I have had a breakthrough, I feel, in the most important thing in my life. Up to this point in my life I have been blind to the person I was choosing to be and even when I had glimpses of that person, in moments of clarity, I would quickly fall back to that person. And I felt justified in being the way I was being, because someone else had forced me to defend or protect myself. I blamed it all on my partner; she was disrespecting me and not valuing me. So I disrespected her back and didn’t see much value in her. And so she continued to disrespect me and I her and in the end we spent 12 years disrespecting one another.
Now, when I look at this with eyes wide open, I see the thing to which I was once blinded; that we all have the choice to be awake. Let me give an example to show you what I mean:
let’s say that without knowing it I made my wife feel disrespected and so she reacted by disrespecting me back, at that point I have a choice; I can defend my disrespect, whether I did it knowingly or not, or I can be the person I can respect, and recognize her value, even in informing me that there are actions I take that I myself would call disrespectful. Knowing this helps me to be that person that I can respect and love and value. If one is honest this choice is a no brainer, aah! But only for those who are aware they are, at that moment, faced with that choice.
For 12 years I chose to defend a man who disrespected his wife over and over again, sometimes even in front of his children, a man I could not respect. And I thought I had no choice. Although my wife felt the brunt of my blindness, and I hers and my children, ours, my greatest victim is the man who thought he had no choice but to be and defend someone he despises for more than 12 years. Oddly enough though, as sorrowful as this situation may seem to some I am not sad.
I rejoice that I now know I can choose to be the man that I can respect and value and love no matter what she or anyone else does or says. I can always choose to be that man. When I now contemplate what that will mean for my future, I also think of what it may have meant in my past. The scenario goes through my mind like this:
My wife is angry because she feels I disrespected her, I allow myself to be sensitive enough to feel that she is upset and brave enough to ask her, what is wrong, if she has not already volunteered that information. She tells me that she feels I have belittle her by my demeanor towards her. I tell her that I was unaware I was doing that, give her a kiss and a hug and tell her that I love and cherish her. I feel she that she would be hard pressed not to feel the love I had for her and know that I meant no malice. However if she didn’t react that way and she held on to the anger I would give her, her space because at that point I would know that it is not about me and I would let it go, continuing to recognize her value and choosing to be the man that I respect. Knowing also that she will get over whatever it is.
Now if this was the person I chose to be for those 12 years instead of the man I was she would have had no choice but to be a better person as well and we could have been happy together with rare moments of misery instead of miserable with rare moments of joy as it was.
Some might say that she should take some of the blame. And to that, I say, she has the choice to be awake just as I do and if she considers this as I have she would probably feel similarly about her choices as I, however you are wrong. I am the only one to blame for the choices I made that made me a person I cannot be proud of. She is not to blame in any shape, form or fashion for that.
When I first thought of this, I was thinking about an argument me and my wife had recently had regarding the fact that it seemed she had decided to move on, and was dating, thinking that I had done the same when, in fact I hadn’t and was hoping for a reconciliation with her.
We have been separated for a year but there is much love between us and we can’t turn it off but at the same time we refused to let go of how we have wronged one another in the past and so we have been stuck. I asked myself, “be honest and consider what she says about you, is it true? Is this who I have been to her all these years?” And the answer was yes. Then I asked myself “why?” and my first thought about it was that she often disrespected me. “Then I thought of who she is. This is the woman who loved me enough to marry me, have my children, entrust her daughter to me and follow me to a foreign country; why would she disrespect me?” The answer came in a wave of confused emotion. How could she respect the man that I was when I didn’t even respect him as that man deserved no respect? I then thought, “So, when I deal with her it was disrespectful because I was defending my own acts of disrespect against her and getting back at her for disrespecting me by calling me out on my bullshit. On top of all that, because she was the one person in those 12 years with whom I spent most of time, I spent most of my time being the person that was beneath me and it was all my own fault. So, in contemplating some of the things that she said to me that at the time I argued whole heartedly against I now saw clearly, she was right.
Some might say that the saddest thing about this whole situation is that it took losing her to another man to wake back up to how valuable this woman is to me. Again though, I rejoice as it does not matter if she is with me or another her value to me will never change. I love who I know her to be. And If I am with her or move on and find a woman that is her equal I will know that I have the choice to be awake. I can always choose to be the man that I love and respect and as that is what she will see for the most part then she will likely love and respect me as well. I now have the power to come out of any situation feeling worthy of the one person’s respect that means everything to me… my own.
It is funny how when we are close to understanding who we truly are and recognizing who we have chosen to be instead, we fight hard against it with a fury of a dying man as that is what it feels like; dying. We are fighting for our lives at that point but when the new truth comes and finally overwhelms us, we find we were fighting to hold on to something that or someone whom was holding us down like dead weight. It is almost like being born again or better yet breaking through the membrane of an old limited world into one that is new and less limited. Because of the truth we are freer and more powerful than when we believed the lie.
Tracey I told you I had no choice and I believed it at the time, but you told me I did and I love you and thank you for it and everything you have given me over the years and I will show you from this moment on.