Incredible, marvelous, breathtaking happiness.
It’s what we are all hoping for; searching for; praying for and waiting for.
For some, apparently, that happiness (aka love) slams into them going full speed and hangs on for a very long time; for others, it’s incredibly elusive.
My own journey towards happiness has been very painful and very enlightening. I’ve had to re-examine my role as a mother AND as a woman.
And that ain’t easy.
Redefining my “mom” role has been heartbreaking and rewarding. I’ve counseled, questioned, examined and explained many things I had often avoided talking about. Frankly, I’ve begun talking more. Those of you out there who know me, know that it’s not hard for me to talk. But those who know me well know that I don’t talk about matters of the middle of the heart. I used to say, “Well, I don’t really want to talk about that right now,” or “I just can’t talk about that.” It was when I questioned Bitchy not long ago about HER habit of saying the exact same thing that it smacked me RIGHT IN THE FACE. “Holy shit the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree,” I realized. (And it was a tragic reminder to her that yes, I am indeed her birth mother.)
That epiphany opened up my eyes and my heart, and forced me to think AND talk about things I had apparently kept locked away for a long, long time. That particular realization has been surprisingly good for my soul, and my growth. It’s also helped me engage in some interesting and meaningful conversations with my children.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve always" talked"; we’ve always been open and honest about childhood things and my hopes and dreams for them, but I might have avoided talking about the elephant in the room; the one called “an unhappy marriage.” Now that elephant has been stripped, showered, shaved and re-dressed. (It was a dirty job, for sure. But, like the sweet smelling elephant, we were all the better for it afterwards.)
Examining my second role as an older, single woman has been equally fascinating and even more challenging. I’ve realized some crazy things about myself, and continue to learn each day about what’s important, what I can control and how I want to live each day. I've also learned about self-respect and how very important it is to love yourself before you can even begin to think about loving someone else.
As a mother, I’ve tried very hard to remind my children that happiness is so very important. But I've wanted to teach them that the key to that happiness is carefully hidden right inside your own heart. I spent a lot of time being unhappy until I realized that the one person responsible for my unhappiness was myself. I had allowed myself to reside in that unhappy place for far too long. That meant that I had to swallow my fear, my anger, my instinct to blame someone ELSE, and accept that my situation was only going to change when I had the strength the change it myself.
Figuring out how to do it was another thing entirely.
I’ve realized that there is no right way to end a marriage; no proper way; no way that ensures that no one is hurt by collateral damage.
That’s been the sucky part.
But now that I’m forging ahead, I am finding it much, much easier if I walk without that crazy extra weight. Not the baby weight I still have 16 years later; not the bread and butter weight; not the Ben and Jerry’s weight. You know what I mean; that extra weight called hatred, bitterness, envy, jealousy, anger and negativity. It’s when you wear that heavy, heavy coat that you feel powerless, lonely, depressed and helpless. But I’ve realized the key to moving forward. Sure, part of the key is talking about matters of the (middle) of the heart; but the most important part of the key?
Take off the damn coat.