This is probably going to be the cheesiest entry I have ever written. After two years of blogging and nearly two years of therapy, it may also be the most important.
I am ridiculously happy. It somehow feels wrong to say something like that. I am the happiest I have ever been. This happiness is partly due to the excitement of moving to our new house and the extraordinary series of coincidences and good luck that has allowed this to happen. The happiness also comes from something more.
With this realization, with the thought that This is too good to be true comes the superstition that something bad will happen. If you write about this, you are going to jinx this, whatever this is.
One of the first things I said to my therapist was “I want to be able to be myself”. Blogging became an important tool in this process, as I practiced and cringed after posting entries. Did I just really write that? Was it stupid? Weird? Did I really just stick it on there for anyone to read?
When my therapist asked me why I married Steve, I said “Because it is the right kind of love.” I could not see clearly then why it was, but still instinctively responded with this remark. Now I see that Steve’s ability to love me for who I am, unconditionally without bias or pressure for me to be any certain way to meet his own needs, is the greatest gift. This was hidden to me before because I did not feel ok with myself yet. I love and appreciate Steve more than I did the day I married him. Now something bad will happen. One of you will get cancer. Or die in a car crash.
The Century Project affected me in some profound way. I looked at each unique photo of a woman’s spirit over a lifetime. The expressions of hope and pain in the women in their teens and 20s. The expressions of joy and humor in the women in their 80s and 90s. I saw this spectrum laid out before me and it hit me then. I have one life and I am not going to waste my time on comparing myself to others, feeling critical or judgmental of myself. Why the hell would I do that to myself? I am not going to censor myself to the point that I can barely speak. I am not going to live another 30 years (if I should be so lucky) before I can embrace myself and my life.
Take risks. Let go. Say what you think. Go after what you want in life.
The biggest thing that hit me was how easily and quickly I gave myself away. When I did this, I lost all my power. Someone else had all this power over me. These women, in doing this project, got their power back and in doing so gave me something back.
I gave myself away. I gave myself away in the belief that if someone took it and valued it, I would be validated in some way. Their opinions and feelings were far more important to me than my own sense of self, my own spirit. I became mired in striving to be ‘good enough’ in the eyes of another and never making it. The less they validated me in the way that I wished for, the more lost I became. This is a state of constant preoccupation, pain and disappointment.
How can you be yourself when you’ve given yourself away?
I never gave myself away to Steve. I never needed to. He would never take it. In the act of reclaiming myself, I will always treasure him for this. I feel a freedom and okayness with myself that was never there before. I am still vulnerable to flare ups of insecurity and spite in situations but it will not plague me like before.
I lie in bed waiting for sleep and my mind starts searching. Too much good stuff here. Hey, let’s think about lousy situation that happened six years ago. You were so stupid...
I have a roof over my head and food to eat.
I love what I do.
I love my husband.
I love my body.
I love my life.
I am blessed in more ways than I can name.
Apr 25th 2005Uncategorized