I was finally FREE! I had finally created a sense of freedom for myself from the bondage of my 13-year marriage. I could feel the sense of anticipation for a new life building in me as my soon-to-be ex-husband and I were sorting through our accumulated belongs; deciding what would be going to my new place, and what would remain in what used to be our family home.
Oh sure, there had been incredible moments and memories shared that I would treasure and remember forever, however the last three years of our marriage were filled with all manner of dysfunction. The physical and verbal abuse sadly got to the point that one of our children spoke to the school counselor and the counselor called Child Protective Services! Unfortunately, that is what it took for me to take massive action in pursuing my freedom, both for myself, and my five innocent children.
Looking back, I wish that I would have trusted my gut more. I wish I would have trusted me! You know…really listened and trusted what my intuition was saying to me. It had been screaming at me for so many years to make a change! I questioned my knowing over and over again. Instead of listening to my knowing, I enrolled myself into staying in the relationship by saying things like, “It will be fine, don’t worry!” I said these things over and over again thinking that it would somehow minimize the dysfunction of the whole situation. I did all of this instead of taking bold massive action on my knowing before I received the default option choice, which was Child Protective Services showing up, and proclaiming, “If you don’t do something, we will!"
All along, I had a plan and the ability to make a different choice to take action, but I became paralyzed by fear. Instead, I sat on the fence letting the dysfunction build into an atomic bomb with serious consequences and aftermath for everyone thinking that this was the better option.
Because of this experience, it took me a long time to trust and embrace the idea of being in a committed relationship again. Overcoming the residual fear that somehow when I committed myself in a relationship it was required that I give up my personal freedoms, was hard for me.
For many years after my divorce, I avoided commitment even though I longed for connection and love. I made it up that I could love and be in relationships, I just needed to eliminate the commitment part and my problems were solved! But there was always something lacking, and I was not really in my relationships showing up fully as myself. Instead, I always had my exit strategy planted firmly in my mind. Kind of like the secret underground tunnel you see in spy movies with the getaway car parked ready to go. By avoiding commitment, my freedom was maintained but my relationships continued to end...one after another.
And then I got tired, frustrated, and downright pissed off!
I began practicing what I like to call “emotional weightlifting” by speaking up, validating, and honoring myself. I asked for what I wanted and needed to be happy, and gave myself the best self-care and explored new beliefs, skills, and talents. I gave myself unconditional love, the kind of love that I would give to a precious newborn baby.
I have since learned a lot about commitments and myself as a whole. I’ve learned how commitment supports our personal growth by building our inner strength. It is also a great truth teller about our values and beliefs. Oddly, commitment creates safety, if we can understand it.
I know now that committed relationships are not scary if you commit to yourself first. This is when you have all the freedom in the world!
Let freedom ring!
We hope you had a happy and safe 4th with your families!