Sunday, July 29, 2012

Quarter of a Century of Love, Loss, and Learning

After a quarter of a century of heartbreaks, maturing, and lessons learned I can say wholeheartedly that I have been blessed with attaining a plethora of wisdom. I have even found my first silver hair to prove it. I will now refer to myself as “Silver Fox”...

I’ve been over the river and through the woods when it comes to receiving my share of heartbreaks. I've been broken up with before prom, cheated on, lied to, avoided to the point of relationship spontaneous combustion, and most recently, receiving a text message along with a smorgasbord of lies and deceit. (Classy, fella.) In some instances, I had to find the courage deep inside to walk away from someone I cared about after realizing I deserved more than what he chose to give me. But several heartbreaks; thousands of tissues; and one awkward, drunken break-dance solo later, I know myself, my core values, and emotional needs. I know what I want and need in a relationship and from a partner.

And I won’t settle for less.
Yes, a lot of times you have to let your partner know what’s bothering you or how they may have hurt you. However, and here’s the kicker, if s/he doesn't truly demonstrate that they care about your feelings, consider the situation a priority, or genuinely seek to make amends and restore a sense of normalcy and trust, then it’s time to move on and find someone who finds that important. The only person and actions you can change is you and your own. However, it takes two to make a relationship work, and if only one partner appears to be putting in the emotional girth it takes to strengthen a relationship, then you’re most likely in it on your own. And that’s no way to live…or love. We all have to look at ourselves and what we bring to a relationship. I'm sure most have read, if not heard about, the Oprah-raved best-seller, He’s Just Not that Into You, but I often think that puts too much focus on the man and women just having to react. Ladies! Stand tall! If he’s not giving you what you need and want, treating you the way you deserve to be treated, or goes back on expectations, you don’t need to be that into him.

I have learned that you truly have to understand your own needs and love yourself because when you truly appreciate and love yourself, the unrequited or rejected love of someone else will hurt and take time to heal, but it doesn't have to consume you if you don’t allow it. That sense of self worth can help cushion the blow of losing a specific person and put you on the path of excitement at knowing that you’re a step closer to finding someone who can better give you what you need. I personally believe that God truly does close one door and opens another, but often we spend so much time in the corridor looking back at the closed door, that we miss or delay the journey that is before us. The man I pray to marry doesn’t have to be a billionaire, an Olympic athlete, a rocket scientist, or someone who has walked on the moon. He just needs to love me from the moon and back with no fear of showing me and shouting it from rooftops; with a heart that beats in time with mine that understands the pain of betrayal and love loss, and bears the scars from many a broken moment, but wants to mark a new path and future with me.

Through the pain and heartbreak, my brother's straight forward comment that despite what anyone does, "so what, you're still awesome" resonates. I think that's something many people can hold to. Hey, I even have my own theme song. :)