Recipe For Love? It’s no secret…

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“You attract what you are” – how many times in my life had I heard that?  How many times had I pondered that .. did I want to attract someone just like me? What did that mean? What would be the point of that … I mean, I already know me, right?  Why would I want someone just like me?  There’s things about me that I don’t like.. ohhhh

My journey into the world of self love was completely under protest.  It wasn’t a blissful “ah ha” moment after some downward dog, or during a meditative sunrise on the beach.. it was kicking and screaming, fighting every step of the way.  First of all, I had no desire to be single.  I’d never been single for longer than two weeks, and I had always been the one to leave, once that next step was already in the works.  NOoooooo way was I getting caught out to be left alone in some dark depressing house with nothing but my miserable self! Then she left… just as I had gained all these beautiful tools about how to create everything I wanted to create… with her.. she left.

Well.. there went 50% of the names I had listed under “name the people in your support group”.  Thank goodness for the next question and answer.. “How can I build my support network?”  I went online and sent a couple of messages out to Pathways staff, and looked up the nearest location of Codependents Anonymous.  This was as good a time as any to work on that.  I didn’t really understand how becoming codependent on meetings full of other codependents was really going to help me separate from those behaviors.. Heck.. what if I met a new lover there?  Ha! Man, my brain is a trip isn’t it? 

Today I am overwhelmed with how many people are in my life.  I don’t mean all the people listed on my facebook, although I am proud to say that I interact with a good percentage of them.  I’m talking about the number of friends that I can be completely transparent with.  The number of friends who trust me, and confide in me.  The number of friends that I can do the same with.  The acceptance that these don’t have to fall in both categories.  I am honored that people seek guidance from me, because I take that as a testament of how they see me living my life.  No one would’ve wanted advice on how to sit on my couch and binge watch 2 seasons of a TV show.

The biggest thing that I am grateful for is self love.  While I entered that path kicking and screaming.. the time I spent living alone, and entertaining myself, taught me who I am.  It taught me that I don’t like to watch TV that much.  That occasionally I like to read, and it’s okay that it is only occasionally.  It taught me that I like to dance around the house or record music videos and covers of my own.. that I think I have a decent voice, and I’m not too shy to share that.  It taught me that I don’t fit into a scheduled kinda lifestyle.  That some days coffee may be at 7am.. and some days I may not function well enough to brew it until noon.  Some days I won’t be able to drink it because my anxiety will already be too high.. and some days I’ll drink a whole pot.   It showed me that I could sustain life on my own.  I didn’t need two incomes… I needed to learn how to manage money.  How to stop the waste, and in doing so, I found that I actually had more.. living in the same house, on one income.. those of you that follow me will know that I’m not just talking about the occasional meal out.. I’ve traveled across half the United States.. 9 countries overseas.. funded my love of artwork, photography, upgraded my car, furnished and maintained my home.  Self love made that possible.  Faith made that possible.  Walking the walk, made that possible.

It was initially suggested for me to stay single for a year.  I don’t know if any of you have seen “28 Days” with Sandra Bullock.. Jermiah was a bullfrog… anyway, in that movie it shows the idea that someone getting sober should first learn to take care of a plant.. and then a pet.. and THEN they may be ready for a relationship.  Well.. in 12 step programs, they suggest staying in the relationship you’re currently in, or staying single if you aren’t.  Looking back at the impact relationships had on my previous attempts to stay sober, I thought this would be a good area to follow the suggestion.  I remember coming up on my 1 year anniversary of sobriety.  I was so excited that I was going to be eligible to find a partner.  I had three plants… 2 animals.. and a year of sobriety under my belt!!! I was READY!!! And then it dawned on me.. if I was still this eager to find the love of my life, and be with someone, then I probably wasn’t ready.  If I still felt like finding that missing piece in my life was the answer to all that wasn’t right about my life.. Dang it!! Admitting I wasn’t ready was one of the harder things for me to do.  To live with the intention of being whole, just as I am.. I’m still working on that.  I can say that I have moments where I feel that in its entirety, and it s a pretty awesome feeling.  To know that I don’t need to make more money, have a newer car, a bigger house, more friends, a closet full of name brand clothing, acceptance from everyone and their mother, initials after my name, a “mrs” before it.. a weight that begins with a 1 and not a 2.. or a 3..  I am beautiful.  I am kind, and giving.  I am disciplined, and just.  I am courageous, and strong.  I am peaceful and safe.  I am creative, and intriguingly talented.  I am adventurous and empathetic.  My heart hurts for others’ trials and tribulations, and I still snatch my superman cape from the closet.. wanting to fix it all.. and I still get heavy hearted and depressed when I can’t… and I’ll try three more times before I accept that.. if not more.  I am stubborn.  I should say that again… I AM STUBBORN… and I love that I am stubborn, because in that quality, I never give up… not unless the pain outweighs the pleasure, and then I have learned how to let go, and that I can let go, and I can feel all those feelings that come flooding.. and survive.  I am love.. I am love.. just as I am.

I would love to tell you that I walked this path flawlessly.  I didn’t.  For the majority of these lessons, I loved another, and it was in seeing how I showed up in my love, that I learned what I wanted to be loved like.  It was in the constant desire to improve, and be enough, that I saw how far I was willing to go to be the me that I always wanted to be.. in proving that I could make anything happen, that I saw I could make anything happen.  It was in attempting to prove to her that I was worth taking a chance on, that I learned I am so much more than a chance.  I am a gift.  I see it in the feedback that I get from close friends and complete strangers.  I feel just how loved I am.  I see what I have to offer.. and I began being picky about the person I’d wanna share my life with.  By this time, my life was something I didn’t want to sacrifice in any way.  I wanted to find someone who lives exactly as I live.  I wanted to find someone that was free to roam the world with me, while being self supporting.  Surprisingly, there aren’t as many of those as I thought there would be.  I remember thinking about how I could create that person.. the first thing that always got in the way was a job.. so I started looking for someone who wasn’t employed, and figured I could take care of them until they figured out an avenue of income that would support them.. Yea.. I know .. that wasn’t the smartest plan.. “Hey, do you wanna move in, be taken care of, and travel?” not exactly motivation to get up and do for themselves.  That lasted a month, and again I realized just how unready I was for a relationship.  I was still too desperate for it.

Several names came and went on my radar of possibilities.  I’d always find a reason why it wouldn’t work out.  I was in love with a married woman who lived a thousand miles away, and I was comfortable.  That’s actually a lie, because if I had been comfortable then my closest friends wouldn’t have gotten sick of hearing me cry over it, but I was in denial, and just knew  that if I waited long enough.. she was the one.  Sure enough, the time would come where she would sound like she was ready for us to be together, and I would freak out!!  What would that look like?  Would I have to share my home? Would she wanna redecorate? Would I be able to stay as laid back with her in person as I was thru a screen?  I hadn’t written about us in “our” journal for over a year.. I hadn’t drawn or painted.. or even written a poem.  Everything that had come to life when I felt the love flowing had stopped.. long ago.   I didn’t look at my phone in the morning to see if she’d said Good Morning.. because I knew she hadn’t.   I’d stopped telling her all about my days.. we still talked every day, but never about anything.  If anything, I purposely didn’t tell her about my day, waiting to see if she would ask.  I’d entered the world of tests.   I’d taken a step back, and tho going through the motions of it, I was watching the cycle.. our cycle.. and seeing the insanity of it.  My anger felt forever present.  I wrote and wrote in my blogs about my struggles, and never once did she ask, because never once did she read.  Not that I expected her to read everything I ever wrote.. I know I write a lot.. but I had alerts set to tell me when she posted things to multiple social media outlets.. I wanted to know.. because I wanted to know all about her.. and in watching myself come to these realizations, I learned how I love, and how I want to be loved.

So here we are, full circle.  NOW I wanted to attract who I am.  It finally made sense.  I wanted to be loved and respected, the way that I love and respect myself and others.  I wanted that love to inspire me to grow, and create.. just as it had before.. but I wanted it to bloom, and be reciprocated.  I wasn’t really looking for it anymore.  I had moved my attention to traveling.. and seeing the world.  I’d fallen in love with life.. and life was busy loving me right back.  I’d fallen in love with my faith in the Universe.. and boy was the Universe loving me right back!  I was pretty content with my life.. and then it happened.  I was introduced to someone new, and all I wanted was to know more…

  
I can’t tell you how many smiles have graced my face since I met her.  My favorites are the ones that come when she does or says something that I would say or do.  I find myself drawing her.. getting lost in the details of her face… writing poems or blurbs so that I can capture the moment, and the new feeling that I am feeling.  I feel twitterpated. J  I also feel cautious, determined not to float with the same river of relationship pasts.  I want us to carve our own river.  There’s no rush.  It’s healthy for me to miss her.   We both have completely different lives.. lives that have been such a blessing.   The travel life doesn’t allow much in person time because I am always somewhere else.  It’s the perfect breeding ground for creativity.  Exploring the obstacles of distance, and appreciating the time together so much more.  Next month we will meet in Cincinatti and roadtrip together to Florida.  Neither of us lives in either of those places.  J It’s exciting.  Every day is a new lesson.. a new area to work on.. or growth to be celebrated.  It feels good to be growing again.  I didn’t realize how stagnated I had become.

So yea.. you really do have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love another… and then you’ll attract what you love. 😉

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