Come home. You’ve been out there long enough.
I’ve been in the process of being Robin all my life. Life is always tossing me a life raft. Some days are easier than others. Some days the raft needs a little extra air. But my best beauty comes through when I realize that raft has never gone away.
What came first my internal or external validation? How did I get approval for myself?
When I was younger, I was getting the validation, and I love what I got to do for it – field hockey and track All-Star teams, homecoming queen, making my dad laugh. Here’s how you do it; you put two fingers in my sister’s waist, and she farts.
I promised to be good as my pinky swear. “Am I good?”, I asked the coaches, parents, student council.
In my marriage, I often felt like a kid jumping up and down screaming inside, see me, see me. It got ferocious because he wasn’t answering me fast enough. The slower the approval came, the harder I pushed. I was losing myself.
We took a financial hit in 2008, and so I decided to let go of our cleaning help.
See me, see me – look how I’m helping out.
One afternoon his answer came, I’m on my hands and knees cleaning the hardwood floors and my husband walks in. He tells me, “Robin, you should use a long-handled mop.”
Oh my God. No one’s coming to rescue me.
I needed a life raft.
I knew I had to figure this stuff out.
I knew if I don’t learn this now, I’m going down.
I knew enough to leave his presence and sit still for a long time, and breathe.
What did I want him to say? The truth was I didn’t know what I wanted, and I was railing at him because of it.
I needed to know I am good. I need to know what I do for our house makes us happier.
I realized it’s not his job to know how I think and feel. It’s not his job to make me feel proud of myself.
Grown up. I stopped blaming him.
I asked his permission to share what I needed from him instead of his fixing. “Sure,” he said. “I didn’t know. Thanks, for telling me. I’ll remember that for next time.”
Who threw me that enlightened life raft? I don’t know. I was just in the process of being Robin.
Three weeks ago, here’s where it got super subtle. After studying with a master teacher for years, our relationship ended abruptly. No, not now! You gave me reassurance and permission to follow my sacred dream. I had been a good soldier. Since I was a kid, I sat and sang under pine trees. I just wanted a connection to God. If someone had a front row seat to the Divine, I wanted in. This could have totally destabilized me, but this time I didn’t abandon myself.
I crawled back up unto that something I could still not completely name. It took more strength and it strengthened me.
Now I’m on it. I have an insatiable appetite to stay on my own raft and go with the current.
Some days, and when I feel halfway off, at least I can still hear, Come on home. You’ve been out there long enough.
I wish you would join me. Bring your own raft.
And, we’ll breathe.