Are you one of the lucky ones when it comes to relationships? Early on, you found that one special person and are living “happily ever after”.
I have not been one of those “lucky” ones. I pretty much knew that my first love (I married at the tender age of 18) was likely not the love of my life (lust played a big role!). But he provided a safe port in the storm at that time. In the eight years we were married, I was able to safely grow and blossom into a much more confident young woman. My dad said, “Well, he never did you any harm, but he didn’t do you much good.” (Dads are so protective!)
After a couple of years of trying to figure myself out and figure out what love was all about, I fell in love with a man whom I thought would be my happily ever after. We raised a wonderful son together. But stuff happens. It’s not unusual for relationships to founder because of life circumstances and various traumas. My second marriage lasted over 23 years, but then it ended.
Four years passed before I felt ready to date again. This time I figured, “third time lucky”. And for a while, I felt lucky. We met on the shores of the online dating pool and were delighted to discover how much we had in common in so many ways. Here I thought was my soul mate. Although I invested heart and soul into our relationship, I was ever so sad when it ended after five years.
As I reflect on what has gone before, what I don’t want, and what I do want should I ever consider a new partner; I’ve had an epiphany about the love of my life. I finally realized who it is – it’s not Mr. Right –
All my relationships to this point have been amazing reflections of who I have been in any given moment. Each person showed me facets of my mind, body, and soul that I might not have paid attention to otherwise. Sometimes it felt like the movie, “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly”, but really, it helped me to learn to fall in love with myself.
I grew enormously because of each relationship, which of course prepared me for the next relationship.
Today it dawned on me that all of this learning and growing within my relationships has been propelling me toward affirming again the most important relationship of all, the relationship I have with myself.
I am my own best friend, if I allow that to be so. When I treat myself and honor myself as I deserve, I come to trust and value the love that I am.
I can never physically abandon me, because I’m always here. When no one else is there for me, I’m right here to comfort and rock myself to sleep. I can call on me any time of the day or night. I can surround myself with all the love I have inside.
Does that mean then that we have no need of relationships? Not at all! Being in relationship is the way we see ourselves as we couldn’t if we were alone. A totally white wall cannot know itself as white until a black thumbprint shows up on its surface.
A heterosexual woman has an amazing opportunity to experience ultimate femininity in the presence of ultimate masculinity. Contrast through connection is vital to our own growth. Interesting to note that the more we grow to love ourselves, the more love we have to offer those special people in our lives.
What’s my plan from here? Well, I’m going to keep honoring my own magnificence as a human being. Each of us is magnificent and unique; I plan to keep celebrating my uniqueness and keep cherishing the fact that I truly am the love of my life, just as you need to be the love of your life.
And if I’m blessed enough to find someone else to share the love of my life with, that will be spectacular!