The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A chance to practice, or how recovery can seep into other areas of life

Mark Twain once described a man who died and met St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. He said, “I have been interested in military history for many years, who was the greatest general of all time?”

Saint Peter responded, “Oh that’s a simple question. It’s that man right over there.”

“You must be mistaken,” responded the man, now very perplexed. “I knew that man on earth, and he was just a common laborer.”

“That’s right my friend,” assured Saint Peter. “He would have been the greatest general of all time, if he had been a general.”

This story illustrates a truth that is, unfortunately, all too common. Far too many people spend a lifetime headed in the wrong direction. They go not only from the cradle to the cubicle, but then to the casket, without uncovering their greatest talents and potential." - (T.Rath, Strength Finder 2.0 (Gallup Press, 2007) 29.)

I had a long talk today with a colleague about my professional future. As in many areas of my life, I'm learning that I find it incredibly hard to value myself. I don't naturally or easily give value to anything I bring to the table. Which makes committing to consulting full-time very frightening. (Sadly, I can take on creating my professional "story" much more easily as a task or assignment from my colleague than I can as a simple, honest self-assessment of my skills, talents and abilities.) Not that I don't want to have a career as a consultant, but I'm afraid that I'm somehow unqualified and unworthy of the rate I ask for my services, and that people will discover this.

But, because of the growth I've had this past year, I recognize that fear now as something to lean toward. Part of the reason I know I need to take this on is because it makes me nervous and uncomfortable.

So I'm raising a bowl of Ben & Jerry's to my Year of Self Definition, and committing to doing everything I can to succeed at this in spite of all the self-doubt that's plaguing me right now.

If it weren't for what I've learned about myself in therapy, and the reading I've done, and the spiritual growth I've had, I think I'd miss this opportunity.

This is my chance to practice acknowledging and accepting myself, all that I am. It's my chance to focus on my strengths instead of feeling guilty and unworthy because of my weaknesses; to take joy in what is there, rather than to suffer over what I perceive as missing. It's my chance to let myself be enough, even though I'm not everything...even though I'm not perfect.

I'm scared, but it's my Year of Self Definition, right? And I've learned that I can lean into the fear and be okay.


Bits of Bliss said...

I've taken so much wonderful inspiration from your blog over the months. I recently began my own and am writing to share it with you. It's called Bits of Bliss. You can view it at I am hoping it will provide others on the healing journey with bits of inspiration and joy.

Bahiyyih Maroon

woman.anonymous7 said...

Thank you for sharing your blog with me, Bahiyyih. It looks wonderful! I look forward to visiting regularly.

And thank you for visiting me. I'm so glad to hear that you've taken something from what I've shared. That is exactly why I started writing.