Love can hurt, but it can also heal.
If you read my last post – The ups and downs of this single mom’s weekend– you read about the “relationship” I was in that ended abruptly. I won’t lie, I was pretty upset and had a hard time for a couple weeks trying to understand how someone could treat another person that way with complete disregard. If that weren’t enough, a few weeks after that, I found out that the two of them got engaged. More emotions again.
But through all this, I’ve learned that I have grown. When I had problems in the past with my ex-husband, I kept everything to myself, I didn’t take care of myself and I tried to work through everything on my own. This time around, I made sure to surround myself with positive and supportive people. I have made the time to do dinners or happy hour or lunch with amazing people in my life who know me, who support me and who lift me up and encourage me.
I also had a couple of really cool opportunities during this time. I am a part of a women’s networking group at work and during one of our leadership meetings, we visited Thistle Farms. If you haven’t heard of Thistle Farms, they are a great organization that gives women who survived trafficking, prostitution and addiction a place to live, a meaningful job and a support system. We visited on a Wednesday morning when they hold their weekly circle time. Anyone is invited to participate, and I was thrilled to be a part of it. Everyone goes around the room and introduces themselves and the women who are part of the program take this time to tell pieces of their story and why they are grateful for Thistle Farms. I can’t even explain to you what a moving time this was and to sit in the circle with these women was so inspiring. You could feel the love in the room that day and I walked away with a new perspective – love heals (it’s one of Thistle Farms’ mottos).
A couple of weeks after the Thistle Farms visit, my company got a group together to walk in the Pride parade in our city. We probably had 100 people from our company wearing matching shirts and waiting for the rain to pass so we could start the parade. This was the first year my daughters could attend and leading up to parade day, I sat my youngest daughter down to talk about what we would be doing and why. I told her that the Pride parade was all about love and showing love for others. As we walked down the main street downtown, I took some time to really look around and see all the people who were standing on the building rooftops and lining the streets. There were people of all ages, races, ethnicity and genders – all coming together in the name of love. The experience was amazing, and I can’t wait for us to do it again next year!
These two experiences could not have come at a better time and I knew that I was meant to be in both of those places to help me heal my heart.
But love isn’t just about loving and being loved by others, it’s also about loving yourself. During this time, I have been doing my best to workout to keep me healthy, eat right and listen to my body. If my body tells me I should take a two-hour nap on a Saturday afternoon, then I listen. The work, the chores and the errands will still be there. I even made an appointment to visit my counselor to talk things out. I have realized that if I don’t take care of myself during this difficult time, then I won’t be able to function properly …. and I need that to get myself into a better place.
As hard as the last month or two have been, it’s also been a time of growth for me. Love can be a great thing, but it can also hurt. But, if you are open to the possibilities and allow it, love can also heal you. The love and support of my family and friends, participating in these great opportunities to show love for others and taking care of myself are all ways to help heal a broken heart and spirit. It made me see that love is everywhere around me; maybe I was just focused on looking in the wrong place.