I love very intensely. When I think about how to describe it, I think about when a child grabs your neck and tries to hug you as tight as he can or he kisses you on the cheek by pressing really hard and it hurts because that child at that moment does not know how to express nor contain the love he is feeling. I literally burst from the inside out and I have a hard time hiding it when someone makes my heart smile. My feet don’t stay still. I giggle…a lot…because they make me happy. I also happen to see the good in people, so it is probably no surprise I stayed much longer in my abusive marriage than I should have. The way I love always drove my ex crazy because he said he did not deserve me. He was right. I should have listened. He also told me during our divorce that no one will never know what it is to be loved until they have been loved by me. That says a lot.
I find the greatest joy in the smallest and simplest things. Baby pygmy goats jumping around. Who can be sad around baby goats? A baby laughing. The sweet smell of nature on a walk. When the man in my life calls out of the blue at a time he normally does not call. All these small things both in everyday life and purposeful on someone else’s part do not go unnoticed to me. Every day, I try to live in joy and be thankful for the small gifts God puts in my day.
I work with autistic kids during the day and seniors at night. They are not well-paying jobs and there is no doubt since my divorce from my abuser that every single bill is a struggle to pay but what I give of my heart and soul to these people in need, far outweighs the stress of bill paying most days. The light in the student’s eye when he finally gets something or knows he made you happy. The sadness replaced by happiness in the senior’s eye when they get to tell you about their life and know you are really interested in their life. Nothing else quite compares.
I could be angry about the career I gave up for my abuser so he could have his. He had problems with my career (paralegal) and in an effort to save my marriage and not be as he put it, above him, I finally gave in to staying home once our first son was born. But I did get to stay home and raise my children and they turned out to be smart, intelligent men with a lot going for them. So, I concentrate on the later. I’m blessed to have a wonderful, open relationship with them and lucky that as college students they stayed home. I do occasionally allow myself to venture into the world of what if and if I hadn’t given up my job money would not be an issue, but I don’t go there often. I was dedicated to my family and that choice was made by me with a pure heart. I have no control over my exes’ actions or intent when I decided to leave. It was definitely a test of my heart at the time, but I refused to let him steal my joy. Even when I was crying my eyes out, within a few minutes I was able to get myself back on track and find a lot to be thankful for.
There are a lot of things I could be angry about, but I choose to live my life in joy. I am not perfect, I have my days. But it is days like this when I am trying to figure out how the hell to pay everything, that I step back and think about all I have and where I am going. I don’t let my past define me. Even when trauma rears it’s ugly head. I face it head on and kick some grass over that shit as fast as I possibly can and move on. I do not want my trauma from the abuse to define my future in any way including with the man I love.
So how do you get to the point of living in joy? You have to be able to be happy living with yourself only. It’s okay to want a partner in life and to want love but you must be okay just being you. I do not need a man in my life. Even when married, I was alone so much that it was like being alone and I was basically a single mom. You have to be okay with you. I am okay with me and who I am. I don’t apologize often but I do apologize when it is warranted. I do not allow other people to diagnose me or tell me now I should be living my life. I have proven that I am a survivor and resilient. They can keep their comments to themselves….thank you very much.
I am confident, but I also self-reflect often. I make changes where I see the changes need to be made. I spent half of my life trying to change who I was to make someone else happy. I should have spent that time being happy and understanding that he was incapable of being happy and it wasn’t me who needed to change.
Forgive yourself. Live for you and your children. Be a good person. Be thankful you woke up to live another day. Give thanks for small blessings. The warm sun, the beautiful snow, the unexpected phone call, your child’s laugh, the beautiful baby at the store, your puppy’s big yawn, your cats loving meow, the one you love, who is so far away and the sound of his voice when he calls….forgive yourself for letting another steal your joy. Never beg anyone again to love you and accept you because there are people who will do just that. And those who can’t accept you? Let them walk away. Even if it is family or a long-term friendship. Let them go. You are happy with yourself and owe no one any apologies for finally living your life drama free and with those who accept you for who you are.
KNOW YOUR SELF WORTH.
The bills will get paid even if they are a few days late. You will work your butt off because the abuser will have done everything he can do lie and cheat and steal from you. Monetarily and your joy. And you will wake up every morning, responsible for yourself and your children if you have them and you will live strong, walk tall and know when you finally get home, you owe no one any explanations because you are free to be and do whatever you need to do.
Today I am thankful that I am a survivor. My ex made me a fighter and I will fight to the end of my life to be drama free, control free and live my life with someone that has as much passion and love for life as I do. I deserve that, and I know my self-worth. Do you know your self-worth? You cannot love with intensity and passion until you love yourself first.
^^^^^Again I am having issues with my font. I cannot figure out why. I apologize. I’ll see if I can get my son on it! LOL