"Money doesn't buy happiness, money buys choices. It's your choices that make you happy."
I have never forgotten those words, they gave me the strength to find my own happiness. In the process, I left an unhappy marriage, and a high-control, borderline cult of a religion. Sadly, my blood family chose to stay behind. While this has caused me much pain, it doesn't really affect my overall happiness with my life. I have an awesome husband, two beautiful children, a sister (something I didn't have before), and true friendships with people who value who I am.
It's no secret that I've been in therapy since my oldest brother uninvited me to his wedding. The pain and trauma of leaving the religion of my birth still had to be dealt with; it had been buried for years.
I'm toward the end of my therapy now, even though I don't think I will ever give it up completely. I can't say it changed my life, but it has helped me deal with the curves life throws at me with a lot more composure, and helped me to sort out my past and to accept that people/family can't/won't be what I need them to be.
Over a year ago my therapist, Dawna, read to me something she had written, and I liked it so much I begged her to let me post it. She's finally to the point of sharing it (hopefully it will be published soon), and I have it here for you now.
The insult she held against herself was deeply made and liberally felt every moment. She had allowed herself to be made over by someone else.
She did not expect him to provide her with clay. Instead, she simply pulled away from herself areas of unhardened clay lying just under her skin. Freely, she passed over parts of herself to be molded by the man she chose to trust, not because he was trustworthy but because she didn’t trust herself. “He must know better,” she told herself. “He must know how to make something more of me.”
He took her clay because he recognized its quality and potential. He thought he could use it to re-make parts of himself, but, her clay wouldn’t stick to him. It wasn’t made for him.
Her soul clay hardened too fast on his frame. It became brittle and fell off his skin. Every bit of her he took became useless to him and to her.
What price did she pay for her submission? What price is worth selling pieces of your soul? “Love is!” she cried. There is no love in her story. She didn’t love herself enough to trust she would fashion her soul into something meaningful. She didn’t have the patience to remain unchanged until some beautiful moment transformed what was still soft inside of her.
The counterfeit for love that she readily exchanged herself for was security; a modern version of selling one’s soul to the devil. She sold her soul, or at least pieces of it, for nothing. He was only her perception of security, her projection of protection. He didn’t even protect her from herself.
He had hardened long before he met her, only looking for someone still naive enough to open up her soft soul to share. She thought of it as sharing, at first. He only needed a little of her soul clay, a little each day. Since she didn’t know what to do with what she had, giving it to him was easy.
Later she saw the results of his theft. Hardened, broken and useless shards of her soul clay lay in heaps on his workshop floor. Every part of her he had taken remained unusable to him, ruined. She had become emaciated, not resembling even the simple unfinished self she had been when they first met.
She confronted the man, demanded what was hers! “Sweep it up,” he mocked and left. Tenderly, she swept her scattered soul clay into a pile along with bottle caps, toe nail clippings, and some broken glass.
She worried about how she would ever get herself back together and separate from this mess. As she worked, she noticed her skill at recognizing the missing parts of herself. Delighted, she began to see what she wasn’t (and was) for the first time as she separated the trash from her soul clay.
When she cried over her loss, she decided to make every tear count. She poured them over the pile of old, hardened clay, softening the deformed shards. Then she massaged the newly wet, old soul, clay back into herself. Understanding, as she reformed her shape, she can love what she creates and trust her own hands. - Dawna Grigsby, 2008
Own your choices, and you can be happy.