Oh the sweet irony.
Love is the air I breathe, it’s what I’ve devoted my life to, and willingly give away freely to anyone and everyone.
But romantic love, well that’s a whole different story.
I’ve been single and chaste for around three years (apart from one incident which is a story for another day).
I’ve steered clear of romantic love for a few reasons, but mostly because I’ve been too focused on my transformation and spiritual growth post breast cancer. Being single for three years is HUGE for me as the majority of my life revolved around romantic relationships; so abstaining has been a huge growth and positive change.
Romantic relationships have always been the sharp and painful thorn in my side, but in these three years of self-reflection I managed to permanently remove that thorn. So I am hesitant to go back out there in the fear that that sharp painful thorn may insert itself back in my side!
In truth, I’m not sure if that’s a risk I am wanting to take.
Since 18 years old I have been a serial monogamist; one relationship after another, none of them lasting more than a year or two, and always having the next one lined up before breaking up with the one before; so that the alone with myself time was minimal. It was a pattern that went on my whole life.
Falling in love distracted me from myself, and my problems. I just wanted to live the excitement of that Meg Ryan romantic movie type love over and over and over again. Each man was completely different so I could live out another romantic adventure. The thrill was in the initial meeting, the courtship that ensued, and the falling in love bit. But once the falling part was over and we had come to the place of just being in love then it was time for me to run for the hills. Once the ‘I love yous’ had been exchanged it was as if that was the end of the movie, we’d got the happily ever after, the end credits were starting to roll and it was time for me to go in search of the next movie.
I say it was the thrill of the meeting and falling, but let’s get real…I was just terrified of the next bit, the reality bit, the bit when they would really get see me with all my good bits and bad. The bit where the true love came to be, the baring of souls, the real connection. I never gave those men or myself a chance to get to the amazing part…and I can see that now.
I’m not proud of myself.
I know I disrespected and hurt people along my journey of self-awareness. I hurt myself and I hurt many others. I am deeply sorry to every one of those people, and I am deeply sorry to myself too.
My heart was broken, and I was oblivious to what I was doing; I was completely numb through it all… I said I love you when in truth I didn’t feel a thing.
My father died when I was ten, he was my hero and one day he went on a business trip and he never came back. That’s not a justification for hurting others or myself, but it helps me to understand how, and why I lost my way. I suppose I had a continual hope that one of these men would be able to fix me, to fill the gaping hole inside my soul that my father’s death left me with, but of course none of them could.
No one can fix the brokenness inside you accept yourself, and the only way you can do it is through self-love. Yup…even if the term self-love makes you cringe, or barf, or roll your eyes. Deal with it. It’s the answer to everything.
I have spent the last three or four years mastering the art self-love. I’ve literally loved all the hell out of myself and I can honestly say there is no hole inside me anymore. I am whole, complete and at peace. I no longer need anyone to fix me, and I do not need to be found, as I am no longer lost.
So now I’m not sure how to go about romantic love, because relationships were only ever a bandage to cover my wounds. But now I have no wounds.
I love my life, everything fits, my world is full and I’ve no idea how to move things around to make space for romantic love…and I’m not even sure that I want to.