I was surprised after another break to come back and find this thread active again. Then it became another opportunity to realize how much my perspective on this has changed in the last few months.
We have had 3 separate tragedies in the last few months. Devastating loss. And I have learned a lot from all of them. They are the reason I feel so much more at ease with my self compassion these days. It’s as if I took all the learning of the past five years and took it through a series of tests that I am pleased with my own performance on.
They have taught me life is shorter than we think and reminded me nothing is ever promised. We never know what’s around the next corner.
I have shown up for so many hard things I could never have imagined facing head in like I have and there is a confidence and trust I have in myself that has never been so solid. I didn’t control, I held space. I self soothed. I cried buckets (if some of you remember crying was elusive to me in my early days here unless of course it was over the consequences of my own actions. My numbed out heart and my shame in myself and loathing eclipsed my softer side)
The past five years has been a series of trial that every time I think I am done the universe shows me how much further that I had to go. I imagine this is my new norm in some ways. But more pointedly, Discouragement would often chase me back into my hole of shame that I had burrowed in most of my life. My default coping. The cycles of the shame growing shorter over time and the light growing longer.
I have been strong, kind, I have held boundaries when I needed rest and I heard many things that I took in without reacting. I have learned rather than automatically adjust my behavior to what my H is suggesting, I integrate it with my own needs and wants and work to negotiate. In the old days I would have complied, scared to death of not being lovable. I have always made myself small and low maintenance.
The thing about that is it leads to martyrdom, which is so unfair when you are actually the person choosing it. You create the problem and blame your yourself.
The one thing that still rings true in that post is I am not the same person as I was five years ago. The construct of that person lacked foundation. I have that foundation now, and it’s so clear and evident to me. I am 5 years and one month past the start of the most destructive and wrong thing I have ever done and I can say knowing what my construct was then it’s really no wonder I was trying to blow up my life. I don’t know how I got so asleep at the wheel so I understand the vigilance and self awareness has to be a priority.
I don’t worry about cheating as the next way I would try and blow up my life.I just know without the vigilance moving forward and that foundation I have grown I would likely find another destructive behavior that would take me down again.
I am very lucky to say from the betrayed side, I see his growth and foundation is different too. It’s amazing the relationship two people who have learned to love themselves can have. As we grieve the recent deaths and tragedies, we are so open and vulnerable in a way we could never have been before. The old me would have been running double time to try and control by showing up in my superwoman routine as a ruse of trying to prove my worth. Not just to earn the love but also to distract myself from actually dealing with the situation.
I didn’t have to wear that mask and I can clearly see that was a relief to him. It allowed him to show up authentically without trying to manage me or my feelings.
In the past few years I have overcome unhealthy levels of worry, overthinking, self doubt, needing to present myself to others in a certain way. I mean, everyone has those things to a certain extent but I have grown the coping skills to manage them to a very healthy level.
I just do not relate a lot to what I said above anymore outside of how important self compassion is for healing both of you.
For my fellow ws, the goal is not the thinking it’s the doing. And the more you like how you are doing the things (leaning into love over fear, working on yourself, showing up in general) the more you will like yourself. The more you talk or think about it and not follow through, the more shame you are piling on yourself. Actions. The more you have the more you will realize "you got this" and the better relationship you will have with yourself. Master that and it will have a profound effect over your relationships with others.
[This message edited by hikingout at 12:42 PM, Tuesday, May 24th]