leaving – a guest meditation by Hillery

 

“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted.  But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out?  Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.”

 

Dr. Seuss, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

I have been considering whether or not I should leave my husband. We’ve been together for 12 years, with a three year split in the middle, in which I’d broken off contact with him because he was emotionally, mentally and sexually harassing me (he still does). My family, on the other hand, were convinced that my husband and I were perfect for each other. So, to make them happy, I got back together with him.

A year after that, my father passed away from alcoholism. I felt alone. I had never had very much success in dating, either. So, when my husband asked if I would be his girlfriend again, I said ‘yes,’ even though I really wanted to say ‘no.’ I would do this again when we got married.

I had become so accustomed to letting other people make my decisions for me, and so used to trying to make everyone else happy, that I vowed to spend the rest of my life with someone I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with.

For the past two years I’ve wanted divorce, but was too scared of the unknown – a job, a new life, a new place to live – how would I take care of myself? I wasn’t sure what to do. So, I waited. I waited for the strength to go ahead and take care of myself, against the wishes of others, to be able to set boundaries for myself (albeit small ones) and I waited for a sign that it was the right time to move on.

Finally, I feel like I’ve been getting those signs, it seems ridiculous: A song which gave me encouragement, tears, hope; a text from my brother asking me to get a place with him; and my husband asking me to get a job. BINGO! I prayed the other day for guidance to this divorce issue. I’ve never truly prayed before, but I realized that I can’t do this without my higher power guiding me. I heard “compassion” – for my husband, for myself, and for my children, because it will be a long and hard road ahead.

It will be one day at a time, but I feel like I’m starting to feel that I can be free.

A meditation for August 6, 2013.

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choice – a meditation

 

Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.

Zen Proverb

I have an amazing Sponsor. When I converse with her, I never feel judged, I feel safe, and I feel heard. But, most importantly, I never feel that she gives me advice or tells me what to do.  She does, however, share her experience, strength, and hope from her application of the program and the 12 Steps to her life. This is extremely important to me because it gives me the space to choose for myself whether or not to walk through the door that she has opened.

Having the space to walk through the door or to not walk through that door and not judged by my Sponsor has been one of the greatest gifts of the program because it helped me understand the word “choice.” I could choose to do something for myself regardless of what others had done, and still be respected and valued. Simple, though it is, this is not something I ever realized before. In the past, I would make my choices based on what I thought others wanted me to do or what would make others happy, and then feel like a victim. But realizing this choice was the first time I felt I could safely participate in my own life.

This awareness first occurred in my relationship with my Sponsor. Then this relationship with my Sponsor became the foundation upon which I started to (and continue to try to) base other relationships. I wanted this freedom, this choice. I wanted this, because it is through the choices that I make that I feel that I can exist and take part in my life. And I am so grateful to my Sponsor and the program for showing me this door.  

A meditation for July 6, 2013.

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