I had a vivid dream last night that culminated in a scene of me being surrounded by those I loved: My husband. My children and my step-children. My parents, and in laws. My sisters, brothers, sister in laws, brother in laws, friends, family. The little boy who plays with my youngest from down the street. People from church. People from the DOC…
I looked around at this hodgepodged group of people and wept.
Wept with gratefulness, that I have them in my life.
And when I woke, the feeling stayed with me.
Last night my family sat around the living room and took the time to, one by one, recognize a tender mercy that recently occurred in our life. As we each focused on a small blessing in our day, the mood in the room changed immediately.
This morning I rolled over in bed after my husband left for work and looked at a pair of shorts he had tossed next to the dresser. That crinkled piece of clothing evoked an unspeakable wave of emotion. I love the man that put them there. Those shorts were a symbol of his presence, an acknowledgement that I have someone to share my life with. I’m not alone.
I’m not alone.
All this to say…it’s there.
It is in me.
And this gratefulness is bigger than the mess that’s inside of me. It’s brighter. Truer. And will ultimately help in my healing, I am sure.
I’ve been inspired so significantly by the last 24 hours that I wanted to come here and pay homage to the good in my life.
My brightest light:
Right now that is my husband.
I’m so imperfect.
But so is he.
And we glory in it.
He accepts me and loves me in an honest and tender way. I am safe to be who I am and feel what I feel. It’s not always pretty, but he loves me anyway.
And because of this unconditional love, it’s safe for me to love him unconditionally back. My expectations of him are real. We entered this marriage promising to accept each other for who we really were. We promised not to pretend we were anything other than our authentic selves.
And authentically? We’re kinda a mess. (He’s a sexy mess, so that helps :)
But we’re able to take the shame away from the mess by communicating, understanding, and forgiving.
And by promising to always try to be a little bit better every day, or at the very least…just try.
The hard things in life can come, but our feet will stay planted. We’ll hold each other through it, and ground ourselves with our faith.
Us coming together was not an accident. We absolutely know that.
I cannot deny that I’m here today because of tender guidance from my Heavenly Father. Believe what you will, but I know what I know.
So when things get hard, my husband and I are able to look at each other and know…it’s going to be ok. Because we know we were brought together.
We absolutely know it.
The broken pieces in me, he fills up. And his broken pieces? I hold on to them so he can stay together too.
Why things have to be so hard? I’m not sure. But through every gust of wind, we draw closer.
That is my greatest gift.
A few years ago I was interviewed by Sanofi. They asked me, “What is your idea of happiness?”
I replied, “Love. Knowing I am loved, and loving others. I can’t think of a worse prison than thinking I am alone and completely insignificant.”
They followed up with, “What do you most dislike.”
“Bitterness. Hopelessness. Negativity.”
No wonder I’ve hated myself these past months. I’ve embraced qualities that I most despise. I’ve viewed myself as insignificant; failing to live up to the vision of life I was most expecting. I’ve felt bitter, helpless, and instead of the Meri that embraced positivity, I edged toward the other side of the force…negativity.
Doug builds me up, and then I fall apart. (Just like the song,) And then he builds me up again.
I’ve been focusing on the falling apart, and my failure in it, instead of glorying in the building up.
I’ve always got back up from the setbacks. How come I haven’t been able to see the victory in that?
And even at my worst, I’ve been able to build my husband up. There is strength in that. Why haven’t I recognized it? I recognize it now, and this time as I begin the building process again, I feel the difference in my structural strength. Because this time I’m not letting Doug build me back up alone…this time I’m helping too.
We build better together because we’ve lived long enough to know life is too hard and messy to travel without empathy and love.
I know I am blessed.
I know it.
I’ve realized that I can’t stop the chaos that is around me…but I can step out of it. I can choose not to be caught up in it, and serve as an observer rather than a constituent.
It will be a process to fully embrace this, but now that I know that it’s possible, I will do it.
I’ve stood up.
My dream last night helped me look at all of this from another angle.
I have love. I'm so grateful for it. What else do I really need?
As always: forward.