I’m starting the 40-days, Love Dare Challenge. I’m legitimately terrified of doing this. (*Nervous laugh*)
So let me fill you in, the Love Dare is a 40 day love challenge that came from the movie, Fireproof. This movie has a Christian based background because of the director, Alex Kendrick, who spent his life sharing the Bible and dedicating his life to his church ministry. In the Christian faith, marriage is a huge topic and many debate the value of it in today’s modern times. However, the significance of it is BEYOND the wedding day. The movie is about a young married couple who are having difficulties connecting. They are on the verge of divorce with no hope in sight, but the Love Dare was presented to the husband by his dad. His father advised it was what he did in order to restore his own marriage. In participating in the Love Dare, the husband started to change and it helped save his marriage. (Amen!). I do suggest you watch it – regardless if you think your marriage/relationship is strong or not.
Before you get ahead of yourself, this is not an endeavor I simply just thought of. This is more about me than my husband or my marriage. We can’t change anything if we don’t start with ourselves. You see, I love my husband very much; even with all the shortfalls or my ideas of his perfections. He is mine. He was designated to me. I am his helpmate and caretaker while he is my refuge and strength. There’s more than meets the eye and to those who know our story – you bet your ass we did not come this far by mere aspirations of a happy life.
So today, is Day 1. The challenge is: RESOLVE TO SAY NOTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE TODAY.
Ya’ll. LOLOL! Anyone who knows me will tell you I probably was a sailor in a past life. I’m supposed to be a lady but good grief, sometimes I need to express myself and a very quiet, under-my-breath, “fuck”, does a better job than screaming into a pillow. However, I digress.
I wrote my thoughts on today’s challenge (separate from my blog):
This one is semi-simple to do since I’m in a good mental space. However, old things do cross my mind. I don’t tend to verbalize as often as I use to before, so silencing my thoughts is where my challenge truly is. I think being hurt in the past has put a hard lock on how I cope with my triggers. Sometimes, I think I keep these thoughts alive so to protect myself; whether that’s right or wrong, I am the one who is responsible for my actions and reactions, so it is also my responsibility to check my thoughts against negative thinking.
So, did I pass?
Haha, honestly, no. I managed to last majority of the day, up until 4:30pm – when I asked my husband if he would accompany me on a thrifting excursion. I shortly lost my temper when he was derailing my search for a picnic basket by asking me why I needed to go on a junk hunt.
He literally pulled out a garden basket (the kind you use for gathering veggies from the garden) from the garage to persuade me to not go out. His reasoning being that “I had so many baskets”; to which I retorted that “majority of the baskets were gifted – not purchased by me. And also, they’re not picnic baskets.” And then, he continued to sternly pester me with more questions and super annoying comments, “Why do you need a basket?” — because I’m going on a trip and want to picnic on our hike, “No, you don’t need to go out and waste your time”, “You don’t need to go spend money”. (Do you sense me rolling my eyes right now?!) Ugh. I yelled something foul – along the lines of not questioning my husband when he goes out for fruitless purchases. An F-bomb did escape my lips. He stops and wanders back into the garage and puts away the basket. End of conversation.
Oh, but my mental conversation didn’t stop – it was so wild! Mentally name-calling him a donkey was the least bit satisfying. (But of course, I know better so I didn’t say it. LOL!) Sincerely, I was so annoyed!
I had to tell myself to stop. I didn’t like where my mental space went after he walked away.
“Re-evaluate.” I told myself.
I go back into mental replay mode. Did I really need a picnic basket? No, it literally was a conjured idea because of my upcoming trip this weekend and trying to figure out how to bring food for 3 women going on a roundtrip, 2-mile hike. I realize, I could have a backpack situated with my charcuterie goodies but they also need to be cold to keep from spoiling. And since, ice melts — well, I needed something that was meant to carry food, utensils, wine, wine cups, etc. so I don’t damage anything should anything break, leak or spill. You get it? It’s not that I didn’t consider other means of transporting food but not very many options are viable for a hike. This was my mental process of eliminating and making decisions — it’s complex! Dammit.
I shortly realized, because I was so quick to spit my annoyance at my husband, I failed to communicate my “why”. I did not give the moment to reason my decision to look for a picnic basket because I just didn’t want to be bothered with explaining. (A woman’s mind obviously runs in a million directions – sometimes, I wonder how we even manage to breathe with the thinking we do.)
So, was it fair that I reacted so coarsely? Probably not.
Also, I have to tell you, I have a personal savings goal this year and spending money on things I don’t have a long-term purpose for will take me off course. So, I stopped myself from being so pissed off and force-stopped further negative thinking. My husband had two points checked against me – 1) I didn’t need it, and 2) I don’t need to waste money. That was enough for me to lower my hypersensitive reaction.
I was willing to apologize for my outburst but I couldn’t manage how to work the sentences to explain right at that moment. I gave myself a break after washing the dishes (since it happened so quickly while I was cleaning) and resolved to later talk to him. Fortunately, my husband was not flustered by the situation and came over to kiss me. That’s our sign that we’re truced and no need to drag this along. He even asked if I was still going to thrift since he wanted a ride to his friends house, but I had already changed my mind about going out to shop. By this time, it’s 6pm and dark out. I’m not one for after dark activities these days, especially out solo. I felt relieved that we both know when to just leave things be.
But, could the situation have gone better? Absolutely. And could I have had a better attitude about it? Absolutely.
Today was not a win per the challenge, but, I guess this is why it was a Day 1 exercise. It seems an easy task until we get so caught up in the moment that we lose sight of who our spouses are and their endearment to us. It’s easy to curse in our minds and mull negativity there but it’s obviously not very helpful.
An epiphany came upon me while re-evaluating the issue. Sometimes, after the moment, we create a label to pin on them (e.g. the term “jerk”) to isolate their identity so that, maybe, we know how to mitigate that behavior at a later time. (E.g.: We don’t let jerks get away with being jerks. George treated me like trash so he’s a jerk. So, I’m going to make sure George never talks to me like that again so I’m going to put him in his place next time.) Sometimes, we create these ideas to misname our spouses so that it soothes the vexing; maybe in a way, justifying, that when we treat them poorly later, it is fair. Oh, what a tangled web of passive aggressive revenge, right? And it all comes from a very small, negative lie that we tell ourselves about our significant others/spouse.
Interesting how our thoughts can seemingly interrupt our natural course of relationships. What doesn’t need to be a mountain from a molehill, actually becomes a mountain because we add the dirt of negative thoughts and actions.
Today, my day 1 had a hiccup but I hope I can bounce back from it. Keep me in positive thoughts. XOXO!
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P.S.: I’m going to be posting much later in the day in order to provide a full day’s reflection on the daily challenges. I think by doing this, would provide a more authentic deliverance of my experience. I did intend to post this by 8pm but I think, I’m going to let things fall into place. So, ideally, you’ll be reading my posts on the following day, than ON the actual day I take the challenge. I hope to bring you my raw experience so that you can see, I’m NOT your ordinary – “schedule-blocking-curator” – that dismisses my actual human senses. I’m here. I’m human. I’m imperfect. I just live life like every one else. Maybe a different shade of blue, or green or whatever your favorite color you picked for your life. But, genuinely, just a woman trying to grasp the experience of living life in totality and in every atom of my being. 🙂