You dove into this life with all your good intentions and sweet affirmations bursting from every pore. You’d have drowned in them if you hadn’t had to run so fast to keep up with figuring out what to do in any given moment, frantically working to integrate with the new family of which you’d become a part.
You dove into what you thought was a certain kind of connection, with your husband, building a certain kind of life together.
Most importantly, you dove.
What would it be like if no one did? What would happen if there was only one chance on this planet to get a relationship right? Would there be no divorce? Or, would there be no remarriage? Could there be a civilization where people didn’t keep recouping even after disasters and traumas? What would that civilization look like? But, I digress.
Here you are. Looking around, surveying the scene, wondering what you might be doing if you weren’t here. Wondering how you’ll wait until five more years go by, or eight, or ten. Whatever that marker is that once it’s passed you’ll maybe have a better life, or for sure have a better life. Maybe it’ll be less stressful, anyway.
Joseph Campbell says “we must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
I think he’s right.
If you haven’t been able to find a place to rest in your marriage, or even within your own heart, maybe some letting go is in order. Maybe the dreams you’re hauling around are actually getting in the way of the life that is sitting right in front of you.
Interpretation is a funny thing. Expectations are insistent things. Cultural pressure is a toxic thing. Add them all together and you might think that is the life you’re meant to have.
I’m suggesting there’s a different life, one that is just as meaningful, just as connected, and just as well-intentioned. It just doesn’t happen to look exactly like the one you might’ve carried in your head.
The older I get, the clearer the message comes, that to find satisfaction and contentment and any other measure of what I’m looking for, I must first let go of the thing I’m clutching in my hand or in my heart.