“More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity.” ~Francois Gautier

My partner is the gift I really never expected to find. I never imagined that I deserved the kind of love that he was capable of giving me. With complete certainty, I felt safe in loving him and lucky to have him share my life.

We both have children from previous relationships, and with high hopes we have entered into the balancing act of a blended family.

I have reasonable expectations that among the hard work there is to be an unspoken respect for each other, and we’d slowly start to make new memories and become our own. I am optimistic. I remain open and ready; and look forward to the new journey that we have all embarked on.

Some would probably say I am blinded by love.

I do anticipate a period of adjustment for us all. Albeit with apprehension, I hope I can cope with the insecurities that are bound to surface, emotions to flare, and to allow compromise to become our very best friend. In all sincerity nobody can predict what the future is to unveil nor how well or not, we deal with the challenges that come with it.

When faced with challenging relationships especially with teenagers let alone step-family; it is easy to begin to question oneself, everything you’ve had worked so hard to find in your life, your own self-acceptance and self-confidence. All of a sudden you start to feel it all slipping away.

Even trying every angle seems to be at odds if not futile. You give space, you give time, and most of all, you give love. You can give until you feel there is nothing left to give. As result you start to lose pieces of yourself every day to this. Going out to work can turn in to a welcome respite such that you start suffering anxiety attacks about returning home.  Sadly you start to lose your grip on all other beautiful relationships that make up your life.

At worst you start to feel like you are being punished, and soon realise that you are punishing yourself and others as well. You see a side to yourself  that you never knew existed. Anger, sadness and feeling out of control and helpless creep up on you. You are at a loss what to say to your GP and being told you are depressed does not take away the reality of what your life is.  Taking anti-depressants may not be an option either.

We have all dealt with a “Negative Nigel,” The person at the office who thinks everything is a bad idea. The one who ruins every holiday. The neighbour who for some unknown reason just seems pissed off that you rented/bought the house next door. The happy ending to that story is that you get to go home, get away, regroup and recoup after they have sucked the energy from you.

What if you dont? What if this person is a part of your everyday life? You want things to be different, but they do not and maybe never will for that matter. You have to find your own way.

I’ve learned that you must make a conscious choice to own your peace, to protect it. To take time-out each day to embrace my “quiet,” the quieting of the mind—the self-doubt, anger, and resentment. I am working on putting a stop to questioning everything and also to stop trying to rationalize their bad behavior.

I have stopped trying to seek acceptance from them; this most likely has nothing to do with me anyway but their own issues of which I have no control whatsoever!

Lastly, I have stopped judging. It’s so unbelievably hard to do but necessary. I had to continually remind myself, even while writing this.

You cannot change the way someone else feels if their mind is set or their past has a hold of them. Until they want it for themselves, I have to let it be. My mantra now is: “Be brave, be gentle, and set myself free”.

This is not a life-altering tragedy that you are a victim of. This is a life-changing lesson you are faced with; use it wisely.   The challenge I am still working on is not to resign myself to the fact that I’m not to blame for what’s happening to me but instead consciously decide to play a part in what happens.  It does not matter how I got here, how I will handle it is what’s called for.

So, with my motives and expectations in check, let me be more mindful of my thoughts.

To just lead by example. Actions speak louder than words: shall leave an open invitation for them to join me but will not give them the power to take mine from me.

To keep from being distracted by negative people and hurtful moments is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I hold on to the hope that someday this anger will leave us and be replaced with a chance. I hold on to that hope but I don’t depend on it.

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