Hello SOTGC community,
I hope this day finds you all happy and in good health. As we near Valentine’s Day, it brings me to thoughts of love. More specifically, it reminds me of all the love I have in my life and how truly blessed I am…and how very far I’ve come.
Getting married at 20 was a choice that I made, and the path it led me on was a combination of a little joy and a whole lot of pain. I won’t get into all the gory details of that marriage, but I will say that I gained two beautiful and amazing children from that union as well as a plethora of life lessons.
A failed marriage and two kids later, I started on the path of self-discovery and realized the importance of self-love and authentic living. I was no longer the young, naïve, innocent girl I once was, and finding my inner strength and determination was a stretch for me after being verbally pummeled for so many years. However, it was sort of a “snowball effect” once I got rolling. With each day that I began to forgive myself for making what I perceived to be a bad choice (by getting married) and to also forgive him, I grew stronger and happier. I started to recognize all the blessings and teachings I gained from that marriage, and then something beautiful happened…I started to see how beautiful and amazing I was! I saw that even though I went through some horrendous things, I prevailed and came out the other side all the better! I understood that in order to fully and completely love someone else again and in a healthy way, I had to fully and completely love myself.
As my perspective was changing, so was my physical world. Great opportunities and people showed up in my life both personally and professionally, and it was as if my path was laid straight before me. Things were definitely falling into place, and I really wanted someone to share it with on a romantic level. I did my share of daydreaming about the perfect man for me, I made a list of all the attributes that he would have, and then one day he showed up! There were two short-term relationships prior to the love of my life showing up, and they were perfect for ‘fine tuning’ my list. Sometimes we think we want one thing, but only through trial and error we find out that we want something else. For instance, I had written down that I wanted a partner that was “emotional,” and through my dating realized what I meant was I wanted someone who was “sensitive to my emotions.” With each guy and each modification of my list, I got a step closer to my dream man.
When Charlie showed up in my life, he taught me so much. He loved me EXACTLY how I was and never asked me to change anything about myself. I once asked him if he would mind if I cut my hair, and he said, “I didn’t marry you for your hair. Do what makes you happy!” He never criticized, yelled, called me names, left without saying goodbye, hung up on me, etc. (things that were common in my first marriage.) He showed me how to truly and unconditionally love someone and continues to do so to this day. He makes me laugh and not cry, he does things for me with no expectations, he’s considerate, he’s an amazing dad and the easiest person to be married to. I believe that I dreamt him into my existence!
So, whether you are looking for love the first time around or the second, third, or fourth…I’m here to say that with a little shift in perspective and a lot of self-love, you can have it all!