Contemplating What Ifs?

Yesterday I was at my dear friends’ bachelorette party. We were celebrating love and friendship. I am so indescribably happy for them! They really do get and appreciate each other. They work for each other and themselves within their relationship.

I have been single for quite some time and it’s been good for me. I’m comfortable in my own skin and company. I’m not desperate to not be alone. It’s cool. But a healthy, long-term relationship is something that I want with every fiber of my being.

However, I’m not freaking out.  I haven’t set out on an endless, obsessive search for the perfect mate. I’m not dating. I’ve been too busy making my life what I want it to be and getting to know, appreciate and love myself on all levels. Meanwhile, trusting that a relationship will find me.

It seriously pains me at times. Most of the time, I’m really okay with all that is happening in my life. Yet every now and then, I cry about it. Yes, I cry about it. Not because I am lonely or envious of what my friends have but because this is something I want so badly and I don’t seem to be able to see how it could ever happen for me again.

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I am more than willing to take all the great risks in my life. I am willing to try, fail and pick myself up again. Starting fresh with a better understanding of what I want and need. Over and over again I do this. In fact, I’m getting pretty good at it. I can’t seem to stop and I’m all right with that.

I just moved into a shed that I’ve spent time adjusting to suit my needs, thinking I’ll be here for a little while. Only to find out that it may not last. That sucks but I’ll figure something out if that happens. No big deal. I have complete faith that it will all work out. This is just the current example. I could go on but I’ve already written about much of it. (Feel free to read some of my older posts if you want a refresher.)

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The folding bed/work table I built (among other things) in my 8′ x 10′ shed

 

But the one area in my life that I seem to be unwilling and/or unable to take these same risks is in a relationship.

In fact, I’m terrified to even date someone. It’s too risky. One date may just be too risky. (Not that I’m even being asked.)

And yes, I’ve tried internet dating…kind of. I build up a profile, chat with some guys, then I can’t take it any more and delete my account. But that actually has quite a bit more to do with the fact that I’m talking with strangers on the internet than relationship fears.

It occurred to me that I haven’t really allowed myself to love anyone for a long time. Pretty much since I broke up with my ex that recently shot himself.

I have loved somewhat since him but not the way I loved him. I shut down after him. Held myself back (without knowing it) because of him.

There was one relationship that almost had me. I was in. I could have been all in. He seemed to be at first and then, he couldn’t do it. He was too afraid and ended it.

That was it. I haven’t even come close to loving since. I have had two semblances of relationships in the last few years but only because they were sexual and we were friends but there was no real intimacy happening. That’s it.

Tonight it hit me, I’m really not sure that I could take another heart-break. I’m so afraid of opening up only to be left alone yet again. I leave a little piece of my heart with everyone who has broken it. This is my choice. But I just don’t know if I could handle it again. So…I’m waiting. I guess. For someone who I’m pretty sure wont break my heart. Who will be all in and stay that way. . . . . . . . . . . . . still . . . . . . . . waiting. . . . . . . . . . . . .

I wonder why is it that I can risk everything else in my life but this? I would give up so much if it meant getting only slightly closer to my goals in all else that I do but this. Not relationships. Why?

Then the “what ifs?” broke through from out of no where.

What if Carrie?

What if every time your heart was broken, it made you more whole?

What if every time your heart was broken, it made you stronger?

Made you know yourself more?

Made you a better person?

Made you wiser?

Made your heart grow bigger?

What if every time your heart broke it expanded your capacity to love way beyond what you ever thought was possible?

What if Carrie?

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What if?

I’m going to sit with that one my friends and leave you with a quote by Mumford and Sons from their song After the Storm, that stirs me every time I hear it sung.

“There will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears. And love will not break your heart but dismiss your fears. Get over your hill and see what you find there. With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.”

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