Learning to Trust Yourself

Learning to trust yourself can be quite the obstacle to overcome in life. Some people have no issues with this at all but on the flip side, many struggle making decisions and being at peace in knowing the right decision was made.

There are many outside influences that can have dramatic effects on how you feel before, during and after making big life decisions. The first thing to realize is that you matter and what you want from your life does too. You need to seriously assess where you are in your life, where you want to go, what responsibilities you currently are obligated to and then all of the other details associated with it. One other thing to consider is how your decision will perhaps affect others in your life.

For example, my life has been filled with wanting to always please other people and most times, never putting myself first. When I made the decision to move to Costa Rica from the United States in August 2017, I knew in my heart of hearts it was the right thing to do for me. I had limited responsibilities in my life during this time but I also knew deciding to move would impact my family and my dogs. I was being pulled by the Universe to make this move, to trust myself, to trust in the process and the guidance I was receiving, even if it meant my heart was being broken because I knew I had to give guardianship of my two dogs to my ex-husband. It was now his turn and time to care for them during their precious senior years. Not only that, but also knowing I would be saying, ‘See you soon’ to my very beloved family and friends immediately brought tears to my eyes.

Will you have naysayers? Yes, you will. There is no way around it. When you begin to hear the negative chatter surrounding the decision you made, you can rest assured that most people saying things to you have your best interest at heart. Whatever reason it is that they feel compelled to share their opinion, you WILL hear their voices in your head, you WILL question yourself, you WILL doubt. Rest assured, this is where learning to trust yourself and standing in your power of your decision will keep you grounded so you can continue to move forward along your chosen path.

This is your life. No one will ever have the exact same experiences that you have living your life and being your true authentic self. Don’t live your life being in the passenger seat while allowing someone else to drive for you. You’re not going to be on your death bed regretting all the things you did but you will be on your death bed regretting all of those experiences you did not do. Don’t have regret. Don’t live in fear. You only have one lifetime. Learning to trust in yourself is what will make your life such an amazing experience for you. Lay on your death bed with a huge grin on your face knowing you lived your life for you; knowing you enjoyed the ride and experiences; knowing you made a difference; knowing you loved hard; knowing you trusted yourself.

MotherLover

Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing, have the right job, live the right kind of life that appeared most of society was living, graduate college, score some jobs, work my way into and up the ladder of my career, then meet someone, get married, have kids, grow older, grow old and eventually transition from this lifetime.

Most of those things I mentioned above I have done, however, my marriage did not work out, which really was the best thing for me in the long run.  I was just not happy. However, I always thought I would have my own biological children.  If you know me, you know that is that is not the case. My ex-husband and I did not have them.

While I celebrate Mother’s Day because I have the most amazing mother in the world, it is still a day/weekend that brings heaviness to my heart and I have come to dread it.

I will never hear a child call me Mom and know I can turn around to see my own son or daughter looking back at me. It simply wasn’t in God’s plan for me in this lifetime.  And while I feel that I have surrendered to peace with this fact, it is still quite difficult for me at times.

I will never know what it feels like to love another human with 100% unconditional love. Some may say you can love your partner or spouse this way, but in my eyes, it is just not the same. I daydream and wonder about what it must be like to assist and help mold a child into a young adult allowing them to spread their wings and fly, all the while knowing I have their back, so to speak, no matter what.  Knowing I will never have the memories of raising a child through the good and tough times, through the laughter and the tears, through the trials and tribulations of growing up is what hurts my heart the most.

A child is truly an extension of you in tangible life form. I can only imagine what it must feel like to have this little person look up to you and want to be with you no matter what in those younger years. And how remarkable it must be to watch a child grow up into an adult.  I simply cannot imagine.

Yes, I have two fur babies whom I completely adore but it is just not the same. And there may be some who consider me to be the lucky one with no true commitment, so to speak. I have nothing holding me to an area and I can do whatever I want at any time.  And yes, this is nice but truthfully?  I would much rather trade places with you.

The tears I shed behind closed doors are my grieving battle scars. God has a plan for me, as she does for you, I just wish I had the road map. Do not feel as if these words are pity words.  Pity is what I am not seeking. I speak my truth from what my heart feels. My life is a result of the choices and decisions I have made.  The outcomes are the lessons I learn from so I can put one foot in front of the other each day.

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.

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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.

Bah, Bah Blacksheep

I’ve considered myself the black sheep in my immediate and extended family for many, many years.  I adore the only sibling I have…my brother, but we couldn’t be more different.  He sees things in black and white and I see things in every single shade of gray.  I would like to lump my three cousins into my sibling category.  And yet, even as the second oldest of the five of us, I still feel very odd woman out.

Everyone has thriving careers and has had them for many years.  Growing up, I remember having a knowing of what each one of them would do for a living. Art, politics, engineering, pharmacology…and then there was me. I entered college as a theater major and exited with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. Only to now be making a living in sales and fundraising.  It’s funny how that works out.

I was the last out of the five to get married at the ripe age of 38…and I am the first to get divorced at the riper age of 43.

While I know the choices that I have made within and about my marriage were and are the very best choices for me, I still cannot help but to feel I am such a disappointment to my family. A disappointment not just with this, but throughout my life with different choices I have made.  My parents are the most amazing, supportive people on the planet and quite frankly, the most important people in my life.  They have never uttered these words to me.

When you separate from someone and eventually divorce not only do you grieve and feel sadness but if your family members were close to your significant other, they will also be going through their own grieving process.  This was the case with both of my parents but more so with my dad. When I was home over Christmas and recently separated, I remember my dad being very sulky one evening.  He was quiet at the dinner table and then just went into the bedroom to watch the news.  There was definite tension and while I understood what was going on, I was feeling that my dad was just so not happy with me.  I walked into the bedroom and asked him what was wrong.  I knew he was sad.  Then with tears rolling down my cheeks, I asked the question…’Dad, are you disappointed in me?’ He told me no, he was not.  He was just very sad.  100% understandable.

These feelings I have about this situation are mine and my alone and I know I have to work them out and forgive myself for feeling this way.

As my teacher always says, ‘It’s an inside job.’