Thursday, May 13

Some Final Thoughts, Part 1

So the month of reflection has come and gone. Okay that's a lie. I will still have occasional lapses of reflection and self-discovery, I just may not be blogging about them. I want to thank you all for reading and for the support that you've given me over the last month through emails and conversations and blog comments. More importantly, thank you for the love you've shared with me over the last year. It's been quite the journey and one I feel indeed grateful for!

Someone once said, "Everyone should experience a divorce once."

You're kidding, right?

"You may think it’s absurd now, but you will see what I mean. You will learn things about yourself and about others. You will learn how to appreciate the other person in your life more. You will relearn things you thought you already knew and your perspective will change.”

So I present to you, my dear faithful blog readers, a few things I've learned and how my perspective has changed:

I've learned that taking care of myself should be top priority. It sounds twisted I know, especially after being taught to "lose yourself in the service of others." When I began to reevaluate those teachings, I learned that we often skip over the selfish-sounding parts. For example, we read "love thy neighbor" but skip the last part of that scripture that says "as thyself." We cannot sufficiently love our neighbors if we aren't loving ourselves. I started to suffer physically, emotionally, and spiritually because I was focusing so much time and energy in trying to make the marriage work that I lost sight of trying to make me work.

With that said, I've learned that the most important relationship in a marriage is the relationship between me and God. Again, I spent far too much time reading books about how to be a good wife and how to have a happy marriage instead of the time I could have spent on my knees and reading scriptures. I know that sounds so cliche but even with all the self- and relationship-help knowledge in the world, there is still only so much you can do.

For one of my class assignments, I attended a support group that implemented the 12-step program. The first three steps involved admitting that we are powerless before God, acknowledging that He can restore all things, and deciding to turn our life and will over to his care. I didn't accept the principles immediately because it made me feel as weak as I feel on day 5 of a no-sugar diet walking into work and seeing that they're having a dessert buffet to celebrate everyone's birthdays for the month. I am absolutely powerless when it comes to celebrating birthdays. Or free dessert--I haven't really been able to distinguish between the two. But the more I learned to trust the process, I quickly discovered that all of my efforts to control my life weren't producing the outcomes I wanted (see also my "Unplanning Life" post). Paradoxically, I never experienced more strength and freedom than I did the moment I accepted my own powerlessness. All that broken-heart and contrite spirit talk finally made sense to me. It was teaching me to be humble so I could accept God's power to heal all things in my life.

The wisdom gained here led me to realize that it's okay for life to be messy. Based on the normal conditions of my room, my mom would probably be shocked to hear that I don't like my life to be messy. When I get to a trial that seems to upset the flow of things, I quickly accept it as a challenge to overcome or a problem to solve--or in this analogy, a mess to clean up. I've discovered though that in trusting God, we also must trust his timing. I learned to let go and allow myself to accept an otherwise messy situation, realizing that God has already accounted for a housekeeper with the Handi Wipes and Swiffer Sweepers to clean up the mess that sometimes we need to live with for a while to learn the lessons of faith, patience, love, forgiveness, and accepting the agency of others.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Randi said...

I'm so proud of you, Kelly. Loves.