I woke up this morning in a panic. My throat and chest were tight and it felt like a million shots of expresso were being pumped directly into my veins. My mind was racing with all the things I needed to figure out and all the things I needed to do RIGHT NOW in order to ‘be safe.’ My body was in survival mode telling me to go back to the familiar.
I was at the edge of a cliff and there was no turning back now. I had to jump.
I have taken a leap into new territory. I turned in the keys to my beautiful apartment yesterday with no new lease. I am spending some time in this space called “freedom.” The lack of structure and definition feels very strange to me and yet it is exactly what I desire. A dream come true really. This time freedom looks like spending time with family and friends and then traveling to France to live and work for the month of September. And after that, I’m not sure.
I am super excited about my new adventure, and yet as the old falls away there is still a feeling of loss and disorientation. I feel like the anchor I have been relying on to keep me steady has been pulled up and now I can go anywhere. Exhilarating and scary at the same time. I will toss down an anchor again one day when it feels right, but now is not that time.
I remember feeling in a similar state of panic about nine years ago when I filed for divorce. Although I felt misunderstood and harshly judged by most of my family and friends, I couldn’t ignore my truth any longer. I had finally reached a point where the fear of judgement was less than the fear of what would happen to me if I continued my self-betrayal. I again was at the edge of a cliff where I could no longer turn back. I had to jump.
It took me many years to reach the edge of that cliff. I rationalized my unhappiness and told myself to be grateful for the life I had. From all appearances, I had a beautiful life. There really wasn’t anything “wrong” except a feeling that I was losing myself. I wasn’t happy and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make myself be happy. I knew this marriage wasn’t anything close to the kind of intimate relationship I desired, but my brain would always remind me that my husband was a good man and there were no guarantees that there was anything better out there. What if what I wanted didn’t really exist?
Those thoughts kept me in a nineteen marriage long past the day it was over emotionally. I stayed for the kids. I stayed so I wouldn’t hurt my husband. I stayed so I wouldn’t upset my parents and in-laws. I stayed to keep up appearances of a happy family. I stayed for everyone but me.
And although it seemed like a good idea for a very long time, I see now that continuing to ignore the truth of what I desired hurt those I loved most. I wasn’t the mom I wanted to be for my kids. They deserved a happy, laughing, joyful mom who would show them that life is vibrant and full and there waiting for them to experience it. I wasn’t the wife I wanted to be for my husband. He deserved to have a wife who loved and appreciated and admired him for simply being the man he was.
And outside of that, it really wasn’t anyone else’s business.
I see now that I unconsciously believed that my kids, my husband, my family and friends were all too weak to handle my truth. I assumed that they would rather be lied to than face a challenge that would cause them to grow as a person and stretch their limits of understanding. I was actually doing them a disservice by hiding my truth and trying to keep their life path smooth. Challenges make us stronger. I was trying to keep them safe by keeping them where they were. I didn’t give them enough credit for their innate strength and ability to adapt to life as it happens.
I wasted many years feeling trapped when I was the one who held the key. I held the key to my freedom and happiness. And if you believe as I do that we are all connected, then I also gave that same freedom to my family. We were all freed from thinking that families need to look a certain way to be strongly connected and happy. We were freed from the lie that we are responsible for other people’s happiness and the choices they make. And we were opened to knowing that we cannot truly hurt anyone by speaking and living our truth. We may hurt a few egos, including our own, but those will mend with time.
We were freed to know that by following our happiness, our souls will soar and be grateful that we took that last step off the cliff and found our wings.
If you’re feeling stuck, unable to make the leap you know you want to make, let’s talk. Schedule a free 30-minute 1:1 call with me and we can chat about what may be holding you back from your happiness. Schedule your free call here.
If a weekend away exploring your truth, your intimate relationship and how to have the LoveLife you desire sounds appealing to you, check out my next weekend retreat here.