How Being Present May Have Saved My Marriage

how-being-present-may-have-saved-my-marriageWalking under trees. Summer’s faded into fall. My marriage is broken. I seek solace under wind rustled leaves of red and yellow dappled browns. Scratch of black branches seems to whisper a message, “quietly, quietly.” I don’t understand. I look longingly to the trees wishing for answers, wishing those branches were arms that could hug me.

I’m not alone, walking under trees. My dog, our dog, races ahead, oblivious to my sorrow. All she knows is play. At home, I look in the mirror and sigh. There’s nothing I can do to not look my age. Makeup on or off, my face still wears the lines of thirty-six and three quarter years.

You might assume I’m the good guy in all of this. I’m not. I’m the one who hurt him. I said some things, things that were true, but things that were hard to hear none the less; and now that I’ve said them, I can’t take them back, my words, I mean. The damage is done, the dye cast, so to speak.

On the mat, we learn that yoga is a practice, not a mastery; that the only way to grow in our practice is by being present in the moment, and accepting our truths, and abilities in that present moment. It is only through this acceptance that, over time, true growth and change may take place.

I thought I understood that concept. Actually, I thought I applied it to my daily life quite well. Stuck in traffic? It’s a good time to quiet my mind and reflect on all I’m grateful for. A grumpy sales clerk? Well, we all have our own life journeys to make, maybe she’s going through a tough time, right now. Even to my friends, when they went through their own divorces, I counseled patience, and not to rush the process of letting go. I insisted that they needed to stay in the moment and experience what they felt, even if what they felt was sorrow.

But now, in my own floundering marriage, that’s exactly what I want to do, rush to the happy ending where everything is alright, again. It will totally be okay again, right? I mean, I said I’m sorry, now I want him to be better. I want things, us, to be normal again. I find myself feeling frustrated, even angry at times, when he wakes up feeling sad, and I have to constantly remind myself that he is hurting and just because I feel badly for him, guilty even, doesn’t mean he feels any better. When he asks for alone time, to think, I want to insist we talk, but again, I’m reminded of the process. He must have time to experience his pain and gather his thoughts.

I find myself wanting to take it all back, erase it all, and just say everything is fine, but I can’t. That would be a lie, to myself, and to him. I have to accept there’s no pushing through this, no shortcuts. I have to just do the work, accept what is, live it, and let what may be, be; even if that means feeling hurt and sad. Sometimes the only solution is to just let go and breathe.

So I do. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but I do it. I let go. I accept our marriage, maybe the end of our marriage, as a piece of life’s journey. I have to go through the process. No shortcuts. Things may not work out, but that’s life. We can’t control it, all we can do is breathe through the sticky parts and work towards the light of positive change.

And things do change. At first, it seems like they get worse. We talk and more truths about him, me, and our relationship, come out, and everything hurts. I feel so raw, so vulnerable. I step back, again, find my breath, find more space to let go and accept.

The space I give allows me to see him from a distance. This man, with all his flaws, loves me, with all of mine, and surly mine out number his. There is something beautiful in that, in the love he has for me, in the acceptance of who I am. He doesn’t want to change me. He just wants to be with me.

Our anniversary comes. We feel a confused sense of loving pride that we’ve been together for fifteen years, and sorrow that it could all be ending, but the date is here, we’re still married. We decide not to worry about the future and we celebrate anyway. We do the same for our birthdays. And pretty soon, we find ourselves in a pattern of not over thinking the future, but just being present, together, in the moment.

Walking under trees, winter’s budding into spring. We aren’t alone. Our dog runs ahead of us, happy, oblivious. I reach out my hand. He takes it. …He takes it. It’s a new day.

Courtesy of My Yoga Online.

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