I think about this a lot. Why I do what I do. Not just with writing, or my job, or being a parent but with the little things. With everything really. I ask myself a lot am I proactive or reactive. I've learned that I'm more reactive than I care to admit. I am finding when I'm proactive things don't typically go the way I have them in my head so then I get defensive and I react.
When I asked myself why I write. The honest answer is that it started out as reactive. It was a task that I was given by a therapist to process my feelings. I kept journals that I learned really quickly as a teenager to either not keep or to burn... Journals, diaries, anything written in your own handwriting as a teenager living with strict parents is a death sentence. My parents learned I was smoking, having sex, drinking all the things a teenager isn't supposed to do. I would try to deny it and my mom would either pull out my journal and hold it up at me or she would quote verbatim what I had written that only I could possibly know. You'd think that I would've learned not to do the things I was getting in trouble for but, what I learned was how to be more sneaky about doing it.
I think that's what happens to most people. Do they ever really change their behavior or just get better at hiding it? The answer is 'it depends'. The question is how much do they enjoy the behavior. For example both my exhusbands smoke and both claim they want to quit and have for 20 years, neither of them take steps to actually quit though. So if me or the kids start fussing about how much they smoke, or how they smell, or the dangers of smoking, what happens? Nothing. They still smoke. They just try to hide it from us more so we don't fuss at them.
Which brings me to my next 'self' analyzation 'am i trying to work it out, am i reacting or being proactive'. It's a bit of both I think. In all honesty the idea of him with someone else caused a reaction and a downward spiral. It was bound to happen sooner or later because the thought of him with anyone else crushes me. It wasn't that way the first time around. This one has been so different. Anyway. My reaction caused wheels to turn that I could've stopped and did for a little bit. I took a while to step back and process but, then I became proactive. I chose to take off on foot that night. I chose to go to him. I chose to offer him a chance to redeem himself.
You might ask why I would do that given everything you've read in my other blogs. And it's because of perception. It's because I can. I need to. It's the right thing to do. Why? Because 90% of our relationship was reactive. I was never proactive. I reacted to outside influences. I reacted to things I had no control over. I reacted to his reactions to other people. I reacted to his reactions to my reaction. It was all 1 big reactive mess. I'm choosing to be proactive. I'm choosing to step back and not be responsive. I'm choosing to do things in a preventative way. I pray every day but, my prayers are different.
Now I pray my husband (yes, I still see him that way and he still sees me as his wife) will be protected as he goes through his day, he will have his eyes open to see things for what they really are and that he will not be taken in by the lies of the devil. I ask God to give him eyes that see things as they really are good or bad. Ears that hear the truth. Words that are spoken without confusion or manipulation. I pray for him to have a forgiving heart and spirit. I ask that angels walk with him through his day and the holy spirit speaks truth and light to him and helps to guide him on his path.
Instead of asking God to show me what my husband has done I ask him to keep him from doing it. I have faith that the holy spirit will guide his steps and help him to make the best decisions. I've seen it work.
In that same regard I pray for change in myself. I used to pray for him to change but, I realized something. He didn't see that he needed to change anything because he didn't see fault in anything he did. So I ask that God show me what I can do differently. I ask him to give me the love, guidance, wisdom and support to know when to close my mouth (which is NOT easy for me), when to speak up, and the right words to say, and how to speak life into my husband.
You see I decided I can be proactive but, if a healing is not part of Gods plan for us that will be ok because, I'm praying for things we both need regardless of how it shakes out. Because, at some point regardless of it is us or someone else, having made these changes and gained these understandings and worked on these processes now will make us better for whatever or whoever God has for us.
I don't want to be reactive my whole life. Looking back it feels like 1 trauma after another, but the reality is most of it stemmed from 1 place. Having been touched inappropriately as a child. I always felt (and still do at times) ashamed of myself. I never felt pretty but, I didn't want to either. I didn't want 'unwanted' attention but, I did want 'wanted' attention and I was awkwarkdly looking for something I never found. Then I married as a kid (i was a b
aby and too stupid to know it) which in all honesty was another reaction. It was a reaction to the trauma of living in a home where I felt like I was constantly at battle. I was always battling something or someone. Then there's the trauma of finding my 1st husband on the sofa with a coworker of mine. 2 people I should've been able to trust wrapped in a lovers embrace on my sofa. That caused a healthy reaction. I went to college. I spent the next 5 years working my tail off school 2-4 nights a week and work 5 days a week both full time, both non-stop. From there the chain reactions kept happening.
9-10 years ago I thought I had broken that cycle and become proactive by getting in shape and taking pride in my body and my look, by filing for that 1st divorce and by taking a stand as a mom, a woman, an employee. For the first time things were looking up. I would date someone and if I didn't like them I would move on. I didn't let anyone around my kids or my family. I didn't let anyone influence my decisions. I used my own judgement. Until...
I realized from the start someone was 'influencing' me one way or the other. I allowed it. Things went reactive. I became co-dependent all over again.
When I say co-dependent I don't mean relying on him to pay for things no, that's not it at all. The exact opposite actually. I was and still am extremely independent. I do well by myself. A lot of men are intimidated by me and not alot of them are attracted to me. So, I'm good at paying my own way and I've been known to work up to 3 jobs at a time to do it. No, co-dependent for me means insecure. I look to my partner for my own reassurance. I become my own worst enemy and I get really hard on myself so I look to them for compliments, reassurance, security and instead of providing those things for myself and having the confidence I have had at times in my life I look to them to fill that void for me and it's wrong. It's not their job. That isn't their hole to fill.
So that is the other thing I'm praying for. My own self confidence. It's there. I've had it. I'm happy when I have it. My relationships are more stable when I have it because I'm not looking to someone who can't fill that void. God has to, I have to. It's our job.
Now I'm wondering if this is reactive or proactive? Earlier today I was told that some of my family members like my writing and have commented to others about it. I wasn't even aware that they read anything I wrote. It was a nice compliment to know that they enjoy reading my work but, I'm out there. I don't hold back (or I didn't before). If you're reading this blog you're reading raw works and real feelings and actual life events or things surrounding them at least. No wholes barred. So I wonder. In writing this now, in my confessions or my acknowledgements am I being proactive or reactive?
Honestly with this one I don't care. I haven't done anything wrong. If anything I'm doing something right. My bible tells me marriage is sacred. The vows I took before God to love, honor and cherish, in sickness and in health, for rich or poor, till death do us part. We didn't do that. I didn't do that. I didn't keep my promise. I didn't honor my husband the way God told me to. I left in sickness and in poor because I was tired of sick and poor. It's work. It's exhausting. So if someone has something to say bad about what I'm doing. They can take it up with my maker because I talk to him about it every day. I ask him to guide me everyday. I question things everyday. If someone disagrees with me I speak negatively of myself and say something like "i'm just crazy remember" so that's something I'm working on because I'm not crazy.
It's not crazy to try to heal. It's not crazy to try to help others heal. I don't know what that looks like. But. I know God can change anything in an instant. I know that with God all things are possible. I know that I am a child of God and no weapon formed against me shall prosper. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if my ex were to be trying to 'pull the wool over my eyes', or 'get his foot in the door' or 'make me pay' he won't be able to God won't allow him to succeed. God has numbered the hairs on my head. He has counted the tears I've cried. He knows how many tears belonged to my marriage battles. I have faith that no matter how it goes, it's for the good and it's God will.
It's hard to let go and let God. Or to trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding. It's not hard to have faith the size of a mustard seed.
I don't know what it looks like. But I know my future is proactive because God is helping me get where I'm going.