The “Old Sunshine” vs. the “New Sunshine”

I have changed a lot in the last couple of years. But something I noticed yesterday: falling back into those old patterns is dangerously easy.

The Old Sunshine was completely lost in her marriage. She had no idea who she was or who she ultimately wanted to be. She had no idea that her marriage was deeply codependent and completely unhealthy. She didn’t know how to take care of herself on her own – physically, mentally or emotionally. She looked to her partner to be absolutely everything to her in life. She didn’t know how to do anything without having her man there to carry her. She didn’t know that it was good and healthy to have her own identity and sense of self within her relationship.

The Old Sunshine was one of those women who sacrificed everything. It became even worse when her children came along. She gave and gave and gave of herself until there was absolutely nothing left. The Old Sunshine was weak and needy and couldn’t do a whole lot on her own without someone there to validate and support her at every turn. She lived to have other people confirm and validate and give her worth. She had no idea how to find happiness.

The New Sunshine is a completely different person. This time her relationship is a whole lot different. Not only does the physical distance right now help her to maintain her own sense of self, her partner this time around is totally NOT codependent in any way. He has healthy boundaries and prefers her to be strong and independent, rather than weak and needy. Sure, he’s there to help and support her when it’s appropriate, but he’s absolutely not about ‘rescuing’ her.

The New Sunshine has helped herself through some really tough stuff. She has learned just how strong she really is. She is strong and independent and though she has her moments of weakness, is ultimately able to ‘do’ for herself. She knows her capabilities and limitations and (usually) isn’t afraid to push those boundaries. The New Sunshine knows where her happiness is, and actively seeks it out…even though she does stumble now and again.

Yesterday I noticed something really important, though. The Old Sunshine is still hanging around. It’s easy to fall back into those old habits of sacrificing and losing myself.

Before CBG and I got back together last spring, my child custody arrangement was different, and I used to have every Friday night “off”. Often on Friday nights I went to this great yoga class. I absolutely loved it, and it was so good for me – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. With the change in custody to an every-other-weekend schedule, I haven’t been able to go in over a year now. Either I have my daughters with me, CBG is in town, or I am in CBG’s city.

Tonight, CBG isn’t getting into town until about 8-ish….the same time my yoga class finishes. It occurred to me yesterday that I could go to the class and he could just pick me up afterwards. Through the course of the conversation, he let me know that he planned on leaving slightly early and was hoping to be in town at around 7:30 or so.

My first instinct was to skip the class, in favour of an extra 30 minutes with my man. I very almost did that, in fact, telling myself, “It’s just a yoga class…hardly something important when I compare it to CBG. But then a part of me, from way back in the back of my brain screamed, “NO! Go to the class! 30 minutes is NOT that big of a deal. You need this yoga class!!!”

And so, I stayed true to the “new Sunshine” and stuck with the yoga plan. I even touched base with a friend, who is going with me so I don’t have an excuse to back out. I know that missing out on 30 minutes with CBG isn’t the end of the world, especially when it comes to my physical, mental and emotional health.

This was a good lesson for me…a lesson to be aware of old traps and of falling into them. Sure, I’m no longer that “old Sunshine”…but she’s still hanging around….and I need to remain aware of that so I don’t become that person again.

Besides, I think CBG will appreciate my ‘bendy-ness’. heh.

8 Responses

  1. Cheers to the new Sunshine…while I don’t think it would have been necessarily a bad thing to skip the yoga class, I know what you mean, totally, and this is something for YOU and it’s great that you recognized that and stuck with it. Enjoy that and your fantastic weekend ahead 🙂

    • Jolene, I agree…skipping the class wouldn’t have been the end of the world, it’s just that if I HAD skipped it, it would have been for all the wrong reasons. I just need to make sure that I keep those tendencies of mine in check, you know? 😉

      • Exactly! Sign of great progress! (and I envy your ability to do yoga, I am the most inflexible person on the planet, thus do not do yoga for the simple fact that I can’t even touch my toes, however would I do any of the other poses?! But I digress 😉

  2. Hey – I’m not flexible either – that’s why I DO yoga! It really does help improve flexibility, and that in turn helps with my running. It’s a win-win. You should give it a try! 🙂

  3. Good for you girl! It’s good to be independent… but also, sometimes it’s just nice to have someone there to carry you when you need it… because sometimes life gives you things that you just want someone to hold your hand because it’s it feels nice.

  4. Way to go, I bet you will enjoy the class.

  5. It is great that you were able to catch yourself and self-correct. I too have the pattern from past behavior that i must be ever vigilant about so that I can continue to learn and grow, which is leading to a happier, more fulfilled life. It is so easy to fall into the pattern from my marriage, which is not good for me or for my current relationship.

    Thanks for sharing this as a reminder to all of us!

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