So much of it comes down to courage, doesn’t it?
The text from my ex husband read, “I’m sorry to be such a coward leaving you this way.”
That sentence contained the only truth he uttered.
He was a coward, choosing to hide his actions behind lies and then disappear without a conversation.
He was a coward, letting his fears keep him from asking for help or revealing his thoughts.
He was a coward.
But you know what?
So was I.
I never lied.
I never hid my actions.
But I still listened to fear and let it wrap me in its binds.
I was afraid of confrontation. In fact, one of the aspects of my first marriage that I enjoyed is that we rarely ever had confrontation. No wonder. He would lie and I would avoid.
I preferred to avoid anything ugly rather than face it head on. This made me all-too-willing to believe what he told me (Although, in my defense, nobody else knew he was lying either. He was damn good.).
I was so afraid of losing him that I was too cowardly to even consider it becoming a reality.
As though by not looking under the bed, the monster didn’t exist.
Perhaps the greatest gift I received from the end of the marriage was the gift of courage. It wasn’t unlike the journey the lion took to the great wizard of Oz. The cowardly one learned the wizard was an illusion but that courage could be built from within (with a little help from a liquid placebo). And that simply by tackling the journey (with the help of a few friends, of course), he found the bravery he always had and learned that it was characterized by action even in the face of fear.
Courage doesn’t mean you don’t hear fear. It means you don’t listen to everything it was to say.
Courage doesn’t mean that you’re immune to fear. It means it doesn’t paralyze you.
Courage doesn’t mean that you never doubt. It means that you trust yourself enough to make it through.
There were obviously many characteristics I considered critical in a second husband.
But one of the most important qualities I looked for was courage.
I needed to know that he would face any potential problems rather than hide.
I needed to know that he would speak the truth even if it was difficult.
And I needed to know that I could do the same.
So much comes down to courage.
The courage to see the truth.
The courage to speak the truth.
The courage to trust the truth.
The courage to face the truth.
And to know that it will be okay.
Even if you’re scared.