I am in a yoga gratitude challenge this month at my yoga studio. Along with 16 yoga practices this month, we are asked to practice daily gratitude. One suggestion is to write a gratitude A-Z list, for each letter of the alphabet find something you feel real gratitude for.
So I began. A. The first thing I thought of was air. I am so grateful for the air I breath. Then I went on to B. But then it hit me. Affair. I am grateful for the affair. I know I say that a lot. But sometimes in the back of my mind I wonder if I truly mean it or am just saying that to make myself believe it.
So I started tossing it around in my mind. If I am truly grateful for the affair, what does that mean. And is it really possible to be grateful for something that took me down so hard?
Yes, I can honestly say I am grateful that my ex-husband cheated, had the affair, and left me for the affair partner. The affair really did free me to live more authentically. It’s been almost 5 years, and I am daily growing into the woman I was born to be. I have learned, and am still learning so much, to listen to my own intuition, to my own inner voice. I see how so many people in my life, including my ex, and also my mother and brother, always tried to quiet me, to make me go along with what they wanted, with who they wanted me to be. I totally allowed it with my ex. I do see that clearly. It was what I learned from my family. So of course I chose a husband who treated me the same way. It was what I knew. It was my comfort zone. It was what I believed love looked like.
Now I see how ridiculous that is. If I have to love someone by being someone who I am not, how is that love? And if it is for others, it is no longer a love I want or will accept. I now know that clearly. I would rather be by myself than be in a relationship where I had to hide my true self, my fears, my desires, my dreams, my opinions, my feelings. And I don’t know that I would have learned this lesson if it hadn’t been for the affair. And for that, I am truly grateful.