It’s been a long while since I last posted here; almost 6 months! When I stopped feeling guilty, lazy, or like I was letting people down, I realised that that’s ok. I’ve really missed writing, but when life takes over, or when the blog is not calling me, I can’t force it. So this post is dedicated to being true, and thank you to those still reading.
It’s important for me to share today because sometimes the most uncomfortable things are the things which will help us most. Healing from break-up means looking at the pain and acknowledging it, as well as being positive and striving to move beyond it.
Today I’m back on the topic of congruence; being authentic; letting who you are inside, be the person you show to the world. It’s the one concept from my counselling training which has stuck with me deeply (in fact my last post was inspired from what I’d learned on the course), so I’m here again looking at how congruence is so relevant to being in and out of a relationship.
When my ex-husband told me that he was leaving me to “follow his truth”, I didn’t buy it, in fact, I wanted to punch him. Because the irony was that his being true to himself, involved deception and betrayal on a huge scale. Whether or not he found his truth is irrelevant, I discovered, because over the years, with the gift that he gave me in leaving, I began to find mine.
My past, since childhood, had always been a mixture of fear and confusion about who I was and what I needed. I didn’t know I was in pain at the time; it was all I knew. I grew up, thinking I could leave all the old baggage behind, undealt with. I thought I was safe in my marriage, and because safety, commitment and a life of simple pleasures were all I thought I needed, I neglected the parts of me that were crying out for more.
I allowed myself to be treated very badly through my marriage, but I didn’t know it – or at least admit it – at the time. It sounds unreal to say now, but I just didn’t know I was worth more. And the more I held on to the marriage, thinking I could change it to make me happy, the more of myself I lost. I don’t recognise a lot of me, and how I behaved, back then.
Since my divorce, and especially more recently since training in counselling, I have delved, explored, exposed and faced up to lots of different aspects of myself. I have always known that being submissive or manipulative to get my needs met was not ok; but now I know why I did it. Sometimes when nothing is given to you, you have to ask for it the only way you know how. I’ve since learned that it is actually ok to have needs and express them, a novelty for me.
The biggest learning ground in congruence for me has been in my new relationship. The work it takes to be emotionally intimate is phenomenal, but ultimately blissful. I have never felt more myself with another person, than I do with my partner right now. Last week I overcame a huge hurdle of my own discomfort, to talk to him about something very important to both of us. I feel such happiness in my ability to be truthful with the person I love. Allowing trust and vulnerability with someone again after divorce, was the biggest gift I could have given myself. I’ve learned that I don’t have to change who I am in order to be loved. I’m valued and respected. What I give is not dismissed, or told it’s not wanted in this relationship. In fact the more I give unconditionally, the more I seem to get in return.
Healing requires looking within, often to emotions which have been buried; being real means being willing to look at those parts of yourself that might make you uncomfortable, but not judging yourself for having them. Because it’s only with awareness of those aspects that we can change if we choose to. I will always be a work in progress and I no longer strive to be perfect.
Writing this post has been a challenge, because I’m sharing things that have hurt me, and that makes me vulnerable. I also deeply shy away from feeling like a victim, which is why I feel far more comfortable writing about my positive experiences and breakthroughs. But all of it is who I am, and this is what I’m called to write today. I hope this will reach someone who needs it. I love my life, and am grateful today that the end of my marriage gave me the opportunity to become who I’m really supposed to be.