I may have been super tempted to post the song from ‘Frozen’…but I figured I didn’t want my readers’ ears to bleed from hearing the over played song 🙂 also, my thoughts behind this phrase is a bit different than the situation that the character from ‘Frozen’, Elsa, was facing. It is in a way, about freedom but the confines are in my head and in my head alone. My head, my heart, my conscious and subconscious are held captive by self-imposed constructions within. As much as the confines are held up by me and me alone, it is also up to me to decide and to take action to tear these confines down. Context? Sure 🙂
Yesterday, I ran in the last race for the fall Frank Mac series here in Edmonton. It’s a series of trail runs that span from a 5-8ish km distance. Although I registered (very last minute decision) for the whole series, I was only able to make the first and final race, both of which started/finished in Hawlerak park. I was very apprehensive of running both races: I wasn’t and am not in the best running shape and these races are fast. Don’t let the relatively short distances fool you; there may be a lot of attention and admiration for the longer distances but short distances are a whole other beast. You go all out. Pace? Pft. Yes okay, a bit but more on pftttt side of things. You lay it all out. The people who participate in these races can be people just looking for a good time but there are also many elite runners and triathletes that come to play and compete too. I also knew that M would be there and with the girl I suspected was his new girlfriend. As mentioned before, my girl crazy comes out in being competitive for better or for worse. I refuse to have a really good look at this girl because I didn’t really want to know what she looked like or who she was. She was a painful reminder that whatever was between M and I was a thing of the past and had no bearing or relevance for the present or future. For my first race, I had the best time I’ve ever had; I had hoped to get under 5:00/km and got 4:53/km. I know, those numbers look really small lol and the difference seems incredible insubstantial but seconds count and add up to something a bit bigger. This race, well I wasn’t sure about it all still but again, didn’t really have time to mull over it because the race started, my legs started going and I crossed the start line and activated my timing chip; no turning back now. Funny thing is, M’s new gf and I were pretty much on pace with each other the entire time, especially for the last couple of kms. We took turns pacing each other and really pushed each other at the end. I barely eeked it out for a few seconds ahead but it turns out her time was a bit faster than mine when I looked online. It was at that moment where I couldn’t put her in a negative space because she seemed like a lovely human being and I enjoyed running with her and that push was awesome for both of us I think. I don’t know if she knew who I was but to be honest, it doesn’t matter who I was in M’s former life because that’s what it was: former, the past and no longer relevant to the present reality.
As I sat down at home after the race to get some nerding done but cracked open my prayer journal first. I realized that in my crazy, far farrrr crazy side of things where I thought that if I was patient, played harder, ran faster but really just waited, that M would return to me. Yes, I know, sounds crazy and it is a bit. It’s not so crazy because it’s far more along the lines of wishful thinking but because it’s so selfish. I realized that by desiring this outcome, he would have to endure at least one more break up and heart break to return to me. We spoke briefly earlier this fall before deciding that we couldn’t do that yet but from what I gather, he’s quite happy and I’m sure this lovely girl has something to do with that. This means that indeed a break up from his current relationship would hurt him significantly. If I truly cared about him as I claim to, how could I wish this upon him? The truth is, I cannot.
I have a ‘serenity prayer’ plaque that I think my mum/someone gave me for my baptism a few years ago that says: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage the change the things I can change and the wisdom to know the difference”. For those who know me, I am someone who goes all out when I’ve decided to commit to something but the downside to that is I don’t let go very easily. For a long time, it seems to me that I have placed the fate of M in my life in the category of things I can change when in reality, it is in the category of things I cannot change. The end of our relationship was not the result of infidelity, miscommunication, love that turned to loathing or character flaws that the other could not endure. It was because he had decided that there was no chance of God playing a role of in his life…ever and a by-product of that decision was the end of our relationship. Like anyone else’s choice to believe or not believe, it is a personal decision, one that cannot be decided upon by any external sources. External sources have the ability to influence but are not the decision-makers (thinking of my NGO class and government in these respective roles lol). I think a part of me has been wrongfully bearing the responsibility for this end thinking that hey, maybe if I tried harder, maybe if this or that, things wouldn’t have drawn to the painful close that it did. The thing about choice is that it carries the weight of responsibility when you do chose and in this case, this choice and ultimately, the responsibility, was M’s. I’m not trying to ‘blame’; there is no blame here. The results were a consequence of choices.
So truly, I should relieve myself of the burden I have been carrying and shed the mentality that has had such an impact on my present when it belongs in the past. I had let a false interpretation of past events have a foothold and negative impact into my present and subsequently into my future. Although I now know this, the next move is to actually accept it and by accepting it, it means that I must take action and move forward but in a constructive manner and one rooted in reality of what can be achieved and in what time frame. No, I’m not suddenly break free of my mental/metaphorical shackles (good image there eh? ;)). I have learnt quite a few things through this relationship and the aftermath of it all. The fact that I could actually be part of a relationship that was relatively functional and with someone that I just clicked with was something new and showed me that hey, it is possible despite my family’s past and personal reservations about relationships, love and commitment. It also showed me that as much as I loved M, I still loved God more. That even though I had honestly, one of the most compatible and loving men as my significant other, he couldn’t trump God. And that when it came down to it, God won out even though the cost was so high. I really thought that I had dropped the ball and failed Him (as in God) when I wasn’t the one who called it off. I thought that perhaps my faith wasn’t strong enough or I as a person, wasn’t strong enough. That when my bestie emailed me and told me she was proud of me for sticking to my guns, I thought it wasn’t warranted because I felt like I hadn’t. But it seems that I had actually taken action without realizing it and that the action M took was in response to this subconscious action I had taken: to value God first and to never let Him go, no matter how much I would have to give up. Because my fellow Christians and for those who prescribe to a certain belief, there will be a time when you are tested and when you question whether or not your beliefs are worth keeping in light of gaining something else. That in theory, yes your beliefs are greater but in practice, it can be very difficult to apply. That believing in God comes with a price and cost of its own and we are asked to pay it because the sacrifice that Jesus made was much greater and our gain through Him is also much greater. And it’s okay if we don’t realize it right away, agree with it right away or accept it or take action in response right away. It’s okay to have mixed feelings about these sort of situations or any situation for that matter. We’re human. We are dynamic. It’s a process; it really is. Don’t let anyone tell you what pace you need to be going at or where you should be at xyz. No, that’s completely up to you and up for debate with only one other person: God. So big hugs! my friend and here’s to hoping 🙂