Last week I posted about the deep-reaching nature of my healing process. In that post I explained how perhaps the most difficult task for me is self-acceptance.
At the root of this struggle are some very rigid ideas about what it means to be successful, to be happy, to be good.
I first realized what my ideas about success and my beliefs about what a “good” life looks like were back when I was married to Mr. X and we were in the midst of dealing with infertility. Suddenly, I realized that not only had I always thought I would be a mother, and not only that I had always thought that I should be a mother, but also that I must be a mother in order to have a meaning in my life. It’s pretty heavy stuff to face the idea that you may never realize the path you thought was necessary for a meaningful life.
I don’t know how much I was actually able to challenge this belief of mine before the Great Escape and subsequent months of agony leading up to my divorce. I do know that I realized somewhere in those months that I also had very harsh ideas about what it means to be divorced, and even what it means to be single past a certain age. Ouch. There is nothing more painful than being the object of your own rejection.
I don’t want to believe that I think a good life requires a (happy) marriage with children. I don’t want to believe that being childless and divorced makes me somewhat pathetic. I am becoming more and more aware all the time of the system of beliefs that under-girds much of my pain and want so badly to start over, to rewrite my dictionary of ideas, to release all that no longer serves me.*
I have a very difficult system set up for myself. It’s a no-win way of living, and I’m tired of it. It’s taken going through this last year (or thirty) of loss and angst to become cognizant of how much of my pain radiates from within, from my own worldview, and not from my circumstances.
More and more I am hopeful that I can change that worldview, that I can rewrite my internal dictionary, that I can learn a new way of being in the world. It’s hard, but not as hard as not changing would be.