Choose Wisely

I wrote this a few months into my first romantic relationship in almost 20 years, my first romantic relationship with a woman, and the first romantic relationship I’d ever entered while still married to my husband. One night, struggling through immense fear and anxiety about whether we could make it all work, I found myself asking: How could I bear to face such an uncertain future?
This was my answer to myself…

–Choose Wisely—

I’ve heard it said that pain is unavoidable,
and if we evade the pain of one thing, we invite the pain of something else.
I cannot know what pain may lie in store for me,
but this is what I do know:
I can determine what it will accomplish.
I can choose my suffering wisely.
I’ve heard it said that anger
and fear
and grief
can be formed into the very things that nurture
faith
and hope
and love.
I cannot know how this will end,
but this is what I do know:
I can use this relationship to bring forth what darkness lies hidden in myself
and what light lies buried within her.

I’ve heard it said our goals determine our results,
and if you change your focus, you can change your life.
I cannot see through a lens into my future,
but this is what I do know:
I can shift my focus.

Rather than seek love, I can give it.
Rather than seek comfort, I can pursue growth.
Rather than seek answers, I can ask questions.
What can I do to make her feel beautiful?
What can I do to make her feel loved?
What can I do to help her see the good in herself she might not otherwise see?
And how can I use this time to help her live a better life,
both now and in the future,
whether that future includes me or not?

From this place,
with these goals,
I lay aside my fears.
And whatever the future holds,
whatever pain may lie in store,
however, whenever this ends,
I will know my suffering served a purpose.
I will have chosen wisely.

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