I was reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s discussion this morning about ‘doing good’ or ‘feeling free?’ And it conjured up all these emotions in me… She’s right… just because you are doing good in this world, doesn’t mean that you feel free in your body, in your heart or in your soul. There are a whole lot of emotions that make you feel trapped in a world you can’t call your own when you’re ‘doing good’ because in effect, you are doing good by everyone else and not yourself.
I’ve always tried to ‘do good’ but somehow, I’ve always got hurt or taken advantage. Hurt by family and friends, taken advantage of work colleagues, family, friends, kids, charities, the public, etc. And for all that I give in this world, I will be honest, I struggle with the fact that I may only get about 20% back. And that’s a hard fact when you keep soldiering on, day in day out, with no break from the pain in your heart, or the pulling and prodding that people and circumstances do to you. And whilst I am ever so grateful for the beautiful things in my life – my children, my dog, where I live, my lake house, my travels, my experiences, and some dear friends, and I know I am lucky and rich in so many ways, the hardest thing for me to accept is that I have no one to share my life with. It’s lonely being a single mum, when you have no one to talk over things with, no one to cuddle up to watch a movie, no one to give you that sense of relief that someone has your back when you need it. There’s a hole in your heart when there is no intimacy. I don’t have family as a back up, or a father for my children who wants to be a willing regular participant in their lives. It’s just me – raising my children and my fur puppy, working 2 self-employed jobs where most your days are on your own, and maintaining 2 homes.
I have all these dreams and aspirations to feel free, but right now I feel stuck. Stuck with being good but knowing at the same time I’m hurting myself. I’ve exploded to the size I was when I first left my husband, I’ve tried to be recognised for my writing talents (or maybe there isn’t a talent), my kids are hitting that teenage time when ‘cheeky’ and ‘defiant’ are the words of the day… And all I’ve wanted is someone to give me a break, and make me feel the big hard bubble in my chest go away.
There’s something to be said about your emotional state and how it affects your physical state. I have spent way too much money this year on shakes, gym memberships and weight loss programs to help me get rid of the excess, but I’ve put on an extra 6kgs instead. I’ve ensured I do 10,000-15,000 steps a day, I’ve been on and off with doing toning workouts, as well as walking 6kms most morning, and none of the weight is coming off. And I know it’s because I feel lumped with not feeling free within myself, that my physical being suffers.
I just know, if I had someone special in my life, someone to take some of my burdens away, someone to make me smile and feel like I belong, there will be a chance for my heart to feel free again. I know I can’t rely on that person, and I need to rely on myself to do it, but our human condition is to know that we belong, and that’s all I ask… to feel free.