Joseph moved out of the Dream Loft in March 2021.
And at that time, one of the things I shared is that we are NOT separating, we ARE still married, and we need some time apart, to work separately and together, on what we want to create next.
I'm leaving out a lot of details. I just want to highlight that because every time I write about my personal life, I DO leave out the details that I want to keep private. But people reading tend to not be consciously aware of that. So they think they know the whole story, and want to offer me advice based on what they THINK they know. I don't need or want advice and am not going to accept any. Not only do I know the whole story, I 100% trust myself and Joseph to navigate this process.
Dreaming and creating together in a partnership is NOT something I have any experience with.
I don't even have a lot of great role models in terms of seeing people do this in a way that looks good to me.
In my life I've seen a lot of one person giving up more than they want to and then getting resentful about it. And it's a pattern I find VERY easy to fall into myself.
Or both people compromising in ways that don't seem that bad but also don't light their souls on fire.
True co-creating and taking everyone's multifaceted and ever-changing needs into account is a LOT!
And once you add kids to the mix, and kids from previous partnerships which also brings those previous partners into the mix - it's beyond a lot.
We can acknowledge how hard some of these things feel WHILE ALSO acknowledging that we are creative and smart and resourceful enough to navigate it. And that love helps us grow and be strong!
A lot of people have asked me to start a blog about being a step-mom which - well given my policy of honouring my step-children's sovereignty and privacy while also not sharing about anything I don't 100% trust myself to handle - well I just don't know what there'd be left to say.
Anyway, I want to live in a way where my decisions DO help light my soul on fire.
And I want that for my partner.
And I want to help his children, as they move into adulthood, to create this space for themselves in their lives as well.
So when I say that Joseph and I are going to therapy together - to me this is a really good thing and I am excited about the new possibilities it's opening up.
I know people hear it as something that indicates THERE IS A PROBLEM but I think therapy is supportive and helpful for living your best life. The way Joseph and I speak differently to each other with the therapist in the room is really next-level helpful.
Way before the pandemic, I had decided to start therapy, and I was looking for an art therapist that I felt like I could resonate with. A monthly check-in with an art therapist felt like a great thing to add to my self care toolkit.
And then the pandemic hit and my overwhelm got so bad last winter, I decided to find a therapist on Zoom and stopped looking specifically for art therapists and found someone I immediately resonated with. And during our first session, she said "I'm not an art therapist, but once we're doing in-person therapy I'd love to do some expressive arts therapy with you!"
Then Joseph started therapy on his own, and we started couple's therapy.
Yeah it's a lot of therapy but it's also a lot of insights and healing and noticing new ways to do things that work better for everyone.
It takes deep work to really pursue a dream.
Pursuing a dream triggers a process of growth and healing that is necessary for the fulfilment of the dream. Th.is tends to push us right into the stuff that we most want to avoid.
To pursue a dream with a partner it goes deeper because there's also a lot of old childhood stuff that comes up in any intimate relationship anyway plus multiple layers of boundaries issues and just how complicated it to to meet multiple people's multiple needs.
Often a good relationship will create a container for healing and growth, but then the places where we're not conscious aware of our own stuff just feel MAGNIFIED because of the container is there as an opportunity for healing.
Opportunities for healing can often look like a crisis or a setback or just like a steaming pile of shit that you want nothing to do with.
So, it feels like what is happening is that Joseph and I both wanted nothing to do with a few of our steaming piles of shit so we just tried to work around them.
The pandemic made it harder to do that.
And our living situation (in a loft with no privacy and not enough storage and where it really does feel like MY home and not OURS) also made it harder to do that.
Pandemic + living situation = these steaming piles of shit are suddenly in our faces.
The dream is the solution, the new life we are creating together....
But the dream, in order to be fulfilled, needs us to look at ALL of the steaming piles of shit, not just the ones already in our faces.
And it all feels like too many layers of too much shit.
It's not though.
I mean - it was all always there.
And now we're ready to stop tiptoeing around it and start cleaning it up.
This process is messy and smelly and all, but how much happier will we be once it's sorted!?!
So that's how couples therapy feels right now. I'm holding the new possibilities that are being created close to my heart and making new plans for our future while plugging my nose and getting to work.
So I just found this post in my blog post drafts. I had written it months ago and not shared.
(This is not unusual right now, I have been writing a lot, and then losing those writings instead of sharing them. It's just one of the ways my pandemic overwhelm has manifested)
Anyway, I saw it and re-read it, a note from my months-ago self.
Where are are now is different.
We don't really have steaming piles of shit, and I am laughing at myself for using that description.
What we are now are continually noticing where we are getting better and better at honouring ourselves and each other.
Like "Oh wow, if (thing) had happened a year ago I would have (unconscious reactive pattern) and then you would have (unconscious reactive pattern) and FUCK I am glad we're not doing THAT anymore"
Therapy and Dream Work are a miracle combo.
Joseph and I now have a journal where we are dreaming our future together.
There is so much we can't figure out right now, so many moves we can't make right now.
And that's all fine.
There's also so much to enjoy about right now.
And there are so many ways to play with our dreams for the life we want in 5 years, and 10 years, and 15 years.