I worry sometimes that I inflate things. That I make mountains out of molehills or spend too much time analyzing heart stuff with my head – and the truth is, not all heart matters can be contained (well actually restrained) by words…but this is just me, experiencing this world though my emotions first then perfecting the art of over analysis when my heart and my head seem out of whack (sigh).
When we couldn’t get naturally pregnant again after our first ectopic pregnancy, the non-option seemed to open a world of limitless options. The abundance of choice was actually quite paralyzing. Had we gotten pregnant, a part of me would have naturally defaulted into the acceptance of that purpose for my life – I would have believed that despite my own inadequacies and doubts, I would have trusted that I was “meant to be” a mother. But when the choice suddenly became mine to make; adoption, fertility, egg donor, DINKS (double income no kids)…it forced me to have to face all of the things I hate looking at in myself to really examine; what do I truly want? How do I truly feel about these things? What should I choose? Oh goodness, this was really like opening Pandora’s box because the questions seemed to breed more questions – much more complicated questions, like, what am I meant to do with my life? What’s my purpose?…The over achiever in me probably stepped up to bat first, not wanting to make the “wrong” decision….oh but what comes first when one approaches the magnitude of these matters? Head or heart? And geez, the prrressssssuuurree of needing to decide in the appropriate, conventional window of practicality and reality that I only have so much control over…and so brews the perfect storm.
I didn’t realize when these questions started to bubble, how “me” focused I was approaching them – but come on, that felt natural, because yes, it was my body at stake, my future to consider…all I kept asking myself is, “what do I really feel about these things” – constantly trying to pinpoint how these different things would affect me. So this head vs heart grappling turned into days, which turned into weeks, which have turned into months (to really no avail or resolution) but almost a year post efforts, it dawns on me (seriously out of the blue) how unintentionally “me centered” I’ve become.
There is almost a seductive illusion or veil to selfishness because it can innocently start off as so-called self care, self awareness or soul searching but when not managed properly or transparently, can become a hole that’s hard to dig out of. In a perfect world as a perfect human being I would be able to manage and handle the weight of such enormous pressure and questions functionally and I wouldn’t need to worry about the potential of me instead responding by shutting down, shutting out or choosing dysfunctional escape. But let’s be real. Of course I’m not perfect and we all have our own defaults and dysfunctional ways of being (which for me can look like constant impatience, anger, fear…well to just name a few…).
What seemingly started off as innocent “me” questions, inadvertently shifted and snowballed my sight line off of my marriage, my parents, my community – really anyone outside of me – and sure enough, I’ve become the centre of my own world. It’s funny because the place from where our thoughts and feelings come from, totally impacts our actions, and the choices we make. I was so wrapped up in all of my “me” questions, that I stopped asking the “we” questions; like what is best for us, what is best for Jason…and this “me’ness” infects everything…I stopped really looking at my parents needs, the needs of those around us…. And yes, I won’t argue that it’s difficult to care for others when we haven’t really cared for ourselves first. I would definitely agree that there are probably seasons of needing to be selfish, but God forbid we set up camp, overstay these times or develop roots that eventually become too hard to pull.
This has been tough for us. When the questions would become too ominous and too expansive to pick apart, I would table them in my own head and heart without sharing these weights even with Jason. Tabling them without sharing them has been causing some breakdown between us. But it’s hard sometimes, to navigate such divergent paths or streamline our different dreams, goals or desires in life; especially when we both have such vested interest in what either of us might choose – but I guess, that’s what marriage is – the commitment to at least try. So living in my head while trying to figure out my heart, has been my own fallacy; because it’s not just about me, and this selfishness is luxury I don’t believe a healthy marriage or real friendships can afford.
As tough as it is, I appreciate these breakdowns because they always seem to provide moments of change or growth. Jason and I have had many breakdowns that have allowed us to figure things out together. I’m not sure why I didn’t opt for this “together” approach from the get go, but am glad to be able to redeem that now. Thank God too for the friends who have very patiently been nudging me out of this selfishness, probably without them really knowing that’s what they were doing – the friends who check in, who ask without judgment, who listen without advice or the ones that invited us into their communities and lives when we’ve really needed these connections and support.
Struggling with heart/head issues is obviously a part of life, I guess the reprieve comes from who we let walk down those paths with us; or who God puts in our lives to hold our hands down them. <3