And, She Was Set Free

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       It is safe to say that I had a tumultuous past year and what not. It has caused me to wall myself up, become a little more recluse, and definitely more outspoken. Those all sound like bad things, but I do not necessarily think so. It has made me learn to depend on myself a lot more and to be a stronger person. Maybe some think I have pushed away but I just want to be independent. It has also taught me the value of my relationships with my friends and family. Needless to say, this past year has been an eye opener.

I have found that I need to be happy. No more putting everyone else in front of me. I have to take care of me before I can take care of anyone else. –But none of that will happen unless I speak up…some times YELL to be heard! After all, the way we treat ourselves bounces off of those around us and I do not want my loved ones to feel the way that I some times feel. Nor do I want them to bare the brunt of my negative behavior. This was an a-ha moment, but a constant challenge that I am learning to practice daily.

I have learned how to love differently and that the extent of my love is unreal. I have gained a new perspective for love and in being able to love. It has taken my whole appreciation to a new level and has heightened it. Love absolutely feels more amazing now when I connect with my relationships. I cannot help but to look at my loved ones faces and think, “damn, I just love ’em!” –and truly feel every word.

One of the best things I gained is the value of life. We live it, but most of us do not really LIVE it. We do what needs to be done, but do we bother to understand that we cannot get back that moment our child asked us to read them a story while we were cleaning up? Some things can wait. Life passes by too quickly. I want to savor all that I can and try to remember all of the little things. All too soon my little ones will be grown men and I do not want to look back and feel I could have done more. I want to know I did all that I could do and beyond. No regrets.

In a sense I found qualities in myself I would have never thought that I possessed. I found that I need to strengthen areas, destroy other ways, and evolve. No matter my faults and insecurities, I am worth it all. I will be damned to settle for less.

I have seen the lowest of lows in myself and suffered tremendous heartache. A heartache I wish on no one and one that will never be mended. A permanent hole. Yes, those do exist. Time does not do any thing. At least at this point, it has not for me. To me, it feels like time is taunting me. i hope people are right and that with time it eventually gets easier.  All I know is that I discovered my strength even when I thought I had none because of this tragedy. I seen for myself that I am tougher, more resilient, and one hell of a woman.

I have dived head first into a fire and burned for it, but it was in that fire I was forged, and out of that fire a phoenix was born…I found me.

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The Raw Insight of Marriage or Any Couple

It has been a while since I have blogged. I have had some bumpy months. Although these past months were filled with many emotions and lessons I can honestly say that I do not regret them. I have to see the silver lining. The bottom line throughout all of these months: I learned again that the man that I married is not only my best friend, but my absolute heart.

Marriages always have their ups and downs, the secrets, and the greatest of memories. Every one is always so full of advice but no one ever wants to get down to the grit of it. No one tells you that you will have to learn to forgive and in some cases, forget. They hide the fact that some times you have to refresh things and some times, fall in love again. They lie about going from being in a relationship to getting married changing things. They also lie about how much children change things.

I feel as a mother it will be my sole responsibility to educate my children when they embark on a life of marriage or partnership with a person about the muck no one else wants to tell them. I felt like I had a curtain pulled away from my eyes when I had my first son, and now that I have been with my husband for fourteen years, I feel that the blurred is now sharp. Do I feel bitter? No. I feel enlightened.

Throughout the turmoil and the days when I felt like I could not possibly stand on my own two feet I found that I have angels at my back pushing me up and an extra set of hands and feet are keeping me pillared. My husband has been the mountain that never bowed even when I tried to knock him over. It is very true when you build a life with a lover that if they really love you they will stay no matter what (and I am not talking no matter what in cases of abuse, etc.) He stayed. He pushed. He held. He wiped tears. He yelled. He soothed and he said nothing.

There are times when we do not give our partners enough credit, or credit at all, when it should be given. We are not perfect and forget things, say things, and do things. What is important is to say that you are sorry, mean it, forgive, and move on. -And some times, forgive eventually. You are cultivating a friendship, a deep bond, not just a marriage. One does not drop when the other one starts and so many people lose sight of this and that is when a marriage can fail or break through the barrier.

I have a deeper respect for those that have successfully stayed together for many, many years. What I mean by successful is that they still are very much in love and not just living in the same house together. I understand that there are so many things that can break a couple apart. So many tragedies and some things that people are not willing to forgive and let go–BUT–I consider losing a pregnancy right under the worst things that could tear a couple apart (the first being the loss of a child). With that said, our loss could have torn us apart, but it did not. I cannot for the life of me look back and reason how it did not, because every thing seems like a blur. I only know without any doubt that if it were not for the man that I married I would not be where I am today.

I had always wondered before what people meant when they said they fell in love all over again and often thought “why would you need to?” I get it now. If we are lucky it happens over and over and with it comes a much stronger love than before. Even if it means climbing up the mountain, climbing out of quicksand, and swimming through the strongest currents. Sad to say that it also means there will come a time when you must tell people, no matter who they are, to stay out, and learn to ignore opinions and chatter. A relationship belongs to you and your partner, no one else, and in the end, it is yours not their life that you have to live. It is absolutely worth it when a connection is rendered unbreakable. There goes that saying, “If you can make it through this, you can make it through any thing.” Absolutely true. At least they did not lie about that.

 

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Photo Credit: Valerie Vasquez

Small Helping of Gratitude

I could easily be one of those people that over looks the effort my loved one gives to me. Thank goodness, I am not. Every day I am thankful my husband takes the time to play with the boys, or to help me around the house. Through other social networks, I have noticed that I am lucky to have such a wonderful spouse. It seems he is a rare type of father and husband.

When I first started dating my husband his character was very important. I paid attention to the details. How did he treat his mother? How was he with kids? What was his work ethic like? I do not know why I did this at such a young age, but I am so happy I did. I picked a winner. If ever I have a daughter I most certainly will teach her to do the same.

Yet, I still wonder, how can some people take for granted the small things? I know some have O.C.D. and it can greatly interfere with relationships. I was very picky before about a lot of things. After watching the demise of some relationships close to me I learned…it does not matter. If I needed some thing to be cleaned so what if it was not done my way. So what. It was done. Some times I had to walk away while he cleaned some thing so that it would not irk me, but eventually it did not bother me at all.

I learned: Accept the help and be grateful.

Gratitude! What a word. It holds so much meaning and too many are not familiar with the word. Which leads me to believe this is the sole reason why they take people for granted. They were not taught the simplicity of gratitude. Some thing I will take great strides to instill in my children: be grateful. Even the smallest things count.

My husband does not have to be late for work and take the extra five minutes to play with my sons, but he does. Such a small thing to play for five minutes means the world to my son. Who knows, maybe it creates a memory they will have forever. Either way, I am one lucky and grateful lady.