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Coming Back To Center


Katherine Lynn Charland

Somehow I find myself on a journey to get back to a place I was unaware I left.

My best friend is wild and bold and stronger than I. I spent my childhood learning how to not lose myself in her shadow. For the most part we balanced each other well. She would help me test the deep and I would keep her tethered to the shore. There were some tumultuous times when I had to establish who I was apart from who we were. We always came through it okay and weíve been friends for 31 years now.

When I went to college I remember struggling with some of the same influences. People try to get you to go along with what they want. Although I sometimes had to make choices in light of who I was, it was really not that difficult because I had found my center.

Well how come it has occurred to me that I am 38 years old and somehow I managed to drift off center? Maybe part of it happened because Iíve been in an intensely intimate relationship that for the most part has been good. I desired to please that other person and I made choices based on what was good for the relationship. Which I always thought was a healthy way to maintain a relationship.

What happens if the relationship starts to erode and you start to make more and more compromises to save it? Maybe one of you is changing in a different direction. What then? Somewhere it starts to get Murky. The water isnít as clear as it used to be. The person who had always done a good job making decisions to support you and the health of the relationship starts to make decisions based on their own self-interests.

It is difficult because I have always deferred, maybe too much, to my husband. I have always gone along with his decisions and why not? He was doing his best to provide for the family. Why not give him my unequivocal support?

Suddenly I wake up and find that I have drifted from center. I have not been making the best decisions for who I am as a person. That part of me has gotten buried along the way. I never really minded when all was well--I was happy. Now I find I have lost my true north and need to find my center again.

Now comes the scary part. Can I redefine who I am with in the relationship? Can I reassess what I need and what I can and canít live with? Like a butterfly coming out of its sleep in the cocoon, I am waking up to who I am and what I need.

My spouse, who knows my every laugh and expression, is saying that it feels like he doesnít know me. The way we view things differently is shaking the core of our relationship. Can our relationship survive our differences and redefining our roles in this relationship? I donít know but I hope so. I hope he takes the time to see that it is still me inside. I hope he appreciates the butterfly.

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