Lessons of Love
Writing about emotions is hard. It is allowing others to see inside of your heart. However, I have learned that the more confident you are as a person, the less you have to fear. Rejection can only hurt if you are not sure of yourself. You are only threatened by others if you have not accepted yourself, with all your blessings and short-comings. With age, this is a must if you are to find happiness and peace.
And so, with that in mind, I have no misgivings with sharing with those that follow my blog what I am most pleased to celebrate tomorrow, my anniversary with my husband Jim. There is no other person in my life that has had a larger effect on me or impacted my journey to self-discovery, self-love and self-acceptance more than my husband.
I began my “adulthood” getting pregnant at age 17, still a child at heart, unsure what being a parent and a spouse even meant. I immediately got married to a man I had only known since July of 1977, we wed Oct. 8th after learning I was pregnant. I had refused to get an abortion feeling the life inside of me was not going to be rejected by me no matter how hard it was to raise a baby on my own. I felt inside a kinship with my baby, a love that was like nothing I had ever felt. But it wasn’t really what I felt for the man I was marrying. Nor did I have that in marriage number two. That story isn’t what this is about.
Fast-forward to my husband now. When I met him, I was down on marriage all together. I met him through my younger sister and really thought of him as nothing more than a friend, and wanted simply that, a friendship. He wanted nothing more than the same, neither of us needed a commitment or a relationship at the point in time. I suppose it is true that when you are aren’t looking, have no hidden agenda, God brings what you need in your life and not what you ask for. And looking back, I suppose we both needed an unconditional loving support system, someone to hold hands with and build each other up and be lifelong friends, lovers and playmates.
That is what I got with my sister’s friend AND a man with character, humor and compassion. I have had years of challenges, we have been through so much in the last 15 years. Wow, have we had our share of ups and downs but through it all, we have never once questioned our love for each other. This may not seem odd to anyone reading this but for someone twice divorced, I was not really sure this type of love existed, at least for me.
I saw that the common denominator was me. There always seem to be a provisional acceptance of me with every member in my family. My children seemed to always evaluate and judge me on my mothering skills, the type of person I am, even on my mental state as I got older just like my second husband. My daughter forever found fault in my as a parent. In her eyes, I never measured up so I began to seriously doubt my abilities as a parent. If I couldn’t make her happy, what was wrong with me? When my husband met me, he recognized immediately as did his family the signs of someone who was beating their head against a brick wall much too quick to take blame for things they had no control over.
In my husband, I found someone who loved me unconditionally. This made me really take a hard look at me and begin to see rays of sunshine in myself, that hey, I must not be such a bad person afterall. I began seeing a counselor, who I still see to this day. I did the down and dirty work of delving into all of my life and my thoughts and dreams of who I am and not who others want me to be or who I use to project to be. I have come to know me intimately and deeply and embrace that woman and love her.
In doing so, it has allowed me to love and embrace my husband more fully. Iowe this, in large part, to Jim, my husband. As I have traveled through this path, the last 15 years, going through cancer, side effects, chronic migraines and other health issues, he has remained steadfast in supporting me. He has allowed me to be his confidant on all that he is and thinks without reservation showing me that I am worthy of being trusted, respected and loved unconditionally.
Jim, my husband, has provided the missing pieces of my life and my heart. I don’t think I quite ever really saw myself as a whole person. Perhaps I felt like a broken puzzle with missing puzzle pieces. I came from a divorced home and felt like the outsider at times being raised by a step-mother and my dad. I felt like I never measured up to their blood children together. It made me feel inadequate and hurt inside deeply. It is irrelevant anymore whether it was right or wrong because feelings just are, our perception is our reality. Children are very sensitive and I picked up on things that upset me. I carried those around for a long time.
Through my marriage and my husband, I am the woman I am today, someone who has found their place in the world. I have become someone who is okay being rejected by others and recognizes I don’t need to be accepted by everyone anymore. We all have agendas and I do not need to focus moments in my life on issues I can’t solve.
Meeting Jim and having him introduced to my family and to my children has allowed me to free myself from all those weights I had been carrying. I allowedmyself to be scrutinized by everyone. And accepted all the criticism and stressed about it too, willingly. It took a man as strong as him, to love me perhaps more than I loved myself to make me realize I needed to love myself enough to let it go. Allow others to continue judging me and doing things that were hurtful to me and not take it personally.
I recently read a book called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. One of the main agreements is about this above, not taking things personally; everyone is coming at life according to their own interests, consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, we expend far too much energy on what others are thinking, feeling and saying. Wasted life, wasted energy.
One of the greatest joys I get from writing my blogs is the comments I hear back from folks about how something in it touches them or makes them think about the topic. If this inspires any of you to reflect on your self-worth, even one of you, and learn to hug yourself a bit more, than it has done its job.
And for me, this was my long-winded way of saying, living a life with a lot of heart-ache was worth it if it meant having a man like Jim to call my husband. I dearly love him and am blessed beyond measure. He has made me closer to God’s image of me. Video of some Images over the years, Click Here