The Rubicon River is a shallow river in Northeast Italy. It was considered to be a “no-go-zone’ in the days of 49 BC, when Julius Caesar pushed the limits and created an inevitable war. He crossed the Rubicon despite laws forbidding armies from doing so, and in this eventually became the emperor of Rome. The term “crossing the Rubicon” today takes on two meanings; that of passing the point of no return, but also to describe a person or group committing itself to a cause that is inherently and knowingly risky despite the possible outcome.
Legends tell that when Caesar was later asked about the hardest part of his tirade of war throughout the land, and answered that the hardest part was sitting on the banks of the Rubicon. He eventually said that his decision had already been made for him, but is said to have gone through some emotional turmoil as to what may befall him on the other side. Breaking this law was going to incite a civil war, and Caesar knew the outcome could mean defeat.
For many of us, honesty about things concerning loved ones can be a bit like sitting on the banks of the Rubicon. The longer you sit and imagine all the terrible things that could come of the decision you’re about to make, the more anxiety you build about the issue in your mind. The longer we allow that anxiety to build, the less likely we are to enter into what might become a conflict. The outcome seems overwhelming and terrifying.
I’m changing so much. My personal definitions shifting. And I’m finding it challenging to decipher just what I can control from what I can’t. I’m stepping back from those things which tire, frustrate and anger me. I’m focusing on my personal choices and the choices that will affect my daughter. I’ve been putting a strong effort back into my career.
Throughout all of these changes, I have been faced with incredible support systems I never knew I had, while having to allow others the time to get used to my changing roles and attitudes. I’ve been identifying the things that are important to me and looking for ways that I can prioritize these things. I’m giving my choices meaning. I’m giving meaning to my nos. I’m beginning to see value in myself, and therefore seeing value in the things that I want. I’m tired of putting my own wants and needs second or even third.
It’s been a lot of resolving the details of what it is I need and want inside myself. But once I realized the things that I lacked, or the places that I need to find more support in… There were words that needed to be said.
That’s the thing with personal relationships. Communication is important.
I sat on the bank of my own Rubicon. I pondered and thought about all of the things that could go wrong. Those things paralyzed me. I was sure that I knew the outcome. I was sure that it would be bad.
I never even considered that sitting on this river bank might lead me into disaster in its own way.
So it turned out that my hand got forced. I wasn’t ready, but I saw two options; I could pretend I had nothing to say, or I could snatch the moment that fell into my lap.
What I need to say is going to happen in small doses, but it’s begun. And it didn’t go half as badly as I thought it would.
Turns out that I have a lot more damage than I thought that I did. Turns out that’s okay. Turns out that I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning just the same, no matter the outcome.
And as long as I’m still breathing, how bad could crossing the Rubicon really be?
I guess I’ll ever know until I try to conquer.