March 21, 2023

Blog @ Munaf Sheikh

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Divorce Reflections

This morning I was thinking how funny it is that positions have reversed now that I'm divorced. What am I referring to?

This morning I was thinking how funny it is that positions have reversed now that I’m divorced. What am I referring to?

When I was married, just a few months ago, I used to be so guarded. Guarded in every sense: emotionally, verbally, spiritually, physically. I watched what I said, and to whom, how I said it. If she didn’t like it, or didn’t approve, or if my statements or actions had any kind of – what I considered negative, emotional reaction then I would dial it back, retract, or just not say/do what I wanted to at that time.

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After eventually losing her, as in retrospect would have been inevitable, the mindset shift is revolutionary. My brain, heart and soul have broken out of jail. I am free.

Free to exist.

To breathe.

To think my own thoughts.

Feel my own feelings. I am free. But hang on. wasn’t I always free? Who imprisoned me? Noone goes around imprisoning themselves. Noone says “I hereby imprison my mind”. And mostly certainly noone is suggesting that she imprisoned me. The process of self-imprisonment comes over years of setting aside your own deepest desires in favour of someone else. In the case of my ex, I fell in love, and when we married, I subconsciously set aside myself, the person, unique, masterful for my wife, my sweetheart, my queen. And in doing so, her wishes became my command. Romantic, yes, but thus begins the process of self-destruction.

Isnt there an inherent limit applied to actions and communication when entering a relationship?

Possibly. But does there have to be? Isn’t that what “compatibility” is? Does compatibility mean that you align on many levels such that you don’t need to talk? Or does it mean that you’re able to talk about anything and everything, to the person that you’re in a relationship with? Or, third option, does it mean you’re able to talk about issues, and when you don’t agree that you agree to disagree? What if that includes your deepest, darkest fears? Or your most explicit sexual fantasies? What does compatibility say about holding back information that would hurt your partner?

Coming back to me, some of my feelings needed to be felt in order to grow from the experience. The feeling needs to play through your body, encompass you, have it’s physical reactions, and be broken down and understood by your mind – as opposed to dismissing it, ignoring it, shrugging it off, discarding or supressing it in shame, disgust or even sadness. Suppressing feelings can have very negative consequences.

The point I’m trying to make, is an observation that in order to be fully free to feel, think and do, one must be un-attached, un-constrained, or 100% secure in the knowledge that noone will “divorce” you. In the case of marriage, this could be translated to being married to yourself, first and foremost. Or relationships, being in a relationship with yourself, loving yourself first, before loving anyone else.

Coming back to being guarded: I could only let my guard down, once I had nothing to fear, nothing to lose. I have no fear of judgement, no fear of criticism. No fear or losing someone.

I am finally free. I am at peace. And I am happy.