My Writing

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Getting out of my own head



Every morning, I do a bit of reading and journaling. Some soul-searching, if you will...and self-education. Though I know I could do a better job of implementing what I learn (rather than just contemplating it and knowing I should do it), right now, I feel much like the caterpillar in the cocoon...so just on the edge of becoming, "so hinderingly dangling" (to quote a favorite Taylor Mali poem).

"My husband likely sees my "steeping" and "marinating" as stalling or "doing what I always do" (which is promising to change and then not changing)...and this is surely something I'll need to discuss at our Sunday "marriage council" (our weekly "state of the union", if you will). Based on past evidence, he'd have every right to assume I'm not ever going to come out of that damn chrysalis. Why? Because I have a tendency to live in a constant state of "I'll get there..." or "I can't implement this until I'm sure I have every possibility thought out...". I don't just jump in with both feet and get involved. I plan and plan and plan. And then I plan some more. Never getting to the doing part of the plan.

Since January, I've been slowly working my way through the lessons in Julie N. Gordon's Wife School. They are emailed to me every week. I read the accompanying chapter in her book, take notes, consider how they apply (or don't) to my own life and marriage, and then I read and respond to the lessons and assignments that she sends me.

I've filled nearly an entire spiral notebook with my thoughts, and I've changed my behavior because of it to some degree. But, more than anything, I'm changing and shaping my mind and soul. I'm shifting my perceptions...slowly. I know if I move too quickly, it won't stick. It won't become my truth. And to create or shift my life-view, I must truly believe in my decisions and choices...so they become part of my very being...habitual...natural.

Parts of submission are already very natural to me. And I know that I can no more deny those tendencies than I can force myself to fit them in a particular box to meet the needs of an already constructed label. But, as an introverted academic who grew up as an only child and into a writer and poet, I can say, I spend far too much time thinking about it, and not nearly enough time doing anything about it.

Getting out of my own head is hard.

I've always been one of those people who aren't willing to do things unless I understand WHY I'm doing them. This is why math was always so hard for me. And why organized religion is a sore spot. And why submission didn't work the first few times my husband and I tried it. See, there you go...submission was an IT...an IT to be done...an IT to be tried. We didn't just let it be what IT already was...because submission is just part of who we are as a couple. I naturally take the role...while he naturally takes the lead.

However, like most humans, we have had a need to define it and categorize it. Why? Well, because we humans like to understand things. We like to know why we are doing things. And we like to know we are reading the same story...following the same instruction manual.

For a man and wife to really work together, there has to be a plan. We are joining together to create a union that is for a purpose. What is that purpose? For all of us, it's different. It is the job of the couple to decide.

These next few weeks, I'm taking a break from my lessons. I'm taking a break from focused analysis and introspection. It's time to DO something with what I've learned. It's time to share.

I've been sitting here in my office four hours over the past months, contemplating my marriage and what it means to me...considering my husband's deepest soul needs...MY deepest soul needs...what an amazing marriage for US would look like, defining my idea of an ideal relationship. And after receding from the edge of the divorce cliff, I've been contemplating the compromises that MUST be made for US to work.

I had to begin with the questions "What matters most?" and "What am I willing to do to obtain or keep that?" I suppose that's the basis of compromise, yes?

What matters most is my marriage and family. What am I willing to do? It's easy (and untrue) to say anything. But, I could honestly say almost anything.

I had to follow those questions up with these: "What does my husband need most (from me)?" and "What do I need most (from my husband)?

Those lists were what drew me back to where I am now. Because my submission is the basis of many of both of our needs. It's the central nervous system of a this complicated being called "husband and wife."

And that's where I find myself today...reviving it.


1 comment:

  1. Brigit,
    I know I'm probably older than you are, so when I looked at Wife School, it did not appeal. I am in no way saying that it couldn't appeal to others just not to me. Though we work through many sexual issues/ideas as mostly D/s, I am a professional person in my own right, and my husband and I treat each other as equals in all other aspects of our lives. I wouldn't ever say submission came to me naturally. But I am all for learning about how others navigate their dynamic.

    Was your entry into WS something you both decided upon, a task by your husband, or was it something that someone suggested to you? How do you feel about these classes and where they might've lead your relationship?

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