While working on some nesbits production this evening, I accidentally started listening to Lewis Howes’ The School of Greatness podcast. I didn’t seek it out, but I decided to keep it on as he was speaking with Glennon Doyle Melton. I didn’t quite know this woman by name but have seen her Momastery blog on my Facebook feed here and there. This week she just released her newest book, Love Warrior, and Oprah has announced it is part of her Book Club, which is a pretty big deal!?
Anyway, I have never read her blog or any of her books, but their conversation really caught my attention. Glennon’s new book is about working through her marriage after infidelity – at least that’s what I gathered from what I heard. On the podcast, she spoke about pain and choosing to live through the pain instead of using drugs, alcohol, or other “remedies” as it is through feeling and living through pain that we can have growth. That makes a lot of sense to me and it also struck me how curious and excited she was to have the opportunity to grow from something that is painful, instead of moving to a place of suffering. For her, writing has been a way to work through her pain and figure herself out through her relationship with her husband (and probably more, though I don’t know for sure not having read her books or blog!) I absolutely relate to her on that note.
She also talked about envy with Lewis, which is a topic I don’t think a lot of people like to discuss. She explained how she used to feel when friends would recommend to her a great book written by another woman:
There was a part of me that knew a better, braver version of me could do that. There’s nothing more painful than seeing someone doing something that you feel like you were meant to do. Maybe we are only envious of people who are doing what we’re meant to do. And this is made worse if you’re not taking any steps towards doing it yourself. But don’t let it go, look closer because maybe it’s an arrow pointing towards what you’re meant to create.
I think this is a really interesting perspective on feelings of envy. I don’t typically consider myself a jealous person but I’ve certainly had my moments. I remember when I first started nesbits, I was following this other dog treat company in NYC and I would get super upset when I would hear about them building a new relationship with a store or especially when they partnered with my favorite restaurant group ever. I was pissed. And jealous. Because I knew that I could have and should have been making connections like they were. I’ve gotten extremely jealous when I learn about businesses opening that are similar to my dog park café concept. I was even envious of the cat café owners who opened in NYC and then in Portland, and it wasn’t even dogs?! Why? Because I wanted to have the guts to open a place like they did, and that’s definitely an arrow to explore further.
I also remember early on in my relationship with Matt when we were working in Maine for a summer at the “Dirty Dancing” sort of resort, I felt extremely envious if he connected with a female musician – of which there were many there – because I knew that music is what he loved most and I wanted to be able to connect with him on that level. I don’t know if that meant I wanted to learn how to play an instrument – I did sign up for ukulele classes when we first moved to Portland but after two classes, I started skipping. I think this scenario was less of an arrow and probably more of an insecurity coming from my desire to connect with him more deeply.
The podcast also touched a lot on fear, which was the topic that really inspired me to start writing this journal. I’ve only knocked off a few fears on My Fear List in the past three weeks since beginning to write and it’s great to have a reminder of why I think it’s important for me to conquer fears that I believe have been holding me back – potentially from learning my purpose.
Fear is not real. It’s a choice that we have every single day. There’s always two choices in front of you: love or fear. The love choice is usually the hard choice and it always pays off. Love wins.
Listening to those words triggered a revelation about my relationship with Matt and especially, our decision to split. There were two choices – we could have continued on and stayed together, having a good life together – cooking, laughing, and probably continuing to feel unfulfilled in some aspects of our relationship. I believe the choice to stay together would have been a choice made out of fear – fear of losing one another and fear of making the wrong decision. We definitely sat with that fear for months, and even postponed making a decision more than once. Looking back, when we finally made the decision four months ago to separate – that was deciding on love. The decision to let one another go was one made out of love – so that each of us could find our purpose and the love we were meant to have in this life.
Since we moved out of our apartment and started our own individual lives, we have both been so much more determined to clarify our life goals and go for them. I honestly don’t think we each would have gotten to that point as quickly for ourselves if we held on to each other. And that hurts, a little – it hurts that we couldn’t be that motivation for one another. But, as friends, it seems we are better able to support each other in a way that does inspire action. It’s strange, and I don’t fully understand it. Maybe I never will, but I’m confident we made the right decision in choosing love. It was the harder choice, for sure, but I think it’s already paying off.
About the photo: I'm not sure what little trip this was from but it was March 2012, early in our love.