This has been a particularly tough day. Nothing bad happened. The day was bright, warm and sunny; a beautiful day. But today I believe that I began a journey. A journey that is going to be rough. And painful. But a journey that is very necessary. I need to become the person I once was.
Twenty-some years ago I was a young woman who had a huge heart. I wanted to find love so badly. I wanted to find someone I could love and would love me the way I loved them. I found someone, and went into marriage blindly. Fast forward twenty-some years and I am now a divorced 45-year-old. Somewhere along the way, I lost myself. I think I mostly allowed it to happen as a protection mechanism. I became something I wasn’t. I hardend myself to protect myself from the pain. And there was a lot of it. Marriage is hard work. And I am in no way saying I was perfect. But things happened in my marriage to make me swallow my feelings. I was the type to cry at love stories, happy endings and sad endings. It’s just who I was. But over the years I had to harden myself. Not allow my feelings to show. In part I think it was to save the marriage. If I allowed myself to feel those things, I would have known this was not a good marriage.
Not only did I harden my heart, I also learned to not be true to myself. I was the type who wanted to help someone on the side of the road. I loved animals. But I was made to feel that those things were just ridiculous. “It’s a crazy world, you can’t stop to help people anymore.” Or “It’s just an animal.” I was made to feel my thoughts and feelings were not valued. I was made to feel my way of thinking was just ridiculous. So I hid my true self.
Today I sat down with a pastor friend of mine and his wife. This was a visit that I much needed. I believe it helped start the healing process. I have learned over the years to stuff my feelings so much, that I don’t even know who I am anymore. I hate that I allowed someone else to make me feel like I had to hide my feelings, my true self. God made me who I am. And he doesn’t make mistakes.
Tonight I watched a Nicholas Sparks movie. And cried through 75% of it. At first, I felt like the person I’ve become over the past 20 years thinking I had to hide my tears. I felt ashamed of being who I was. But then after a little while, I actually felt the old me resurfacing. It’s hard to explain, and hard to understand. But I actually think I am becoming my old self. I know it’s going to be a process. It won’t happen overnight. And like my pastor friend said today, becoming more like Christ is a marathon not a sprint. I also think that becoming myself again is going to be a marathon. It will take time I’m sure. After all, I didn’t get this way over night. But I am going to try to stay true to the real me. I’m going to enjoy the things that I want to enjoy, with no guilt! I’m gonna cry like a baby at a movie if I want to! If I see a lost animal on the side of the road, I’m gonna pick it up! Never again will I allow someone to make me feel like I shouldn’t think or feel the way I do!
Ok, well… It is a marathon not a sprint. And I probably will allow that to happen at times. But not so much that I totally forget the wonderful and unique person that God made.