Upon rising from my daily routine of prayer, meditation, and letting the screeching cat through my closed bedroom door, I was hit by a lightening bolt of insight. I have been living my life with the beauty, humility, and grace of a woman any man would be lucky to be coupled with but loving as if I only deserved to be a mistress. Taking the miniscule bits of affection I could get, swallowing every compliment, kiss, phone call, and text message as an unholy communion. Ignoring grave inadequacies of the relationship for fear I would lose the scraps I was getting, even when I was married. I have been living like a wife, but loving like a mistress.
First off let me say that I don’t view marriage as the ultimate yard stick by which one can measure the degree of soundness of a romantic relationship. See: The Real Housewives of (insert city here). I do believe in marriage as a symbol of commitment to a life with someone else based in non-material reciprocity. Marriage, for me, stripped of all it’s culturally conceived glitz is simply saying ‘I do’ vow to go through all of life’s bullshit with you. To try not to hate you when you get on my damn nerves, and to while doing all this, love you for exactly who you are, as is. A simple but tall order. One that I have at one end or the other struggled with for most of my life.
I have given an over abundance of myself to people who either couldn’t or wouldn’t reciprocate. I have given with self centered expectation and been hurt when I didn’t receive the expected results. The relationship ground on which I walk on is pretty shaky but better than it used to be because I am now aware. Once I became aware, I couldn’t not become unaware which makes it that much harder to practice the behaviors I used to.
Love in abundance is coming. I don’t have to fight for it. Scrap, beg or borrow. I just have to be patient and honor the lessons I’ve already learned.