“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.“- Bruce Lee
I have been blessed to have had many loving souls in my life; some have been platonic friends, some romantic partners for a few years, others have been lovers/friends with benefits/kindred spirits with no expectation that it blossom into long term life partnership, but the love remains. Once upon a time, I was monogamously married for nearly 12 years to a man who had his own wounds to heal that I was at a loss as to how to kiss and make better. Love and turmoil existed side by side and I didn’t know which would show up on any given day. We brought out the best and worst in each other and I contemplated my choices to stay or go, but was afraid that I would not be able to raise our son on my own. The road took an unexpected turn when six years into our marriage, he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. It is a serious liver disease which, if left unsuccessfully treated, is fatal. For another six years, we rode the waves and at times got seasick. It often felt like we were clinging to a life raft with sharks nipping at our toes. I would say to God “You know my heart, you know my prayers.” without specifically voicing what they were, since I felt I didn’t need to. He was in and out of the hospital for years, as the physical and emotional side effects of Interferon and the disease itself, set the tone for our home life. Add to that, attempting to keep our magazine afloat (Visions 1988-1998), losing our home in Homestead, Florida to Hurricane Andrew, relocating back to Pennsylvania, raising our son who came to us with his own challenges which thank God, he has moved through and is living a fulfilling life. This recovering co-dependent caregiver tread water through much of it, just getting by without drowning. When Michael died on December 21, 1998, there was a tremendous sense of relief which I was embarrassed to admit for many years. It was a combination of gratitude that he was no longer suffering and I didn’t need to witness it and that the choice to leave was now out of my hands, since he ‘left’ first. That pivotal moment, when he took his last breath, opened the doors to the life I am living now that is filled with opportunities to do even more work that I love and draw into my life, amazing people who enrich me immeasurably.
For years, I was content to have a foot loose and fancy free life, making choices that primarily impacted me, immersing myself in friendships and my work, which at times, felt like a satisfying lover itself. A few years ago, a psychic told me that my Muse would be my partner. I wondered which way she meant it; that the person who would be my inspiration would also be my relationship partner or that my primary relationship with be with my creative outlets. Up until now, it has been the second and now I welcome the first in addition or as my son used to say when he was a child and was asked what flavor of ice cream he wanted, given the choice between two, would say “I’ll have both of each.”
I have questioned what it is that has kept that One at bay. I have made the ‘lists’, envisioning the kind of person I would like to attract, have, as many have suggested, embodied those same qualities, not expecting someone else to ‘complete me’, cleared out clutter from my life, am certainly not a couch potato sitting at home, but rather, visible and as many would describe me; a social butterfly. I am taking care of myself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I surround myself with beauty and attract what I need in all areas of my life, including perfect parking spots. I would love for attracting the ideal partner to be as easy.
I was meeting with my dear friend and mentor, Yvonne Kaye yesterday and in the midst of all too familiar of late, tears, she asked about my availability to myself. I told her that I was getting better at it, revealing more of who I am to myself and the people in my life. Not fearless, but putting the fear out there so that I am acknowledging my quite real and human vulnerability which I would rarely do in the past since I had equated ‘falling apart’ with being unreliable and needy. After all, if people couldn’t count on me then of what value would I be to them? Would they stick around because I was enough?
Perhaps the reason I haven’t yet attracted an available partner is that I haven’t been available to BE one. I have had this shiny façade up that I would think would draw someone to me, but rather, it deflected possible partners because it wasn’t real. Maybe even intimidating and overwhelming. I do my best not to be high maintenance but that sometimes can come out looking like people pleasing or being overly accommodating. The illusion of approachability perhaps. I want to be genuine in all of my interactions and these days, am doing more of that and no one is disappearing.
I am blessed to have so many cheerleaders on this playing field; my friend Jaz among them. We figured that we have known each other in various and sundry ways since 2006 when the Universe brought us together. He is the one who dubbed me ‘Bliss Mistress’ and dared me to live up to the moniker. In a long distance conversation that spanned the continent (He is in Nevada and I am in Pennsylvania), he told me that I deserve someone who loves me fully and helps me feel adored. As much as my heart was agreeing, my head was still caught up in the past when that didn’t seem to be so.
I read an article in Elephant Journal (for which I also write) this morning about relationships called Stop Compromising Yourself For Love by Blake D. Bauer. I relate so closely to this that I could have written it myself(: For way too long, I settled for what I thought others were willing to offer rather than I what I truly wanted since I feared I wouldn’t receive it and then what would it mean about my worthiness to receive? Nothing really, since sometimes NOT getting what I thought I wanted was a blessing in disguise that led me to even better outcomes. Being in the in-between is most challenging for me, between letting go of what didn’t serve to make room for what was for my Highest Good.
Since so many of my friends know that I desire a wonderful partner, by way of psychic invitation to this person, I have said that there will be quite the welcome party!
My friend Peggy told me that I need to stop settling for crumbs in my life and painted a juicy scenario by saying that I deserve the whole cake and a wonderful partner who will feed it to me. She went into a little more detail about the ‘how’, but some things I will keep to myself (another recent choice) to savor the image.
I open myself to the One who comes bearing the confections of the heart.
www.elephantjournal.com./2013/08/stop-compromising-yourself-for-love-blake-d-bauer/ Stop Compromising Yourself For Love