For a long, long time I thought I lived openly…at least in the vast majority of ways. My secrets were either ancient history or had to do with relationships with the opposite sex. Somehow I managed to compartmentalize my behaviors believing that the 85% of my life where I was open and honest (work, friends, money, associates, etc) more than made up for the 15% where I often lived dishonestly (affairs, relationships with women, etc). Yet, for that small percentage my dishonesty hurt them 100% and contributed to self-loathing suffered for a long time. Thankfully that sense about myself is for the most part gone now, although self forgiveness has been hard.
Feeling better has to do with changing behavior and not having secrets. No longer is worry about being found out a near constant apprehension. It seems crazy at this point that I lived in two marriages that were fraught with a lack of honesty yet somehow thought everything could be OK. Pure delusion!
By choice I live an authentic life today and am able to honestly be who I am. It was VERY difficult to throw off the old habits. Learning my bad behavior came mostly from insecurity and issues of abandonment helped, but it took ”knuckle-busting” work to grow past my old ways. I had to face my “monsters” and fight them through some dark days and nights. But I did it!
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid, more accessible,
to loosen my heart until it become a wing, a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom,
and what which came to be as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
Living Wide Open: Landscapes of the Mind By Dawna Markova
Life has become no less challenging, but has gotten simpler with out lies and rampant self-delusion. Contentment and even happiness and joy are not longer strangers to me. I only have to be one person with a singular personality and story. No longer am I living different lives simultaneously resulting in uncertainty and confusion about exactly who I am. As Markova’s poem above says… I have “loosened my heart” to “allow my living to open me and make me less afraid”.
Day to day life is more exciting and sometimes more unsettling than it used to be because it is lived just as it comes to me. I embrace the good and beautiful and accept the bad and ugly with a knowing that even the best life is rounded with both.
One source of real joy that has found me has come through spending time with friends and making new ones. I go out more than I ever have and spend less time in front of the television. Listening to music and reading still take up a good bit of my time, but those hours are spent in a healthy way. Never in my life can I remember going to three concerts within a few days, but last week I went to three! Good for me. I am no longer living an unlived life!
The goodness and balance in my days is better than ever. I am grateful to feel better about myself and living than ever before.
I choose to live love.
And I fully believe that life is not meant to be anything other
than the experience of passion, delight, creativity, peace, love, gratitude.
Any struggle, exertion, challenge, climb, exhaustion is self-induced…
a moment I refuse to open my heart;
instead choosing to cling to something of this earth.
Adrienne from her website Experience Life Fully