Was there a time during your marriage when you suddenly realized you sold out? Did you have an epiphany one day, an "Aha! moment, or was it a slow burn? However the realization came, it probably left you unsettled, scared and in denial. My day came five years ago when I was making the bed, our bed, the bed that hadn't held a loving couple for years. Just like that, as I smoothed the bedspread out, I felt it....."I don't know who the hell I am anymore". What was I doing? Why did I care if this empty bed looked inviting or not? Why did I care if the pillows looked fluffed and ready? Ready for what? How did this happen to me? I remember the dogs barking at the mailman and I was instantly snapped out of my "selfish indulgence" of daring to feel. The authentic woman that resided deep inside me was screaming. She was screaming. And. I. Shut. Her. Up. But she would not be forever silenced. No way.
Thus began my years of profound Divine Discontent. My inner woman, the One who knew better then I, was not going to be ignored any longer. This was actually proof that I was loved, worthy, cherished...but I didn't see it. I was unable, at the time, to know that these inner urgings, these relentless feelings that I was meant for so much more, were the better part of myself pushing me to bust out. So what did I do? I hunkered down. I let fear in the form of low self-esteem and a lack of marketable skills to support myself rule the day. I sold out for a life of material comfort then to experience one of true, authentic adventure. Fear is a bitch. I ran from her daily. She pursued me all the more. The Bitch was a gift from God though, sent to me as a way to finally face what was holding me down. Something greater then I knew I would eventually turn on my pursuer and demand to know what She wanted from me.....but I still couldn't face her....so I copped out a while longer.
I can't tell you the nights I sat up in bed pouring over Internet articles on how to survive divorce! Desperately seeking some comfort, or an idea, a quote, or phrase that would magically make me feel better. But instead of consulting with the fear on Her own ground, I just felt worse. I read the gamut of strategies for coping....take up a hobby, join a book club, join a gym, get drunk, go to church, get laid, scream, smash a dozen cheap glasses against the garage door (I kinda wanted to do that one, but resisted), go lie down naked in your back yard at night and ask the Moon Goddess to take your pain away. (Okay...I tried that last one, but nothing worked). All the things I loved in life no longer held any interest for me, the reason being it all included my family....every activity, every home cooked meal, every Sunday drive, grocery shopping, eating out, holidays, gardening, everything....my husband, my beautiful daughters, my dogs....we were all together, doing everything together. Now my husband was gone for good, my oldest daughter was beginning college, and my little one was just trying to feel safe and whole again. I couldn't even stand my own skin or the home I had so lovingly kept. It was just raw, throbbing pain, and I thought it was going to kill me. But finally one day the time came for some truth telling....I had run long enough. I started to have the sneaking suspicion that the source of my discontent was something I could change myself. So began the reclamation of Cindy Stewart and the meeting of my fears face-to-face. I decided to ask the Bitch to tea to find out if we could be friends....and guess what?
Until next time...peace upon your heart