Almost three years ago, while visiting my daughter in Dallas, Texas, I misplaced my journal. Two days ago, we were going through some of her things in storage and she came upon it. Last night, I began reading through it. I lived in Denver at the time. And my journal pretty much had the same laments and joys it has had over the last ten years: finding someone to be in a relationship and share my life with.
I look back at these writings and think how off-base I was about whoever was in the picture at the time. By being off-base, I mean I spent a lot of time and attention on men who were not right for me, or simply were not wholly in the picture for me, UNAVAILABLE!
I also see how much energy, how much space I gave another person that was mostly filled with my worry. It feels like I want something I can’t get. My journals now have less of this pining, whining, and trying to figure out how I can be the woman of his dreams (Whoever the He is at the moment). Now, it’s about other stuff, some small and not so small. It’s about my life and dreams. And yes, I no longer try and fit myself into his idea. I claim who I am and trust the person right for me will celebrate who I really am and not some fabricated version of me. Anyone feel this currently? Like you are afraid of being the real you around the man or woman of interest?
Still, I have my moments. Mostly my journal now is a place for me to write about some of my angst, but largely about the things I am grateful for each day.
Here’s the root cause-I had lousy fathers (biological and step father) who weren’t there for me. So now, I keep trying to find a man to fill this hole of incompleteness. But I have a better grip on this. Well, somewhat of a better grip. During this time of social distancing, I am especially homesick for a man in my life. Not one who shows up occasionally or who squeezes me into his busy life as an afterthought. Someone who wants a relationship.
Yet, while I am waiting, I am continuing to construct wholeness in my soul. When I feel this horrible wave of loneliness (followed by feeling sorry for myself), I am learning to just call it out.
It looks something like this: “Hey, I see you! I see loneliness and that other thing you drag in the room with you every time. Yeah, that thing of defeat and failure. You telling me, I’ll never have the love I hope and long for, and that it has passed me by, that I’m looking for the impossible and I’m too old. Yeah, I see you.” And then the old hurt crawls up inside me, whining and crying. And that little, confused girl inside me- the one from when I was little and couldn’t understand grownup’s actions and words- feels ignored, feels as if she did something wrong, and it is her fault she has vacant and abusive dads.
But now that I recognize this is a problem, that my little girl will never have a real father, one that is there to protect her, to love her, to make her feel special and cherished. And the one thing I can do is tell her this: “Little one, your father is not coming back. He is not capable and not here. It is not your fault. You did nothing wrong. But I am here. I will not forsake you. I will not leave you. I will love you and you are special. I will protect you. I am right here.”
Does it help me? Yes and in moments, no. But instead of getting on one more dating app or flipping through a bunch of miserable looking men’s photos, I am trying to come back to the center of me. I am coming back to the Father called God, who loves me and can fill me with his love, so bright, so strong. And I just sit with these feelings of loneliness until they leave me.
Sitting with feelings but not giving myself over entirely to them, is new. And though loneliness crops up almost every day (in the evening), I’m going to keep practicing this until it becomes less and less.
Still, I am puzzled. How can I have gone this deep in my work of clearing out old issues, of becoming this whole human being, and then not have the wonderful man in my life show up? It is still there, a desire to be in a long-term relationship (marriage really), of making dinner together, talking about our day and slipping between the sheets and feeling his skin against mine. I believe it means that I am meant to have it. That it is coming.
I have to be patient. I am not patient. I am a doer, a solver of problems, a take action gal because time is of the essence! I guess I will have to keep conquering my needs until there is no need.
Is this the real answer? Is being alone and blissful in being alone, the reason, I have written page after page in journals, dated man after man, and had session after session, to just be whole and in no need of anything or anyone? I bet the answer is yes.
But isn’t my reward a fulfilling and amazing relationship with a man? I hope it is. I hope he is just around the corner, being worked on in the same way he needs working on to be ready for me, for this! And if he is not? I continually turn my attention to my life as it is. I will honor this life in whatever form it takes.
Ever since I was a girl, I’ve dreamed of having the boy. It would be so wonderful to experience the fulfillment of truly being in love and living my life out with the one! Of being the couple that holds hands, and whispers endearments to each other, to fight a problem in our lives but not each other, to love deeply and be loved in return.
If it happens (or should I be absolutely positive and say when it happens), I have a feeling I will think it was worth the wait!