It’s Saturday (so the calendar says because every day seems like Saturday when you’re retired). It’s cold…and wet…and dreary. Ole man winter just can’t seem to let go. I can totally relate, having spent much of my life grasping onto things that left me feeling cold and dreary. I’m sure I probably left those closest to me feeling the same…how could I have not?
This old, frigid feeling was all too familiar last night when an ex (husband…still can’t believe I had more than one) visited me in a dream. He’d heard about mom and showed up to comfort me. I quickly realized that while I appreciated the sentiment, I did not want or need to be comforted by him. But, per our usual dynamic, I let him do what he needed without regard for myself. Managing the interactions by turning up the volume on the deep freeze. He wanted to kiss my head, I let him (and was relieved to note that I had washed my hair…even in my dreams I know that clean hair is appreciated but can’t be expected). He wanted to hold me, I let him even though it made my skin crawl ever so slightly. Not because he’s gross but because I was allowing something that my heart didn’t want.
Waking up, I sat with that yucky feeling. You know the one…it’s that feeling that comes over you in waves as you realize you did something that you didn’t want to do…that feeling of sorrow and regret. The dream had left me feeling unsettled and acutely aware that during the course of the relationship – like many of my romantic relationships – I wasn’t true to myself. The dream served as a documentary of sorts with me serving as director, leading lady, and audience. The story revealed a shallow, little girl who did nothing more than the minimum of what she thought was necessary for a romantic relationship to exist…for her (me) to feel loved. The moral? The only time I was true to myself was when I ended it because that meant I’d finally realized I was in it for the wrong reasons and elected to walk away. The more I processed the dream, the more it began to feel like a nightmare…or did it?
Much like ole man winter, I stuck around too long…over staying my welcome simply because it was better than disappearing, than being alone. Staying because I felt so unworthy of love that settling for the person that was standing in front of me, declaring their love, seemed like winning. Not only did I lose, but I destroyed the people that should have been closest to me as a result. That’s something I’ll never be able to fix. I’ll never be able to repair the damage I caused another human…all because I needed — not wanted but needed — to be loved and was incapable of returning genuine love. While I can’t change the past or heal their wounds, I can forgive myself and work to never do it again.
I’d like to think that the past 3-4 years have changed me. That I’ve finally learned I’m worthy of love…truly worthy…that I’ve learned how to love and be loved. That I’m capable of practicing discernment and won’t settle just because something…someone…anyone…seems better than nothing. Time will be the ultimate judge and jury…and my actions the confirmation. I’m letting go of the past. Releasing the hold winter had on my heart and excitedly awaiting spring. I’m thawed and ready to go…bring on the flowers and the sunshine. I’m ready to blossom into the person that was hibernating within for far too long. So, so long ole man winter…I think I’ll be a snow bird next year just to make sure you don’t return.