‘Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but our self can free our mind’, Redemption Song, Bob Marley.
When I was making the dinner on Sunday, I had my iPod on shuffle and this song came on. I’ve not heard it in such a long time. These two lines really struck a cord with me. I know Bob Marley wasn’t thinking of divorce when he wrote the lyrics, but it felt so apt. Especially given I was still reeling from the lastest down episode.
Redemption. In Christian theology, it essentially means being saved from sin or evil or the act of saving. It is the pathway to freedom. Freedom from the burden of sin.
Redemption can also mean the act of gaining or regaining possession of a thing, in exchange for payment or clearing a debt.
Both meanings are pertient, I think. I need to be redeemed. I need my soul to be saved. To be saved, not from sin, but from clinging on to a past that no longer exists. It needs to be freed, so I can fully move on and be healed.
I need to redeem my soul. To take back possession of it. I have cleared the debt – I no longer owe my ex anything – and now it belongs exclusively to me.
And the way to do this is to ’emancipate myself from mental slavery.’
My dear best friend H, reads my blog. I’ve only told her, and my other best friend S, about it. It’s not that I don’t trust other friends. It’s just that it’s very personal and private (odd, eh? how I can convince myself that hiding behind the name Serenely Sanguine means it’s private) and I wouldn’t want other people who knew me to have access to such deep insights.
H messaged me after reading my last few sad posts. She’s known me for over 16 years and knew us very well.
What she said also struck a cord, one that was in tune with the message of Redemption Song.
I’m paraphrasing, but she said I needed to stop trying to question my feelings and emotions so much, that it was like I was trying to justify my thoughts, actions and feelings in a way he that he used make me justify things. I should stop trying to blame myself, explain myself, and apologising for everything. I had done this throughout my married life but now I was free and didn’t have to do that anymore.
Goodness, it really hits home when you have somebody who you know loves and cares for you very much pointing out the brute facts.
And the brutes facts are I was happy, content, but I was the carer and the pleaser, I was the one who apologised and smoothed things over (mostly), I was the one who backed down, had to explain myself. I had to toe the party line. For goodness sake, we even had a voting system where he had 60 per cent (all done in jest, but in reality it meant if he disagreed he’d play the trump card so I could never win).
That’s the hard part of emancipation. The difficult step in redemption. Facing the brute facts. As they are, in a raw and exposed state. No longer gilded by the dewy haze of love, friendship, loyalty and the others things that one uses to balance or mitigate the inequalities in a so-called partnership.
Our union was unequal. As H also said, he never deserved me, never fully reciprocated the love and affection I showered on him. He was my world. And he knew that. And I think he took advantage of that fact.
I don’t want to rewrite history. I don’t want to taint any of my memories. But I also need to be honest. I need to face the facts as they really were.
In doing this, I will not only be able to make sense of who I am dealing with now (the man I don’t know, but in reality he’s probably always had these tendencies, it’s just that I didn’t focus on them because I was in love and I had never had the full force of them exerted on me), but also get on the path of redemption.