Dear Life that should have been,
You don't and never did exist.
I am not sure where you began or how you came into my life, but now that you are gone, I feel compelled to write how I really feel about you.
Why did you do it? What was your point?
Because I believed you. I believed that without you, I would somehow be a failure. I believed that staying the course would get me to where I was "supposed to be" instead of where I am meant to be; which you never even let me know was possible.
I don't know how you did it, but you convinced me that you were the finish line.
Like a best friend and a seductive lover, you told me what you thought I wanted to hear rather than the truth about real life and love. You taught me to be afraid of the uncertainty in life.
Every time I felt fear and doubt, you would grow and flourish; tightening your grip on me with every insecurity I felt.
I had moments of liberation when I lost myself to the joy of reckless abandon, but was met each and every time with your punitive judgment.
Your first effort was to create urgency for me to partner and marry. You knew that I wasn't ready, that I hadn't done the work of growing, evolving and expanding. You couldn't possibly have known what I wanted and needed in a relationship and marriage because I hadn't yet learned what that was for myself.
You forced me to doubt my own inner voice, my voice of truth.
Because of you I ignored opportunity and pushed myself into marriage when I was a beginner at love. You knew me well enough to know that I would follow you; that in my desire to be a "good" girl, I would want to do what I was "supposed" to do. And I did.
But I had two magnificent children, the most precious of my worldly possessions. So while my marriage wasn't "meant" to be, my beloved boys were. You are clearly not all bad.
For much of my life you tried to control my choices, and you showed no mercy in how you did so. You used guilt, shame, fear and overwhelm as your tools, tools that caused moments of deep pain, confusion and sadness.
And you talked to me endlessly. You rambled on about my body, my intellect, my competence, my limitations and my ability to trust the future. So many of my choices and decisions were made in an erroneous and disempowered partnership with you.
For so long I allowed you to be part of my circle of support, choosing to believe that you were acting in my best interest. But now I know better.
Perhaps you were trying to keep me safe and secure, and for that I feel gratitude. But in your cautious control I learned to stay within the lines when everything I have always wanted lay outside.
It took my divorce, many risks, more tears than you can imagine, and a true circle of extraordinary and loving support to begin to let you go.
In fact, even though you held me in your trance for so long, you actually proved only to be the long way around and detour to the life and love I am meant to have, and that I continue to create.
Yes, it was a long road and it was dark, unpaved and at many times quite lonely. But the darkness and loneliness only forced me to get to know and begin to deeply love myself. In the quiet, and through my tears, I was able to finally hear my beautiful, smart and powerful voice. My soul voice... the voice of my truth.
The more I talked to and listened to myself, the more empowered I became. I realized that there is no such thing as a finish line, there is only the power of now and my ability to speak my truth as I create what comes next.
While you masqueraded as such a powerful force, you actually never existed at all.
So in some ways I thank you, for without you, I wouldn't have what my heart truly desires.