I mean, sure this image can be applied to all kinds of things, but it seems to be very pertinent to the situation of finding out your spouse is gay.
- When you first find out, however that happens, your mind screams “You a-hole!” …but your heart aches to love them anyway.
- Your mind may tell you logically what you should do, what any sane person would do…but your heart fights back a says: “No! What about [the kids, our money, my career, my church…insert whatever it is here].
- Your heart aches horribly with a pain you have never experienced nor ever expected to in your life…but your mind says, “Get over it. As fast as you can. Like, tomorrow!”
- At some point, both your heart and mind may love your spouse…then the next day, both your heart and mind may hate them. There is never a balance, or so it seems.
- The entire time, you may be walking on a tightrope of fear: afraid people might find out, afraid to lose the only life you’ve ever known, afraid of trying to make it on your own, afraid of what others may think of you, afraid of some narcissistic outburst from your spouse, afraid that you may say or do the wrong thing…or insert any other kind of fear you can think of for that day.
Ugh. The heart and mind. How the hell do we balance them?
You know, even though it has been a decade since I found out about my now ex hubby, I still find myself on that tightrope from time to time. It’s called growth, moving forward, changing, or acceptance.
No kidding…it never ends.
But it does get easier. I think about that person walking in the image above as someone who might dare to learn to walk an actual tightrope across Niagra Falls or the Grand Canyon. It’s not like they took a dare one day and tried it. Nope. They went to a park, tied a strap between two trees and practiced two feet above a soft, grassy area. Eventually, they became more daring. They fell less. They learned the value of not looking down or backward, and they learned to just keep moving. In fact, the movement forward actually helped them to stay on that rope! Sometimes, they had to take a step back to get their balance. But they kept moving.
Just keep moving. That is one of the keys, I think.
Adding a balance apparatus helps, too. Sometimes, one end dips so your body can gain its center again. And then the other side dips. Eventually, you’re able to move forward without falling, and neither side dips.
So, where is your heart today? Is it low? That’s okay. It serves its purpose in balancing and moving forward on this journey.
Where do you know your mind needs to be? Give yourself the patience to let it correct itself and bring that heart back up.
Wait for them both to balance out so you can take another step forward. Heck…perhaps a step backward is needed. Do it, deal with it, wait ’til everything is all centered, then move forward again.
The key is to just keep moving.
Side to side, backward, forward. It’s all movement, right? All of it plays a part in getting to the other side.
But…but…what if you fall?
So what? I mean, it’s not like you fell into Niagra Falls or a dusty canyon 500 feet and died.
You fell into a grassy knoll. At worst, you only fell a few feet. Maybe you’re bruised, scratched or you twisted an ankle. You gather yourself, heal a little if you need to, then you hop right back up there. Because you need to just keep moving.
I got knocked off of life’s tightrope just the other day…a decade after thinking I had finally healed. I fell, hard. I am taking stock of my balancing apparatus right now. Both my heart and mind are a little bruised. I am letting them heal by making logical and emotional lists of what to do when I get back up on that tightrope. I am getting ready to hop back on it, though.
I can do it. I know I can. All of the practice I have put in this last decade will pay off. And in the end, when I get to the other side, I am going to feel so damned accomplished.
I’ve got my heart and mind to help me balance. I’ve got my will and I know myself. I know I can do it.
The key is to just keep moving.
Loving the Backward, the Side-to-Side, the Forward, and Even the Falling,