Evolution of inner peace

I got to meet this wonderful person a few years ago, in the midst of all my misery with my ex husband, she was the only normal person that entered into my life. She was from the states and had just moved to the emirates, she was a life jacket to my drowning life and being. I met her a week ago as we exchanged information on both our lives and we updated on things that have been long forgotten.

Jessica lived in New York most of her life, she was born in Florida and moved to New York after she graduated and became a prominent Engineer. Her main relationship attractions were mainly Arabic men, their dark looks, their brooding eyes, and their manly mannerism gave her something she felt she lacked in the normal American guy. Jessica dated one Arabic man after the next, hoping beyond hope that one of them would end up being “The One”. It was during her Arabic man attraction phase that she met Mohammed, a young man who had been living in the states for no less than five years. As per her tale, they fell madly in love at first sight and pursued a romantic relationship for four years. As I got to know Jessica better, I got to know her story with Mohammed, her first true love, her first heart break, her first and last abusive relationship.

On  the rare occasions that we would meet for coffee back when i was married she never informed me about her previous encounter of a similar relationship to the one i was in at the time. She never really told me the whole truth, not until I knew through my own observations and constant tears that I was walking out on the life i had chosen to lead. That is when Jessica shared her story with me, her very abusive story with a man; who in two years after their relationship resorted to drugs without her knowledge, and that was when the constant verbal and emotional abuse turned into physical abuse. She left him on several occasions yet always went back to him after his pleading tears and sorrowful promises. Her whole focus in life was on him and for him, Mohammed was her life and all that mattered, her work was not taking a big role in her life, her family was a distant memory to her, her friends lost track of where she was in life. After four years of hurt and pain she went to a therapist to help her move away from him. It took her another seven years to heal from all the abuse she faced and gain herself back, her self-confidence and self-appreciation. She dated a few more Arabic men in the seven years, as they still possessed the qualities and the looks that attracted her to the opposite sex.

After seven years, Jessica  picked up her life, got all her friends back, spent time with her family and focused on her job fully. She turned into a workaholic; she breathed work, ate work, and lived work. She worked so hard that she was promoted to Senior Director in a well renowned engineering firm in New York within three years. She gained herself respect through her job and her accomplishments. Jessica knew that there is no man who can take that away from her. To her, this was who she is and what identified her as a person worth respecting, and it gave her the space to disconnect from committing herself fully to a man. It gave her the ability to stand alone diving only into her own life not into a man’s life.

It was at that point in her life that she met John. John was the complete opposite of all the men she ever dated, he was American, blond, blue-eyed, very Caucasian with simple expectations. She was not attracted to him at the beginning although they hit it off really well as friends. He lived in the emirates and so their relationship was a long distance one. It took her a year to really focus and see what a wonderful man she was with. John wanted Jessica in his life, but his pursue of her was simple not the same aggressive and taunting manner that she had gotten used to from the men she was attracted to. His methods confessed her and it took her some time to adapt to John’s ways. She was glad he didn’t live in the same country giving her space for herself to disconnect from a daily life with a man, yet having him there to listen to her when she needed him around. As she became comfortable with her new arrangement, her company had decided that they wanted to open up a branch in the Emirates. In doing so they requested her to go and set up the office as well as making her a partner in their company.

Her whole adaptation changed, as she was looking at a whole new life ahead of her. She moved to the UAE and started to set up her office branch, working crazy hours as she had gotten used to making her job the one thing that identifies her as an individual. John was there with her, ecstatic to have her in the same country having the ability to see her as often as he lived without having to book a ticket and fly all the way to her. Jessica had no time to fall in love and devote any of her time to John, they lived in separate homes for she did not want to be fully attached to someone, she needed her space to maintain her new-found base of independence.

It was at this point in life that i met Jessica, a very kind loving romantic person who was a workaholic dating a wonderful man. I remember in those days, when i was facing a tremendous agony with my husbands lack of kindness and attentiveness towards me, she would disclose the kindness and attentiveness she was receiving from John. I used to sit there and listen to all the wonderful things that John was doing for Jessica and i remember clearly thinking “Do men really do that?”. There were times where i would beg her to find time for him, that she had a great man who worshipped her, that he deserved her time and attention, i also remember her saying that she loved him very much and was giving him all that she can but her work is her priority.

I could not hear Jessica talk, i could not see where she was coming from. All i ever did, when i thought i was listening to her, was judge her for not appreciating with all her heart what she had. She had everything that i was craving to have at the time, and for the life of me i could not understand what she was trying so hard to make me see. I did judged her on so many levels internally and verbally. John had proposed to her a few months after i met her, to my surprise she had said yes but was very skeptical about it. Naturally my situation was getting a lot worse with my husband at the time and my judgment of her became more severe. I talked to her about the right way to do things, what she should and should not do. I didn’t not hear her, i never heard her. In time they got married and pregnant within the same month. I had gotten my divorce by then and got to know about her abusive relationship. I was ecstatic that she married John after all she had been through and even happier that she was pregnant, hoping that by having a child and settling down she will come to understand the value of giving herself and her time to her husband and child.

After giving birth, Jessica had no time for our coffees anymore, we met up twice after that because she was inundated with work as she was caring for a baby and still trying to adjusting to the new concept of being married. To my surprise her work still came first although her heart was aching to be with her child. Of course i judged her again, believing that she was unable to see the wonderful things in her life that required more of her time.

When i met her a week ago, a year after giving birth, Jessica was completely drained, she was fully immersed at her job, trying to manage her time with work and her child, fitting her lunch breaks and morning hours to spend a few hours with her son. This time around i really heard her, for the first time i paid attention to what she was really trying to tell me. That is when i realized that i fell into the same trap everyone falls into, the trap of judgment, disregarding what i was being told and only hearing myself vandalize to her what i thought was the right way to live your life.

After all what she had been through, all the hard work it took to find herself and walk out on an abusive relationship, Jessica was unable to let go of all her learnings. Her work identifies who she is, her work keeps her sain, her work is what bought her out of the rut she was in, her work was the one thing she could depend on. Jessica is in constant gratitude for her job and her accomplishments, regardless of how tired she is, she is happy. So who was i to judge her all this time, who was i to keep telling her what she was doing was wrong? How did i find the right to advise her on how to manoeuver in what she found the most comfortable way to live her life? She may change her priorities in the future, or she may not. That is not for me to say or to judge it is for her to find her most comfortable way to live her life and keep building the confidence she needs to manage her life the best way she sees fit. All i can say today is, Jessica is happy inside, she is managing her life the way see is able to, and all i care about as her friend, is that she is happy in which ever form she has chosen to be happy in.


About Rana Zaben
I help people feel their best and create a solid second income to enjoy the best things in life.

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