Do what you want

September 13, 2010

“How do you make decisions?”, someone asked me today, “what can you say about how to make decisions?” “Do what you want”, I said, “and don’t do what you don’t want”. It was all that I had to say about that, but I continued thinking about it, and looking, and considering, and I remembered an episode of a TV show I watched recently. In this episode a woman who has a wonderful husband, great and loving marriage full of romance and attraction, fantastic job, amazing son, is cheating on her husband. When the affair comes out, the husband asks her why she did it. And the audience asks the same question: why would she do it? She had everything, and everything she had was perfect. She had what others can only dream of, she had everything that makes people happy – and she messed it all up, she blew it … why? Because it wasn’t enough, she said. Because once she had all of it … there was nowhere else to go, there was nothing else to do and, as her life became more and more confined to the perfection of her marriage, the marriage started to become a golden cage. Any dream, no matter how beautiful, turns into a nightmare if we can’t wake up from it. I watched that episode and thought that I understood precisely what this woman felt. I understood because I am experiencing it myself, right now. My marriage was doing so well lately, we were not fighting at all, my husband and I, we were loving, affectionate, happy. Then I took a class with Brooks and, during the class, I started getting angry. I had no reason that I could see for my anger, it was just there, anger and irritation, annoyance, frustration. I was trying to get out of something, to fight my way free from something I couldn’t see or feel, but that I knew was there. And then I realized what it was I was fighting my way out of – it was being a wife. I was fighting my way out of being a wife, a good wife with a great husband, with a marriage full of love and affection, with a great job and a pretty house, in a pretty town. I was fighting my way out of all this perfection because, in that beautiful dream, there was no me. The dream was great, but I was asleep. I wasn’t present, I wasn’t there. And because I wasn’t there the marriage was slowly turning into a golden cage. I was angry when I begun to wake up. My first reaction was to run, to run away or else to push everyone else away from me. I needed to be by myself, I though, alone, to get my bearings, to get myself back again, to make sure that nothing is ensnaring me, nothing is mesmerizing me, influencing me, but that didn’t feel quite right either and I begun to think that there must be another way. There must be more available, more than being a wife, more than being alone. There must be a way, I thought, to be in relationship that is not a dream. It must be possible to be in relationship where there are no restrictions, no rules of conduct, no expectations of behavior. It must be possible, I thought, to be in relationship without loosing myself, without sacrificing myself, without compromising myself. Without letting go of myself in order to adjust, to fit in, to obey, to do the “right thing”, to do what I should. There must be a way, I thought, to simply be in relationship. To simply be Me, myself, relating to Chris. Not a wife, but Me. Not in marriage, but in relationship. As Me, the whole Me, with all my ideas, with everything I want, with everything I do, and as what I am. And it is possible, I thought, for Chris to have the same freedom, the same autonomy, to be himself. Not a husband, not a provider, not a supporter, but Chris. This relationship would not be a dream, I thought, because we would both be alert, awake, present. This relationship would not be a cage but a space for us both to be as unique as we can, to be what we are, to be more than that. This relationship would be the place of infinite possibility. And in this space, in this place of being alert, awake, present – there are no such things as decision. There is only you and what you want. There is only you naturally, lovingly, gracefully, being yourself.

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