I was widowed when I was 33. I was told by someone who didn’t even know me that well, that it was so obvious that what we shared was not common. It was one of those rare loves that very few get to experience. I had been exceptionally lucky. That particular comment was shared in an expansive and honouring way. It was very comforting to me to have that acknowledged, when his family and friends diminished my part in his life to only 3 years of marriage, (as opposed to their loss of 30 years of him).
Later, the subtext became that I was very lucky to have had love, and I shouldn’t be so greedy as to expect it again. It was sometimes even expressed quite plainly. Of course, I did want to have love again, He wanted it for me too. I knew, because we had discussed death, and he had told me.
But, I took it on board, a little. And even though I did pursue another relationship, and even got married again.. I felt guilty for it. We both did. (I married my late husband’s best friend, and there were those that supposed we must have been having an affair while he was alive. We weren’t. We simply neither had anyone else to turn to in our grief, and we already loved each other, because we were friends. Guilt taken on, isn’t always deserved.) That guilt was a cancer. We should have been happy, but we didn’t really stand a chance.
The belief of not deserving love like that again, took hold. I’m sure I invoked subtle sabotage patterns, in order to alleviate the guilt of moving on, and to prove it true. It wreaked havoc on us for more than ten years.
What I’ve worked on since then, is shattering the myth of not deserving. Of realising that we all deserve love. Over and over again, as many times as it takes. Whether for one night, or a week, or a year, or forever. It doesn’t really matter. When one love ends, there will be more. It’s worth the risk. We are here to experience love.
My hope is that others of you out there, who are walking this same path, after grieving lost love, will recognise this. If you too have bought in to the guilt of moving on, then please stop. Call the idea out as the bullshit that it is. Don’t let the ignorant opinions of others cause you to ruin your own life.
For more than 2 years now, my focus has been on removing emotional armour, deactivating patterns of unworthiness, cultivating vulnerability and keeping an open heart. No matter what.
It was a scary process. It made me feel like I was losing my mind, at times. Pretty sure not many people around me “got” what I was doing. But, you know what it gave me? Love.
When you are determined to keep your heart open, and you give everything you’ve got in each transaction, then it doesn’t matter if it’s reciprocated or not. But you know, the funny thing I found was that I received far more love when I wasn’t protecting myself so hard. People respond to love. They may run away from it, but they will also be changed by it. The gift of my open heart has the power to open others.
All day, in my work, I open my hands and I pour love into people’s bodies. I open my mind and my heart and I provide safe space for people’s trauma and troubles and fears.
The sun doesn’t selectively choose who it will shine on. A tree won’t bear fruit, only if you promise not to hurt it. No such promises are made in nature. We are born. We will die. And in between is up to us. But I highly recommend that you allow yourself to love. And to be loved. It’s a remarkable gift. ❤