Looking outward and forward

One of the most difficult challenges I faced after separating from my husband was my own sense of shame and guilt.

I had failed to be a good-enough wife, and therefore, failed my marriage. Looking back, I do see many things that I could have done differently. I own those failures, and admit to them: mostly allowing myself to fear loss and abandonment, and letting these issues cloud my own sense of security. A healthy relationship cannot exist in the presence of constant fear and insecurity. It will become skewed, distorted, and become very sick.

The wonderful thing about this post is that its focus is not on any of the failures I experienced in my marriage. It is about hope.


I wouldn't have seen the double rainbow if I hadn't gone outside

I wouldn’t have seen the double rainbow if I hadn’t gone outside

I had a serious blow this morning about something very important to me. I have worked through it over the past few hours, doing everything I can to change the outcome. I have done my part. I have remained professional and pleasant. I did have a little cry which helped tremendously (I am not a crier).

I am so proud of myself. My first tendency was to completely withdraw from the source of the conflict, to run away, to hide where it feels safe. I worked past that — mostly. My fight or flight instinct led me to fight, but darn it if I am not now wishing to fly away, to go where it feels safer, to stop looking outward so much.

I grieved the loss of one of the most important relationships in my life for three years. I admit that I isolated myself.

After grieving for a very long time, I began to look outward. I registered for classes at a local community college, which I love. I actively began to write on my blogs, along with the writing that I was doing for classes. I studied hard. I researched extensively. I worked to understand the course material in a way that would relevant to me and the world.

I then began to consider that I might have a future away from all of the failure that I felt. I lived with failure and disappointment and pain for so long that I began to wonder if I would ever live any other way. Today, I can say, “Yes!”

In spite of the difficulties that I face every day (financial, physical, emotional, and geographical), I am looking outward from my own small sphere of existence to the bigger world around me. More importantly, I am looking forward.

In spite of the difficulties that I face, in spite of people that seem to appear in my path that unwittingly stop me in my tracks for a brief time, in spite of all of the negativity that I fight every day to find a glimmer of positivity, I am looking forward to a different life, one of my own making.

Life is hard. That is just the way it is. It isn’t easy for anyone. But…

No matter what happens, I have moved outward and am looking forward.

But what if you’re wrong?

About what?

Of course I’m wrong about a lot of things.  I am probably wrong about most things.  Most people are.  That is the key here.  Most people are wrong.

Humans have an extremely limited ability to see.  Anything.

I am very human.  I will always be very human.

People who know me know that I am kind, but sometimes mean.  They know that I am generally well-mannered and polite, except when I am rude.  I am honest to a fault, except when I feel the need to hide (though I still don’t lie — I just hide myself away for a time until it is safe to come out).   People who know me know that I am strange, different, just not quite right, enigmatic (I’ve been told).

One thing that I have discovered about myself is that although I want to be loved, want loads of approval and attention, desire to be adored by someone, anyone, I will not stop being me.  I tried that and it didn’t work.  I got completely lost.  I am finding my way again.

So what if I’m wrong? I will continue to project myself onto the world.  I might hide parts of myself away to keep them safe, the most fragile and delicate parts of me, but I will use my voice because I must.  I am compelled by something deep down, something primal maybe, to speak out, to be present, to not be silent.

I will not be afraid.  I will feel fear and concern, be insecure and doubtful, wonder whether I am just delusional, but I will not be afraid to speak.  Someone has to speak.  Women must speak.

In my on-campus classes (I take  online classes, too), one common behavior I witness is (are) the soft, quiet, tentative voices of female students.  The guys speak up, loud and clear, tend to overwhelm classroom discussions, but only a handful of women speak out, and when they do they can barely be heard.  If one of them is sitting next to me or in front of me or behind me, I tell her to speak up, use her voice, don’t be afraid to be wrong; speak up and be heard.

So I write.  I speak.

I most certainly am wrong.  I see life and the world through my own clouded filters.  So does everyone else.  That’s the key here:  everyone sees the world through clouded, cracked, oftentimes dark glasses.  I love when the glasses I put on some days are beautifully clear and bright.  I love that!  But it isn’t always that way, and that is okay.

People who know me know that I fall down a lot (sometimes literally) but I always get up and find something to look forward to.  Every single day.  For those who have only met me through this blog, my other current blog is entitled, “Serendipity:  Life is a Garden.”  Such a contrast, I know, to this blog.  I have lived by the premise that life is full of serendipity and that life is a garden, sometimes quiet and seemingly dead while it is merely resting, waiting for sunlight and warm temperatures to wake it up and give it new life.  Life is beautiful, magical, delightful, amazing.  It is other, not-so-nice things, too.  We can’t just ignore the ugliness of life, just focusing on the nice stuff.  But we cannot live stuck in the muck of ugliness, either.  We must be able to wade out of the muck, make it to shore, wash off and dance, at least sometimes.  I want to dance.

My other blog: such a contrast

My other blog: such a contrast

I might be completely wrong about Christianity and religious leaders and men who think they are in charge because God said they are.  I might be.  That’s okay.  I am just speaking up and being heard.  I am not afraid to be told that I am wrong (I have been told that my entire life — I can’t ALWAYS be wrong, right?).  I am writing my way through life, and that’s the bottom line.  I write to be heard, to express parts of myself that otherwise would stay completely hidden.  If I’m wrong, so be it.

But what if I’m right?