These are my reflections on reminder #23, wherein a person far wiser than I said, "This is not your problem to fix."
Something Laura Munson said screams at me tonight. Screams at me though I am wounded and aching and scared. "It is easiest to retreat of suffering," she says. Suffering is comfortable. It is natural. It is my inclination. It's where my heart feels most at rest at the moment: crying, worrying, etc. I did it in the first week or two of this experiment; I did it for a week prior to this experiment; and I did it for ten months solid, from December 2008 - October 2009. I sought solace in the things He Who Is In Personal Crisis said and relived each meaningful moment. I was both incredibly anxious and incredibly depressed. And so today I want so much to return to the pit of that. To cry my eyes out. It is, after all, my emotional solace.
But just like finding someone else with whom to be in a relationship showed me that I could not simply pave over this pain, insecurity and loneliness, coming home for the weekend has taught me not to retreat to a place of anxiety and pain in an attempt to feel better for but a few moments. In the long run, I have to sit with this and trust and create my own happiness.
Because here's the thing: what if I had said, "I get that you're upset with me, but I don't think this is about me" and gotten out of his way at the ouset? What if, rather than freaking out initially, I had taken the "I'm creating my own happiness regardless" tack instead?
Maybe nothing different would have happened. Maybe we would have arrived at this same place either way. It was, after all, his individual journey that started us down this heartbreaking path and led me to begin the happiness experiment. It's not out of the realm of possibility that my individual journey still might be what it is at this moment. I might have learned (eventually) not to take his lashing out personally or let his fear and sadness affect the peace and happiness in me. I might have. Or maybe I needed the horror to arrive at happiness. I don't know.
But I do know this: right now, until if/when we fully reconcile and for the duration of our relationship, I cannot depend on him for my happiness. I cannot, it turns out, depend on anyone or anything else for it; it's mine to control. Even if he was here by my side right now emotionally, we would still be separated by distance. And his mom would still be going through exactly what she's going through at this moment. Even if I was with him, then, there would be no guaranteed happiness. It would still be hard. I probably still would cry daily as I felt helpless to heal his pain. I probably still would hurt a great deal when he unconsciously took it out on me. I probably would flail about -- miserable, insecure and deeply affected. So, as far as I'm concerned, it's better that I learn now and in this way not to take it personally, to support him rather than be codependent, and to create my own happiness.
That doesn't make this easy or make me forget completely that I wish I was there. It still is, and it doesn't for a moment. But it does mean that I'm not a victim unless I accept that narrative. I have the ability to create beauty and find my own peace in this moment. I should trust my intuition -- that "there are worlds we haven't explored in our relationship"; that "this is just a phase" he's going through, a minor bump on the long road of our relationship.
"I cannot do a thing to control the future of this story." I've read those words so many times, but they hit me ten times harder tonight. Because this is not about me, so I can't do anything. There is literally not even one thing I can do to help him step out of suffering and come around. I can make it worse by giving him an external demon to fight, but in my calm heart and in the midst of creating my own happiness I do not need to fear or second-guess. I'm doing what I should be doing. I cannot say "this is not about me" enough. This is not about me. So why would I be in charge of controlling anything? He holds the reins to this story.
Despite that, I hold the reins to my own happienss. I do. Me alone. He cannot control it.
I'm going to be okay. I should trust and go to bed. Tomorrow is another day...
Let me know what you think...