Nov 28, 2008

Reflections...

It's late and I'm sitting on the couch looking outside the window at the falling snow. The first real snow of the season. It looks so pretty, so crisp...almost peaceful. And yet too much peace and quiet often forces me to reflect on the past and my hopes and fears for the future. One year ago my life was very different...two years ago even more. And through all of the changes that I have encountered, I have learned so much about who I am and what I want.

I went to dinner tonight with a good friend of mine and she shared her journey of personal growth and how she has finally found who she is meant to really be and now is ready to get back out there and date. Actually, her words were more like..."it's time to complete my journey and find my life partner." Yet in the next breathe, she began to share with me her fears about sharing spaces and time, making compromises, loosing herself...so maybe not exactly 100% ready I would say. I know this sounds crazy, but I felt like maybe I could give her a bit of advice about trusting and putting herself out there that I have discovered through my own journey.

Years ago I was hurt to the core and my heart was shattered (I know that everybody can say that) and I promised myself that it would never happen again. I was going to avoid feelings...avoid love so that my heart could not be broken. I stayed out of a relationship for 10 years...dated a few times, a few random moments maybe, but not a real relationship for TEN years! Throughout those years, I had a list of things that I was unwilling to compromise on, items that I identified as a turn off in a partner and reasons why I wasn't meant to find love. But in the dark and silent moments alone, I would fantasize that love would sweep me off my feet and prove me wrong. I even made a list...my dream list! All of the important traits I was looking for in a partner and I hid it in my hope chest (never to be shared with others). And then out of the blue love knocked on my door and I wanted to throw all of my fears and list of non-negotiables out the door and instead compromise on anything that would allow me to keep that feeling.

While that didn't work out for me, I did learn (although would have loved to avoided that lesson) so much about myself and things that I need to do differently. I learned that I didn't feel worthy of love and therefore didn't trust that it would stick. I supported ideas in the relationship that if were made, could do nothing but prove that I was meant to be alone and was not worth sticking with. I feared asking, hoping or maybe even begging for love or hoping to be chosen, because I didn't believe that I deserved that from anybody. Without realizing what I was doing, my actions or lack there of created my own perfect storm. Opening my heart, dreaming of a future and at the same time allowing my insecurities and fears to dictate my actions, expectations and advice.

So many things that I still need to work on...that I still need to do better, but I have learned a few new things. I have learned that it's okay to compromise, it's okay to want love, it's okay to want to help and support each other...that is all okay, not a sign of weakness. I have learned that I have to always say what I want and what's in my heart...no matter how scary the outcome might be. I have learned that trusting myself and believing that I am worthy, that I do deserve love is the only way that I'm ever going to get it in return. And I am working on the rest...

Not sure that any of my advice was helpful to my friend, but she acted like it did. At least now she is willing to consider a little compromise on her journey.

8 comments:

Gwen said...

I swear I could have written this post; it's like you are in my brain. Thanks for putting this out there and giving me some things to think about.

Miss X said...

Great post. I can really relate. I've spent most of my life wanting love but never feeling worthy of love. And I'm now in a relationship with a man who may not be "the dream list" but is right for me. What's really important is to know how to communicate, accept each other's differences and passion. JMO, of course! :)

Lynilu said...

I've watched your comments over at Caroline's place for a long time, and I finally got around to coming by here to say Hi.

I was very touched by your earlier post about your parents. What a wonderful, amazing legacy. :)

WendyB said...

Lovely post. And so true. I'm always telling the unhappily single that they MUST compromise. No one's perfect so it's silly to sit back and wait till perfect comes along. I say this as someone who married a dude that's 25 years older than she is. As you can imagine, that wasn't in my original plans!

Suze said...

What a very nice post. You're a strong woman and will find someone who is absolutely perfect for you!

Kelly O said...

You're so right on about compromise being important. There are things that you think are important when something is just an intellectual exercise (like what you need in a job, house, person before you actually find it) that may or may not turn out to be true. I think you just have to be open to experiences and allow yourself to make mistakes. Not everything has to be planned out in advanced, you know?

Stacie said...

yep. I think there is a bit of truth in this post for all of us...and well...journey on we must.

R said...

What a wonderful post my friend. You are so brave and have come so far. Your journey is just continuing and you are only getting stronger and stronger. youwill find that true unconditional love one day where you are put FIRST and always FIRST. I am so proud of you for how far you have come. Hugs to you my friend.