“I am not my relationships”

When I was eleven, my life crashed apart on the day my father died. The sense of security and safety we had always known fell down hard, and life as we knew it changed forever. My mother grieved the loss with agonizing ferocity, and I did my best to care for my younger brother. In her vulnerable state, she began to date, looking for someone to offer some kind of comfort and a second of something resembling love. I saw the way that she was treated, half of me longing for a father figure, the other half disappointed, disillusioned and angered by the way that she was treated by them. The older I got, the deeper the longing for me to find someone who could offer the same kind of security and love my father did.

And so began a lifetime of being the second half to someone else’s life. The more I longed for a man to love me, the more I ended up in relationships where I was the supporting actress in another person’s movie. I was married, had children, all the while trying very hard to be good, working desperately to be perfect so that he would love me. I lost all the hopes and dreams I had for myself as a kid, and buried them for the good of everyone else, always secretly hoping that I’d finally be good enough for him to love. When we divorced, I felt like I had entered the deepest black hole of my life. But still, the ache continued, and my search became even more desperate to find someone who loved me. As all of my relationships were revealed as empty and lacking in real love, I started to doubt that I was lovable, but also if I even had a heart that COULD love.

I’ve walked away for a time from finding the love I need. As I’ve had time for myself, and time with my children without the quest for love, I’ve found that I’ve had love and I’ve given love all along. I am able; my children tell me, my co-workers tell me, my friends tell me, my family tells me, the kids I serve at school tell me. And I’m starting to believe them all. As I have faith in my own heart, my own talents, and my own value as a human being for no other reason than I am here on this planet a unique creation, everything is changing. I find that my relationships are honoring to me, and I easily release the ones that don’t without guilt or fear, believing that love is everywhere for me. And all of those dreams, hopes and talents that I thought I had lost? They were merely hidden, waiting for me to be ready to embrace them again. And I am, with every part of my heart. Life is good. And I am LOVE-ABLE.