Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till someone else was in control
“The Troubles” – U2
A couple days ago, I noticed there is a random post-it note on my desk at work with the date September 21. I don’t know why I felt the need to go back and record the exact date my ex and I parted ways for good, but there it is. It just sits and stares at me.
I have often written dates on a post-it note and later forgotten what they mean or why I wrote them. Have you done that? See a post it note with a date or phone number and think, ‘what the hell did I write this down for? I don’t think I’ll forget what this one means – this lone date scrawled in purple in all caps on the little yellow 2×2 scrap of paper. September 21. When I ponder this little note, I realize it means so much more than simply a record of the day and the month.
It means that September 21 is now my new “birthday” the way that alcoholics and addicts use their sober birthday as a milestone to help them stay away from what they know is toxic for them.
It means that time passes, and as deep as this soul wound is, the ache will start to lessen. I do know that with each new day is a new opportunity to be grateful for your life and work to connect yourself to your joy, your passion, your raison d’etre.
It means to me that every time I look at it I can tell myself that despite the temptation, I have lasted another day without succumbing to the urge to text him or call him for “closure.” It kills me, but I know in my heart he doesn’t have the capacity to look at the relationship with anything even resembling objectivity. He showed his true colors when we were breaking up and when I went to give back the damn ring. He only knows how to blame me for my part in the demise of our love and tear me down for my many faults. It is a fantasy to believe any conversation between us would happen any other way. But if I heard him actually say those things to me, I think it would break my heart again. So, nope. Not going there.
It means I am taking back the reins of my life; that despite the yawning chasm created in me after this breakup, there is life after Dave.
This post-it note is also a reminder that I will keep my vow to give myself a year off from September 21, 2014, and not actively seek any kind of romantic relationship. In other words, I am NOT looking. Believe me, this is a real departure for me. I am someone who has jumped eagerly back into the pool after nearly drowning time and time again. But not this time. I need to first truly believe in myself as a cherished human creature.
It means I am so lonely sometimes, and will be for a while. But I know if I use this year to become the best version of myself, and learn to fall in love with that sweet girl, I’ll be ready to bring more of what I truly deserve to my own door. And if no one comes knocking, so be it.
It means that if someone does come into my life in the future, they better be ready because the no bullshit sign is on the front door. It means the very first time I am talked to disrespectfully or condescendingly will be the last time. No reprieves of “oh, he just had a bad day, or ‘he was a little drunk,’ or ‘he’s worried about work …” I know no one is perfect and I will never expect that, but if you are ugly to me, but you’re too proud or stubborn to look me in the eye and say genuinely you are sorry, I am not interested.
It means I will never stop working to be the best version of myself as a caring, compassionate, genuine, joyful ambassador of spirituality who cares deeply about my family, my work, my neighbors, my church, and my community. It means if it is not in your plans to do something in the same vein, to look at yourself honestly and always work on becoming a better you, then I am not interested in you being my companion for the journey.
It means that I need to figure out why I have been attracted to men with an arrogant streak who are “misunderstood.” How do I keep finding men who seem kind at first, but end up treating me cruelly and coldly? This one is on me. I know I need to stop being a broken-wing fixer.
It means that I am writing a new story – one in which I no longer expect princes, but refuse to settle for frogs, either.