proudly say to truly LOVE each other. I had to lose him to love me and that changed the dynamics of our relationship in an unexpected way.
For the first time in years we feel our relationship is based on pure care for each other. No ulterior motives, no codependencies, no abusive or toxic bonds. We respect each other's views and can handle any problem with maturity, compassion and understanding. We are not planning to be back together other than to co-parent our beautiful, caring and happy daughter, but we also know that we are there for each other if and whenever needed.
I'll admit it, it's been like a walk through the fire for both of us.....but from the ashes of that fire a Phoenix is born.