I will get to marriage in a moment!
For years I thought, we are all the sum total of our experiences. I was wrong! We are the sum total of our interpretations of our experiences. What I believe dictates my actions. What I believe isn’t based on what has transpired in my life. It’s based on what I think about what happened in my life. I make choices according to what I decided to believe about every life experience.
I was born into dysfunction. Things were not ideal. From abandonment, molestation, rejection, absence of affirmation, and loss of identity I was conditioned to survive – not thrive. While these things might not collectively reflect everyone’s resume’ they show up in many peoples timelines. More importantly, I’m in no way unique. There’s a multitude of similar stories. If I think my situation is exceptional I’m not likely to forfeit my status. Change was against me!
It’s easy for me to appreciate anyone who emerged from childhood with less scars. Minimal trauma. And better equipped to navigate the journey of living. I have more in common with the broken. People struggling to find answers to their pain. I identify with those who hope for brighter days. Less complicated nights. And a future filled with promises of beautiful things.
My search for solve-ation (made up word) led me to many things that just didn’t work. The greatest tragedy I’ve witnessed in my own life isn’t the terrible things that were made a part of me; it’s the way I related to what went on. I erroneously incorporated undesirable events into my personal assessment. I agreed to be devalued without realizing it. This set up an alternate reality. I was living a lie. Because powerful things, negative things, became part of me so early on I was groomed to attract the very things I didn’t want.
I’m using marriage in a metaphoric sense; the relationship I have with various aspects of my life. I have been committed to the unfaithful. I’ve been affectionate to things that could never love me back. Trying to get fruit from trees of destruction. I held on to ideas that could only work against me. I developed habits that became invisible walls of my intimate prison.
I stayed with principles that left me wanting. The feeling of unworthiness will never lead to abundance. Believing I am not enough cannot provide the rewards of knowing who I am. Seeing myself as damaged is not going to heal me. I tried hard to workout things in my head that can only be resolved in my heart. Lessons learned establishes growth that can’t be taken away. Thoughts are creative. In all directions. Good thoughts with corresponding feelings brings about a desirable life. No matter what existed previously, there is power in the right-now.
The scariest part of transformation is knowing where you are. Accepting that what has always been doesn’t have to be what always is. Blame is the first thing that has to go. The stuff that creates an appetite for self-destruction isn’t permanent. Unless you want it to be. Taste-buds are teachable. Courage is the instructor. Why is the question to ask and answer. Not why did it happen. Why do I allow it to continue?
You can be victimized without the mentality of a victim. Victims graduate to perpetrator. Understanding the power to change is the radical in each of us. To become your own revolution is the way forward. I wallowed, for years, until I discovered I had everything I needed to facilitate conversion. It’s almost too cliche’ to use but it’s too true to ignore; what you think about you bring about. I can dwell on what I don’t want or I can dwell on what I do.
I had grounds for divorce. I didn’t need a lawyer. It didn’t cost me anything to end my marriage to abusive ideas, concepts, or my past. To stay in relationships that couldn’t support my dreams, recognize my value, or refuse to abuse could have cost me everything. I’m not here to be the tail. The doormat. The wishful thinker. I’m here to flourish in love, empathy, and connection.
Faith and pain have been two constants in my life. Mastering my path included ending the human constructs of theology and doctrines that left me short of The Father. My faith has emerged as empirical truth, lessening my pain. God is too superior to be detailed by minds still searching to understand Him. Love and Grace are too intentional to be unmerited. Accepting that it’s not possible to be too messy for the Father led me to authentic Sonship. Resulting in the clarity of my message and mission. I connect people to the father.
I prayed diligently for years, seeking liberation. I searched for the feelings of worthiness, affirmation, and inclusion. The answer I sought remained too undefined to materialize. I didn’t understand. I asked God and then expected men to grant my requests. I simply stood in the wrong line. Others can share in my life; no one can live my life. This is my life and I want it.
The painter William H. Johnson coined the phrase; “if it is to be, it is up to me.” Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said, ” In every moment something sacred is at stake.” We have grounds to bury the dead, none life-giving parts of our lives, and surrender to the life that’s trying to breathe. If my life hibernates it becomes a significant loss to me and the rest of the world.
Here are some practical things I did to propel myself onward and upward:
1. Awareness – got in touch with the source of my thoughts and feelings
2. Identified – the origin of my beliefs
3. Inventoried – my habits and relationships
4. Observed – what is repeatedly showing up in my life
5. Willingness – to own my failures and achievements
6. Honesty – I decided what I wanted more than anything
7. Courage – to identify and divorce everything that held me back
I made adjustments to those things that only needed tweaking. I walked away from systems, personalities, and applications that worked against me. I miss some people I had to let go of. Some I loved. Some were just habits. I felt bare for awhile as I gave up my excuses. I now have a comparison, the way it had always been and the way it is now. My life today is much better.
I settled some things forever. I’m still working to align with more authenticity. It’s a work in progress. It’s also a work of progress. I’ve made strides of enormous growth. I find the universe is now working on my behalf. People and things are appearing out of nowhere (actually from a very specific place) to support my cause. To know good things are the direct result of my efforts is more affirming than anything I’ve ever experienced.
You are worthy of the best possible life. Good things are waiting for you to marry them. Divorce captivity and live!
You have grounds!
P.S. My wife and I will celebrate 34 years of marriage in a few days. She is the most wonderful woman on the planet. It’s taken a lot of tweaking over the years but thankfully we never found it necessary to divorce. I just couldn’t help but share how blessed I am to live with such a beautiful and splendid wife.