There used to be this angst that surrounded a lot of what M and I did, and how we did it. It was angst built of words unspoken, expectations which were unrealistic and unfulfilled, feelings unexpressed. It was made of regret and grudgery. Left unresolved, those feelings and issues remained, a pool from which we drew upon, or even added to, when something else popped up. We tried to resolve them, but sometimes we couldn’t always, so we’d agree to move on.
Sometimes, things felt like a competition, as if we each were keeping a running tally of what the other did or didn’t do, and then measuring it against our personal list of our own dids and didn’ts. There was always a winner and a loser. Someone didn’t measure up.
There was a layer of hurt feelings which we were too scared or too immature to tackle. Yet, we never gave up on the tackling, or on one another. We never gave up on us.
Things are much different these days. Unspoken doesn’t happen. There’s no more fear of speaking and expressing, on either end. Expectations are much more realistic. Emotions, all of them, have a safe place in which to live and thrive, and we constantly clarify with one another to understand.
As a result, that angst is gone. It’s been replaced with a genuine understanding of the other person’s intentions, a knowing that we are operating with the other’s best interest at heart, no matter what. We count on it. Believe it.
That’s been absolutely foundational. It gets us through everything, with fewer hurt feelings and less residual negative impact. In fact, it helps us move forward with new skills and information, because we can get to the heart of an issue more quickly and talk it through. We learn from and with one another.
Another amazing result has been that we appreciate so deeply all that the other does to help, both individuals and the family as a whole. We see the intentions, the effort, the impact. It’s not a competition; it’s exactly the opposite. We each know what we bring to the table and want more than anything to use those skills to help one another, and the family. We need to. And we’ve built a structure that allows for those skills to be capitalized upon.
Above all, I need to see him happy. I need to be a part of the reason he is happy. I need to do all I can in order to see that happen. He needs the same thing. Except now, we each truly see and feel that. We appreciate.
As we prepare for his surgery Wednesday, and we each continue to express ourselves so freely about it all, make plans, and talk about the future, I am overwhelmed by the positivity of it all, of the impact this renewal has had in our lives. I’m emotional and afraid and a million other things all at once. So is he. But, the anxiety that used to plague me has diminished so much because of this thing between us. M has expressed his feelings openly like never before. We know we can count on one another.
I’m hopeful, even amidst the fear. So is he.
Today, I’m grateful.