Stretched my mind a bit. I was pondering the belief that there are infinite realities. If every decision we make has only 2 choices (usually there isn’t just 2 choices, but follow me here), then each time our realities would exponentially increase. The decision I make today has 2 choices today, but each of the choices I made 2 minutes ago would also have the same choice right now, thus increasing my realities 4 fold etc. It gets big quick. Then if my decision now is eliminate by the alternative decision a few minutes ago, then that choice would have its own decisions to make. It is a little mind boggling.
I have been told, “Abandon all hope of a better past.” I have been reminded of it often, as I tend to get stuck in the past wishing I had made a different decision. Or imagining what my life would have been if I chose differently. I wonder if I had not gone to Starbucks the morning my life blew up what it would look like now. I would still be in a loveless marriage, beating myself up over my inability to ask for my needs to be met. I would have continued to lose myself and stunt my growth process. I would still be hiding. However, I would be with my kids, in a town I really enjoyed. I would be nearer to family. I wouldn’t have been through a few years of shame.
I got started on this imagination tour thinking about past relationships. I have gotten to the point that although I would never have chosen the course of how our marriage ended, I am thankful it did. I am not thankful for the pain I caused. However, I am learning to forgive myself for it.
I think about the “what ifs” with the relationships I had since then. There was a period of time that I was thinking I was trying to date, when really I was just looking for companionship. I was aloof and not emotionally connected. I wanted to be saved and to be loved, but I wasn’t ready to be honest and clear in my goals and direction. I thought about some of those. There was one woman who was a hair dresser. She was funny, smart, and very good looking. I really liked her and there could have been something between us. I was in a cycle of dating many women at the same time and after leaving her favorite flowers for her at work, I got back onto a dating site, where she had set up a false profile and felt that getting on and flirting was inappropriate. I wonder if I had been able to be honest with my feeling towards her what would have happened. It would have ended when I started teaching for sure. And I would not have been able to have my first long term relationship as a newly single man.
I knew I would fall in love with her the second I met her 28 years ago. I knew it would be soon the minute I heard she was going to get divorced. I knew it might make me “transistion boy” to date her right after the divorce, but I feared not getting to be with her if I waited. We dated and I learned so much about myself. I learned I feared and craved intimacy. I learned of my shame cycle and drama triangle. I learned I am loveable for me, faults and all. I learned that I can love. I learned that I am a good guy who has made bad mistakes. I learned to trust and lean. Unfortunately, I also learned that I can lean so hard that I slide into the victim role. I learned that my fear self-sabotages me and hurts others. I learned that loss when there is still love hurts much more.
I imagined what it would have been like if either of us had been more secure in our post divorce self. I wondered what it would have been like if I knew my intimacy craving and needs before we dated. I wonder what it would have been like if I was able to express how afraid of loving as strongly as I did. I wonder if I was more relationship able what would have happened. What if I was more secure, more knowledgeable, more loving, more ready etc etc? I wasn’t and now we are not.
The difference in me? I am focusing on the good. I remember the times I felt free to be myself and loved for that. I remember the fun and laughter. I remember the feeling of physical intimacy engulfed with emotional connection and love. I also try not to over romanticize it and remember some of the difficulties. At the time, I felt like spiritual journey needed to be the same or it would cause friction. I understand now that it is in the different journeys we learn our own. The idea is not understanding or same, but respect and growth. I also felt like I needed to break up with her when I moved out of state. I was worried about being lonely and isolated. I forgot how simply talking to her on the phone or an occasional text makes my heart soar. I thought I needed her to solve my problems. I became the victim, whining about the horrendous things I had been through. I forgot to share and rejoice at the moment of being with the woman I truly, deeply love. Fear strangled me again. Worry. There is another definition of worry. It is when a larger dog grabs ahold of another dog by the neck, teeth bared, and hold it against the ground. It bites and waits for the other dog to submit. When I worry, I let life circumstances hold me to the ground by my neck. I feel the fear teeth, the panic teeth breech my skin. I fight and the bite gets firmer. I forget to accept life on lifes terms and submit. In my futile wimpering, I lose out on being free. I trap myself by my own worry.
As I submit this time to the life circumstances, I am accepting the lessons learned. I am a better person now than I was even yesterday. I am preparing myself for me. I want to soar. I am hoping not to change the past, but to rejoice from it and live more fully into today with the lessons learned.