Some years ago during that predictable time of the year when big changes always seem to come whether I request them or not, I was winding my way through a divorce. If you’ve been there, you know the crazy mixture of joy and sadness it brings. The weather in the Northeast echoed it in full color. Those beautiful autumn leaves reminding me that change was part of the deal of living. So, as the leaves fell to the ground and wafer-thin ice appeared on the lakes around my house, the reality of once again, being single came crashing down.
This was the second time a relationship had “failed”. I hadn’t yet learned that no relationship is a failure unless measured by the yardstick of marriage. And unless I believed that it had all been pointless and a waste of time, I only needed to look at this beautiful son of mine who had been one of many gifts from this man with whom I’d spent 13 years of my life and who had been a wonderful parent to my older son too. He’d taught me many things that would change my life forever, including my now keen awareness that I had skipped a step that had affected every day of our relationship. I had failed to marry myself.
When we don’t know ourselves, what we want or need, or how to ask for that from another human being, we lean on them like an oak tree in danger of falling over. We look into their eyes for all our comfort, reassurance and love to fill those empty parts of us which long to be filled. And so, I had been looking for that someone to love me, not so much like a partner, perhaps, but unconditionally, like a parent. And for me, when my husband didn’t deliver, I was angry, disappointed and of course knowing it was his problem, not mine, I was out the door.
Some months passed, Maine’s cold winter arrived right on time and I found myself staring at beautiful gold rings in the goldsmith jeweler’s window in a sweet Maine town that I frequently visited. My favorite restaurant was there and it buzzed with bright, vibrant professionals talking about legislative issues. Mothers met to stay sane, some having sent their kids off to school with sandwiches made of Wonder bread, while other “Earth Mothers” wouldn’t dare. Tables for one welcomed those with a book and that was my salvation during long winters.
I stood in the cold in front of the goldsmith shop, my engagement ring in a little velvet box in my pocket. It was time to get rid of that reminder and the jeweler had offered to look at it. So, kicking my boots on the steps, I stepped inside to wait until he could see me. In one of the glass cases there was a beautiful gold untreated turquoise ring. Untreated turquoise is soft, beautifully dark and somehow calming, but not enough to calm that deep sadness that was washing over me. Feeling the sting of tears, I got out of the shop and walked along the river. As I walked, I realized that before I could love another, I needed to love myself, to be able to meet my own needs, take care of myself for awhile…”to love, honor and cherish” ME.
I went back to the jeweler, removed the diamond ring from my pocket and took that turquoise ring home. The following day I said my vows to myself, to that child part of me and the strong, capable woman too. I learned to honor and love myself, always knowing one day, I would take more of myself to meet a man who would love me too.
If there’s someone you know that really wants love in their life, forward this post on to them…
Are you tired of watching sunsets alone? Ready to find someone to love and enjoy this next chapter of your amazing life? Don’t know how to begin, or if to begin? That’s why I’m here…to show you the way from loving yourself to loving another.
Email or call me today for a copy of my “Love Readiness Quiz” and a complimentary 30-minute session. Begin as a Valentines Gift for Yourself…and by next year, you might just be kissing the one you LOVE!
Donna Bailey, MS
Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups
Donna’s Big Red Chair