I had it all wrong. I kept searching, desperate for the lesson. What was I supposed to learn from loving this man? What was my heart doing? Why did I think he was delivered by grand design to my doorstep?
I was so fearful that all the work I put into this man would be for nothing; that someone else would reap the rewards of my sacrifice. That sobs that fell on deaf ears and tears that could fill empty glasses would be lost forever without meaning.
How could a relationship that meant so much to me mean so little to him?
I was so fearful of someone else swooping in and getting the best version of him that I clung desperately even though there was nothing left. The only thing keeping me afloat was hope.
I thought abandoning this relationship was admitting a weakness on my part, that I was not the woman I thought I was. That I had failed. Again.
But I awoke one morning and clarity came rushing in before the sunlight and I cried tears of relief. I inhaled deeply and with the same breath I let go of all fear, all doubt, all heartache and all expectation. I realized that fear was holding me back from letting go. I feared someone else taking over what I felt was mine….but he wasn’t MINE. He never was MINE to love.
I had it all wrong.
It occurred to me in that instant that he wasn’t delivered to me so that I could help him evolve into a better version of himself. He was delivered to me so that I could evolve into a better version of myself.
Before him I was angry, holding onto the baggage from previous relationships. I was bitter and cold and tuned out. Before him I wasn’t ready to receive any kind of love or companionship, understanding or acceptance. I realized in that breath that I was mirroring to him what I needed from a relationship, not what he needed.
He never revealed what he needed from me, not even when I asked. He didn’t know because he was not ready to receive those things. I was staring in a mirror the entire time and never knew it.
During my relationship with him, I began to look and feel like my old self…happy, healthy, vibrant and in love with life in general. My weight decreased. My hair went from the lack-luster black I had dyed it to, to the golden blonde I was born with. I wasn’t trying to be anything other than me. The best version of me. I was communicating my needs in a way that I hadn’t done before. I was bold in my quest for happiness, all the while turning my attention outward to him. I was so fixated on making HIM see what was in front of him that I didn’t see what was staring back at me. He was the me I was nine months prior, unwilling to change, unwilling to feel, unwilling to be vulnerable. I was at war with myself.
The moment I exhaled I knew I would be ok. I knew that I would survive this heartbreak. I knew that I was as resilient as always. I love this man. I still do, no actions changed that, but I love myself and I know now that I am open and ready to receive the love I shunned nine months prior.
I had it all wrong. The lesson was never what I could teach him, it was what I was teaching myself. To love me.