So the husband and I recently bought a box of those “couple cards”; the ones that are supposed to make you dig a bit deeper into your relationship. When the convo gets kinda stale as it sometimes can, we’ll pull a card(or a few) and just see where the conversation takes us. More recently we pulled a card that asked “What’s the wisest thing I’ve taught you?”
So my wife asked me what’s the wisest thing I’ve learned from her in this marriage(so far). After a brief pause to think, I responded that she taught me that everything doesn’t always have to be okay. Being a natural fixer and slight control freak my wife frequently had to remind me to me protect my energy and be mindful of the situations and people I give that energy to. I can hear her now, “Stop letting everything rattle you!” In moments of deep frustration, impatience, or annoyance she’s reminded me that things are not always going to be perfect around me, with me, or WITHIN me, and that that’s okay. What that means to me is that there will be pockets of uncertainty, moments of vulnerability, and times when circumstances will be completely out of my authority; but its not the end of the world. I should focus my attention on the things I CAN control and leave the rest to work itself out. Having taken my wife’s advice and seeing the benefits, I have to say its amazing being fearless and letting go in this way. In this seemingly short time that we’ve been married, this has been by far the best advice/lesson she’s given me. It’s refreshed my outlook on things I once thought couldn’t be; at least not without a fight of some sort. Its even aided in my approach to guiding my young men(sons); teaching them that manhood doesn’t mean everything should be approached or addressed with brute force and toughness. Because of the Mrs.I now know its very okay to teach my boys with my words and actions, that being vulnerable, mellow and cool headed is also a part of being a real man. I could die today and I’d be happy my wife gave me the unbounded freedom and encouragement to be a refined and more gentle version of myself, with no judgement or force.
In reflecting on the wisest thing my husband has taught me thus far, I’d have to say that it would be speaking up for myself, and doing so from my chestT. Coming from a childhood stained by molestation and being silenced by fear and guilt(which I now know was never mine to carry), it came across as odd to see him interact with “authority figures” in a stern but respectful way when THEY were in the wrong. I guess having my own preconceived notions about prisoner/guard relations, I kinda ignorantly expected that the guards did what they wanted and the prisoners just had to take it; and while that may be true for some, that was/is NOT how Fuquan operates (even among his peers). And what really pulled me in and made me pay attention was that 9 times out of 10 of the instances where he had to “check” somebody, they’d apologize and going forward maintained nothing but respect towards him. That intrigued me in more ways than one and without really noticing, I began to emulate that trait. If my husband, in this god forsaken place, surrounded by bullshit processes, policies and people, can have the courage and confidence to stand up for himself, why can’t I? Gradually, I began shedding my passive, skin; and while I’m still perfecting the art of checking bullshit respectfully (I’ll call you a raggedy bitch real fast🤷🏾♀️🤦🏾♀️), I can say that thanks in large part to my husband the hesitation I once held about speaking up for myself is becoming more of a distant memory.
THE “AHA!” MOMENT:
Almost immediately after sharing our answers, husband’s great light-bulb moment was revealed. “It seems like you’re teaching me how to be “softer” in my approach to things, and I’m teaching you to be “harder”. And as simple and seemingly obvious as the realization was, it was still mind-blowing in that moment to kinda put two and two together. I guess when you’re focused on DOING the work you don’t stop much to take in whatever progress is actually being made. This was a nice “okayyyy, look at us growing nshit” moment…
“lf you don’t learn and grow in love then you’re wasting time, space and energy. You must learn to let go absolutely with your mate and trust in the process. Do not be fearful of losing yourself; if anything you’ll find a new and improved insight into things you thought unimaginable and impossible. Love is growth, it’s give and take works best when embraced with an open mind and heart.”
Your SOUL-cial worker (hubby’s self appointed moniker)