The Future Is Not Now

Years ago, when I got out of a relationship that was killing me, my future was pretty grim. I was broken. The ‘me’ I thought I was had devolved into the puppet of his command. I had no voice. No sense of ‘I’. No future worth living for.

I had two choices. Stay traumatized. Heal.

Going through that relationship was hard. It almost killed me. Getting out of it, I had PTSD. I had no money. No job. No home. No belongings. Nothing.

What I did have was a miracle. He had been arrested and I knew deep within me, that was the miracle that saved my life.

I could not waste my miracle. I had to choose to heal. How was up to me.

Armed with my miracle and the belief I didn’t get it to live in pain and sorrow, I had to decide to heal. Me. Broken relationships. My life.

My number one priority was to heal my relationship with my daughters. By the time of his arrest, we were estranged. I wanted to be part of their lives again. To feel and share the love that had flowed so strongly between us, before I got lost in an abusive relationship.

To heal that relationship, I had to heal myself first.

To heal myself, I had to choose to let go of the things that did not serve me on my healing journey. Bitterness. Regret. Resentment. Hatred. Anger. Fear. None of them moved me closer to healing. Giving into regrets and bitterness only made me feel worse.

There were so many questions for which I had no answers. How could he have done the things he’d done. How could I have been so blind? So selfish? How could I do the things I did to cause my daughters so much pain?

I had to choose to let those questions and all the heavy, life-sucking emotions that went with them, go. Those questions could not be answered from a place of weakness. I had to grow strong enough to face them without losing myself in their seductive, self-annihilating web of pain.

I could not go searching for answers in the past if I was to build a bridge to a future where I could be myself in all my darkness and light, beauty and the beast, warts and wounds, wonder and wisdom.

The past was too painful a place to tread without the light of love to guide me and the future could not be conceived without Love being my constant companion in the now.

The only place I could find myself was in the now. And, the only thing that could sustain me in the now was Love.

So I chose Love.

Every moment of every day.

No matter how broken and helpless I felt, no matter how lost and afraid, confused or tentative. Whatever I did, I had to do it in Love – with me, myself and I. All of me. The broken down, beat up, worthless feeling me. The shattered me who included the mother who deserted her daughters in the final throes of that relationship because the only way she could conceive of getting him out of their lives was to give up her right to live free of his abuse.

May 21st is approaching. It has been many years since that day in 2003 when a blue and white police car drove up and gave me the miracle of my life.

Time has deepened and enriched my gratitude.

I am grateful for my family and friends who loved me through it all.

Grateful for my daughters whose love, even in their pain and anger, never deserted me.

Grateful for the beauty and joy and Love in my life today. For the wonder and awe I experience with every breath.

And I am grateful I chose to heal In Love.

My life today is a beautiful tapestry of light and love, beauty and shadows that shimmer in the dark corners of my life as well as the wide-open expanses of possibilities unravelling with each new dawn. It is woven through with threads of fierce courage, gratitude and grace, joy and soul defining oases of calm.

It is my life lived In Love.

I still have down days and dark moments. I still experience cloudy skies and murky waters. This is life. Beautiful. Complex. Complicated. Messy.

But, no matter the times or the weather, one thing never fades. The Love that instills this moment right now with such beauty it takes my breath away.

Living now doesn’t mean giving up on the future. It means choosing to fill this moment, right now, with so much Love, the future becomes all that is now.

Namaste

26 thoughts on “The Future Is Not Now”

  1. LG
    Congrats on a better version of this story we’ve read many times before – it seems you are deeper in it, and your transformation more compelling, than ever …

    MK
    p.s. your ongoing struggle with creating titles … well, that’s another matter for another day …

    Like

    1. LOL — you made me laugh with the ‘title’ comment — so true! It has always been my Achilles heel! LOL — I’ve decided to love myself through my inability to coin good titles. 🙂

      Like

  2. One powerful message! I know that part of your healing process is to talk openly about your unfortunate experience. I just wish that more women who were or are in similar circumstances would have the courage to “get out”. You were saved by a “blue & white”, others have support networks that can be part of the rescue. However, you bluntly spell out that one needs to make the decision to want to move forward and heal. That is one very ginormous step that some just cannot take, just yet. Congratulations, this is one very important anniversary. A toast to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Iwona. Your words are powerful, your friendship a gift. Yesterday U and A came over for a socially distanced visit. It was delightful to spend time by the river, laughing and telling stories. We don’t talk about those days anymore but the love they gave me through it all, and in its aftermath never fades. Hugs my friend. ❤

      Like

  3. Dearest Louise,
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece. It is a testament to your inner strength that your story turned into one of love and beauty. Not all have that power. It is always better to choose love.
    Dale

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was really, really blessed to be able to choose Love Dale. I remember the moment so well. It was the morning after his arrest and I was writing in my journal (something I hadn’t done for a very long time – writing is about truth for me and he was The Lie and so, I could not face the page). At the time, I wrote… “Now for the hard part.” And I stopped and took a breath and wrote next… “Who says this has to be the hard part? I have to heal but I can do it in Love instead of anger.”

      the decision was made and I carried it with me throughout those very dark and tumultuous first days and months of freedom in the into the years since. Such a gift is Love.

      Hugs to you

      Like

      1. Yes, you were. And isn’t that funny that you were not able to write – because you could have written your truth which could have helped you in that dark time – but maybe you knew, deep in your soul, that you didn’t want that recorded at that time.
        And yes, ‘Who says this has to be the hard part?’ I, for one, am terribly glad for you that you chose love instead of anger. Anger causes festering, which causes disease. Nobody needs that!.

        Hugs right back to you!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I love how you wrote, “Others feel like we are dragging an extra 100 pounds of weight”

      You made me smile — I remember saying at the time of his arrest, “I feel like I’ve just lost 180 lbs.” 🙂

      Thank you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Louise,

    I appreciate that you shared your story and with it the possibility that love can heal, that we can move forward and not be stuck in our past. It is a story I relate to and there are many women who can.
    Learning to forgive, was and is a part of my journey. I am wondering what part it might of had in yours? You have chosen to shine your light and to keep it bright. That is evident in your writing.
    Thank you for being who you are in the world.

    “Grow wild. Live strong. Love always.” – I really like this. A mantra I am going to borrow for this week.

    With gratitude,
    Ali

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you asked that Ali! 🙂 (I love that phrase)

      It’s true. Forgiveness is/was vital. Forgiveness is the gateway to gratitude and grace.

      For me, forgiving him was the only way I could not think about him. I didn’t name ‘the acts’. I simply forgave, and then prayed for him a miracle. Forgiveness gave me the space to let go of thinking about him, even when, actually especially when, I felt the anger corroding my hard-won peace of mind with thoughts of him and all he’d done. I simply repeated to myself, I forgive him.

      The harder forgiveness was for myself — I wanted to hold myself fin contempt, in prison forever because I hurt my daughters so grievously. And at the same time, I wanted to earn their forgiveness. What I realized was, if I couldn’t forgive myself, then I was actually telling myself I wasn’t worthy of forgiveness — which meant, my daughters’ forgiveness would never be accepted — I realized what a vicious circle unforgiveness created and chose to forgive myself – it was an every single day, minute by minute practice of choosing Love over fear.

      In those moments where I felt tied up in knots, where my pain and anger, sorrow and grief washed over me like a tsunami pounding the shore, I’d ask myself, “What would Love do?” The answer was always, “Forgive.”

      On the side bar of my blog there’s a TEDx talk I gave several years ago in which I talk about how forgiveness and Love and giving back are the cornerstones of my healing journey. Forgiveness is kind of the capstone — it keeps all the other pieces living in harmony and flowing freely. (which is kind of a mixed up metaphor but somehow it’s making sense to me. 🙂 )

      I do find it easier to forgive others than myself. What about you?

      And thank you! I’m glad that mantra resonates with you too! We are using it together which is very powerful!

      Hugs Ali.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am not surprised by what you have shared here. I relate to it greatly. Forgiving myself has always been and continues to be harder for me than forgiving others. And the question, “What would love do?” Is one I ask myself as well. Love is always our way forward. It is my guide to grow bravely beyond where I am today.I’m grateful that we have been able to meet and connect across the miles. Keep on writing my friend. Sending love your way.

        Liked by 1 person

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