“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way of being.” mw

With the ultimate breakdown of my 13 year marriage I had to come to one serious realization; I really, REALLY needed to change. I despised who I had become in that marriage and yet I clung to that reality like a parasite.

The change was not only obvious in the counselling sessions, or the very blunt conversation I had with my mom or those horrible nights I lay in bed after one of our very long exhausting, irrational fights but it was also obvious in my health.  Then, I found this quote;

“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way of being.”
Marianne Williamson

I am not an easy person to be around some days. In fact, I don’t like being with myself some days. Like clockwork, once a month I get clumsy, irritable and frankly my thoughts become absurd.

Let me explain to you what I mean… in a classic case scenario.

I stub my toe painfully on a protruding corner of a cupboard coming into the kitchen to make dinner. I curse and hop around and bite my lip from the pain, my ears begin to burn and I see red. It’s apparent that that one clumsy moment has set my blood to boil. Sooo stupid. Soooo clumsy. I try to laugh at it and shove it off BUT the toe throbs. Because I’m concentrating so much on trying not to curse and scream, I cannot put two thoughts together as to what to make for dinner and I begin to slam doors and cupboards in a vain attempt to find anything that resembles cookable food. Then I start mumbling how I’m ALWAYS the one trying to decide what to make for dinner, if everyone else was the least bit considerate they would have a hand in what I feed them or at the very least clean up the dishes so I wouldn’t have to. Then I go into how insensitive my husband is for not being an equal partner in the kitchen… Why is it that we BOTH want to eat healthy yet he never gives me any ideas or doesn’t seem to care a whit what I make nor is he very thankful in the end anyway, and and and. Then my shoulders begin to ache. Obviously tension is building. Now I’m off on a tangent about being tense. I deserve a night out, so I don’t have to come up with yet another bloody, healthy meal for four very different pallets. I could put up my foot, order whatever I want and all will be satisfied. BUT it’s not Friday dammit! Friday is the night that my husband gets to make dinner which usually means he gets to order something in or we go out. But nooooo I can’t  do that on a Wednesday… not in the budget, no time, we have food in the house, blah blah blah. You get the picture… Complete insanity…

By the time my husband has walked through the door, my real problem was that my toe was hurting but my mind had come up with such a real life scenario that I had become so very angry at him. He, being sensitive enough to pick up on my moods, asks me if I have had a bad day or something. His hackles are up and he is scrambling to put up an eight foot thick shield between us. For some reason he SHOULD JUST KNOW that my toe frigging hurts and that it’s causing me a great deal of stress at that moment. And that, in fact, it was a really good day up until that moment I had stubbed it coming in to cook HIS meal.

By now, the neighbourhood dogs are barking, (THE MOST IRRITATING SOUND ON THE PLANET!) food is burning, kids are hungry, demanding one thing or another and I really, really should just walk away, have a good cry over the excruciating pain throbbing from my now, darkening, maybe broken, swollen toe and just deal with it. My husband has NO idea what has happened or what he has done and proceeds to simply disappear. And I’m off on the, my-husband-is-such-a-coward rant… vicious cycle indeed.

The mind is a very fickle thing and a woman’s mind… oh my lawrdy!

womans mind

Normally, women are excellent multi-taskers, can easily remember a zillion things that need to be done in a day all while juggling house chores, taxi mom duties and all the rest that comes with being a mom all without stubbing a single digit. BUT… there are those days… a wrong turn, a hurtful word, an island cupboard that sticks out an inch too far and…

bam

When most women are at our most weakest, for me, it’s during ovulation, when I’m trippy and there is a battle ensuing in my ovaries where commercials make me cry and bitterness is the only flavour I can taste on the tip of my tongue, we can be unpredictable in the very least. (I can speak for myself here if any of you trippy women are disagreeing with me at this moment). Some women can be downright volatile and some have been born with the luck of barely a hint of P, M or S. But me, I become argumentative and annoyed.

arguing-couple

It was at one of my lowest times I found myself sitting at one of our “face-offs” at the counsellor’s office. All my thoughts swarmed about my brain like hive of angry bees. I began to verbally vomit all things that bothered me about my husband, one after another like a lethal round of bullets all while my heart was screaming SHUT IT OFF SHUT IT OFF!!

Sigh… as I was leaving the office that day, my counsellor advised me on some ‘one-on-one anger sessions’ and I’m left, as usual, drained and feeling absolutely horrid.

The day I went to tell my mother about our eminent separation, she had, much to my chagrin, reiterated, not intentionally I’m sure, that I was indeed quite argumentative, had to always win and that I was rather stubborn about it.

jaw-drop

Essentially my mind automatically went to the farthest reaches to find the one and only pity party where Mr. “Separation was my entire fault”, and as per usual, Mzzzz. “I must be a terrible mom” and Dr. “You are a horrid human” were all in attendance.

Mom was right of course, and had I listened with my heart instead of my mind I would not have taken such offense.  Instead I would have said that that may have been part of my problem, and yes I’m working on it. My mind, after all, was one big argument. Every. Single. Day. Spinning and spewing, dreaming up scenarios and circumstances and holding on to negativity as if it were a lifeline. I cried all the way to work that day, was comforted by a passing motorist with a sincere empathetic look and felt very low and foolish indeed.

Change the gears.

When I got home that same day, I decided to look at this in a different way.  By this time, I’m back in that cycle of clumsy and irritated, it is near that time of the moon again so I decided on a little test while I conjured up a delightful meal slamming doors and rattling pots with glee. (Broke a glass too, but I hid that evidence in the garbage shhhh.)

slam teh door

Now what I learned from this approach, (which I will tell you is sooo hard to do as I have an overwhelming abundance of negative thoughts and triggers on a daily basis) is to try to catch, remove or flip the negativity as it comes up.  NOT an easy task in any ways shape or form and yet I learned these following things just by starting this approach.

I SHOULD NEVER HOLD BACK! I am sad, yes I am. I am partly responsible for the state of a broken relationship. So I will cry, I will be angry (anger really is a good motivator but don’t expect it to motivate into action the one your screaming at at the time LOL) and I will be confused, very, very confused. But instead of turning those into a blame game, I need to simply shut off the mind and respectfully move through these varying, sometimes surprising stages and emotions. I will allow them to ultimately run their course and then toss them away like shards of the broken glass, never to be seen again.

STAND STRONG IN MY CONVICTIONS. I may have lost a friend or two in these last few weeks as I have had to stand strong in my morals. I am, indeed, going to be rather selfish and work just on me for as long as it takes. I will not be a part of an ‘us’, or a ‘we’ and will say no without buttering it up if I must, I know it hurts sometimes but it has gotta be done. I don’t feel the urge to advertise my personal predicament in all its glory to everyone I chat with on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and I feel I shouldn’t have to play referee between that which I am going through in the moment and that which I am expected to be. I’m not normal today, wasn’t yesterday either! Going through something folks, nothing against you, don’t take it personally. I stand by my confidence in the healing processes and will do exactly what I need to do to get through to the other side. I guess if that offends, then so be it.

MEDITATE. MEDITATE. MEDITATE.

meditateMeditation is my drug of choice. Calm the mind, reduce the chatter and learn to control the only thing that I should be controlling, the disillusions that my mind C.O.N.S.T.A.N.T.L.Y generates. I MUST learn to navigate through that thicket of crazy that my mind is and find only the fruits worth sharing. Stay grounded and pay attention to the ‘stubbed toe’ rather than the story I concoct from it.

SATISFY MYSELF. I make myself happy, healthy, and safe. I found that, in my marriage, my mind repeatedly prompted me in the notion that it was supposed to be my husband’s job to do all those things. I sought and desired his presence, some hand holding and passionate kisses to feel happy. Wanted to be equal partners in everything from the grocery shopping, to the cooking, to the activities we did together in our quests to remain healthy. And, I really wanted him to fight the evil barking dog demons, the night-time party demons, the monthly irritable demons and be the one to have the bat always under his side of the bed. Why did I think it was necessary that he should do it? I mean, he has his own happiness, health and demons to conquer doesn’t he? I actually don’t know the answer to those batquestions. I was so busy waiting for him to be my knight in shining armour 24/7 that I lost track of the fact that he was there, has always just been there. If I had just realized that basic concept and understood that had push come to shove in any of those demon type situations and they had become life or death, he would have done something about it. To one up THAT comment I can do something about ALL of it! It’s my body, my demons, I’m no pansy, obviously, after all I’m the one with the bat under the bed!

REMAIN VULNERABLE WHILE WALKING STRONG. The old fashion notion that men were created solely to love, cherish and take care of their woman has long been reduced to the fact that we live in a fantasy world and this is no longer the Stone Age. It is a new world. On MOST of this planet, women are perfectly capable of taking care, cherishing and loving themselves. That is what makes us strong. Don’t get me wrong, I want a man to love and cherish me but in reality you can’t have that which you do not own for yourself.  And so with that thought, I began the journey back to me.

Then… as journeys go, a slight hitch. I noticed, grudgingly and with a slight ooooh noooo, that loving yourself and cherishing yourself makes you extremely vulnerable.

So, recently, I made the sincere effort to stand in front of my mirror… naked, completely, utterly naked. In all my truth. (I NEVER do THIS. EVER.) Instead of pointing out the faults, as my mind always does, I shut the rattle trap of negativity down for a moment, took a breath and observed.

Without that constant, judgmental crap I heard every day, I began to see the bits. Soft bits, round bits, the small bits and the larger bits. Tears started running down my face when I realized how much I loved those bits. How some bits could hold my favourite scent aaaaall day, and how some bits look fantastic with just a little rub of oil. Some bits look exceptionally well all dressed up and other bits, well, clear or blemished, straight or bent, smooth or wrinkled told a story, a beautiful story, of me and how my world had shaped me into a work of pure, sensual art.images

Last night, from a basement window, I watched my husband paint the exterior of our home. Although we are separated legally, we still share the same house, in separate rooms of course, and we are in the process of selling our home. It needs a bit of a facelift of which he does very well. I always enjoyed watching him work. I could sit in a room and watch him paint for hours, though he hated it when I did. {Chuckling as I write that}. It saddens me now to think that I have started this new journey without him and that it took a break in order to mend.

It may take a while for me to morph from the person the counsellor saw that one day in the angry, bitter woman, or the one my mother showed me in the argumentative and the stubborn. I may never know what it was my husband saw in me both in the best and the worst as I don’t think I ever gave him the opportunity to say either way. But I will, one day, with work and a lot of naked truth, become someone who I ultimately respect, love and cherish.

I am changing my mind. And it’s the best idea I have ever had.

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on ““You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way of being.” mw”

  1. I too am guilty of stubbing my toe and finding every negative aspect of my life to harp on until the throbbing stops. This post is so relatable on so many levels. I love the way you described the journey… Do keep blogging =)

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