It’s no secret that I am not a religious person. My spirituality comes from within. My strength comes from knowing I am a good person. It’s also no secret that I listen to Top 40 music. I have a huge playlist on my iTunes that crosses every genre, but I never remember to set up a play list before I leave the house. So, I inevitably just turn on the car radio to a local top 40’s station and that’s that. One thing about pop music stations, they play the same songs over and over. I’m usually not in the car long enough to care. Sometimes I hear a song I really like and add it to my own music, but often it’s all just background noise.
Recently, however, a song has played over and over on my trips around town and I find the lyrics incredibly sad. I don’t think the songwriter’s intent was to make people sad. I think the intent was to lift people up. Since I’m not a religious person, I don’t often turn outside myself for answers to my own feelings of emptiness, loneliness or sadness. Good, bad, or otherwise, I was nurtured to be this way. The song, You Say by Lauren Daigle, is talking about feelings so foreign to who I am, who I was, for 50 years. FIFTY YEARS PEOPLE!!! Even typing that makes me feel SO OLD. But I was NEVER that girl who needed exterior validation to make her feel worthy, or loved, or important, or anything really. Not from any god or any man.
I have never had a higher power. In my adult life, I have never really been dependent on anyone. I’m not necessarily saying this is a good thing. It just is. When I met Blue Eyes, I wasn’t even looking for a relationship. I was casually dating. I was 20 years old. I never believed he was better than me or held any power over me. I did not look to him for my worth, my value, my esteem, ever. I consciously evaluated our relationship, and then our engagement. Was I making the right choice, because this partnership was for life. My parents were divorced, and that was never going to happen to me. I had some doubts, but I worked it all through, for me, by me, with my needs in mind. I couldn’t imagine entering into a marriage with the thought that I could get out if I wanted. I chose Blue Eyes for life.
Blue Eyes and I lived a long distance relationship a couple times and it was difficult. There were options for me, for both of us. We chose our partnership after five years of dating and engagement. Our relationship wasn’t a fling. I wasn’t dependent on him, not even financially even though he comes from money and I do not. He was my chosen life partner. So, when in 2014, a woman called my phone and explained to me how she had been having an affair with my husband for eight years (she said 10), I was devastated. I was 50 years old. I had been with Blue Eyes, happily, for 30 years. The whole ordeal brought me to my knees, shaking, trembling, gasping for air. Who in fact was I? Was I that young woman my husband met in college, strong minded, strong willed, totally independent, or was I really someone who was afraid to be alone. Was I now afraid to live without my husband.
I am intimately aware of those feelings, now, that I struggled with then, the ones that knocked me flat for days, weeks, months. The ones that sucked me into a vortex of never ending pain and sadness, those feelings were betrayal trauma. Where I had been strong before, I was weak. Where I had felt safe and secure, I now felt scared, vulnerable, and alone.
I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low
Remind me once again just who I am because I need to know
I had to navigate the trauma in order to get me back. When I found out about my husband’s secret life, even though he wasn’t trying to replace me, his sexual acting out wasn’t about me at all, it still surely felt like it was. Like a dagger to the heart it hurt, and it felt like everything that was happening was somehow my fault. What had I done to deserve this kind of abuse. What was wrong with me?
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And you say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe (I)
Oh I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
I have never been comfortable relying on others for my strength or my self worth. That’s why I find the song sad. For me, my inner strength cannot be reliant on anyone or anything. What happens if I rely on god (I’m not good at relying on intangibles) and then on a particular day I convince myself he’s not listening or he doesn’t care about me anymore, or he doesn’t even exist. I would be crushed, devastated. Likewise, I know that I can love Blue Eyes with everything that I am, but if our partnership ends, I will not end with it. I will still be the me I always was. The me I was before I even met him.
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity
I do like to sing along with this song, but it hurts my heart. It hurts to sing the words… “in you I find my identity.” It just feels so, so wrong.