Eleven Years

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me why I’m not married yet, I’d be a pretty rich gal. I always respond with your typical answers that go something along the lines of, “Oh, I just haven’t found the right one”, but the truth is I’m not married because I’m SO very good at running away from men. It’s hard to let someone in to see your heart when you feel like it’s with someone else.

So long ago, 11 years to be exact, I gave my heart away + thought I’d never be able to get it back. A few strange promptings + happenings recently brought him back into my life + almost as quickly as he came, he was gone again. But this time, he returned my heart + I find myself slowly coming alive again. I find this girl who I thought died with the heart break of that relationship. I find myself. The girl I should never have stopped looking for.

Suddenly, with his brief return into my life, I had the strength to close that door + with its closing, a whole new world was before me. There were people my heart was yearning to discover + places my heart had yet to fall in love with. There was love + gratitude for the things loving him had taught me + there was happiness for his growth. There was relief that because my heart had belonged to him, I hadn’t given it to anyone else because I needed 11 years to find myself + who I’m meant to be. There was closure + new beginnings.

As I’ve reflected on our brief meeting, I’ve wished I would have asked him what the past 11 years have taught him + then I asked myself the same question. The answers made me smile and I’m so thankful for the 11 years that gave me time to get to know myself + learn these powerful lessons.

  • I’ve learned to fall in love with myself + learned to enjoy my own company. I’ve learned a vital part of a fulfilling life is to know + love who you are as a human. A human with a soul + a purpose + then to share my real self with other people.

  • I have learned that the true source of confidence + happiness comes from my Jesus. If I know He is happy with me, my path in life and my current progression, then I can stand tall knowing I am where He would have me be. If He loves me + I love me, then why would I not be happy? Why would I care what other people think about me? The one who matters most is happy with me + that is all that matters for me to be happy + confident.

  • I’ve learned that people only understand things from their perspective + often that leaves little room for new ideas or new truth. We get comfortable living with what we know while the unknown can be scary + incorporating more truth into our mindset can be confusing + exhausting. I understand and accept that people are like this, but in order to grow and progress, we must start having open minds.

  • I’ve learned that I’m a fixer. I think I have to fix everyone + every situation that doesn’t seem ideal from my perception. Even at the expense of my own well being. I’ve learned I need to keep reserves in my soul + happiness in order to be able to help others. I’ve also learned it’s not my job to change others. No matter how much I love them + think they’re making mistakes. They are their mistakes to make and lessons to learn. I can’t change them. Change is a personal decision.

  • I have learned the way to protect your heart is NOT to act like you don’t have one. Being vulnerable is hard + often painful, but it is what makes life meaningful. Vulnerability is key. Everybody is afraid of rejection, of vulnerability, of not being good enough. But what good is it to have a relationship if that person doesn’t know the real you? If you don’t connect on a real level, you’ll never feel fully alive. Without letting someone in to see + know your soul, without someone who has explored every corner of your life with you, you can’t actually come to know yourself.

  • I have learned just when I am about to give up on someone, whether it be an employee, co-worker, family…, if I sit down for one more conversation, frustrations are resolved, feelings are healed and the relationship thrives. Often, it just takes one more loving conversation.

  • I am responsible for creating my life. I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my choices. Holding grudges or holding onto false perceptions to justify your behavior only stunts your growth + creative power. You NEVER have to be a victim, but that means you must take responsibility for your actions + reactions.

  • Everyone’s spiritual journey is different + I must never impose my journey on their life.  I must share my spiritual paradigm, open dialogues, join discussions to expand my perspective + contribute to others growth, but I must never impose. What may look like the biggest mistake of another’s life may in actuality be exactly what they need to drop them to their knees + lead them to their purpose. I would never give up my biggest “mistakes” because they are the reason I am who I am.

  • Humans are such beautiful creatures. The world can seem so dark + painful, but there are SO many loving, light, beautiful people that brighten the world every single day. It’s so important to remember the power of connecting with each other.

Looking back on this relationship, I honestly don’t know if it was a one sided affair as history would suggest, if I imposed my feelings onto him + assumed he felt the same, but I have come to the conclusion that it simply does not matter. If I created a relationship out of thin air that caused me to be single for so long, I’m glad I’m such a great magician because I’m thankful everyday of my life that I haven’t married yet. I’m glad I didn’t have my heart to give because I wouldn’t have been ready. I didn’t know myself + wouldn’t have known what I was giving to someone.

My feelings for my dude were real + because of those feelings I had the opportunity to learn these lessons that have shaped me into the person that I am today. A person I have worked hard to be, a person I love + a person I hope gets even better with age. And I’d take the pain to gain this outcome again + again + again.

It’s a dangerous thing to romanticize the past. To allow nostalgia to drag up old memories from the depths of our hearts + fashion them into something they’re not. We built a mirage from a memory + knelt before it like a false god. What we called loved was nothing but foolish hope.

-Beau Taplin

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