The Courage to Fight for Myself
This year has delivered some of the highest highs of my life and it has also delivered some tough lows. Most would say, I am a tough cookie and would think I am full of courage. The reality is, that while I am a tough cookie, I often lack the courage to make decisions for myself. I lack the courage to make myself happy if it means someone else might get hurt.
This has been a life long struggle for me. In 2018, this codependency I have on putting others before myself has come to a head. I realize that to continue to circle a drain of putting myself aside is not about my generosity, it is about my lack of courage.
This year has been filled with opportunities to live my dreams, find my passions and to share my story. With this downpour of blessings has come a schedule that has overwhelmed me, made balance with my family difficult and as a result, I have had anxiety about if I am meant to be doing this. It takes passion and fortitude to chase your dreams, but it takes courage to live your dream. We often don’t prepare for how life will change when we are given everything we dreamed of. Here is the truth, life can’t stay in the same place it was when you were dreaming to be where you now are because when you achieve certain dreams, it’s time to set new dreams. The changes that come in life when you are reimagining a future after your dreams come true can be very incapacitating.
For me, the change that has come with this new life has been a change in one of the most important relationships in my life. This year, my husband and I realized that while we have grown together in so many ways over thirteen years, we have also grown apart. It has taken every ounce of my courage to admit that my best friend in the whole world is simply my best friend in the world. It has taken courage to decide we should part as husband and wife so that we can be our best selves. It has taken every ounce of courage I can muster to even think about telling my children that for me to be happy, they must experience confusion and pain. When we told them, I thought I might die from the pain of watching them cry. I believe my dear husband and I have both known for some time that our lives have taken us in very different directions and that we have been requiring such inauthenticity of each other in the past few years just to stay functioning. One should never require their partner to live inauthentically if they truly love them. We love each other enough to want to set each other free from the overwhelming exhaustion that has come from our efforts to make it all work.
When I realized it was courage week, I realized there is nothing else I could share with this tribe because when I think about the courage I have had to muster this year to choose happiness, this is what I think about. I think about how I needed courage to get my best friend back and that to do so I was going to have to step over the line of codependence into independence. I realized I needed courage to shake the world of babies and most precious gifts. One would never think it is courage we must summon in ourselves to take the risks of taking away the temporary happiness of those we love in order find our own. I think about courage so differently than I ever have. I realize that courage is not what we do for others but what we do for ourselves.
I will continue to need the find my courage as I wade through the most jolting transition of my entire life. It has already required courage to take the painful journey of realizing I have no idea who I am outside of my thirteen-year long partnership that I credit with everything I cherish in this life. I am finding myself as a thirty-three-year-old woman now who is now alone but also completely loved and supported. I have never felt less isolated than I do now because I need people. I am using my courage to let myself need people and in that I am finding the most beautiful relationships and intimacy with the people in my life. I found the courage to admit I was not happy and I am already reaping the rewards for that courage. I know dark days lie ahead and great days do to. I am committing to finding the courage to live in both. Thank you to my tribe who has changed my life and taught me about the power of authenticity in its truest form. May you all find the courage this week and next to be your happiest self.
All my love, D