It has now been a year and a half since my life drastically changed by the passing of Mark after a five year battle with Colon Cancer. Since then, life has been busy. I fell in love too soon, moved, started a new company, became an empty nester, did a few shows, directed a short film, got my heart broken, started a new job, took on new work as a voiceover artist/narrator, got through my second set of holidays without my normal family unit, and started Griefshare. To say this year and a half was filled with just as many challenges as the five year prior battle is an understatement, but through the difficulties of this time I have grown in ways that I didn’t think possible.
The first being that I am learning to take care of myself emotionally. I know this should sound like a given, but for 16 years I had a love that had intertwined itself around my psyche. I shared everything with him. Every thought. Every emotion. Every dream. Every fear. Every passion. All of who I was. With two words of “I do”, the foundation of trust and love was laid. It is what I had prayed for and what I had received. However, in my new life the relationship I found myself in was filled with periods of loneliness and such emotional distance that I realized that I could not be the same way with this person as I was in my prior life. I had to start hiding more of myself because as I shared who I was, the more they separated themselves. This caused me to go internal, went quiet and start finding other ways to care for my own emotional needs.
So what does it look like to go from a partnering relationship to a self dependant relationship? Well, at first it was very lonely. Even in the middle of a relationship, loneliness was my constant partner. I had become so used to having my heart rest in the nest of someone else’s hands that I forgot what it was like to hold it in my own. And as the people in my life around me failed to be there over and over, I got stronger and learned to stand on my own again. But the biggest factor that helped me was my faith.
I was getting into some pretty strange things that really contradicted the promises I made to myself as a Child of God. It was out of fear, running from the trauma of losing Mark, yet anxiously searching for the same spiritual and emotional connection that I had before that drove me to worldly spiritualism. But all of those other things made me feel like I was running after the wind when I needed roots grown deep into the earth to ground me. And as I sat in bed alone, crying, shaking, feeling numb, that my spirit started to cry out.
As I had written before in a previous blog post, it only took one spark to get the fire going. I’m so grateful for my friend to have spent the time with me and asked me the deep questions that was part of turning my eyes back to God. In the past month, I have found my footing on firm ground again as my conversations with God grows stronger and stronger. I talk with Him on a daily basis through worship and prayer. Knowing He is constantly by me and loves me with such a deep love cures the loneliness that I have been suffering with. And regardless of my emotions or decisions I have made based upon them, His love is always there to surround me, to fill me.
Being a true romantic, connection, affection, beauty and love are at the core of who I am. It is the river that flows deep within my soul. And God’s love is the only thing that is high, deep and wide enough to fill this seekers heart. Mark and I got along so well because we both reflected that same love. So it is best for me to strengthen myself in that Love on a daily basis. It is my sanity. It is life to these dry bones.
Now, I find myself enjoying time alone and taking care of myself. I still have so many thoughts and dreams I want to share with someone, and I do. I share them with God. With friends and family. With writing in my journal and through social media. I find the connections and validations when sitting alone in a movie theater and a story jumps out a certain truth to me.
I may never find that type of understanding again in a human being here on earth, but my heart is open should that be God’s will for me. In the meantime, I am learning, growing, thankful for every moment and enjoying this journey. I am finding the fingerprints of God through every person I encourage and inspire. I hear God through the laughter of friends and family. I am feeling His love during the quiet times when spending time in nature or laying in my bed alone. I am surrounding myself with quality people who are kind, courageous, generous, loving, patient, inspirational and encouraging themselves. I realize that God has given me everything I need for an abundant life so I am purposefully seeking to live that abundant life.