At a young age, I fell in love with the concept of love. I believed that to be in love with a man meant that all of my problems would go away. The knight in shining armor was a frequent fantasy of mine, though, he was rarely wearing armor in my mind. Ironically, it turns out that in reality the men I’ve been romantically involved with have had armor that was hidden, just below the surface. And so did I.
When I decided that I wanted to end my marriage nearly 3 years ago, I believed that I would seamlessly walk out of his arms and into the arms of the “man of my dreams.” It’s great for me that this did NOT happen. For starters, I’d not have created this blog (today is my 2-year anniversary blogging, by the way!). Secondly, I would have just made the same damn mistakes that I made in my marriage; because I still hadn’t learned to love and respect myself. Thirdly, I would never have discovered that the love that I have been seeking all along has always been in my own heart. Finally, I never would have trusted in my own love. I did not believe that my love was enough, so I sought it in others.
I see now where I was running around, panhandling for love, seeking to put a few coins into my mostly empty cup. To seek that love and meeting of needs from someone else has only left me feeling disappointed, resentful, hurt and depleted. It is also crazy-making to seek from others something they can never truly give if they themselves feel broken or inadequate. Broken hearts only create more broken hearts. Hurt people hurt people.
So at 41, I’ve decided that I’m done with having a broken heart. I’ve decided that I’m over sorting through potential dating partners through on-line dating, or searching faces in a crowd for “him.” I’ve decided that I don’t want to waste any more of my life looking for something “out there” that is really within me. Only I can love myself the way that I need to be loved. Only I truly know my own needs enough to meet them fully.
The path to this decision has been tumultuous, unsteady and at times damn right frustrating. Now that I am here, I have a sense of peace and release that I have never experienced before. This decision has freed me to be myself more than ever before. This decision to stop dating, to stop beseeching, to stop putting myself in situations where I put my heart, and sometimes sanity, on the line has lead me to a new discovery; the well of my heart runs more deeply than I ever could have imagined.
While I still believe that there exists a “man of my dreams” and that I will meet him one day, it is imperative that until then, that I fill my own cup. If he is truly the man of my dreams, he is learning to do the same for himself.
Cheers to filling our own cups! Cheers to filling our own hearts with the very things we seek from others: Love and Acceptance. May we each find the peace and love within that we deserve, no longer only seeking it from others.