I've been wanting to write for a while now. For a week I've wanted to sit down with a keyboard and my thoughts and tell the world the scary inner thoughts I have on things like marriage. Don't ask me why.
A week ago today I was in a room full of my people. A year ago this month I stepped into the big room at Choices Seminars a little bit afraid, looking for a reason to run. I didn't find one. Instead I found 85 reasons to stay. I found faces that looked at me with such love and wonder. They looked at me like one looks at a caterpillar emerging from a chrysalis. It was like they knew the miracle was going to happen. They knew it, and they held their breath in anticipation, and when it did they let out a little gasp of wonder. They taught me the joy of sober dancing. And it was in that room that for the first time in 18 years I clued into the fact that maybe, just maybe, I was worthy of love. Of being loved by others, and of loving myself.
A week ago I stepped back into the big room at Choices Seminars and it felt like coming home. It felt like a breath of fresh air, like just by walking through the doors a bit of the magic was put back on my skin. And in that big room I got to see some of my favourite people in the whole wide world, being some of the other amazing humans that went through that crazy journey with me.
A few days before I walked into this room, I had written in the memo notes on my phone "I want to be anointed for marriage. To be found worthy of this calling and blessed into it. I wish for the affirmation of my heart."
The words didn't even make sense to me as I wrote them, but I knew that was what I wanted. When people ask me how I feel about being engaged I smile and say I am excited. And I am. I am so excited and have so much joy about embarking on this new journey with the man I love with every piece of me. I am also afraid. I am so afraid of marriage and I've said to multiple people that I don't know if I believe in marriage anymore and its not because I'm having second thoughts about the person I'm marrying or if I want to spend the rest of my life with him. It's because I look at marriage, at what I want marriage to be and think marriage is, and it is a calling I feel unworthy of.
I'm the girl with a bruised heart. I fell in love (or infatuation) with the wrong boy a few too many times and gave away pieces of my heart. I failed so greatly to take care of my own self, to provide for my own basic needs. More often than not I found myself deserving of punishment rather than love. It was easier to starve or cut away the pain than to sit with it. And always I have found it easier to run than to stay. And when I look at this wonderful human being in front of me, the one who wants with his whole heart to enter into this forever kind of commitment with me, I feel unworthy. I feel distrustful of my own heart, and how strongly it wants this and him because of all the other times my heart has led me down the wrong path, and all the other times (which is far too many to count) that I have seen marriages fail.
I walked into that Choices room a week ago today and saw my friends who have become family. And they hugged me and congratulated me. And then, ever so gently, they poked at the tender places of my heart. The places that doubt marriage is a good idea, that doubt myself. At first I was a bit taken aback, because I had forgotten how well these loving humans know my heart just from looking at me. Because I thought I was doing such a good job hiding behind the masks and not telling the entire truth with my life but only living in the positive glow. And then I realized they were right. I had a conversation with a good friend about my fears, about all the negative thought patterns I have around marriage. And she told me that it's ok to be afraid. She asked me what I was willing to lose. Would I hold so tightly to the old thought patterns I had about relationships that I sabotaged the real and beautiful one right in front of me. Would I let fear win? And like a prayer, a blessing, another friend of mine whispered the words over me "You are strong enough to accept love."
It felt like the affirmation of my heart I had been waiting for. I let out a sigh of relief when I saw the only thing standing in my way was me. My heart was good. And despite my past mistakes, or maybe including them, I was worthy of love. I was strong enough to give and receive love.
"I am not afraid. I was born to do this."