The class I took about a two weeks ago was intense. Think of it as 5 years of therapy in a span of 5 days. It was 5 days of screaming and crying. It was 5 days of seeing who I am and appreciating who I show up as to others. It was recognizing the areas in which I get to grow. It was digging deep to pull up every horrific situation I have faced. It was a purge that first ripped off the bandaid, scrubbed the infection out and included a battle cry like I never had permission to release before. It echoed deep inside of me and frightened me with intensity. I left the class feeling so raw and freshly healing from being broken, yet unencumbered by the weight of my own design.
We wear layers of mortar and bricks in walls of protection because that is what we create as safety. We don’t worry about the weight until it’s lifted and there’s freedom. Aside from feeling like I put my body through more than it could handle, I felt freedom. I was flying.
My lessons are I get to ask for support. I get to let others in. I get to offer transparency because I don’t need to carry my burdens alone. I don’t need to be fake or plastic. I don’t need to be timid and afraid. I don’t need to be a martyr in the name of love.
It’s been about two weeks and life keeps happening. I’ve had a few issues come up. I’m flexible enough to call an audible and shift into where I need to be instead of landing on the sidelines, out of breath, dazed with fresh turf stains on my lucky jersey and dogpiled under too much sweat and weight.
Shifting analogies, yesterday and this morning handed me a cross, uppercut, and roundhouse kick combo. As I was bobbing and weaving, juking and jiving, I realized I can handle this. I’ve been shadow boxing for years and this scenario is my normal. I flow around what I’m facing with ease in a way that doesn’t disrupt a whole lot.
I changed my mind and met opposition, but got to stand in the empowerment of my own choice. I didn’t have to get nasty about it and I felt stronger for that. When I was looking for work, I was selective in my job hunt. I didn’t want to drive far and I didn’t want to give up my mornings or dinners with my boys. This was what was important for work that I would get paid for. When looking at what I was planning to do and the distance and time away from my kids, I decided now is not the time for that commitment and I get to stand in my authority over my life, and it feels good.
I got a call that says I’m a bad mother that neglects her kids and I get to face that accusation. I’m still standing and have no problem functioning through it.
I read a text that says my family needs me and yet I’m helpless. I get to rise in unexpected ways with an open heart. I get to do what is requested in the humility of knowing what is in my heart is right for me, but not necessarily right for the situation. I get to accept that I don’t know all of the answers.
My morning greeted me with an anonymous text that asks for more than I will ever offer, and I didn’t lose my calm while at work. I didn’t snap at the stranger that has no business in my affairs and was presumptuous enough to engage in a conversation without announcing who they were. I extended this person the pity I have for my ex. Not everyone can walk in the audacity I catwalk in.
I got to dress up for role play in my class almost two weeks ago and at the end of the month I get to do it for Halloween at work. I mean, matching bra and panty sets make me happy, but I never even got into dressing up for sex. And we’re talking sex. I’m not excited, but this won’t break me.
I realized with all the hits to my ribs that make me want to cringe and protect my vital parts, I’m used to this. This is my normal. I can function. I can fake until I’m ready to hide away and lick my wounds, but how much stronger is it to rely on friendships and let others hold me up. I had that last night. Under a full moon as planes flew high above the hills in Los Feliz, I sipped a margarita surrounded by my tribe and told them my latest drama. We joked and laughed and just enjoyed each other’s company. The weight of my day was heavy but by the time I left, I was so uplifted in the love that surrounded me. There was silliness and I eased into being surrounded by people when I’m usually most comfortable alone. We talked about the nice Jewish boy or Ginger I want to meet. We talked about needing to be supported and ways I’m still growing. I held a sweet baby that reminded me that I’m doing well enough with my kids, that an infant would trust me and laugh in my arms.
Last night reminded me that I don’t need to shadow box and prepare for an onslaught. All I need to do is stand in who I am and accept that there’s a tribe ready to welcome and carry my burdens with me, if I’m willing to share what they are. If I’m willing to share the load (in a not creepy or sad Samwise Gamgee kind of way) I don’t have to do it on my own.
And my friend’s margaritas are mixed with love and magic. I learned that too.