…It's About Being Honest With Ourselves, And Each Other.
As I make my way along The Path today I notice what a nice idea it is to be our authentic selves…and how challenging it can be in everyday life. Especially when we realise being our authentic (whole) selves includes acknowledging both our lightness and our perceived darkness. That is, our deep, deep shame.
What comes to mind is an image of a wedding ring, the words union and merging, the colour yellow/gold and the phrase for better or worse. Hardly surprising perhaps, as I have only recently started wearing my wedding ring again having taken it off several months ago. It's a very chunky crown-like gold ring set with 5 diamond-shaped diamonds. I am very fortunate to have it, and yet for a while I felt irritated and weighed down by the heaviness of it. Being the queen of metaphor, I was well aware it was really about feeling discomfort and limitation within the marriage itself, though I wasn't clear whether it was about our relationship or the archaic concept of marriage. Or both.
I did, however, choose to wear my engagement ring as a reminder of my commitment to the process. To remain engaged despite the shame and discomfort I felt. My husband never mentioned my missing wedding ring despite proudly wearing his. Neither has he mentioned its reappearance on my finger so although on the surface it didn't appear to be an issue, it was an opportunity for me to let go of old, outdated expectations of what it is to be a wife and for us to re-write our own marriage script from hereon in.
Reviewing the life choices we have made thus far is common, particularly in our mid-years, and often leads to separation and divorce. It was a real possibility for us too. As we grow in awareness it can come as quite a shock as we somewhat sheepishly realise in our sleepy, un-awakened state we have made a number of lifestyle choices that we might not have made were we fully awake. A little like waking up in the middle of a nightmare not only to find out is it true but that we created it. Relational and marriage choices, health and lifestyle decisions, having children or not, career paths, it all comes under the spotlight for review. Some of it simply no longer fits, but surely we can't simply change our mind, change track, after all this time? And so, it takes great courage to allow our authentic selves to come into being when our path to joy impacts so many others.
(Having just called my husband to check that I wasn't misrepresenting his feelings about wearing his wedding ring he informed me he hasn't worn his for the past three weeks! Oh, the irony :-))
Trained in a depth, buddhist-based psychotherapy, using everyday outer world experiences to develop inner wisdom, one day at a time.