In her well written memoir, This Is Not The Story You Think it is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness, author Laura Munson speaks about her yearning to return to Italy, where twenty years ago, she spent a wonderfully, transformative year. She speaks of the desire and fear that's limited her since and wonders aloud to herself (and to us), what her life would be if she would have honored herself and took another trip to the land that holds her heart:
"What if I had given myself Italy many years ago? What if I had given myself Italy every year for the month of June? No matter what my financial situation was. No matter what my language ability was. Or my children's ages. No matter how my Italian family took care of me or didn't take care of me. What if I'd saved my pennies and found a little villa to rent just south of Firenze and went there? Yearly. For twenty years. Who would I be? What would I want? What would I have created?
The answer may be moot. But the asking is worth it. Because I can tell you who I've been without Italy. And when I say Italy, you know I don't necessarily mean Italy. It could be anywhere, anything, that we've longed for, desperately, and not felt worthy of, for too long.
To really get to the bottom of this, let's stretch even further here and ask ourselves this: If we deprive ourselves of our greatest dreams, how are we setting up to be treated by our husbands? Our loved ones? Everyone around us? If we neglect our own souls, how are others to react to us? What are we creating? More neglect?"
Wow! I know that's a mouthful, but I can see where, in my life, I've been the catalyst for such struggle. For me it isn't Italy, but it is Brazil & Paris and a cozy apartment on Beachwood with a writing nook and sitting down and writing daily and summers in NYC and...(you get the picture).
In retail (likely in all business) we have this saying, "The fish stinks from the head." It's meant to suggest that employees are simply an example of their leaders, so if the leader is bad, so goes the employee.
In my life, I see where this can apply to my relationships, intimate and remote. If I'm not living the life I've always imagined, I'm simply inviting people into that sense of loss, chaos, regret, self-deprecation, defeat. And that, my friends, explains alot when I view significant relationships in my life. The idea here, is to not beat up on oneself. Now that we have this information, use it as your armour and as I say "Live the life you've always imagined."
Another Aha! moment.