At least don’t fool yourself
A useful question came across my screen this morning, one that is important if not absolutely critical as I think about some of the decisions I have to make over the next several months.
My odd source of sometimes-inspiration, Scott Ginsberg, had this post on finding inner strength. The section on denial had this little gem:
What am I pretending not to know?
“Wow” was all I could say after reading that. As I evaluate my life, and the people in it, I am aware of my preferences for happy endings, for seeing the upside in things (in spite of, or at least in odd relation to, being far too easily upset and annoyed and even angry about things not going as well as they could or should), and for not wanting to be alone.
As I look ahead over the next weeks and months, I’ve realized that some of the questions facing me include “how will I know whether the other person has made the changes that are important for me?” and “how will I know if I’ve made the important changes for me and for the other person?” and “how will I know I I’m really forgiving and forgetting or just wanting to get to the result of that and pretending not to know that I really can’t?”
I told someone recently that I’m virtually 100% certain on going through with the divorce because I am not sure I trust my future self to be able to make a clear decision. Removing the “easy” option of just falling back into things should force me to make a real choice. I think that I would be far more likely to be honest with myself and make the right decision when the choice is structured like that.
I will have to start making a checklist for that final decision, and this question will be on my list several times between now and then.
Funny, I have been thinking over the last few days that I might very well be more enamored with the idea of trying, whether it works or not, than with the putative goal. Today, I know my answer is no to the long term question because the work isn’t done, and finger-drilling the exercise only sets me/us up for failure. But that doesn’t seem like a contradiction — it feels more like a recognition of where things aren’t.
FYI: the “right view” tag for this post is there because I think this question falls under the category of right view, which is part of the Eightfold Path to enlightenment.
(Finally: conveniently, I’m pretty sure no one who will feel put out by my sentiments here will actually read this. If you do, call me or come see me; we’ll talk. The purpose of this post is to help me, not hurt anyone else.)
NB: I wrote the draft of this post some time ago. It is scheduled to be published at noon on November 15. My divorce will be final that morning. – RJC