Being Gentle With Yourself (guest post)

I asked Caitlin if she’d write a post for me. I met her at college and have followed her over the past sevenish years. This is her story..in many ways it’s her way of exposing herself. It’s beautiful. It sparked something in me, which I will share later, and left me in happy tears.

——
Be Gentle With Yourself ~Caitlin

“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.”

In the last year of my life I’ve learned a lot. I’ve been divorced, started a new job, found a career, made new friends, got a new roommate, dated, got promoted, moved… the list goes on. Most importantly, I’ve learned to love myself and to keep that peace in my soul.

Christmas of 2008 was not a good one. Christmas day my husband of 3 years decided that our marriage was over and left me to go back to Brazil to be with his family and “sort things out.”

This was devastating. Even though I knew things hadn’t been good it is still a shock to have your person – the one being that you belong to, cherish, love, tell everything to – decide that they don’t love you anymore. At that moment it wasn’t even real. I put on a brave face for my family, pretending that everything was ok. That Murilo was coming home and we’d figure things out. In my heart, even then, I knew. It was over. It was time to end the misery of pretending to be in love, even though I know now that I wasn’t ever pretending though I knew deep down he was.

That night my Grandmother, who had been divorced herself 50 years prior, held my face in her hands with tears in her eyes and told me:

“This too shall pass. Right now you put on that brave face, and fake a smile, all-the-while inside you’re dying. But pretty soon, Caitlin, you realize that it isn’t as tough to fake the smile and get through the day. Then one day you wake up and realize that in fact, you’re not faking it at all. You’re better – whole once again.”

Now, standing on the other side of 1 year and 4 months after that terrible night I can say that she was right. I am whole once again.

This year I have grown more as a woman and as a person that at any other point in my life. With the help of my hippie-therapist I have discovered pieces of me that I didn’t know existed. Hence why I strongly agree that everyone should be in therapy! Dr. K and I spent a good 3 months on Murilo and my feelings about the whole situation, but the majority of the last year and a half have been spent on “unpacking” all the secret compartments inside of myself. Most of them had nothing to do with my ex-husband. He didn’t make things any easier for me, but in fact, I discovered that some pre-existing things inside me could have led me to that relationship in the first place.

With the help of Dr. K, I finally made headway on getting to a comfortable place with myself. I was not the reason that Murilo left. I am a beautiful girl who is worthy of love and happiness and I will find that. You must find that peace inside yourself before you can ever move on and share that with another person. To create a successful partnership, you must first and foremost be autonomously happy. Then and only then, when you are so exuberantly happy that you can’t help but want to share that with someone, will a partnership blossom.

Are there still days that I question myself? Take myself for granted? Have war inside my soul? Yes. Most assuredly. But overall I can truly say that I am at such an amazing, awesome place in my life that I didn’t know could exist. I have a wonderful family, fantastic friends, a career that is slowly but surely turning into my dream job, a roof over my head and food in my fridge.

I also have a new person in my life that instills hope that there are good matches out there for me. He’s pretty great. But even if it only lasts for a short time, I’m ok with that. Because I am enough. I don’t need to worry about finding that person – because when the time is right, he’ll arrive. And until that time comes, I am satisfied with the life I’m living. I am sufficient. Heck, I’m pretty amazing. And I won’t ever let a man or person convince me otherwise again.

13 thoughts on “Being Gentle With Yourself (guest post)

  1. megzzwinsatlife says:

    Beautiful Post!! I wish you the best of luck in your future! It looks like you truly found happiness in yourself 🙂

  2. missyrayn says:

    Awesome post! I agree everyone could benefit from therapy. I went in for a specific issue too and now I still go because it helps me to understand and be kind to me.

  3. Diane Fit to the Finish says:

    Such a fitting post for your site Michelle. Being older than your poster, I can tell you that she is 100% right. It’s so important to be gentle with yourself – especially during times of sadness and tragedy. Giving yourself permission to be who you need to be without any other constraints is so vital.

    • Mish says:

      I think what you say is so important. I know that when I am feeling like shoving food in my mouth I am not dealing with emotions. Many times, we shove our emotions down and try to suppress what we really need to be feeling. Then a negative cycle is just crap and doesn’t lead anywhere good. I like what you said, cause it’s about being gentle and honest and open and ok with what you’re feeling. It’s not easy, but it’s essential.

  4. Denise says:

    I am inspired by this. I am young and have been in 2 long, serious relationships. This second one, I’m hoping, is for keeps. But then I realized that originally, I hoped for that for the wrong reasons. One being that I didn’t want to be alone. I do have more than enough love and a little bit of happiness to share with the boyfriend, but I don’t think I’ve ever been comfortable with just sharing myself. But now that I am slowly finding happiness in myself and discovering how amazing I can be, I feel more happy and connected with my guy. And of course, with my spirit.

  5. Jeni says:

    It’s so great to read blogs like this where people write from the heart… I wish you the best of luck in the future and, from a single girl’s perspective, it’s nice to read people with hope, because some days I feel like I have none!

    • Mish says:

      Jeni, I am glad that you said that. I have always tried to write from the heart. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, but that’s what I really want…to be honest all the time.

  6. Ashley says:

    Thank you for being brave and sharing this story. I think the title means the most to me being that it says “being gentle with yourself.” Much too often we are too hard on ourselves and it’s a great reminder, and to be able to figure out that it’s okay to love yourself and know that you are kick ass.

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