So, I didn’t get to watch any “chick flicks” during Valentine’s week…in fact, I’ve been on a movie-watching hiatus for the last several weeks (except what I end up viewing with my little people)…& so, after my workout this morning, I thought, “I’m going to watch Shall We Dance? before I have to take it back to the library this week.” Then, I remembered the scene when Richard Gere’s character says to his wife (as he’s confessing why he didn’t tell her about his dancing lessons) something about feeling guilty for being too happy.
Have you seen this film? Here is the love song played over a scene toward the end of it….
I have seen the movie several times, not just because I love the dancing (which I do), and not just because I love the love song in it (which I do), but because his words during that scene are meaningful to me.
I have been blessed repeatedly in my life…not that my life has been “perfect” (is anyone’s?)…I’ve had my share of troubles and adversities…but my joys have been sweet and my blessings have been many…and sometimes, I do feel a little guilty for wanting to be a little happier…to change something in my life for the better.
Am I alone?
When I think of all that I’ve been able to accomplish in my (relatively) short life, I wonder if I should be able to want anything more…if wanting more is right…if wanting more is good….
I’m not talking about things, mind you; I’m talking about accomplishing goals–like publishing a novel or taking a certain trip with certain loved ones or raising my children to be well-adjusted, happy, responsible citizens. Sometimes I think I don’t deserve any more happiness…like I’ve had my allotted share and I don’t deserve any more. Maybe I need to take some dancing lessons…?
I have been acutely aware of the feeling of forgiveness lately. I have noticed it before upon an altercation with my husband, who–for all intents and purposes–I love with all my heart. Still, as two people living together with various stresses, varied interests, and myriad responsibilities, we can become short with one another, argue, and hurt one another at times. Those occurences are part of marriage. The longer I live, the more I am sure that “chick flicks” are exactly that–films for women [who need to fill a void or want a diversion from reality]. But life is not a movie, and marriage is not perfect. He doesn’t apologize with a dozen roses every time we disagree. The children don’t disappear or magically put themselves to bed (not to mention the fact that our home doesn’t have a nanny, butler, chef, or housekeeper) when we “need some time to talk.” Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble of “life is great all the time once you are married and you always pull together and love each other and sex is always great and dates are always romantic and no one ever needs to forgive because a screen writer says so.”
So, a few weeks ago, my dearest darling said something that hurt me. And I thought I was over it. But guess what? I wasn’t. And this morning, during that fantastically inspirational time between waking and sleep, where (if one of the kiddos doesn’t come in demanding to make an Iron Man cake at 5:17 a.m., which is what happened yesterday) I find myself figuring out solutions to issues and resolving concerns and pondering on which topic to blog (you should really try using this time if you don’t already), I was thinking about how I was feeling a little less than connected to my dearest husband. I was longing for that feeling again…and the thought came, “Forgive him.” Seriously? Could my issue with connection be that simple? Could I just knock down my wall that I had spent the past few weeks painstakingly building, let it go, and move forward into the abyss of forgiveness and love? I could. But will I? The choice is mine alone.