My reflections continued as I gazed over my life experiences. I discovered that I had consistently left behind my very own self in order to keep someone else happy by trying to fix all their problems, which I was certain I could do. Why shouldn’t I when all I have had taught was to do just that… Without revealing unpleasant details of my childhood past, suffice it to say that I was taught to take care of things because everyone “needed” me, as well as being forced to be needed. This gaze over my life awoke an understanding to why I maintained an attraction to those who have problems. I did so because what I had been taught and exposed to in my so called formative years was to help keep things together and that noise stuck with me all those years. However, when my introduction to disability provided that sparkling awakening to what was important to me was indeed important to who I am, I awoke to paying attention to the real Cheryl, and I began to be faithful to who I was capable of being.
I now know that without myself, I cannot experience fulfillment. I have seen my old self in others and was sad to see how they were tolerating the noise of a relationship obviously not right and most certainly not healthy. Perhaps they, just like me, believed that is all they deserve, perhaps all they’ve ever been taught. They were stuck in the noise too… By observing them I observed an important lesson about who is the teacher in life. I have had some amazing teachers in high school, and work, friends, and college, but what I awoke to was finding that I had been introduced to a wonderful teacher to show me new, fantastic and fulfilling lessons upon which I could begin an amazing journey. How cool is this – I learned that teacher is me. It’s you too!
I began teaching myself to pay attention to no more self-sacrifices, no more denying myself of my spirit. I began listening to my heart and I took it very seriously. The paragraphs of wisdom my heart recited to me were paramount in importance to who I am. It is a beautiful gentle voice that comes from within. I began understanding the wisdom of my heart and spirit. I never really listened to them much before; I couldn’t hear them because of the high volume of external and internal noise I was encased in.
My awakening taught me that I cannot change another, only they can change themselves. I cannot fix people if they are not willing to fix themselves. By trying to do so, it only enables them further and increases their dependence upon me leaving me without a place for myself, only in place for others. I awoke to understanding that my partner was not in a place to be a partner at all…
I hold dear and with pride my ability to assist others and will not remove that from who I am. I believe that is a divine gift given to be used. However, what I have come to understand is that I am not responsible for others actions and I cannot fix them. I am certainly a woman of deep love but have come to an additional understanding that I can love, by being a partner of conjoined goals and sharing rather than being the sole partner of total responsibility. That is an aspect which is to be shared for by doing so the relationship can only flourish and grow with love, commitment, communication and inspiration. This brings to life a love with heart and soul. Commonality is paramount in a relationship for without it what can be shared together to allow for growth and how can personal truths be lived? So many people are living simply by being rather than being together. They pass their lives by each other barely beckoning their true existence for reasons only to avoid a crash. What I have awoke to is that what I find truly fulfilling for myself is very important to me and to deny myself of these things is to deny myself a life of passionate fulfillment and joy. Who I am, I love. I consider myself a warm and genuine person who can share easily and completely. I am intelligent, I am considerate, I am playful, I am adventurous, I am responsible, I am hard working, I am spiritual, I am love, I am. I owe it to myself and to my spirit, which God so graciously instilled within my heart, to be who I am and live according to my beliefs and ambitions. There is much for me to do; there is much for me to share with others and with someone who finds my path a welcome walk to take. I do not have this now and it sometimes that saddens me. However, I understand that somewhere on this magnificent journey I am on will be that path that comes together with someone very special. I need to take where I am to lead me to where I am destined to be.
Each life experience is just a starting point. The walks taken on the paths chosen are there to assist in learning, to develop spirit, and to become whole to who we are. Sometimes it takes adverse and difficult times to learn. No one is born with complete and full knowledge of where they are going in life or what life is going to hand them. This is learned by living it. Lessons come to us each day, however, it is up to us to recognize the experiences we have as the lessons of life and to listen to them and learn. What I have experienced through my past years, although difficult and trying, will always be dear to me as they presented me with what I have today. I cannot hate, I cannot regret, I can only embrace the opportunities I have been introduced to.
I awoke to ending the noise of a bad relationship. I awoke to a vision that a life’s partner is just that, a partner, one with whom you can share openly your inner truths. Through openly sharing who you are and what is important to you, individuality is free to abound. There is respect and admiration for each other’s individuality. By sharing commonalties, individual beliefs are important and recognized, as partners need to indulge in them and live according to their beliefs with full support. A life’s partner encourages, advises and respects the needs of the other. It knows that harmony is in song sung by voices of individuality.
When a relationship, like mine was, is concentrated on conflicts and tension with thoughts of “is this what I want?” “is this what I need?”, I believe those questions are your inner truths telling you, no, this is not what you want and not what you need. It is telling you that you are not living truthfully to who you are. If the partner with whom you are attached fails to recognize, advise and respect those truths, they themselves are not living truthfully to who they are. Take for example a partner’s dream of always wanting to become a writer, an artist, a doctor, or even a pilot. Because of the conflicts and tension in a relationship of “is this what….”, the concentration and efforts required to pursue those dreams lie dormant due to being consumed by the noise of what is not there in the relationship. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right. There should be no guilt in wanting those dreams or feeling the excitement and purpose they bring to you, nor should there be guilt in pursuing those dreams.
If you are consumed with placating another to maintain harmony, all you are doing is neglecting your own harmony, writing a song with a lot of out of harmony noise. A true partner recognizes the importance of the others dreams and encourages them to pursue them. For by doing so the life of the other is enriched, this only enriches the life together. There is no embarrassment with a life partner. There is no stupid idea or silly pipe dream. If it is real to you, it should be real to the partner and acted upon as an important truth to the us together. Being true to yourself is being true to your life.
Thank God I awoke to finding that I am true and I am life…… No more out of tune relationships for me!
Being true to yourself matters in all relationships including work and perhaps hardest of all family dynamics. Someone shared a quote with me a few years ago, “You cannot continue to live your life for someone who refuses to live their own.” That can apply to a partner, a sibling, a parent, a friend — anyone who wants you to “enable” them and in so doing deny yourself. It took a little time but that quote really helped me to step out of that need for doing for others over yourself. Taking care of yourself first is NOT selfish (as I had been led to believe) but self-preserving, and if we do not take care of (preserve) ourselves, we will be unable to help others.