It has been a long time since I was in love. And the last time I was in love, it was the best and the worst. It was like I fell into some sort of well that was comfortable and warm but every so often would fill with water and almost drown me...
I know. Not a great feeling and yet, I kept trying to make that work.
What I know now about that relationship now, is that it was healing. And also damaging. I think I loved him like I did because he healed some parts of me that I desperately needed healing. And while at the very same time, he broke me down in ways that were painful and life altering.
And for awhile it seemed like I would never heal. But time has a way of helping with that. So does lots of recovery time and a fuck ton of therapy. And I am now not the same person I was back then. I have grown into a better version of myself. One that loves herself, values herself and has her own back. One that would not fit into that relationship anymore.
Which is a good thing because I finally fell in love with someone else. And it is good. And fun. And also triggering.
I find myself perplexed about the others. His others, my others. Past people who have a way of showing up in your present day life and cause uncertainty and sometimes hard feelings. But others need to be dealt with or they will become a corrosive thread that destroys the love that is real today.
I read a book once where a very distinguished and brilliant author theorized that there should be a way to bring others (past and future - I will get to that in another blog) into your current relationship. Transparency of feeling for the past others and a willingness to own the future others that will always be on the horizon.
I have a tendency to dismiss my past others because they are in the past. And I know that for me, there is no one that I have previously dated that I am interested in now. I have a harder time giving the same broadness to his others. They seem far more threatening and real. And I could really let my own insecurity get the better of me here. And sometimes, I do. But mostly, I find that I either trust God or I don’t.
It is a very powerless feeling to love someone else. To give them your heart. To share with them the intimacy of your body, mind and soul. Knowing that at any moment, you can find yourself on the short end of that particular deal. Trust is broken all the time. Not by reckless people who throw their hearts out to whomever walks by...I think all of us endeavor to do the best we can before we give our hearts away. Doing all we can to ensure that the person to whom we are giving our love and trust is actually a trustworthy and worthwhile person. And sometimes we get it wrong...but sometimes we get it right. And the ultimate truth is that we are never going to know what the future holds.
As a former divorce attorney and now divorce coach, I have seen all forms of love and trust destroyed and wrecked. I have seen love completely annihilated and twisted into hate. I have seen families ruined, loves lost and human being destroyed in their failed efforts at love. And I really wish that I could use all this knowledge that I have to gained to create some sort of formula that works, some sort of sure fire way to assure that I could avoid those fates. But if there is one thing that I have come to know, it is that life has no formulas, strategies or really much security. And all my attempts to create these things is futile. Just like the others.
It is hard to have faith in the trueness of love. It is hard to believe that someone can really be loyal and dedicated to you alone. It is hard to believe, at least for me, that love can show up for me every day, day after day and deepen with the passage of time. And doubt is the most corrosive thread of all.
When faced with all the others (past and potential future people who may make a charge against the stability of your current relationship) doubt is the one thing that will ruin any good foundation you might build. I will admit that doubt creeps in for me, far more often than I would like. But, so far anyway, I have found the one thing that curbs doubt’s dismantling undercurrent, is faith.
Faith that God wants a good life for me, to love and be loved, to trust and be trusted. And the best way for me to get the most out of this life I lead, is to be the person that I believe God wants me to be. To show up and do the deal. To stretch and grow in the direction of that which scares me and also that which causes me to push the boundaries of my own comfort zone.
Whether it is love, or a friendship or a job, living is perilous. It is hard to know whether this job, this friend, this lover is ever going to be the “right” one. All we can do is our best, and to trust that if it all really does go south, that we will be given what we need to survive the pain that could be part of that relationship ending. That we will learn, sometimes horrifically painful things, but we will grow in the direction of God’s will for us every single time.
I cannot change the others of my or anyone else’s past. I cannot guard or fend off future intruders that may come. And if I spend too much time thinking about it, I miss the wonderful things that are happening in my life right now.
I think the biggest disappointment of my life is that there are no guarantees. That no matter how good I am, no matter how hard I work, no matter how dedicated I love, there are simply no gold stars and money back guarantees for my efforts. So whether it be others or just life interfering with love’s grand plan, loving is precarious. It feels to me like a tightrope at times where all that surrounds is certain death. But then I look at where my feet are and I realize that all I have is this moment, this heart and this faith that if I apply spiritual principles to whatever comes my way, I am always taken care of...always, even in the face of all the others.