What is it I need to bring to this confessional today?
Is it that I am feeling growing feelings of love for someone who is not my husband? That I feel like I have to acknowledge these feelings, hold them up in the light, express them, make mistakes, have victories, be cared for, and feel every feeling that arises in order to come out on the other side of this journey I've been on for so long.
Is it that I feel scared that I'm fooling myself and that my addict has taken over and is trying to ruin an incredible friendship that has carried me through this past year, probably the roughest year yet in my self-discovery?
Is it that I feel utterly ashamed that I am 40 years old and I haven't a clue what healthy boundaries are within the confines of an adult relationship? Or is it that the shame that I'm really feeling is that I crossed those boundaries and feel like a dirty, filthy, nasty, bad person who has degraded herself because she doesn't know another way to express herself?
Maybe it is that I am grateful to be feeling all of these feelings -- elation, intimacy, shame, guilt, pain, fear, confusion -- all feelings I know I have to feel in order to survive and stop living in darkness. And I'm thankful to have someone in my life, for the first time ever, who is strong enough in himself to let me feel without taking those feelings away.
Maybe it is that I have the urge to act out with some semi-anonymous partner to make all the bad feelings, maybe even some of the good ones, go away, because I'm not sure what to do with them. Yet, still thankful that I have the presence of mind to know that acting out will only delay my opportunity to take those last steps out into the glaring light that is a true and authentic life. I know that acting out is not the answer ... and I know I have the choice to cut myself from all of these miraculous things that are going on in my life or to walk through the fire, no matter what the uncertainty.
Maybe it is that I'm feeling guilty that all of this is about me, when there's another person who is also struggling to understand his own feelings, also unsure of what to do with these feelings of closeness we have found in our friendship, insecure in his own ways, facing his own demons. Maybe even guilty that I'm not strong enough to let him feel his feelings without wanting to make everything OK. Maybe even deeper is a feeling that loving me is a dangerous and degrading way to live.
Maybe I just needed a place where I could be quiet for a while. My place. This place. A place to think with greater clarity, so that I could lift up my head and walk out into the light and face the world today knowing that I am OK.
Thanks for listening.
5 months ago