Several years ago, post-divorce, I was in a relationship with someone that was just what I needed. He was a very thoughtful man, who seemed fairly focused on me feeling empowered and independent after years of codependency and identity-loss. At one point, he said to me, “What do you want?… What do you REALLY want?”
Without thinking too much, I blurted out, “I want you to choose me. Every day. And I want to choose you, too.”
At the time, that wasn’t an option for either of us for myriad reasons. And so, as things go, we eventually moved on from our relationship, with respect and understanding, and with a sense of lament for the loss of what could have been.
When I gave that answer, it was a first for me. Never had I defined a relationship that way. But in retrospect, it came as no surprise, considering I had spent more than a decade with someone who chose drugs every day, instead of himself, or me. What was empowering was that it wasn’t about those words we hear all too often when talking about relationships: love, respect, or trust. It was about taking deliberate action to embody those words, those feelings. Choosing. In words, in deeds, in thought – choosing.
Fast forward a few years, and I stumble across Bryan Reeves’ article “Choose her Everyday or Leave Her.” I read his words and I was reminded of that moment years before in which I had intuitively said the same thing. I read Bryan’s words and knew in that moment that this was not just another self-help article. This was a paradigm shift. Bryan writes from the male perspective about this, using his own experience as both teacher and student. From where I sat, as I devoured paragraph after paragraph, I felt my body responding with a “Hell, yes!” and “Finally!”
Bryan was saying what I knew to be truth. He was sharing his own experience in a way that made it tangible, humble, and most of all, accessible. He spoke for me. I could have been the girl in his story – or I could have been Bryan.
Because, just as my ex didn’t choose me every day, I also didn’t choose myself. As a codependent, I chose him. Or rather, I chose helping him or what I thought was helping him. I chose his disease – his battle – over my own well-being, every single day.
For that reason I would add to Bryan’s beautifully crafted piece, and suggest that we include our relationship with ourselves, that we choose our self every day. In learning this, applying it, and now living it almost daily, I know this is the path to joy, love, and peace. For me, this is the path to authentic alignment.
So, choose yourself every day. And if you think you can’t, find a way that you can, or find somebody who can help you learn or remember. Additionally, if you’re in a relationship, choose her or him every day, too. Talk about it – figure out what that means. And if you can’t, then find a way to leave, with mutual respect.
Finally, if you’re interested, Bryan is having a FREE webinar on this topic tonight (10/27/15). You can check it out here and register. He’s not selling anything, as most free webinars do. He’s simply responding to a need, to the resounding response he received as a result of this sharing, and showing up to facilitate more thought, discussion, and growth. And that, my friends, is about passion. And Bryan is certainly full of passion! So, check it out, sign up, and I’ll see you there! Because I’m choosing myself and showing up to listen, share, and learn.