I called her Taylor. I name all of the guitars I own girl’s names. I have no idea why, it’s just a quirk I have, something about music being my first love. It was not a top of the line guitar, however it was a very well made one; huge sound coming out of that acoustic body. It was dream to play. I swear I could play that guitar for hours, or until my fingers just couldn’t push the strings anymore. Now you would think if I loved something so much that I would not ever get rid of it right? Well let’s just say the economy is not conducive for a lot of people right now and when you need money you need money. Fact is I loved that guitar. I mean I took care of that guitar, I maintained it, babied it. It was mine, no one else’s. I wrote songs on that guitar, good songs that people actually liked to hear. But one day in December I sold it; I took Taylor into the store and sold her. It was a painful experience to say the least. Fact is I really like guitars. Everyone I have ever owned has had a unique thing about it that gave it character, it sounded unique, it played unique, Taylor was the same way. So where am I going with this? I will never be able to play Taylor again. There will be other guitars, but they won’t be that guitar. Yeah I could track it down and buy it back, but honestly I don’t have the serial numbers anymore. So I must live with the fact that I am no longer able to hold that guitar and make beautiful music (well beautiful to me).
One of the more painful and poignant points of divorce is the sudden realization that your ex is like my guitar. I can no longer hold her in my arms and tell her how much I love her. Does that hurt? Absolutely yes! But what do you do when you can’t do something you always loved to do, and probably should have done much more often? The answer I am coming to realize is, focus. Standing in the soft Georgia wind yesterday on a break from work I was looking at the sky. The clouds have been really nice lately with the warmer weather. I was having trouble focusing on what’s in front of me. I have been obsessed with things I cannot control, things that I simply can no longer effect. I was caught up with what I should have done, rather than focusing on what I can do now. Profound thought for my brain. The words in a way are mine, but they come from a woman named Judith. She was actually my therapist when I was 13 or so. She used to tell me that there is nothing you can do about the should haves in life. The chance to affect them has already past. All you can do is look at what you can do now. Yes you can learn from those mistakes, and you should. Hard lessons are things that you should take note of so you don’t have to repeat them. However we cannot get hung up on them in these moments. Getting hung up is when you concentrate so hard on the loss and your inability to do what you want to do that you simply become a pile of emotional mush. It’s easy to do. While the pain is indeed painful, it becomes comfortable. It is easy to seek someone else’s pity. It is easy when you hurt to just lay there and not move but just ache all over. I don’t know about you but I don’t like pain at all. I don’t like any kind of pain. I especially don’t like emotional and spiritual pain. I try everything I can to block it out, I put up walls. In this case however, there isn’t a nail or screw that will hold the walls up. I do not have the ability to stop the tears anymore. I don’t need to stop them; I need to deal with them.
I sold the guitar because it was an easy and quick way to get some cash. I didn’t get what it was worth to me, and the money was gone before I could really see any of it. And just like that it was gone and there is an empty space where that guitar used to be. Signing papers was easy too. Now don’t get me wrong, it was hard, but it wasn’t that hard because it was simple stroke of a pen making my sloppy mark over a slash in the page. It was reading the words I was signing my name to that was the hard part. More so than that, it was feeling those words in a new reality where the world is much colder and harsher than I ever imagined. Now I live the reality. I wake up every day in a king-size bed alone, where once there was someone on the other side. It’s a cold way to wake up in the morning of you let it get to you. It’s hard to sleep without the sound of her breathing softly. I heard those sounds every night for 7 years. Now, I hear people outside my apartment walking by on their way to work. It’s maddening! So what!? There is absolutely nothing I can do to make her appear, and God will simply not give me the plans to the time machine I have asked for. This is reality, I signed the paper, the judge signed it too, she is gone. Whatever she is doing now is not my concern, whoever she is with now is not my concern. I have no say on how things go, I surrendered my rights. Now let me pause for a moment and say this.
There was misery. There was pain, every day. It drove me crazy, it made me mad, it made me a bad person. It pushed me to yell, to fuss, to be negative, because I allowed it to. When she said or did things that made me mad, I allowed them to make me mad. I made the choice to allow someone else control how I felt at any moment of the day. The fault here is that I did not depend on God to guide me in those moments. I took the easy way. I took the human way. I was calling Jesus a teacher without actually learning the lessons. Thus I slid continually down until in my mind I reconciled that this divorce was the best choice. Was it? Financially, yes, emotionally yes. However those are yeses from a worldly point of view. Spiritually the problems were a call to hit my knees, drag her to her knees and turn everything completely over to God. Hind sight is so freakishly clear! Now can I change what happened? No! Just like I can’t go get that guitar, I can’t just snap my fingers and have everything changed.
So what can I do? If your first thought is to get a new guitar, then you’re partially right, but not so much. What I can do is focus on what needs to change in me. Fact is I must take a quick look at my notes of things I should have done and say, “Okay God, how can I change to be the man you want me to be?” The first thing I find at the feet of my savior is that regrets can disappear. They can go away because they become things that you will never do again. For instance, I will never take for granted what someone else can mean to me. I will never take for granted what real true love really takes. It takes work people. It takes a lot of work! I have a new guitar. That’s not a metaphor for another woman in my life. I actually came across a very simply blue grass guitar, no frills like Taylor, but Blossom has a whole new sound, and whole new feel. Now, you might be wondering if I want a new woman in my life, and you may be screaming that that is the most asinine thing I could do right now. Let me tell you what I want and maybe it will ease your mind. I want to make Blossom sing, I want to make her sing songs that have never been heard before. Because what I want is the me that God wants. I don’t want to be caught up in the questions of getting her back or stuff like that, because broken people need focus, my focus is not on guitars I can’t play. It’s on the song God wants to teach me. How about your focus?