Healing Hurts

I’ve been thinking a lot about deep hurts lately. The kind that cut deep into one’s soul and make one’s heart bleed for a long time. These hurts…these hurts that steal one’s breath, these hurts that cause body shaking, soul quaking sobbing crying…these hurts, I’m familiar with.

Today, I told someone about a memory of my oldest and youngest child together. It is probably my only clear and specific memory of these two children together since my youngest’s life was stolen from us way too early. The memory is a fond one, but after I mentioned it, I felt a familiar and yet horrible pain that I wish my heart had never known. The pain of grief…the kind of grief that you could never know unless you are a parent that has held your dead child.

It doesn’t matter how long has passed, there will forever be moments where intense grief sneaks up and squeezes my heart so hard it feels like I won’t be able to catch my breath again. Now, admittedly, these moments are rare now (thank God), but they happen at random and will happen forever. I can talk about my daughter without crying, and I do this frequently, but there are just those times where it is painful again like back at the beginning when she was first gone.

I’m certain that today’s pain was a byproduct of other intense hurts I’ve been feeling lately. It’s like having a fresh scab that gets bumped. While that bump wasn’t much, the wound is fresh, so it bleeds easily. That is my heart these days. I can only handle so much before I’m bleeding all over the place, and lately, baby, I’m bleeding.

I get told frequently in life that I am strong, and this is true. I continue to wake up each day with a smile and fresh hope, but it doesn’t make what I endure any easier. In fact, I don’t even know anymore that this is necessarily a good thing. It just is what it is. I personally don’t feel like it’s anything that I have a choice in—it’s just who I am.

So lately, while so much is searing my heart, while I continue to wake each day filled with hope, while each day something hurts deeply and I smile anyway, please know that doesn’t mean any of it is easy. I’m human and I hurt. Like so many others out there, I’m just trying to get through life. I’m trying to not just survive, but thrive. I have no choice but to believe that while there is so much that hurts today, there can be so much that feels amazing tomorrow. It is in this hope that I find healing. A healing that lets me keep going. So in the midst of pain tonight, I smile knowing that once again, I will be up in the morning with the world’s biggest hopes, and maybe, just maybe, tomorrow the hurts will be healed.

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He Comforts Me

As I’m sitting in a waiting room wanting to kill time with a very long wait ahead of me and regretting not having a book in my car, I debate for a while on whether or not I want to blog on my phone (I detest not being able to type with both hands on a keyboard). After reading several others’ posts, I decide to just go for it.

I find comfort in thinking about him, in writing about him, and even in relating to others that are feeling the same with someone else new. As I was reading other writers’ words of dating and love, I wanted to create my own.

He comforts me. He comforts me in ways that are both familiar and unfamiliar. Everyone loves new relationships because the feelings are a rush. We get high on all of the firsts, on the fascination of getting to know one another, on the dopamine rushes flooding the brain with each connection. This is no different with him. It’s a familiar feeling that I have greatly missed.

This man does things that I’m unfamiliar with too though. He uses words I’m not used to. He doesn’t use cookie cutter statements of adoration, but instead, he gives genuine, well thought out, sincere words that make me swoon. Things like:

I’m lucky to have you. You are with me entirely without being over bearing or clingy. It’s like I’m saturated by you and given space at the same time. I love it. I feel balance with you.

Or…

Just know that I want to be there for you, for everything. The way I care about you…

His words are incredible. He’s unlike any man before him and this squeezes my heart. Hard.

He comforts me with those sweet words, tender touches, reminders of being calm in moments of intense stress, and firm hugs to center and ground me. He makes an effort to connect with my children without being pushy or fake. He offers to help. And that smile…oh my goodness, that smile.

I feel intensely for him. We are new and so I cannot call it love. That will come in due time, but what I’m feeling is more than just infatuation. It is strong and grows by leaps and bounds every single day. Well, a couple days ago, we weren’t in a particularly romantic moment, but I was looking at him and just completely overcome by strong emotion. He looked up and gave me that handsome grin and asked, “What?

Nothing,” I blushed, but then I immediately followed up with, “I can’t tell you.

Again, that smile, and he pulled me in close for a kiss and whispered in my ear, “I can’t tell you too.” Can it get any better than this?!

I don’t know where this is going to go, and I’m not looking to try to pin it down any time soon. I’m thoroughly enjoying the ride though, and for the first time in a long time, I’m experiencing (and loving) the butterflies in my heart. As I’m still dealing with all of the same stresses that I have been for months, I’m suddenly much more calm and much more happy.

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The “L word” hasn’t come yet, but I know it will, and when it does…I’m sure there will be a new blog. Until then, I’m going to keep relishing in the butterflies, those gorgeous smiles, and the mischievous twinkle in those dark brown eyes looking at me like I’m the most amazing thing on earth. I am happy, and I deserve this. I can only hope I make him feel the same way, because really, he truly is the most amazing man on earth. He is the comfort in my chaos.

Update: It’s funny how much someone can make him or herself appear to be someone they are not. This all quickly fell apart and you can read the updates in Onward and Upward, Baby!In My Bed, and I Deserve Respect.

 

Forgive Me???

I’ve been thinking lately about forgiveness. Not just forgiveness in general–not the kind you give someone else, but the kind you give to yourself.

When you make big mistakes, when you hurt others that you love the most, when you have moments that become the ugliest skeletons in your closet, how do you forgive yourself? This has been a question I’ve had for many years now.

More than a dozen years ago, when my child passed away, there was a member of my now ex-husband’s family that went around saying horrible things about me. When someone approached me and said, “’So and so’ is saying that you killed your baby,” I saw an anger I’d never known in my entire life. It took over everything and was all I could think about. I would sit at work and think about all the ways I wanted to hurt this woman like her cold words hurt me. It very quickly got to a point where I knew I needed to seek out help in figuring out how to let it go because the anger was eating away at me.

The advice that I was given was to forgive her. This shocked me at first because how was I supposed to even think about forgiving someone that could say something so heinous about me?! That was the answer though. “How do I do that?!” I asked. I was told that I needed to just keep telling myself that I forgive her. Every time she popped into my head, I was supposed to remind myself that she is forgiven, until eventually, I truly forgave her.

I can no longer recall how long it took for my anger to stop overpowering me, but eventually, I no longer felt hatred towards this woman. Eventually, I forgave her even. Ever since this, I’ve used this tool in many scenarios with many people because it is effective and gives me inner peace.

Back to my current issue though, I have held onto some intense grief and guilt about something else aimed at myself for many years. I’ve always felt that I didn’t deserve forgiveness. I made some horrible mistakes and I hurt the people most important to me. I didn’t just hurt them, but they are forever impacted and changed by this time period.

Now, because this was from so long ago, I don’t think about it all the time. I don’t dwell every day on the painful memories or even the guilt, but any time it is brought up, that guilt comes rushing right back to the surface. I feel a weight on my chest and I feel strangled, unable to breathe easily. I messed up. Now, we all know that for most of us, we are our own worst critics, and that’s true here too I suppose, but I just haven’t been able to let it go.

A few nights ago, something of the past was brought up and once again, I cried and grieved. As my body shaking sobs slowed, I thought about how long this has been plaguing me for. “Do I deserve my own forgiveness yet?” I wondered to myself, “Do I deserve for it to happen ever, at all?” For the first time, I’m thinking that maybe I do.

So now, I’m trying to figure out getting over that hump and allowing it for myself. I have to figure out after almost 10 years, how do I let go of this? My guess is that it is going to be the same way as it was to forgive the woman that spread those horrible rumors. I have to just keep reminding myself that I am forgiven when it comes to mind. Every time the guilt rises, I need to tell myself that I don’t need to feel that way anymore.

Already, there is some relief. Deciding that I am worthy of my own forgiveness is a big deal. That’s more progress than I’ve made in years and years. I have finally decided though, I deserve it.

If you are hanging onto guilt and grief and unforgiveness of yourself too, I’m encouraging you to take this step with me and choose to lay it down. If you can forgive others, what makes you so much worse? The freedom found in self forgiveness is worth it. You are worth it. So take that step, my friends. Embrace the inner peace. Forgive.

Forgive
*Picture from Google*

Baby, It’s Blooming

I have not been quiet about the fact life has been hard for me the last 9 months. I also have not been quiet about the fact that I’ve been filled with hope and faith that things would eventually get better. And you know what? They have.

While I have endured many hard things, everything from lost friendships, to people that have walked out of my life after promising they never would, to financial hardships, to working 6 to 7 days a week and being away from my kids far more often than I would like to, life is getting better. There have been several factors involved in this improvement.

I have become financially stable (obviously the biggest perk of working my buns off). I am even doing a few things to improve my credit right now. I’m finding my groove at my second job and figuring things out. As my skills are improving, so are my tips and my relationships with my coworkers. I’m comfortable there and largely enjoy it. I’m in a better spot financially than I have been in my entire life.

Another positive is that my kids also seem to be finding their groove in our new life. A lot of the issues have smoothed over as they are becoming more settled, and there are less problems. While I do still have one child that is having a difficult time in general, I recently met with the school and came up with a new schedule and plan. I’m filled with hope that he will figure life out for himself and settle down. Until then, I’ll keep advocating on his behalf and trying to help him.

The reason I’ve had so much pep in my step lately though…I’ve met someone. I’ve had several months of healing, of being truly independent, of learning to love myself. I’d gotten comfortable sleeping alone and not depending on anyone else for anything. I finally became okay being single and just living my life…Then this man showed up.

We started as friends—the way it should be. We talked about life, and we related over real life issues as he took an interest in reading my blogs. There became a desire to talk daily. It then got to a point where we decided we needed to get together in person. We scheduled a meeting to hangout and go do an activity together later on my day off, but we couldn’t even wait the couple of days until then.

As I was just getting off of work at my second job on a weekend night, I texted him. “Come pick me up,” he texted back. Since I was looking for a way to wind down from both jobs, it made sense to go ahead and swoop him up to spend some time together. So I went and got him and we decided to go for a drive out into the country. I parked at a spot that I love just outside of town and immediately knew it was perfect. The smell of the fresh air was intoxicating, and I loved that the frogs were so loud and the cloudless sky gave a crystal clear view of the stars that you can’t get in town.

We sat there in the night on the hood of my car and talked about anything and everything. I felt such peace knowing I didn’t have to rush anywhere and the only thing in the world that mattered in that moment was him sitting next to me. I don’t know how long we were out there in the middle of the night, but I eventually stood up in front of him. As the desert air got colder, I leaned into his warmth. As we stood this way talking, I couldn’t really see his face in the dark, but I could feel his desire to kiss me moments before he said he wanted to. As he gently took my face in his hands and pulled me, I melted.

He was sweet and gentle and everything I needed. We didn’t know it yet, but the natural and easy way we had connected before this occasion was an accurate prediction of how good this would be too. He held me tenderly for a long while as we explored those first kisses together. I eventually pulled away, breathless, to say that I was cold and it was late and that we should get back. Neither of us wanted to be apart, but we had to. I took him back home and then I went back to my house. As I crawled into my bed, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt so good.

We’ve seen each other every day since. After the last almost year of being single, I feel truly prepared to enter a relationship for the first time in my life. I haven’t rushed, it’s not forced, and I’m not settling. This man amazes me daily with how sweet, selfless, tender, kind, and attractive he is. I’m naturally a little afraid because I’m vulnerable, but I still want to give my all to him. There is trust already in a variety of ways, and I’m willing to put myself out there and allow him into my heart. Letting him in is the only way to know if it will work, and Lord knows, I’m hoping so much for success.

I wrote in a blog post last winter that I felt that my personal life was going to bloom when spring blooms outside. I don’t know where that faith came from, but you know what? Baby, it’s blooming.

I don’t know what happens from here, but my hopes are sky high that maybe, just maybe, this was my last first kiss.