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Coming Back To Center
Katherine Lynn Charland
Somehow I find myself on a journey to get back to a place I was unaware I left.
My best friend is wild and bold and stronger than I. I spent my childhood
learning how to not lose myself in her shadow. For the most part we balanced
each other well. She would help me test the deep and I would keep her tethered
to the shore. There were some tumultuous times when I had to establish who I was
apart from who we were. We always came through it okay and weíve been friends
for 31 years now.
When I went to college I remember struggling with some of the same influences.
People try to get you to go along with what they want. Although I sometimes had
to make choices in light of who I was, it was really not that difficult because
I had found my center.
Well how come it has occurred to me that I am 38 years old and somehow I managed
to drift off center? Maybe part of it happened because Iíve been in an intensely
intimate relationship that for the most part has been good. I desired to please
that other person and I made choices based on what was good for the
relationship. Which I always thought was a healthy way to maintain a
What happens if the relationship starts to erode and you start to make more and
more compromises to save it? Maybe one of you is changing in a different
direction. What then? Somewhere it starts to get Murky. The water isnít as clear
as it used to be. The person who had always done a good job making decisions to
support you and the health of the relationship starts to make decisions based on
their own self-interests.
It is difficult because I have always deferred, maybe too much, to my husband. I
have always gone along with his decisions and why not? He was doing his best to
provide for the family. Why not give him my unequivocal support?
Suddenly I wake up and find that I have drifted from center. I have not been
making the best decisions for who I am as a person. That part of me has gotten
buried along the way. I never really minded when all was well--I was happy. Now
I find I have lost my true north and need to find my center again.
Now comes the scary part. Can I redefine who I am with in the relationship? Can
I reassess what I need and what I can and canít live with? Like a butterfly
coming out of its sleep in the cocoon, I am waking up to who I am and what I
My spouse, who knows my every laugh and expression, is saying that it feels like
he doesnít know me. The way we view things differently is shaking the core of
our relationship. Can our relationship survive our differences and redefining
our roles in this relationship? I donít know but I hope so. I hope he takes the
time to see that it is still me inside. I hope he appreciates the butterfly.
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