*this was the case in Love, and hopefully it will become a theme and produce a baby for us to share all this love with, in our 3rd cycle of iui. I am dreaming of the moment.
Love was always my biggest battle. To achieve it, to know when it was real or not, to find it given freely and not with too large of a price tag. To balance it with the demands of a life of my own creation. This one I have struggled with particularly.
Over the years as most human beings I have received a great deal of various critical feedback on my love. The way I love, my beliefs about love, the way this has shown in my life. Particularly with regard to a certain set of rules around ex partners. What these well-meaning people intended I think was very different than what was delivered.
Healing loads of shame and critical judgment. So much that I almost lost trust in my self with regard to love. Almost.
Several days ago my ex wife got married. I was surprised to find this brought up a lot of emotions for me. It isn’t supposed to is it? I mean we have both moved on, and I am happy now. So I “shouldn’t” have those feelings or they should mean something threatening to my current marriage. Why do we do such things to ourselves.
My realization is that love in its purest form, the kind where no one intentionally wronged another (and we rarely do), is beautiful regardless of if it lasts forever or not. But isn’t it supposed to? There’s that damn word again. We can unintentionally cause so much pain to another by assuming we know the one correct way to do things. Such arrogance. What makes us think we know such an important decision for another’s story?
I have been shamed and criticized often for seeking connection or communication with people I have loved. Only now to realize that was their fear and insecurities and not actually some unhealthy behavior in me. I knew I was being genuine.
My conclusion is there are many different kinds of exes in our lives. Many are teachers, and companions for a length of our journey, not the duration. How much less might people suffer if we honored this process of trying for love, and licking our wounds with respect and dignity when it doesn’t work. Rather than being labeled a failure. Or being instructed in some particular way based on the advice givers perspective, thus causing more shame.
Love in its purest is never a failure, perhaps a redirection or a lesson, but never a failure. As if it doesn’t hurt enough to hold deep disappointment, without the criticism of society.
Time is one of the only things that can make the blur and confusion eventually clear. I am fortunate enough to see much more clearly after only a little time, and I’m a person who likes to reach with those truths. This does not mean that much of the rest of the world is ready for that variety of work. Because of its rare form, in my mind I always became “bad or wrong”, an easy legacy minted in childhood. I carried it too long.
So you can imagine my relief in this 37th year of my life when I examine love with such a different lens. When I watch a wedding video of my ex wife singing to her new wife, and can only find gratitude and joy for them. And also that little bit of sadness that is a part of my story now, when our paths diverged. Imagine my joy now that I have found that is not only allowed, but to me this is what it means to be enlightened. It means we can hold Love in our hearts for others, without it meaning anything but pure gratitude.
As a “doer” these are wires that were crossed for a long time for me. I thought a feeling meant you had to do something with it. I would charge boldly and often blindly forward, not even quite sure what I was doing, but always knowing it felt like some important truth to me. And then shortly after I would be bathed in shame of one variety or another. Other people aren’t like this. They move forward with a resolve of steel. I should be like those other people. Why am I so weird and wrong? I felt I was begging to be loved, and always at the core was my extreme dysfunction, and then the self-loathing would begin. This for me, was as easy a process to take over as breathing oxygen.
The profound gratitude for my whole story you will see written all over my body and face now is the gift. So I encourage anyone who finds their way to this post to learn to find closure within themselves, and to see their hearts and stories through the generous eyes they deserve.
And I will be here wishing in earnest for a baby, wishing that my ex-husband could find this clarity also so we could have a good relationship, wishing my ex-wife and her new bride all the happiness in the world, and wishing myself peace from a mind that would always try to find her at fault and shame her.
I am here working toward these goals in earnest. Also I wanted to share an excerpt from a part that after editing will be in my memoir someday.
“That was back when I thought pure love for someone meant you had to be with them…
I watched your wedding video and at first there was sadness. Sadness I would later identify as the unlived possibilities of our unfinished life together. And later I watched it again.. and smiled from ear to ear for your joy. For you getting your wedding, the one you wanted, with the dress and the family. And witnessing love, and being in the Love I have now, for some reason opens things, rather than closing them.
I am open to the truth of the gratitude I feel for the fact that our love was/is real. I see where this is non-traditional, or even crazy. By societal standards I am a stalker with an unstable mental state. But in my truth, the one I know, I’m just deeply grateful for my whole story, and you have a big place in that. You know from having been with me that I don’t travel by the standard rules of doing things, or what other people think. I had to find my truth. And the truth I feel today is nothing but unconditional love for my whole experience, for this home, for your family. For you.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just chalk you up as an ex and feel all the things one should about an ex. I think maybe now I can feel all the love I wasn’t able to then. Yes that is the sadness. Now that I have achieved this state of security within myself, I can see what was always there. I can weave a story that isn’t me being unhealthy or writing like a crazy person to an ex all those times. I was simply offering the real love I had found within myself. (With a very real side of the panic I have often lived with, rejection sensitivity, and PTSD, oh if only I could have found kindness for myself then)
And I can know now that you didn’t have to accept that offer for it to be genuine and real. In this way no one can actually take our own experience from us, no matter how things change. Wasted time is a lie we tell ourselves in the name of shame. I have never wasted a second, well ok maybe now with Instagram and Facebook, but never in my attempts at Love.
A favorite Rumi quote still on the fridge is “The heart is comforted by true words, just as a thirsty man is comforted by water.”
I have always found this to be true for me. Perhaps for you they will just be unnerving. It’s not an easy thing to have a mind like mine. At least in my earned security I can write into the Universe and for anyone who wants to read, and not make those who do not want those words uncomfortable. Boundaries were one of my biggest battles. One I am still working on. They get stronger each day, and they honor my self, rather than shame her.
I like this new awareness of the space I occupy in the world. My life feels like an authentic adventure story, and I find gratitude for every single part.