Have you ever struggled with belief: belief that life truly is good, that good things are in store for you, and that one day you’ll see the work you put towards the things you want pay off?
Truly, I never struggled much with most of these thoughts. At times I’d think the things I wanted in life might be compromised by one life event or another, but deep down I knew, if I pressed and pushed and kept going, I’d see the flash of light as reality dawned on my dreams.
But there’s one belief that’s lurked in the background, with regards to what I’ve wanted most in life. The belief that somehow, it was written in my destiny not to have it, and my life would be defined by my longing for it, and the subsequent suffering my longing would cause.
Eventually I had to ask. Why is it that I can see myself easily with anything I’ve ever wanted in life, but not this, my deepest desire? And I realized- it’s because I don’t believe I should have it. More specifically, I believe the pain of not having it is better suited to me than the joy of having it.
Life started in a strange place for me. Early on I learned from my parents that I couldn’t rely on lasting impressions of good times. Things had to eventually turn bad. Pain and sorrow had to come. Eventually I believed it was what my parents wanted for me. And so I internalized the belief that pain makes me a better person. Life is stable, and things are the way they ought to be, when my soul is filled with it.
Now, this is something most people are surprised to learn about me, as I was to learn about myself. Generally speaking I have an upbeat attitude and tend towards optimism. So when I tried to rationalize the two, I then realized why, contrary to expectations for people like me, I didn’t repeat patterns of pain when it came to my relationships and my marriage.
Because that kind of suffering wouldn’t be enough. Even though time did finally show me I expected pain from my husband too.
What kind of pain would be worse than the pain of a lifetime longing unfulfilled?
Truly, when I finally had to come to grips with the truth of the beliefs I had internalized about myself over the years, and forced myself to admit them out loud to my husband, a sick pleasure came over me, as my subconscious mind said, “That’s the pathetic creature you are. The way you’re supposed to be.”
I’ve seen what can happen when I let that go, and follow the things I want. When I help others, and don’t worry about not being enough. I’ve seen the good and the bad I can do, and believing things like this only holds me back. No one benefits from my suffering. But everyone can benefit from my blessing, if I allow myself to realize how blessed I am. I am sitting down with my book of life’s rules in my lap, and it is time to undo all the lessons scrawled in there meant to keep me bound and predictable. And the first new lesson that must be entered is:
I am blessed.