Looking back on my life I can see the struggle between trying to realize who I was versus who I was trying to be. I remember so many stories that have brought me to who I am. Some horribly tragic and personal, some adventurous and hilarious, and there will be others that show the transformation I go through as I change from who I was trying to be into who I was created to be.
As early as I can remember I know that I loved attention and feared not being liked or accepted. I was a bit chunky and because of some normal schoolyard teasing not very confident. I found out at a young age that the things I thought, and ultimately said, were funny and would get people to pay attention to me. I would either get laughs or yelled at, most of the time I got both. It was an easy choice for me to be disruptive, cracking jokes at any chance I could. Attention, good or bad, was attention. That was an addiction that I have to consciously keep control of or it will control me. I always found a way to just skate by using my natural personality and ability to generally get people on my side, bending the rules “just this once” (for the hundredth time). So the insecurity led to some poor relationship decisions, before, during and after. My name is Josh Lawson.
I am 42 years old, have 4 kids and am on my 4th and forever marriage.
Before I explain the marriages let me say that I figured out from relationships as a teenager that it wasn’t that the nice guy finished last, it was more like, because he longs for someone to genuinely and unconditionally accept/love him and doesn’t have enough confidence or value himself, the nice guy gets walked all over, taken advantage of and cheated on. But the nice guy, or at least this nice guy, would recklessly pursue a relationship that could live up to the expectations of unconditional acceptance and love and always coming up short. Starting way back in High School I had a fair share of girlfriends. I wanted to be a playa’ but couldn’t do it… it wasn’t me. I didn’t “see” girls. We were a couple or we weren’t. I just didn’t, and still don’t, get the concept of seeing what is out there. WE ALL SEE. When Im at a buffet there are tons of things I see. But like a normal person I choose then when I’m finished with that plate I leave the table and go choose another plate. Don’t be a double plate person… It’s just weird. Ok, back to high school… Some girls cheated and made me feel empty, others I discovered were there just to fill the emptiness. For everybody there is at least one that you will never ever figure out how it didn’t work. We blame that relationship failure on “time.” We didn’t have the time, the timing is off, or it just wasn’t our time. It doesn’t matter what excuse you use they all leave a mark, some bigger than others, but the role of adolescent love is huge. It’s where you feel for the first time the highest form of any feeling. “Love” will never be as real as it was back then, with no responsibility and no real world commitments. You really could run away and take on the world together. As you get older you count yourself lucky if you can even just go to the movies and see something non-animated. “Pain”… (as I was typing this I intended to kind of repeat what I said about love…that it would never be as real as it was back then…. but that’s not the case.) Oddly enough with pain, the piercing impalement of rejection and betrayal never seem to lessen. Over and over, I fully trust and over and over, fully devastated. Looks like a pretty simple equation, if I don’t fully trust or commit I can’t be set up for being fully devastated. The problem is that’s not me. I believe that you have to risk big in order to win big. However, the other side of that coin is larger amounts of hurt and loss. I refuse to be calloused by the path my early life decisions have led me down. In this blog I share the absolute worst moments of my life, but then share how the lessons I learned through the pain are actually tools for me to use while helping others. As you read my Story the first 6 posts are kind of in sequence but after that you can jump around as you please.
We will begin with Wife #1