Relying on Zen Wisdom to Make Sound Life Choices

So, for those of you who have been reading my latest posts, you know that my husband is physically and mentally abusing me (in the past and currently as of June 2019).

I tried to have a “come together” discussion with him yesterday while our daughter was on a play date.

The results were a disaster–he yelled and yelled at me, I stayed fairly vigilant with important things like the fact that he hasn’t gotten a therapist for his individual therapy in two months (I had offered to do this for him as it takes about 30 minutes, but he had a litany of excuses why he had to do it by himself).

Of course, I attempted to (again) discuss his anger and physical abuse, but he shut that down immediately (earlier this week, his response was “I never hit you”). I did say that I thought his most often shown emotion was anger, which just made him angrier.

I can’t look at our bills because I’m not allowed, I don’t have a credit card in my name (the one I use has his name on it).

Then I asked him the biggest question I have: why he wanted to stay married to me since he is on the computer every waking moment he has free time, he is always yelling at me, ignoring/doesn’t want to spend time with me, we have no sex life, etc, and his response to all of this was that he didn’t want to discuss these things.

I, of course, added that he couldn’t even be trusted to get my daughter to bed on time since I have to keep my sleep/wake cycle the same even on weekends.

So, the point of writing to you about all of my struggling and my loss of personal power is that this morning I have realized that I actually do have control and personal power–no one can these things away unless I let them.

Here’s the Zen part of this article, and since everyone has major conflicts and can find themselves in difficult situations we might (like me) benefit from some Buddhist wisdom to cope.

The Buddhists like to say, “wherever you go, there you are”–we must accept who we are because you can’t run away from yourself and can’t really quit in a marriage with children. Getting a divorce is not the solution, changing my attitude is. My current favorite quote is “you can look all over the world to find someone you love and respect, when you should just look in the mirror (on dedication page in “Mental.”) I could go on and on with the quotes, but you can always go to my Pinterest account (Marie K Johnston) to see my Buddhism board.

I think it’s sometimes a great challenge to get over hard things like abuse (especially when it’s still going on), but it can be done.

Zen Buddhists believe that the past and the future are irrelevant since you can’t change the past and can’t control the future. All we really have is the present moment, the now. As my guided meditation teacher says, “don’t let yourself get bound by the past of future, stay in the present moment because it really is all we have.”

After all, a marriage is really just an agreement–my basic needs are being mostly met (a home, I’m living full time with Chloe Marie, have the time and resources to work on novels and make art, the most important things in life to me. In return, he gets to be waited on and supported (even though that’s now difficult to accomplish). I have come to this realization over and over since the he threw water on me/dishwasher bruises, but even with my growing adherence to Buddhist philosophy, I sometimes forget that poking the bear is just going to end up hurting me.

So, in spite of his negative behaviors, I know I can be thankful for the blessings of my daughter, time to be creative and time to meditate.

I do not really think anyone can change unless they choose to, but I know I am ready to coexist with my husband in order to get the aforementioned important-for-my-sanity aspects of this life three of use are all living, even if he never evolves as a person because I’m better off staying married with known risks than I am being a part time mother. In other words, if I put my feelings aside, I win!

One more Zen quote to end this post, “everything is the same as pounding rice,” in other words (I think) whether I stay or go, I am going to be connected to my husband until the day I die since we have a child together.

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