Remembering Who I Am
She fell in love with and married a very demanding man. Her whole life morphed as she tried her best to fit into his life. She wanted to be loved so much she tolerated his efforts to change her so he would feel better. They were happy for a while, raising his young son and water skiing as often as possible.
She kept a few things that were just her interests. Her passion and love of belly dancing was one that stayed a positive aspect of her life. She still had fun attending and performing at the big Middle Eastern Dance events. Performing in local restaurants filled the emptiness she felt inside. It was her way of escaping from the drudgery of work and allowed a place for her authentic self to connect with her audiences. Entertaining was a rush of exciting emotions as she led the diners into the land of mystery and sensuality through the dance.
As much as she loved to belly dance and to teach other women how to dance also, the time came when her body could not keep up with the demands of housecleaning five to six days a week as well as teaching three nights a week and performing almost every weekend. Her arms were the first part of her body to break down. Using a veil became too painful with arms that had scrubbed too many showers. Her knees began to cause problems next and with their pain, shimmies were no longer possible. She had to face the truth, her body couldn’t keep up and something had to go. Quitting work was not an option, so she quit teaching and stopped dancing. The loss of her passion affected her more than she realized at the time. She was pulled into a black hole devoid of so many things she once relied on for creative expression and joy in living.
Between trying to please her husband and the soul-killing business she started, she lost herself. She lost her inner light. She lost joy in creating and living her life. She gave up her power to her husband. She only cleaned houses because her husband told her she could make a lot of money which was important to him. Working for money with little satisfaction triggered self-hatred. She didn’t even recognize her image in the mirror.
It wasn’t until during a bitter argument, her husband asked her if she wanted to know what the problem was. She thought for a moment and said yes. His reply, “I don’t like you.” She felt like she had been kicked in the stomach, it hurt so much to hear those words. This was a defining moment in her life as she realized that she didn’t like who she had become either.
She moved out of their bedroom and into two joining rooms in their house. These rooms became her sanctuary where she could heal her heart, take back her life and grow into someone she wanted to be. She began to create her life in her image, not how someone else thought she should be. It was the beginning of rediscovering and reclaiming herself.
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