I’d like to think that I’d never have to step foot on this battlefield again, but here I  stand, bloodied and a mess. I have two selves, one that’s standing on the sidelines watching everything unfold and one that is actively engaging my opponents in the midst of an chaotic war. The sidelines me calls the battlefield me over…I pat myself on the back for still standing and not retreating, which silently applauds my efforts, and then shove the battlefield me out, “Back to it.”

There will be no retreat today.

“How did I get back out here?” the battlefield me thinks to myself. “I thought I was done. I thought I was good. I thought I had fought a hard fight last time and won?” but the sidelines me can hear my words, even from yards away and pipes up, “Remember yesterday you got mad at him again for not going to church with you? Remember she said the movie was just ok and you had hopes she would say it was so much more? Do you want me to go on?”

Damn the sidelines me, but I’m right. I set myself up to be back out here.

Expectations lured me and I fell for it; hook, line and sinker.

I thought it would be…

It used to be…

I had hoped…

I remember vaguely with each instance holding up this ideal picture I had created. It was nicely painted and I stayed within the lines so carefully. The illustration left me hanging on, dripping with anticipation and giddy with excitement for what was to come next, but this…

Current reality did not match up and I was left heartbroken. I felt heavy and weighted as I begrudgingly carried on with my day and with every step,  disappointment led me back out to an all too familiar field.

The battlefield.

Everywhere I turned, I saw another box, and they were all lettered nicely in my writing. REJECTION. ANGER. FEAR. DISAPPOINTMENT. UNFULFILLED DREAMS. COMPARISON. JEALOUSLY. I could probably continue on…

Now that I realized I’m here, I trace my steps back to those two seemingly small decsions I made to be heartbroken for another’s choices…and not just to BE heartbroken (because I have to believe that may be normal…possibily), but to take responsibility FOR their choices…

If I was a better_____, than this would not be the current reality.

My fault.

My doing.

My My My My My…

“Bullcrap” the sidelines me whispers from the fray and battlefield me hears it. I close my eyes and inhale deeply, I remember again. I am responsible TO, not FOR.

I create my own chaos a majority of the time and am finding that rightful ownership frees me from the drama that has led me out to battle. I have some aplogies to extend  today and not just half-asked lip service sorries, but “Hey, I was a jerk. Will you forgive me?” Aplogies that aren’t followed with the word BUT which attempt to reassign blame, but heartfelt apologies for trying to make someone fit into the picture I carefully crafted in my head that don’t seem to line up with the reality I hold in my hand. Expecation and disappoinment are bitter pills to swallow and the only person who they could potentially choke is me.

And for the last day, I have been slowly and secretly choking.

The battlefield me exhales long and hard and I dust off my boots and my wipe off my sword. I can walk off the field again now. Sidelines me stands there waiting with the most annoying of all grins and it is I, battlefield me, that extends a pat on the back.

We made it through another round.

Till next time.