What is it now? One in three marriages end in divorce? Some argue this is because we’re a generation of instant gratification. That we are incapable of knowing the satisfication of working on relationships in a meaningful way. In an age where we all own our own personal public stages on social media, where we can celebrate everything from our relationship status to what we had for breakfast. It’s difficult to see the value in real accomplishments. Is getting married and walking the thin line of society expectations an accomplishment? Maybe it is if you base this simply on those vows taken, but should it be or should it be simply human nature to treat everyone in our lives in this manner? To vow to be honest, treat each other with integrity and see each other through our darkest times? I think the act of getting married is about the same achievement as what we had for breakfast with the way we’re typically entering into these commitments. It’s not that I don’t value the idea of falling in love for life, giving and receiving support from someone who is completely and totally devoted to you and you to them through sickness and health, but is the simple act itself an accomplishment when most of us are not following these vows? How can we be? We don’t even treat ourselves that well, how could we possible give this to someone else?
Is staying together despite making each other miserable admirable? It is in the world that we live in today. Marriage is a goal that we are told to work towards in our twenties and god forbid we reach thirty before we accomplish it. This is especially true for young women. So, if this is such a wonderful thing for us to experience as human beings, why does it continue to fail time and time again? Because we spend so much time being what and who that person and society sees us as that we take little time to find out who we truly are. I wasted the best years of my life crying myself to sleep over someone who simply didn’t care about me, but I didn’t realize at the time that person was me. So much energy and time wasted working towards something that I didn’t even understand. Because at the time, a relationship was the most important thing in my life. I just didn’t realize that this longing for a relationship was not for that of an external need. The most important relationship we can have in life is the one with ourselves, cliche, but true. So, why does marriage end? Because we’re entering a life long commitment with a complete stranger, ourselves.
When I announced that I was ending my short lived marriage to a man who treated me like gold, no one could understand. There was no infidelity, no arguments to speak of and we had accomplished everything we were supposed to up until that point in our lives. The only problem was, I felt incredibly unfulfilled. I looked to external things again to solve this emptiness. I was successful in my career, making more money than I ever thought I’d achieve at my age. I had an incredible circle of friends who thought I was ambitious and confident. Little did they know that I spent most of my lunch breaks at the time having a complete nervous break down in the back seat of my car. I was depressed breaking out in hives daily and more lost than I’ve ever been in my life, but why? I had no idea who I was. I’d compromised so much of myself over the years for someone else that I lost track of what and who I am. In a world of marketing and sales it’s difficult to maintain true authenticity. Because we’re told how much money to make, how to dress, what is beautiful, how to behave, what religion to follow, it’s a wonder we can think for ourselves at all. The truth is though, I had no one to blame, but myself.
I desperatly tried to solve this while maintaining my marriage, but one day I woke up and I knew what I needed to do. I told my then husband that I wanted a divorce three days before we were heading to Italy. I’ve never had great timing in my life. In fact, timing has always been my kryptonite. I now recognize this as not a downfall, but a warning sign I chose to ignore. Of course, the trip didn’t solve the problems. Because the problem was me or rather the lack of self. There is that old saying that no one can love you, until you learn to love yourself. The problem is that that’s all it is, an old saying. Because we spend so much time concerned with what everyone else thinks of us that half the goals and ambitions we pursue in life are for the approval of others and have very little to so with what our souls actually need. How can one love a stranger? Someone who has been fabricated by expectations and compromises. It’s so natural these days working on our external perceived lives through social media, our careers, peer and family approval that we never really stop to think about whether or not this is truly who are are.
I knew one thing when I left my marriage. I knew that I felt more comfortable in my own skin when I was totally and completely out of my comfort zone. When I was learning and experiencing other cultures and outside the lime light of my own life. The only way I can truly find out who I am is to spend time with myself. To question my own motives and to love myself and the world unconditionally, without expectations. How am I going to achieve this? Growth. Growth through experiences, through allowing myself to be uncomfortable, to be alone. I question everything these days from the way that I dress to the belief system and moral compass I’ve developed over the years based on other peoples perceptions of who I am. It’s going to be messy and maybe even cringe worthy at times, but it will be authentic. It will be the true start of the journey to knowing and loving myself fully.
We get this one life. Just this one chance. So many of us spend it working towards goals we don’t completely understand, giving all our power away to the opinions of other. Achieving outward successes instead of looking inward. There is no such thing as living without regret, but you can live without causing regret. We can live in a way that is completely true to who we are. If we do that, we won’t mind having regret. Because we will have learned something from it. We won’t feel like we’ve lost a piece of ourselves in it, we’ll have gained a piece. Slowly, we’ll start to feel like the whole person we were meant to be in this world. Find our purpose and continue on our journey in a truly authentic manner. We won’t be living life for anyone but ourselves and realize this is in fact the most selfless thing people can do. Because when we are true to who we are, when we are in line with the vibrations of the world and all the universe is guiding us towards, that is when we are our best. This is when we can offer the most love, the most generosity and the most kindness into the world. Our lights will be bright and guiding, not dimmed by the baggage that has built up around them, causing us to be guarded and lose our childlike awe and trust. Authenticity is a difficult journey and it’s terrifying to step out of line, but my goal isn’t the road less traveled, it’s the road to myself and I’m prepared to be open to whatever I may find along the way.
Every single day brings with it the opportunity to make a choice. Many of us continue to wake up and make the same poor choices over and over again. Maybe because we believe it’s all we’re capable of, maybe it’s because we believe it’s all we deserve. Causing not only to make ourselves miserable, but the people we love. Why do we do this to ourselves? Fear. I finally realized at some point that nearly every choice in my life had been made out of fear and I was allowing my distorted perception guide my choices based on this emotion. We perceive fear as the enemy, but in reality it’s our biggest advocate. Our perception is really what we should view as the enemy. Fear is simply there to help us realize where we need to grow. Perception on the other hand, is either our best friend or our greatest enemy. What we fail to realize is that perception is a choice and fear is a response.
So, if I’m standing at the open doors of an airplane, parachute strapped to my back, paralyzed by the fear of dying, I can choose to alter that perception. I can choose to realize that I’m standing at the edge of an opportunity to grow and I can choose to believe the parachute strapped to my back will do its job. Because if I step back into the comfort of the airplane and wait to be safely returned to the ground, I’ll have learned nothing, I will not have grown. However, if I step out the open doors and allow myself to sore, trusting that the fall will land me right where I’m meant to be, then I get to grow, then I get to experience the fall and the landing. Fear is a signal, not an enemy. Perception is a choice. In the end, they are both reflections of ourselves. I decided if I was going to wake up looking at fear in the face every morning, I was going to make it on my terms. I hope you’ll continue to join me on this solo adventure to myself and maybe, you’ll find a little of yourself along the way.