The Best Thing That Ever Happened
Many years ago, during one of my therapy sessions, we were discussing my reluctance to commit. At this point in my life, it was no longer about committing to a person. Diane and I had been married for years and we were just trying to make our marriage better. I was having difficulty being bound by everyday commitments; planning dates for a vacation, choosing a day for dinner with family or friends, making a promise to clean house or wash the car.
When asked what it felt like to, …”tie myself down”, I responded, “I just feel like I always need to be open to what might be right around the corner; that I might miss out on the best thing that ever happened to me because I had promised to do something I really didn’t want to do in the first place.” My therapist paused long enough for me to know she had heard me, and said, “Well, you know, you’ve already missed out on the best thing that could have ever happened.”
I never felt so vulnerable in my life. It was like being caught in a lie I had convinced myself was the truth. She knew that being kept by Margaret, my birth mom, was, in my mind, that best thing. Time stood still. A picture was captured that I have often revisited, full-blown in all it’s details. The longing is still there; to have been raised by my birth mom and birth father, to have grown up with siblings, to have been there as my nieces and nephews grew up, to have always felt like I belonged.
Does that mean that I have regrets, that I would change things if I could? Absolutely, without hesitation, no. That moment is the marker of when I chose the life I have and began to let go of the fantasy of what might have been. I am free to stop pretending that somehow by wishing and longing, holding out, I can un-ring the bell. Like an echo, when I sometimes struggle with the old habit, I remember the flash, the moment the shutter clicked, and I choose my life again, the one I am living; the best thing that ever happened.