The greatest gifts in my life have come in the form of breast cancer, foreclosure, my drug and sex addicted father, who passed away when I was ten years old, my ex-husband, my children, Jake and Jonah, and their sister, Sydnee, who died two days shy of her due date.
One might ask how losing a father at a young age, getting divorced, losing a child or having cancer could possibly be considered gifts. There is no doubt that these were very challenging times in my life, but once the dust settled, and maybe even during some of the later experiences, I was able to see the gift in each and every experience in my life.
Within each of our not-so-normal lives, we are faced with challenges along the way, nobody is exempt. These challenges show up for us to help us grow. Each and every one of those experiences leaves us with a “gift”. The catch is, we don’t actually get the gift until we are aware it’s there for us. Imagine a beautifully wrapped present hiding way up high in the closet, but you don’t know it exists. It only becomes exciting when you know it’s there and you have the chance to tear it open. The good news is it’s never too late to find them, we just need to open our minds to another way of seeing things.
My hope is that through this series of dysfunctional, crazy, funny, challenging and sometimes embarrassing glances into my life, you will learn to spot the silver linings in your life, unveiling these precious gems that have the power to bring you freedom and peace of mind.
I’m going to tell you some very personal details about my life and you will likely have thoughts of judgment, maybe anger at some point, but don’t stress out, just breathe. I forgive you. Xo
LYIN’, CHEATIN’ B’
For many years after I was divorced, married/unavailable men were attracted to me, one after the other. One Guy in particular was dating me and another girl, and I found out because she sat next to me in a bar and started telling me about her boyfriend. The universe was looking out for me that day! This frustrated me and so I spent a lot of time figuring out why I was attracting unavailable men. Self-worth was at the top of my list, but I have that subject covered in a future blog. For purposes of this blog, I want to explain why, from their side, they were attracted to me.
I heard almost the same story from each of them about how they were like roommates with their spouse, how their spouse was no longer interested in having sex with them, how they had separate bedrooms, loveless marriages, too many finances to split, and how they were staying together for the sake of the kids. I could see it coming a mile away.
Friends and family joked about how I was “too friendly”, and how men misunderstood that as flirting. Eventually, I stopped looking at men in the eyes when talking to them, and I stopped really listening and giving them any attention to avoid getting into that situation again. I took 100% responsibility for all of it because I believed that my being too friendly must have been the reason this was going, until this morning when it dawned on me what was really going on.
If we know that everybody that we come into contact with is our mirror, that they are here to show us what we need to see in ourselves in order to grow, then it stands to reason that I was their mirror.
These guys would tell me their wives no longer love them, and that they were stepping out on them because they needed to “feel love”, for example. In reality, what I (the mirror) was showing them was not that their wives weren’t loving them, but that they weren’t loving themselves! I recall how most of them weren’t taking care of themselves; they were settling in their lives, not nurturing themselves, not living their dreams, not making the money they hoped to make, not eating healthy, not getting any exercise or playing the sports they love. They were letting themselves down. They lost themselves, and in the process they saw it as their spouse leaving the relationship, when in fact they left the relationship with themselves long ago.
Of course, each of them blamed their spouse, as I did mine for so many things. Thank goodness I realized just how not to blame he was for anything in my life. (Blog about blame coming soon). Ultimately, we are responsible for everything that comes into our lives and how we respond to each of those things. Now I take 50% of the responsibility because somewhere deep down I’m sure I was flirting on some level, even if it wasn’t intentional.
And, of course, the same is true for a lyin’ cheatin’ woman. The good news is, if we know why we are doing it, we can change our behavior. Otherwise, we are just unconscious to our actions and we will continue to seek outside of ourselves for love when the only place we can really find love is inside.