We hear about the texture of a well-worn tree, its jagged lines, the twists and gyres of the bark, and the peaks of its ridges and indentations. Yet for all this apparent splendour and wisdom we never question the validity of the information presented. We doubt the veracity of our own innate thoughts, feelings and sensations in favour of another’s because we assume their intellect, eloquence and mantle of authority makes their experience and awareness all the more greater than our own. And tragically, we find that we have believed what ‘ought to be true’ and denied what is true to ourselves. Six months ago I separated from my then wife after just 6 months of marriage. At first I could only think about the things said and done, or lack thereof. Not to mention my own pretence of normality within the boundaries of the relationship. However, these were merely the offshoots of a deeper sorrow.
That sorrow was rooted in my own dishonesty, not only to myself but to my then wife about what I truly desired. My decision to marry; in fact many decisions in my life up to this point were based on what others desired or what I learned to desire and not my own because they did not seem to matter to me; in fact I considered them selfish and vain. Therefore was it any wonder that my marriage became one of my greatest calamities? For it was never founded on the truth but a perverted sense of self-sacrifice, a sick kind of righteousness.
I buried my self-sown burdens amongst common habitual pursuits and nuptial obligations but in the end only a steadily growing, gnawing anguish remained. I was a step-father, husband and provider but I had never truly been myself. I wanted to tell everyone how happy I was but I wasn’t. I wished I could tell her I loved her but I couldn’t, and didn’t.
From the time I moved out to this day I stopped talking about what I should be and started looking for who I am. Was I foolish then? Yes. Am I foolish now? No. Regrettably this was deeply distressing and painful for my ex-wife, which I can only apologise for and ask for forgiveness; however, I have also had to learn to forgive myself and experience my own uprooting and I can honestly say today that I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Having freed myself from many of the long held assumptions, opinions and beliefs I once held about living that never really allowed me to live.
I write this not for approval nor am I asking anyone to end their relationship whether married or not according to one’s own interpretation of matrimony, but to encourage everyone to be honest with themselves whilst walking their own paths and cherish the intimacy that they share with another. I also write to proclaim to anyone who has gone through a similar experience or perhaps has had their own revelation at the expense of great upheaval in their own personal lives, that they should not feel condemned but see the opportunity for self-discovery and evolution. It’s easy to get caught up in what life should be rather just being.
We can tick a multitude of boxes from any set of rules, laws, dogmas or philosophies to see who we are according to the thinking of the age. Or we can go within and confront what is inside without judgement, fear or shame and see our true selves apart from those things we choose to cling to. Only then can we fully love ourselves, and then faithfully love others.