He chose to get married on the 7th day of the month; not because the number 7 signifies perfection or completion or truth seeking or that it’s a number that has been revered in both pagan and religious systems for eons. No, my future spouse arbitrarily selected a Thursday (which just so happened to be the 7th) because at his old job in Chicago, he used to get paid on Thursdays.
Don’t simply laugh at me and stop reading, talking about I should’ve known at that point I was in trouble!
Honestly though, I did know. I clearly recall October of 2010, less than a month into our engagement, marriage was not quite the right decision for the two of us. Yet, I still decided to wait 5 years to let him in on my little secret.
I must confess that lately, I feel so damn guilty about sauntering down that tree-line path in Central Park; especially after I showed out in Filene’s Basement and ripped the official marriage license while screaming and crying that he should wear a tie instead of that “ugly ass bow tie”, or after barely wanting to touch each other for months prior to the wedding, or after having to conduct daily “mirror therapy” sessions with myself.
Why after all of this, did I think that getting married was a better option than simply letting us both “off the hook”?
I have to admit that sometimes I feel super crappy about not calling it off sooner. I also felt guilty that I was finally free of marital responsibility. Guilty about not giving a flying f*** that my marriage had failed. Guilt, that for once I audaciously waste my time, effort and money on things that make me happy. Guilty about how much I tried or didn’t try for that matter. Guilty that regardless of how badass I claimed to be, I kinda did care what people thought about me. Immense guilt for not simply continuing to wait.
Yet, there is a special guilt I experienced every single time I looked in the eyes of my kids. Don’t get it messed up, they are incredible human beings who seemingly love my dirty undies. Still, I couldn’t seem to quell the anxiety of what goes unspoken. The damage my decisions may have caused. I know this is weird, but my heart rate escalates and my neck sweats just thinking about the day my sweet Lu is 30 and I’m trying to give her advice and she snidely reminds me I am nothing more than a flawed mortal..
Guilt sucks! Like literally! It sucks the life, creativity and progression out of anything it’s attached to.
Why was I so guilty though?
I had forgiven my spouse. I knew I had because, I no longer felt queasy at the mere thought of him. Moreover, I only seem to be able to recount the beautiful tidbits of our relationship and I haven’t spoken ill of him in over a year. However, I was developing this myopic view of myself and unconsciously scheming on my own wellbeing.
I prayed, procrastinated, even percolated (lol)…And you know what, I realized I knew the answer all the time…I had to forgive…
But wait, didn’t I do that already? Well, I did, but I failed to forgive one person.
Truly, forgiving myself was the most difficult part of this process. I discovered that when you don’t forgive yourself, you justify letting others hurt you. You begin to question your worth. You may enter into relationships that lack equity. You find yourself compromising and taking unnecessary risks. You sacrifice your authenticity and creativity. You may even, like me, become restless and bottomless.
Bright Side…When you’re ready to forgive yourself, you’ll find that whatever you’ve been seeking, you had access to all the time. For me, I was trying to fill God’s place in my life with all types of distractions. Regardless of what I indulged in, I never felt satiated. It wasn’t until I decided to lay at His feet that I felt any level of fulfillment. Don’t get it confused, I’m as imperfect as they come, I’m just so glad He loves me just the same.
Beyond my Faith, I made (and for the first time in a long time KEPT)commitments to myself. I practiced Medition and Yoga everyday for 30 days straight, practiced smiling just because, pulled the plug on Social Media for 21 days, committed to acknowledging 3 good things before complaining about 1 thing, devoured books and podcast that were empowering, started working out regularly and mindfully eating, spent money on something I wanted and didn’t feel guilty about it, made it a point to challenge myself daily, forced myself to spend at least five minutes mindfully observing or participating prior to taking a picture, find time daily to laugh with my kids, and frankly I simply resolved to accept my humanity and this beautifully flawed life I’ve been gifted.
Do yourself a favor; take your life off pause. Decide today to forgive the most important person in your life, you. It matters not, how regrettably you behaved, or how awful things seem; you are worthy of forgiveness. I challenge you to find the good in that situation and be grateful for that. Trust me, no lesson is a waste of time.
Lastly, although I resolved to let my speech be impeccable; I have to tell you that, Word on the street is that Guilty is a miserable bitch and you know what they say about misery…
I love you guys…totally missed you…but good news…”Bruised Peach” is complete…I’ll keep you updated on the publication date…thank you for continuing to support me on this journey.I would love to hear from you, drop a comment below to say hi or share your own story.