A few weeks after my husband abandoned our marriage, when anger started, I resolved that I did not want to become an angry person. I made a pact with myself that I would not let what was done to me destroy me as the person I was or take over my soul. I determined I would hold onto my beliefs, values and integrity. The last four lines of the poem Invictus by William Henley became my mantra.
“It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul”
In my journey of self-discovery, I have explored what my values and beliefs are and one by one reaffirmed that I will continue to live by them. I feel I have indeed become ‘captain of my soul’. Now it is time for the next step of my journey – to become ‘master of my fate’.
With an underlying spirit of positiveness and its components of hope, optimism and courage; it would seem I am set to move forward. I can now take control of my ship, choose which direction to steer it, start it up – then keep it going. Take control of my ship, my life. What does that mean?
Taking control means not blaming my genetics, my upbringing, my circumstances, society, the global financial crisis – or my divorce – for where I am today. Taking control is being able to say ‘I am here today because I took myself there’. I chose.
This is the next BIG step I need to take, to become pro-active. I need to stop putting the blame for where I am in my life onto the circumstances I was thrown into. This is hard. In my last post I spat out “I am where I am at this moment through no choice of my own” – as an excuse for remaining transfixed and immobilised.
But I do have a choice. I can forever blame my husband’s abandonment of me and the financial crisis it has thrown me in for my fate …… or I can choose to take back control. While it is true the separation was beyond my control, from that point onwards – without even knowing it – I have had choices. All my actions as well as my inactions have been my choice. I have no-one else to blame.
I have always been pro-active, never expecting anyone to do things for me. I have worked hard. I have taken responsibility for my actions. This time it is more difficult. There are so many aspects to consider, so many hurdles to jump over, so much mud in my path. It can be totally overwhelming to move a single step. However, it is still up to me to get going, to keep going. There is no knight in shining armour. There is no fairy godmother. There is no handsome prince. There is just me. It is up to me.
I remember clearly one of the first times I took control of one aspect of my life – that of my health. I was not overweight then but my parents both were and I resolved I would fight genetics and consciously began to control my own diet. I was about twelve at the time. I started by cutting out junk food and gradually moved on to cutting down fats when my father had a heart attack. As I grew older I constructed a complete healthy eating plan.
Since the separation I have steadily put on about six kilograms. I have blamed the stress I have been under for over-eating, the lack of time to exercise, being too bothered to cook proper healthy meals for myself when on my own. Excuses. Excuses.
Yes, the divorce mess is burdensome, my financial situation is overwhelming, and finding a life purpose is daunting.
But I can start at the beginning – with me. The two hands at the end of my arms are within my control. I can choose the foods they put in the shopping trolley. I can choose what and how much they put in my mouth.
This is where I will start again – with me, for me, for my health.