It has been months now since I have written a new blog post.
I have no excuses.
Have I been drinking?
Have I had an occasional slip up?
Do I feel ok?
For the most part yes… and for the most part no.
More than likely I haven’t written because I feel guilt.
I have guilt for not being 100% sober and because of that, I have chosen to hide, even though so many things have been going on that I wanted to write about and share.
But now something big enough has taken over my emotions, more than my drinking, and I want to write about it…
To begin, you may remember that my last blog involved me starting a self help journey that would get me out of the comfort zone of my home. I met a lot of wonderful people, learned a lot, and I am proud that I pushed my self through the courses. One of the projects that affected me the most was a vision board. As I am the least artsy person I know, I was very hesitant to participate, and yet was surprised at how impactful it was.
The vision board I created turned out completely different then I had thought it would. I had whole heartedly gone into this workshop thinking about myself. Thinking about all the things I wanted and needed to be a better ME.
Everything I had been doing the last few months solely revolved around ME and my well being.
This class however was designed very differently than most vision board classes, I can only presume. We had to answer deep soul-searching questions, along with meditation and journaling, before we even touched the vision board.
And from this self reflection what I ended up creating, almost unconsciously, was shocking and awakening for me.
When I look back now, it really shouldn’t have been. But I guess when you are self absorbed and working towards becoming a better version of yourself, you become blind to some of the most obvious things around.
What revealed itself on my vision board was that I had to take care of my marriage…
My husband was missing me.
I was being neglectful.
I was being selfish.
I was slowly abandoning the marriage and him.
And I needed to fix this.
I needed to come back and be present for him.
And also, with my son.
Here I was working so hard to get better for them that I had kept them at arms length during the process.
Have you heard the analogy about being on a plane, and if it starts going down, and the oxygen masks falls, you must take care of yourself first and then the others? And that you are no good to anyone if you can’t breathe…put the mask on, breathe, then you will be good to take care of the others…
I was doing exactly this. Taking care of ME.
But I have been thinking lately…
I think we are taking too long to put the mask on the other person. I think that we are stealing all the oxygen.
Not on purpose…just because we don’t feel okay…yet.
The process of getting better and becoming more takes a long time.
And I’m finding that I haven’t shared the mask.
How I know this, is how inward I have become. Feeling the need to protect my little steps forward. Feeling that letting anyone in will make me crash.
But I was crashing anyways.
Those I love were moving farther and farther away as I tried to ‘find’ myself.
So, as I sat and looked at my vision board and saw my marriage front and centre I woke up.
I woke up out of the slumber of ‘self’ help.
I realized that my partner….my husband… has to be on the journey with me.
WE not ME
We have to be in alignment
We have to want the same things
We have to want to be better
We have to be great parents
We have to share our goals and dreams
And We have to be loving and caring partners to each other.
I can work on me as much as I want to … but if it’s just about ME the WE falls apart.
So, this has been what I am working on.
I think the reference to the oxygen mask is in relation to how much we do as women.
How much we do as wives, sisters, mothers, aunts, friends etc…
I believe it is referring to the work we do.
The energy we put out.
The late nights and the early mornings.
The cleaning and cooking and homework and entertaining and planning and scheduling…the list goes on…
And I totally get that… trust me!
We need to take some time for ourselves. We need to take time to meditate, do yoga, go out with the girls.
BUT, what I am noticing and what has happened to me, is that the last one on my list to take care of and love, was my husband.
Men are built different than us women.
For my husband self help is confusing… and a girl thing.
But just as much as I need it, so does he.
Men need to look inward…once in a while. There is so much there. Just as much junk as I have, so does he.
It wasn’t until my vision board and my husband making a comment here and there about how many girls nights do I really need? To make me realize that maybe I need more husband nights.
Looking at my board I don’t see a whole lot of ME…but I sure see a WE that is craving for attention.
Goals and dreams that are not only mine, but ours.
So that is where I am at these days. Working on bridging the gap between Me to We.
To look back on my vows, and remember why I decided to get married.
My heart is fuller and my load is lighter these days.
This slight refocus has shifted me in a really positive way.
I truly recommend trying it.