(I need to catch up)
Last night, I was stunned as I encountered a horrible memory. I am used to dealing with my childhood traumatic memories. This one was different.
“I am not attracted to you anymore; I do not love you.”
Those words came a couple of years after giving birth to my son (now 21). I went from 127 lbs to 140 post-pregnancy, and I couldn’t get it off. I returned to work three weeks after giving birth, worked full time, managed my home and three other children ages 5-8, and was the sole parent in charge of school, doctor visits, church activities, cooking, and cleaning.
Heartbroken, our marriage involved a separation and almost divorce. Back then, what others thought of me dictated how I thought of myself. My identity was built from opinions and approvals of others.
My sadness in this memory is also my reminder of the journey to who I am today. It is embarrassing and hurt. I moved forward. I couldn’t change his feelings, but I could change my own.
I didn’t run and lose weight. I ran to Jesus. In Christ, I learned who I was. I received His love. That love doesn’t care about weight or appearance; it cares about my soul. That love taught me to love myself. But the lessons didn’t end there.
I was busy being mom, and never recognized the distance growing between my husband and myself. This is a common problem for mothers. My husband needed me to be a wife, not just a mother to his children. I failed the whole balance thing. The greatest lesson was keeping God above all else, including my marriage. The more I pressed into my relationship with God, our relationship blossomed into something blessed.
My husband learned some lessons of his own along the way.
Our marriage survived.
While the sting of that memory is relevant and still hits my gut, it is a reminder of the Lisa I was then, not the Lisa I am now. We have to be willing to confront the old experiences to see how we’ve evolved and gained wisdom to shape who we are today.
When a problematic memory emerges, and you react with emotion, what do you do to move on from it?