Pleasantly Surprised

There have been many surprises in the last 2 years.  I didn’t expect, on top of everything else going on, that one area of my life I’d need to deal with was the magnifying glass that was put on my relationships with family, friends and even my job.  A year later I’m incredibly grateful that this magnifying glass exists.

I don’t know that any one relationship completely changed with my divorce, etc. but more like I was put in a place to really see how those relationships were all along.  How they affected me when I was my most raw.  When you get to the bottom of the “crab bucket” ahem, you are smacked in the face with every single little issue if you open yourself up to that level of sensitivity.  I admit, it’s painful as hell but I highly recommend it.  Like labor & childbirth, it fucking hurts but the result is life-changing.  No one ever says “Yea, fuck that.  I started to go through labor and just said it isn’t worth it so I stopped pushing.  My kid is still in there, but who cares.”

I eventually welcomed that rawness because on some level I was tired.  Tired of being half of me.  Once I let go, I saw this great opportunity to just get it worked out.  Have my best life.  When you get to the bottom you’re only destination is up if you choose.  Starting over was my theme and still is.  I think this is what ultimately saved me.  This choice of directions and the way I decided to go.

Being raw certainly isn’t easy and I did my part at times to put back on that thick coat to survive the hurt.  I’m not proud of putting on that coat, I admit.  I know now that rawness is a healing pain.   It’s almost as if your skin is peeled off and all you have are your nerves, bare and feeling every single emotion: hurt, joy, even a gust of wind, a kiss, a hug feels intense on a level not previously known.  As you grow back your new skin, your new life, it dulls but I believe, and I’m GRATEFUL, I was changed by that time of rawness.

It’s Halloween, indulge me in some disgusting visuals. 

Those I thought would support me didn’t always.  Those that I didn’t know were able to came to my aid in ways that still ripple though my daily life.  I formed close relationships with people that are healthy and I am thankful every single day.  Other relationships I thought were originally close are now set with healthy boundaries around the areas I need.  The biggest piece to all of this that I learned, and even about myself, people give to you what they can through their own filter.  No one I’ve met can give you everything of what you need.  Not a spouse, friend, child, etc. nor should they be expected to.  You cannot and will never be able to offer the same to them.  I think I’m slowly learning that you have to give it to yourself first.

 You can only control yourself and you can only provide everything you need to yourself.  I’m starting to believe that if you care about yourself first, you end up surrounded by people that fill in the spaces in a very good way.

 The harshest reality that brought me to this ultimately positive conclusion was that my family wasn’t my rock.  My family and the way we act, including my ex-husband, was not helpful or loving or supportive.  That vicious “I’m just joking” follow-up after biting responses to one up each other constantly, the resentment disguised as sarcasm would just build and build all in the guise of jealousy and hurt we each were feeling personally.  Maybe not even hurt towards the person we were “kidding” with, but it was put on each other in handfuls.

 I know now it’s disgusting and I don’t want to do it any longer.  It masks resentment and it’s hurtful.  I can’t stop those I love from doing this, however, all I can control is me.  I’m hopeful if I ask for an apology for every single bit of unhelpful “joking” someone will get the hint eventually and direct it elsewhere.  Regardless if they say a real “I’m sorry” or not.  I will still ask.  I hope my daughter will see this and never have to reach 33 years of age before she stands up for herself.  The important change in me is I will do my god-damndest not to have to ever apologize for being this hurtful to someone else again either.

 As my very wise friend L says: “You get back what you put out there.”  Surprise, surprise.

 I’ve tried to be in the habit lately of being thankful whenever possible.  Even if I am unsure of the reaction, I’m trying to put it out there that I am so grateful for my life, even the bad bits.  So I recently started a love letter to give to my boyfriend one day, possibly Christmas.  I got 2 sentences in and realized I should be writing this to myself first.  It applies to him, it applies to some of my friends, including BeBe, but ultimately it needs to be said to me first.  Afterwards I’ll start a new letter to him, to all of them.

 “ You get back what you put out there.  You get back what you put out there.”  I hear you loud and clear, L.  For the first time, the surprise now is this letter is very easy to write to myself and actually believe.   

 We’re all going to be okay, folks.  We really are.  Just choose to be.

Dear Self,

You are important to me.  You make me feel at peace even when everything around me is in turmoil.  You center me and keep me grounded and focused.  You make me feel loved and known.   I am thankful for you in ways I will never be able to fully articulate, but I will spend my our time together trying.

Xoxo,

-LuLu

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