February 14th is the day of expressing love most commonly to a partner. This day can also be very difficult for many without this special someone in their life. Now, consider throwing in a diagnosis and this is where I will go………
I had been divorced for 3 years, after a long term marriage, when diagnosed with a degenerative vision loss disease. The fear of an unknown future gripped me like a vice. My self-worth, as a desirable partner, was in grave danger of paralysis.
Dating became a realm of ‘how do I go forward, how and when do I tell someone of my potential vision loss’. The answers to these questions came in the only form possible. Firsthand experience.
Lesson #1: One relationship researched Stargardts, dove right in and felt I was still worthy of love. It was then my job to accept his love and not push him away because of my deep rooted feelings of becoming a burden. Lesson learned: I will never become a burden as I will always be a viable, giving, social being!
Lesson #2: Another, upon being informed, ran in the other direction. Now, that was a healing journey! Lesson learned: People do have compassion and courage. This gentleman knocked on my door and spoke his truth. It was his inability, at that time, to embrace the unknown with me. Hurtful? Yes. Appreciated? Absolutely. We are not all made of the same stuff and that is ok.
Lesson #3: Most recently, a gentleman did not need to be informed. He noticed and asked. He was not shaken by it. He simply noticed and held my hand to lead me down those darn stairs which eventually turn into a child’s slide visually. Lesson learned: Words are not always mandatory. Actions and truly taking in a person’s aura, movements can be enough. It will then become what it is meant to be.
These three different experiences taught me to put on my big girl pants and take back ownership of my self-worth. Love can be unconditional. I cannot control the feelings of others, however I can choose to believe I am worthy of love. It also takes courage for anyone stepping up to my plate of deliciousness. My motto in life is ‘we are all dealing with something. Some of us simply have found out earlier than others’.
I remind myself this Valentine week of the abundance of love from family and friends. If you are still searching for a partner, keep going, hold your head high and keep your heart open. All good things come to those who believe. :0)