Updated: Dec 8, 2020
I was a hopeless romantic. What I mean is that I don’t feel so hopeless these days. You see, I never thought that I would be single after fifty. My idea of growing old with someone nice, gentle, independently wealthy was “practical” in mine and my father’s eyes. I always wanted to please my dad and yet as the years, the boyfriends, and the husbands went by, none of my relationships stuck. I found myself not wanting to settle for neglect and abuse in my partners. I worked so hard to provide for my kids and then when tragedy struck, I was abandoned and left for a cold can of Miller Light or a bottle of Jack. I could and would not compete with a problem or selfishness, life is too important to take for granted.
It was a common thing to blame myself; what was I doing to attract these “types” of men? I never figured it out because even after contorting myself into what and who they wanted me to be, they still treated me like an object and not a person with feelings, wants and needs. It was as if I was on another planet, peering into the vast Universe waiting for someone to wiz past long enough to see my smoke signals and come rescue me from my solitary confinement. It’s ok. It’s all okay now.
As my bloom begins to droop from the years of being open, hopeful and beautiful, I’m more relaxed than ever. No longer waiting for the right guy to waltz into my life and love me as much as I now love myself. I can breathe, I can eat pasta.
As I was mulling over my current situation with my therapist a few weeks ago, I made a list of all my old and outdated beliefs that simply no longer make sense to cling to anymore. I will never be twenty years old again, will never have that fresh innocence and delicious skin that I had back then. To think that I could only be loved when I was beautiful and young is foolish, ridiculous really. In fact, I think that time in my life was the most heartbreaking as I dated and fell in love with a man who loved too many other women but lacked the respect to tell me about them. It took my poor young heart years to get over his rejection … even after I married another man.
I don’t blame myself any longer for loving any of my ex’s these days and not because I’m a Saint or a Martyr it’s because I love my poor dear heart today. There is no better way to say this other than my heart and mind have made a truce, one that is dependent on my ability to forgive myself and to see myself in the best possible light there is, the truth. The truth is that in every instance, every relationship, I was doing the best and being the best person I could be at the time. It’s true that today, when I look back there were terrible and embarrassing moments, things I’d rather forget or just die from the shame of it, but from my perspective now I can just smile. It was all so very innocent most of the time and when it wasn’t, I know I was suffering from very dark emotional wounds placed deep inside me from my mother and my father. This is not an indictment, just my conditioning.
Over the decades of being on this planet, living with myself, talking with myself and watching what everyone else is doing, I have concluded that no one really knows what the hell they are doing…and that’s ok. If I don’t find a nice man to settle down with, I know that I’m not alone in this predicament. The elderly exists quite peacefully in accepted repose during their evening meals at the senior apartments in town. I used to pour coffee and serve dinner to residents when I was twenty-two years old. I used to marvel at their grace and for some, impatience to be served and waited on hand and foot after years of self-entitlement and wealth. Money just makes life more comfortable as you age but never heals the loneliness of miserly accumulation.
The gift I share with you today is the gift of perspective and from one who has been through much, I can assure you that love and companionship still exists after fifty it’s just not what you expect. It is the relationship with myself, my beliefs, my thoughts, and actions which fulfill me. I was the one that brought me through all of it. I was the one in the end that comforted me when I was lonely or depressed, there simply is no other that can be all things to me. Can you miss something you’ve never had? No, you can only miss the idea of something you never had.
Hopeless romantic, na, I’m actually quite hopeful. There is promise in today that I will take a beautiful long walk, eat delicious food, and watch all my favorite shows on TV if I want. I can read a book, take a hike, smell the roses, or buy some for my balcony. The opportunity for unconditional love and beauty abound in this world and it starts with me.
Today I have some new beliefs, my personal observations, that I would like to share with you. It seems to me that a person who loves themselves will not intentionally hurt other people because inconsideration is not loving. Disrespect cannot breathe in a temple of dignity and admiration. Hate cannot survive in the forgiveness of yourself and others. I am a hopeful romantic, hopeful of our human race, hopeful that love will indeed conquer all for all ages. When the darkness seems to overtake me I am assured that the sun always rises and although the landscape of my life looks different today, I will keep walking with myself, holding my hand till there is no more loving left to do.
May the love and peace that surpasses all understanding walk beside you and in you as You today and always.