There’s that old saying; love many, trust few and always paddle your own canoe. Once upon a marriage, I was paddling my little heart out. The canoe however was regarded as his. He took charge of navigating, steering that vessel into whichever waters he saw fit. I worked hard in the background, feverously paddling. I became reliant on his directions.
I look back at the start of the turmoil and the end of our marriage. I was left reeling from the devastation. Blindsided and totally confused. I cried my way to work and back, I ranted to my family and friends, I bawled myself to sleep. I lost weight. I gained weight. I got angry and then fell into a heap of desperation and exhaustion. My legs were numb from panic, my heart raced constantly. And I worried. I worried about my little children, my finances and our future. I allowed myself to do this. I gave myself permission to feel every single emotion. No matter how painful.
When those emotions ran rampant I imagined myself alone on a small wooden boat, weathering a storm far out at sea. The waves feeling, at times, like they would engulf my tiny boat. The wind was ready and willing to toss me into the ocean. I knew that if I held on, grasping onto to the sides of that little rickety boat, the storm would pass – they always do. I learnt to put energy into rolling over the waves, not trying to smash through, or frantically back paddle away as I had done in the past. If my boat started to fill with water and capsizing seemed inevitable, I reached out for help to bail it out.
As time went on, those storms occurred less frequently. They weren’t so fierce and frightening. I got better at navigating my way through them. We all have a right to paddle in calm waters. Know that these feelings don’t last forever. The storm and upheaval will pass in time. Hold onto the thought that you are navigating your own way masterfully, onwards to your sun-kissed tropical island. You'll get there and you will have done it on your own timeframe, following your own directions, in your own canoe.
(originally posted by a member of our community - Join First Wives World today to share your story and help yourself, as well as others, move into a place of healing.)