The voyage to the centre of me

This is what I reckon!.

Mostly we “walk” on the surface of our existence.  We put our slant on the day’s events and accept or reject the things that happen around us.  I know I used to judge others with absolutely no right or foundation to do so. .  But do we ever wonder why we think the way we do.  Do we ever want to know who’s controlling us.  Or what it is that’s controlling us for that matter!

To leave the surface and travel inwards is seen as navel gazing by so many people. But rather than just view what’s in there with mild curiosity I believe it is worth the exploration to find that inner spark and flare.  To run into the little monsters who’ve taken up residence in “the caverns of our minds” and find out what we did to create them, in some instances, many years ago.  To understand how they came to be created is, maybe, to understand oneself. And by understanding oneself the opportunities for change and more choice  become so much more.

Maybe then and only then can one really grow.  Maybe only then do we get the chance to  truly soar.  Because understanding how we work gives us the chance to improve and re-model the bits that could be serving us better so we can do everything we want to do and more, and from a feeling of security and safety within us.

But one thing I do know it’s down to us to do the changing.  No one else can.  All a life coach can do is guide (as I’ve said many times before!!)

So, I think the hardest part of committing wholeheartedly to the life coaching process, for me, wasn’t the turning up for the sessions (though initially I thought that was) but acknowledging and accepting that there was a better way of being me and other ways of viewing others around me and then trusting in the process to commit to some quite fundemental choices in how I saw the world.  Life Coaching doesn’t remove choice – it  gives you more.  And once the choices become greater then life becomes a whole lot more fun!  Giving myself the freedom to have choices was oddly difficult but it’s been a great thing to crack!  And the course I’ve just been on has also shown me some of the tools to enable me to show others how to do it too.

I know I still have a couple of issues which are not serving me in my best interests hence my up-coming session on Saturday.  I’m going to crack those this weekend.  So Stephen if you read this, please don’t let me short-change myself.  I know I can trust you to push me through whatever barrier I feel still needs knocking down as I’m committed to doing so.

Conviction to Contentment

Conviction

In the beginning, three years ago, as Alex went into his emotional meltdown I was convinced, with every fibre of my body, that we would pull through as a couple and be stronger as a result.  People said so.  Whoever “people” were.  I couldn’t and wouldn’t believe that any other outcome was remotely possible.  I stuck to my belief through every turn of emotion, every turn in his behaviour.  I didn’t get angry, I did what I believed I had to do.  I believed in the Us.

We failed to get help.

Confusion

As the months turned into the first year of our separation and the divorce papers had begun to ricochet between our respective solicitors, as I dealt with the death of my father and faced, but couldn’t accept being alone, it slowly dawned on me that Alex appeared to be stuck in a permanent meltdown. I didn’t know what to do. I vacillated between hope and despair.  The mixed messages I got from him made no sense.  Claiming to care and yet unable to leave the OW.

Finally I started this blog and that release also provided me with the realisation that I had to get help.  For us.  For me. For my sanity. And to stop me swallowing too many sleeping pills.  I was lost and very, very stuck

I got help.

We got help.  From the same source though never together.

We headed for a possible re-discovery of our mutual love.  Of what we had had when we married – or even more.  Of something which could have been even better.  We nearly embarked on that route.  But not quite.

Clarity

The route to my clarity is documented in very honest, thorough (!) detail in this blog. It’s long, it deviates, but for those wanting to know it’s here for you all to read.

With that clarity has come a profound understanding. That until and if (and this is a big IF) Alex chooses to understand and ‘find’ himself then any relationship either with me or anyone else will not give him the life he could have.  The one I believe he is searching for.  This sounds very arrogant of me but it is said from a position of total unconditional love for him.  Love that will never die but a love for him that has finally given me a freedom that I didn’t think was possible.

Knowing that I love him unconditionally and that I can do absolutely nothing about it.

I may feel sad.  But I no longer rage against it. I know longer feel trapped by it.   I feel liberated and free to live my life.

Curiosity

Sparked this weekend by reading a profoundly honest and emotional book:

“Surprised by Love”  by Dr Jay and Julie Kent-Ferraro.

A book about infidelity and betrayal. The destruction of a marriage and the route back together.  A route that has given them both a deeper, stronger and rock-solid bond.

A book I would recommend you read, dear reader.

I have been deeply moved by this book.  Curious?  Why?  Come on !!  Clearly because I shall always wonder what might have been!  Also shaken to the core as so much of what they have written resonates with my own situation!  Minus, of course, of the outcome they achieved!

I hope others are curious.  If so get a copy – it’s worth it.  Especially for those rebuilding trust in their relationships.

Contentment

I’m working on this one.

I no longer get those moments of shear panic.

I get moments of feeling scared but I’ve learnt how to change state when these happen.

Yes, as I’ve said, I feel free.  Free of the clawing, suffocation of not believing in myself.

I am content with being me.  And that is one helluva step from where I was before my marriage collapsed!

Now, maybe at last, I’m ready to create a new life for myself and meet someone who can be as honest with themselves as I’ve learnt to be about being me.

 

Overcoming the inner conflict

I’ve been having a re-read of where I was during the first few months of 2011 to where I am now.

Back then I was in the midst of my Life Coaching sessions and battling with a huge inner conflict within me.  On the one hand I wanted to free myself from hanging on to my past,  whilst still wanting the love I had for my Ex  and the resurrection of what we had.  On the other hand wanting to have an honest happy future where I lived true to myself and my values.

In February last year the “hanging on” held sway. As a result Stephen cancelled my sessions, clear as he was from his position of being unable to help me.  Gosh was I angry!  Frustrated with the entire process, all I could see was that I’d been abandoned to my ‘fate’.  Left in a place where I stroppily informed the world I was happy with my lot.

Rereading his emails of that time has been more enlightening than I could have imagined!  Mainly as I now see what he meant and what he was endeavouring to get me to see.  As the saying goes “There are none so blind as those who will not see”.  Wow was I blind!

It took me until mid-April to acknowledge and see for myself that ‘clinging to the wreckage’ wasn’t getting me anywhere.  To see that what I was being fed by Stephen was a good dose of ‘Tough Love’ (OK Tough Concern!!  Love is probably a bit OTT!!).  Because only tough love was going to force me into finding the courage within myself to deal with my inner conflict!  My inner conflict, my deep rooted belief that I was unlovable, held sway for a very long time.  The only evidence I felt I had that this wasn’t true was Alex’s love for me for so long.  No wonder I held on like a limpit.  No wonder I wanted him back – almost at any cost.

Yes I understood and knew that you have to love yourself first and foremost.  I thought I did.  But I didn’t.  And actually changing that deep rooted belief was incredibly hard. Even today it occasionally returns to haunt me.  But less and less – and I’ve learned how to ‘kill it’, by feeding myself positives all the time.  Not to allow any negative through my armour, never mind how small or insignificant it might appear!  Hence the change in my blog title.  “I’m Flying”  is a real positive “About to fly”  held the posibility that I might not, so a negative.

Maybe that is one of the differences between other forms of therapy/counselling and life coaching.  Life coaching pushes you to make the changes within you to give you a brilliant future, by giving you new tools and methods whilst providing a strong level of positive support and backup.  Life coaching doesn’t allow you to wallow.  (I had a Phd in wallowing).  All you can do is find the courage to take the leap of faith that is offered and trust in the result.

Mission, Vision and Mantra

Probably all of us could do with a mission statement!  Something to aim for.  Actually we probably need a few so we can cover several aspects of our lives to give us that rounded future which gives us growth.

On the relationship front I now have this (which is turning into a mantra I have recited to myself – endlessly – since yesterday)

“I deserve to be loved, cared for and protected by a man who will do his utmost to keep me safe.

To do that I have to love and trust me every day and all the time.”

By the way I’m finding it harder to say – with 100% honesty – the phrase “I don’t love Alex”  this morning.  Clearly addiction breaking is hard work.  But the mantra helps.  So do all the sheets of flip-chart paper I now have strewn over my kitchen floor reminding of my LC session yesterday!!

Goddammit I can do this!  There’s a lot to be said in the words “I wanna break free”  (Freddie Mercury – Queen)

By trusting me I can have the future I want and deserve

This is one of those deep and meaningful moments.  This post will, I think, be the first of a few on the same subject.  This one has taken me time to craft and edit as I need to be sure I’m explaining it clearly and truthfully so I can look back on this day and say “That was the day when the final fundamental shift took place and this was the reason why”.

Today I had a tough Life Coaching session.  It was two hours filled with tough decisions, after being confronted with the possibility of a future I categorically Do Not Want.  A future which is not filled with all the things I value but one filled with all the things that compromise those values and so hinder the life I should be allowing myself to have.

As always, confronting the issue has made me cry.  Although I managed to keep sufficient control of my emotions not to break down completely (don’t think I didn’t want to). The issue is one of Trust.  Due to many reasons I feel I can’t trust me. Consequently, I have hung on to a past which is dead.  I felt secure with Alex.  Today I admitted that I am very scared that I could push any possible new partner away as soon as they get too close.  Probably due to what happened when I was 15.  So I’ve hung on ‘with my finger nails’ to my safe, secure past by continually telling myself that I still love Alex.  It was heading for being a destructive addiction. And like all addictions damn difficult to break.

So today’s session became a session on breaking the addiction.  Hence my reason for saying it was tough.  But tough in a good way.  After all I am only too clear that the “addiction” has not given me much happiness over the last 2 years.  Not proper, contented, secure happiness. In fact hardly any! So like an alcoholic finally admitting the need to break their habit I admit I need to break mine.

What I went through today is probably still too new to write here so will have to wait for a future post as my thoughts align and settle and as I go through today, re-reading all the flip-chart sheets I have brought home with me

So for now all I can say is (and I do mean it)
I no longer love Alex

And it feels good to write it.  This is a massive step for me!

More later.  I’m too drained for more now.

Flexibility…Too much or not enough

This is a key issue with me.  As I found out this morning.
And I keep updating this post!

Not enough:

At work I have achieved a great deal by believing I was right  but also –  if not almost certainly – not being flexible enough.

Result – I am known to be a bit of a tyrant!

In the last few weeks I think I have – almost subconsciously – become more flexible and shown a softer more understanding side to me.

Result – more cheerful staff.  I still put my foot down when it matters but I think I have become more approachable.

Too Much:

When I am not at work I appear to want to be everything to everyone.  I am far too flexible.  I bend with the wind in my wish to feel significant, liked and wanted.

Result:  I don’t respect me.  I am left feeling hurt, and, I think, defensive.  After all I have been totally over-flexible to Alex.  For the last 22 months I have allowed him to think he can come back.  I haven’t set him or me any boundaries (well when I have I’ve broken them!).  And now neither of us respects me.

(Update at 8.45pm!)  In fact I realise how fundamental this was in my marriage. As Alex claims he was always agreeing with me rather than saying how he felt – so he was being too flexible as well!  Good grief no wonder we got so mixed up!  Neither of us had any rules!

And another thing  – and I am being brutally honest now which  I seem to have a wish to be here as I blog!!

I’m not sure if it’s all to do with Flexibility but I know – deep down – I also agree with people when I don’t deep inside agree at all.  And I know when I’m doing it.  Because I do it a great deal.  I even do it in my life coaching sessions.  I don’t think so much now.  I do hope not.  But I did in the beginning.  I used to say I understood when I didn’t. I used to say things had changed when they hadn’t.

When change really happened it was clearly obvious. As in my 6ft and 30 seconds moment when I really did experience a massive – mind blowing – change.  But sometimes I cheat myself  which is ludicrous.  And it’s so odd as I spend most of my time “Saying it how it is” so why on earth do I do it.  I don’t need to, especially as the only person who suffers when I do, is me.

Why do I have this tendency to agree with people because I feel I should.  I don’t do it all the time.  I don’t do it at work.

I wonder if I only do it when I don’t feel safe or secure?

Anyway:

So now I have to learn

I have to learn to trust myself to set rules on this value of Flexibility which appears to have become distorted and has stopped me respecting myself.  This is incredibly scary as I have been doing this all my life in my quest to get others to like me (or so my mind reckoned).

I see not doing this as a very lonely place. Which is silly – it won’t make a blind bit of difference to those who genuinely like me and like having me around them.

And to those who don’t like me.  Well – no change there then!

So I have to find within me a rule on flexibility which  I am happy and comfortable with, which I can trust and which gives me respect for me.

Now clearly, I can’t just decide on The Rule.  Not out of thin air.  So, presumably, I will find this Rule as I come across situations every day where I need to be flexible or where I know that by being over flexible I won’t have respect for me.

Does this sound complicated or confusing?  It sort-of doesn’t to me!!  Oh well, onwards and upwards as the saying goes!  I just hope I understood what I was ‘taught’ this morning.  But no doubt a certain person will put me right if I haven’t!

And I’ve got more Values homework again!!  And I know – I’m supposed to be working just now.  I have done some this afternoon!  Really!!

And on top of all this – I am now having physio and acupuncture on my leg to see if that will help.  Or it may be a trip back to the surgeon – which I promise you I really don’t want.

Anyway

Toodle pip for now!

xxxx