‘I Believe My Future is Bigger Than My Past’

I do believe my future is bigger than my past.  As soon as I heard these words spoken by Steve Gleason in his documentary titled, Gleason, it struck a chord within me. There are so many times in life when we are so hyper-focused upon the mistakes we have made.  We focus upon our failed relationships, our lost opportunities and the should’ves, could’ves, would’ves.

Little do most people know that those moments in life when we feel our failures will completely ruin us, they can actually be blessings in disguise.  Did you ever stop to think that maybe a relationship failed because growth was completed by both people involved and a better, healthier relationship was waiting for each?  Each person experienced what they needed to in the relationship and now it was time to move on.  Or perhaps a lost opportunity was a door closing and even though it was horrendous to experience and go through, little did you know an amazing and more fulfilling opportunity was just around the corner.

It’s okay to live in the past for the sake of recognizing the lesson each situation you’ve experienced has provided for you and even to be grateful for those lessons. It’s why you’ve had those experiences, although at the time, when you’re going through it, it is the last thing you’re thinking about. The moments when you’re in it so deeply, you don’t even know what the light looks like at the end of the tunnel as you dig your way out of the darkness. You see, that’s the thing…that darn light.  In the moments of rock bottom, just see it, envision that light.  Even if the light that shines through for you is simply the size of a pinhole, at least it is there.  Truth?  It’s always been there because it resides within you. Once you begin to realize this, it makes putting one foot in front of the other a bit easier.

I believe my future is bigger than my past because I refuse to allow my past to define the direction of where I want to go in my life, who I want to have along for the journey, and the opportunities I have yet to experience.  Society tells us that you have to have your successes accomplished within a specific age range and I just don’t agree with that.  There is still much love to give and to receive, there is much that has yet to be accomplished, there is much to see, there is a lot of life to be lived and yes, there are even more lessons to be learned.

What we do need to take away from our past is what we have learned and to recognize the growth that has occurred. Use those lessons to be more aware of the actions you take moving forward so you’re able to make the right decisions for yourself to enjoy deeper, more fulfilling experiences.

Time to Lay it Down

Few really truly know me. Even less actually ‘get’ me.  And by getting me, I mean know the true essence of who I am, what I stand for, what I believe in…what makes me tick…on the soul level.

Perhaps I have not let many in to be able to fully reveal myself. I’m aware that I do this as a defense mechanism for fear of being judged, not accepted or approved of. I’ve struggled with this my entire life.

Throughout my life I’ve been a people pleaser; always seeking to make others happy so they are not disappointed in me.  This behavior occurred in my relationships ranging from family to friends to my ‘romantic’ relationships. I’ve recognized this pattern of behavior within myself a few years ago.  I’m aware of it, yet at times it still rears it’s ugly head to challenge me to break the pattern. I no longer want to care what others think of my choices, decisions, my way of thinking, my spiritual beliefs. I no longer want to care what others think of me.  I am no longer seeking approval for the choices and decisions I make for myself.  I always respect the opinions of others, however my feeling is if someone does not agree with something I say, do or feel, that is on them, that is not on me.  It is no longer a burden of responsibility that I am willing to carry as it has gotten too heavy to bear and I am laying it down.

I am a deeply sensitive being. Like a badge of honor, I wear my emotions on my sleeve for the world to see.  I not only feel what I feel, most times, I also feel what you feel. My heart overflows with a sense of responsibility to care for many; to be the Light that shines in your moment of darkness.  Yet, at times, I too seek to find that Light in my moments of darkness.

Behind the closed doors in the sacred sanctuary of my apartment I cry with you, I smile with you, I hurt with you and I laugh with you. Tears are shed…a release. Releasing the emotions that I feel, is such a good, healthy thing to do because I simply don’t want them to get rooted within me. Many do not understand this and many never will.

I am a positive, kind person who does my best to see the good in people and situations.  Having a positive perspective on life can be difficult at times as I am human, just like you.  I have my own dragons to slay and some just don’t understand this. I share my outlooks with others in hopes it will help them for a moment in their day and perhaps they will, in turn, pay it forward.  It only has to begin with one person.  My perspective is, if I help one person, animal, etc, it will have a ripple effect and the gesture is much grander in the big picture then in the actual moment.

The journey I have been on since I moved to North Carolina has not been easy.  It has been an introspective map leading me to have met the most beautiful people, experience amazing moments, and it has allowed me to find out who I am and what I want from my life. Now at forty-four years young, I am beginning to understand who I really am and what my soul’s purpose is.

As I move forward, one foot in front of the other, I grow into the human that I was meant to become in this lifetime. Not everyone will understand and that is okay.  At times, I don’t even understand and in those moments I pause, take a deep breath, ask for Guidance, trust and continue with my journey.

 

Trolling

Being back in Tennessee with Henry was a nightmare.  I felt like I was constantly looking over my shoulder.  Henry would leave for work and then my mind wanted to know if there were there cameras in the house viewing my every move.  Paranoia was rearing its ugly head.  In my mind, I deserved to feel this way, but that didn’t stop me.  I continued to stay in touch with Mark.  It was nothing major but just knowing he was there to listen made me feel better.  I was fueling the fire for Henry to not trust me.  I know it was wrong, I do, but at the time I just didn’t care. I was in pure survival mode for my mental and emotional state.

Paranoia for Henry also set in as he came to me one morning before work and asked to see my phone.  You see, he had mentioned to me how a friend of his, who also cheated on his girlfriend, would allow his girlfriend to go through his phone and computer trolling through Facebook, phone calls received, phone calls dialed, etc.  You get the picture.  Henry presented this idea to me several times to which I ignored.  Until that morning when he bolted into the bedroom and demanded to see my phone and email.  My heart was pounding.  I was scared, I won’t lie.  Not of Henry, but of the possibility of him kicking me out.  I had no where to go and no money at the moment to leave. The phone numbers that I did not recognize, he would call to see who was on the other end.  He listened to voicemail messages, read emails and Facebook messages.  Then he flipped his lid when he noticed a post on Facebook…from Mark.  Just a post on his wall but nonetheless.   He could not believe we were friends on Facebook and asked me to immediately end it.  So I did.  Henry left for work.  I got in the shower and cried.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was during this time that I enrolled in certification for level 1 class in something brand new to me, Reiki.  Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy (reiki.org).  During this long weekend of meditation, tears, and connecting with other women who I know were placed in this class on purpose via Source, I believe I have found something much grander than me.  This was the beginning of me being aware that I was indeed on my spiritual awakening journey toward enlightenment and it has forever metamorphosed me into the person I am today and into the spiritual being I strive to become.  The reiki shares my teacher would hold became my social outlet and my way to decompress from the intense stress I was dealing with on a daily basis.  I really believe it saved my life.



The Scarlet Letter

My wedding rings were taken off my left hand as well.  I had all of them.  His and mine.  I put them together in a box as it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Henry called me later that afternoon and told me he didn’t really want a divorce but was just so hurt with everything that had transpired and asked to take me to breakfast the following morning so we could talk, to which I agreed.

Henry picked me up and off to breakfast we went.  With tears in our eyes and sad Christmas music in the background, we did out best to talk and eat.  On the drive back to my parent’s, Henry pulled over on the shoulder of the road.

“I’m sorry.” he said, “We should have at least tried to have children.” His eyes welled with tears.

I honestly could not believe what I was hearing. Would a baby have made things better between us? Certainly not, but to hear him say this to me, well, it just crushed me. I had given this up for Henry and here he was apologizing.  I didn’t know whether to cry or scream. Regardless of my emotional response, it didn’t matter.  It was too late.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The week between Christmas and New Year’s was an emotional roller coaster.  Henry and I made appearances together to see old neighbors and family and to also share with them the fact that our marriage was in trouble and we weren’t quite sure what the outcome was going to be. I have no clue why we were sharing with people at this time and I also did not quite know what part of the story Henry was sharing with his family and friends.  Did he only mention that I had kissed another man?  Did he also forget the mention the years of struggle between us?  I was paraded around our old stomping grounds wearing, what felt like, the scarlet letter.  Whether it is was intended or not on Henry’s part, it was not a pleasant feeling.  I felt as though I were being judge by everyone.

On Christmas Eve we traditionally went to Henry’s parent’s house where his siblings, their spouses, kids, and friends gathered every year.  I was VERY nervous about going.  Truth be told, I didn’t want to go but did anyway.  While I was welcome with open arms, it was turning out to be an emotional night. Drinks were flowing for some and I’ll never forget sitting the front porch talking with one of Henry’s relatives.

“You fucked up, you just fucked up.” She said to me.

“Excuse me?”  I replied.

She then proceeded to tell me, after several cold beers, how I fucked up by cheating on Henry. She cast the first stone and I was NOT pleased.  I told her that I didn’t need to explain myself to her but that our issues stemmed long before I kissed another. I was fuming.  I sent Henry a text message and told him it was time to leave.

He was appalled by her comment and even told me that he told his family to please not talk about it so we could enjoy our night.  Great times had, let me tell you.

This summed up exactly how I knew everyone was looking at me.   I was wearing the scarlet letter.

Home For Christmas

No matter how old I am, there is nothing like the feeling of being at home with my parents. It is 100% my safe zone.  I wanted to run, run, run and in my mind, being back home, I had escaped the matter at hand. Reality, however, would soon follow me when Henry arrived three days later.

It was Thursday evening and Henry was slated to arrive at my parent’s house at 4 a.m. Friday.  Any discussion I have had with Henry, while truthful (for the most part), at this point was to honestly tell him what he wanted to hear.  Was this the best thing to do?  No.  Why did I do this?  I was scared…of him, of us, of the present and the future.  I had given him my power.  It was his way or no way during this time.

I had numerous messaging conversations with Tara about this entire issue and about Henry.  Tara is my sister from another mister.  She knows me like the back of my hand; the good, the bad and the ugly yet through all of that, she still loves me as I love her. When Henry arrived at my parent’s home at 4 in the morning, he greeted the dogs and then was out in the living area for a period of time.

“Wake up.”

“Wake up!”

It was Henry.  He turned the light on as I looked at him in a confused state.  He backs up, takes his wedding ring off and throws it onto the bed toward me.

“I want a divorce.”  He said.

While I knew deep down this is what I ultimately wanted too, his behavior threw me for a loop.

“You left the computer on and I read your messaging conversation with Tara.”  He told me.

“How DARE you bash me like that to her,” he said, “I would NEVER in a million years talk about you that way to ANYONE!”

In truth, I cannot remember this conversation to 100% accuracy.  What I know is that I shared my feelings about Henry to Tara.  Did I mean ill will by it?  No.  I was venting, I was desperate and she was the only person, at the time, I felt I share everything with.  Did I intentionally bash him?  In my mind, no.  In his mind, yes.

I never intended to hurt Henry.  It was now something I felt I was doing over and over again.  I dealt him a crushing blow.  He left, in tears and drove to his parent’s house.  I felt like the worst human being ever to walk the Earth.

It was now 6 a.m.  Crying, I cracked the door to my parent’s room.  They asked me what was going on.

“We’re getting divorced.” I told them.

Merry effing Christmas.

Change is Coming: January 2014-October 2014

To Tennessee.

Where we knew no one.

Henry moved first to begin his job and I soon followed.  I was not yet 24 hours in lovely, hot Tennessee when at the pool, enjoying a relaxing day, Henry tells me that he thinks he made a mistake and is going to start looking for a new job elsewhere…preferably something a bit closer to home.

What the fuck?  Did he really say what I thought he did?  Did I NOT just move a couple hundreds of miles from everything and everyone that I knew; from a great paying job, from EVERYTHING?!  I’ve barely had one sleep in Tennessee and this bomb gets dropped on me.

I was not happy. In my mind, I gave up everything for him to move here.  In my mind, I was the one who sacrificed more.

Yes, this is all true but as time ticked along I came to learn that his employer did pull a fast one on him. Henry despised his job and from that point on, he was on what felt like the never-ending job search. A part of me felt bad for him.  The other part of me told him to suck it up.  This is what he initially wanted and he had to make the best of it. At times I felt guilty for being so hard on Henry about the move and his job. I wasn’t being the supportive wife. I was starting to be the resentful wife.

We shared several months together exploring what the new area had to offer and we did have good times too.  We laughed, we went out to eat – stuff like that.  Most of our time was spent eating dinner, on table trays in front of the television. There was not too much conversation going on and I’m not sure why.  I knew I was becoming increasingly unhappy and I was trying my best to not let it shine through.  But some things you just can’t hide.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I continued to work for my employer from home until the end of summer at which time I applied for and got unemployment compensation while looking for a permanent job in Tennessee.  Summer faded into autumn and I had the opportunity to go to Los Angeles, all expenses paid, to work for one week at a trade show.  My best friend, Tara presented me with this, I talked it over with Henry and off to L.A. I went.

Little did I know this trip would change my life forever.