My impending divorce has shaken my world and not in the negative way I once thought. In the beginning and with our past separation I thought my life was over as my world had been torn apart; which I now realize was my codependent frame of mind. Speaking of codependency, there is a 12 step program modeled after AA and adapted for the specific needs of codependents. I don’t know if I plowed through the steps or I am just very self-aware. But nonetheless, this divorce may just be the best thing that has ever happened to me.
That which I am learning, as a result, is opening doors in my mind I never realized were closed and the empowerment that is a result of said awareness cannot be measured.
My expectations of others
“Expectations of others is a self-serving attitude we project onto people in order for them to better accommodate our needs. When we let go of expectations we set people free to be who they are. Having no expectations is not a bad thing, it is merciful and selfless. It is not forcing someone to meet your standards and giving them permission to meet their own standards”
The quote above is something of a revelation to me. I have always had certain expectations of people and those expectations were always a form of self-preservation; a way of protecting myself from harm. But look at me now!
Also, it was selfish and self-serving. I went to such an extreme with my self-preservation I dictated to others who they should be; I was basically a control freak! Forcing others to be what I wanted them to be instead of who they were is something I am very ashamed of, but I am also extremely grateful for the insight I have gained. I want to grow and be the best version of myself possible; I want peace and happiness. But, sometimes, the lessons that need to be learned in order to achieve peace are hard and humiliating.
Here is the best example of what I am trying to say. I have this dear friend that is an all-around amazing person. She is the most selfless and giving individual I have ever met. She does not gossip at all, no joke! She is sincere and honest, works hard, manages her home and finances like a freaking boss; just an all around bad ass individual. She is someone I admire so, so much. But, she thinks so poorly of herself and always puts herself down. With my realization on expectations, I tried explaining to her that people love her because of who she is, not what she can do for them. She always goes above and beyond for people, spending hundreds on birthday gifts or what not and countless hours on ways to make people’s day brighter. She runs a daycare and dear lord the amount of time and effort she puts into her own kids and her daycare kids is amazing, mind-blowing in fact! I want to ask her though, what if she cut the crafts in half or did not spend so much time on activities? Would her kids love her less? No, of course not. Those kids love her because she is simply a beautiful soul. They hold no expectations of what she can do for them!
By letting go of my expectations of others I have opened up a whole new world for myself. To have no expectations may sound so negative, but to me, it is the most positive epiphany I have ever had. By letting go of the control freak inside of me my world has found a new calm and a new order. Controlling others is like trying to control the rain or a tornado, one will always end up losing because you can not control the weather. But, by pulling out an umbrella and allowing the storm to just be adds a level of simplicity to life that is dumbfounding and exhilarating.
I do not need to be saved
This ties in with expectations of others but on a different level. My entire life I have waited on a hero to come along and save me, and while I found that hero in God I put too much stock in people. I don’t know if it was a result of my self-esteem, feeling inadequate to save myself, or a frame of mind that the world owed me something. The world does not owe me a hero.
Let me repeat that one more time. The world does not owe me a hero.
Yes, I have seen the depths of hell in my life. I grew up in an extremely abusive and dysfunctional family, married a man at 19 that was abusive and so on and so forth. But recently, I discovered this victim mentality kept me a victim! No, no, no AND no, I do not want to spend the rest of my life being a helpless victim with a target on my head for bad people to do bad things. But, people have their nature, I can’t change what and who people are. All I can change is myself and my prey like status in their minds.
My entire life I have asked myself this question, “why am I such easy prey?”. Just recently I have discovered that it was my personality making myself easy prey. Maybe it was because abuse is all I have known my entire life, or it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy because I thought I deserved nothing better; who knows. But I do know this, my days of searching for a hero are over. Today and all the days to follow I will be my own hero putting my faith where it belongs, in God and the goodness humanity is capable of.
Listen when spoken to
I believe in magic, for lack of a better word because the things I see with my heart is nothing less than magical; like unicorn farts, all glittery and beautiful. Call God what you will, he/it is all the same. People worship all kinds of things and deities, but if you think about it it all boils down to one thing: faith in something bigger than ourselves. The concepts of every religion are related, intertwined with basically the same meaning and message. We as a species need someone or something to follow, to believe in; it is our nature.
I do a lot of listening to my definition of God, or I try to at least, and he is always looking for an avenue to speak. Everything that I have learned these past two months is because my heart was desperate to learn and my ears were open to what needed to be said. I ran across a meme on a friends facebook that spoke to me in such a powerful way. It might sound silly to everyone reading this, but it is not silly to me.
Friday I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown. I was so angry and crying out to God asking him why. I got on facebook to distract myself trying to get out of my funk and the first thing I see is a meme quoting Isaiah 41:13
“13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee”
This became my mantra for two days; what I held onto while I weathered the storm in my mind. On Sunday, every tear I had cried over the past two months was accounted for as the help that was promised arrived. I did not just get help with our physical needs, but as this blog post testifies, my heart and mind were taken into consideration for a well rounded means to healing. As I stated before, every tear was accounted for.