It was a random post that landed in my Facebook feed. It read ‘What I've learned this year: He who angers you...controls you.’ I read it once, twice, and then again and it struck a nerve, the depth of it unexpected.
Recently, I’ve had to interact with my former husband on a too regular basis and those interactions have reawakened feelings of hostility and bitterness that I’ve not felt in a very long time. For days now I’ve been ruminating over the past. I found myself caught in a vicious cycle of being angry about things that I swore I’d gotten over and moved away from. Then being angry about new behavior too much like the old bad behavior. The wealth of it has been upsetting and I've wrestled with how to let it all go and move forward from it.
As I read that Facebook post it was as if the author knew what I was struggling with most. Feeling like the ex-hubby suddenly had control over my life again with all the burden and heartache that control represented for me. And then I had to question why I was feeling this way. Why was I giving a man I despised so much control? A man who routinely abused and mistreated me and didn’t deserve an ounce of my emotion, good or bad. A man who made most of my adult life a living hell.
It’s amazing how easy it was to fall back into bad behavior. How a simple statement or gesture sent me back into defense mode. How swiftly rage rose, full and abundant and all-consuming. Just like that I lost my shimmy. My spirit became heavy and I could no longer hear those things that made my heart sing. As I struggled, trying to figure out how I was in this place again and more importantly, how to get myself out of this place, I remembered something my dear friend, author Cassandra B. Durham had written. The world does not have the ability to give us peace. I suddenly realized that in my struggle to figure it all out and make it better, looking for worldly answers, what I had failed to do was pray my way through it.
I am a firm believer that prayer works miracles. I also know that to get through the storm I know is coming, that I will need plenty of prayer. Because this thing between me and my ex-husband will inevitably have to come to a head. It will have to if we are ever going to be able to move forward in a positive manner. Because of our situation with our youngest grandchild, I can't just dismiss him from my life, vowing never to have anything to do with him again. Unresolved issues will need to be addressed. Lies and misunderstandings will need to be remedied. I know words will be exchanged and feelings may even be hurt. But I also know that it doesn’t have to break either of us, and, it definitely will not break me.
I have some work to do. I realize I need to learn how to let go successfully, and permanently. I am grateful to friends like Cassandra, whose book The Art of Letting Go, will be my go-to tome until I can get it right. And I will pray my way through it until I can once again hear my heart songs. I will pray until I remember how to shimmy.