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Living the Questions.

For the last several years I've been in a process of letting go of things in my life that no longer served me. Like cleaning out the house for Hell's Garage Sale. Shit I don't need, nor does anyone else.

It was terribly frightening and liberating all at once. 

It was frightening because when I let go of patterns, thoughts and people I held on to for a long time (and ignored the ways they caused me harm), I suddenly realized that I had a whole lot of perceived empty to get used to. 

It's why I held on to them in the first place, and tolerated the harm, because the devil I knew (hurt, loss, helplessness, resignation, betrayal, damage) was preferable, I thought, to the one I didn't (perceived emptiness, censure, judgement).

It's liberating, because I didn't have to be in pain anymore, and the emptiness began to have a broad, cool spaciousness that can be very wonderful.

Can be.

It can also be terrifying.  Sometimes I sit in the silence and I wonder, 

"Is that space in my life ever going to be filled again?"

I felt so much that way that I rushed into an engagement and marriage plans with a nice, kind man who was manifestly unready. As was I - an awareness I am holding today, the day after I was supposed to be married again. 

I cannot be the first person to feel this way, surely. I look around me and see many people filling up the spaces that get created in their lives with whatever they can find to fill it. Other people, sex, spending, eating, substances, endless activity. 

In these moments, I take a moment to re-focus my perspective and realize that my life IS full. I have four beautiful children that I adore in my life, and just not enough hours in the day to be with them. I have many friends I don't see and haven't enough time to talk to. I have extended family and family-of-choice spread all over the world, and again, not enough time or space to be in close connection with them. I have a business that is turning into something big. 

In my "down time" I'm often quite busy and have to really force myself to not-do in order to rest. 

I'm settled in my own company, like a lot of introverts. I'm happy going to the movies and events alone. I'm actually fine eating in restaurants alone. I buy myself flowers and gifts, and manage my little challenges just fine.

I rarely, if ever, feel like I "need" someone else - most of what life presents me with, I can handle - from the car, the kids, my taxes, my work, my health, my money, my house: I've got all that.  I wonder sometimes if anybody sees ME. Sometimes I get so busy meeting my own needs and everyone else's I wonder if I even exist as anything but a moving blur to the outside world.

And yet the space is still there - space I usually note when I'm climbing into bed and it's chilly, when I have an itch on my back I can't reach, when I think about opening a bottle of wine but only want one glass, when I see something charming, or beautiful, or clever that I want to share that the kids wouldn't appreciate, and at the moment of minor medical issues and standard, end-of-day, working mother fatigue. And when the hunger in my body reaches a point beyond mildly irritating to gnawing and then ravenous. 

That's when I want somebody to turn to. A man somebody. With strong hands and a strong heart and no fear. A warm body close in the dark. Someone who's big enough to stand between me and the world for a while. Not because I can't handle what the world throws at me, but as a ministry to my heart and body, a break, a chance to rest. 

I didn't date much in the time after my divorce until I got engaged. Since then, it's been a bit. I get told a lot that I'm intimidating, phrased like this:

"you're too good for me."
"I think I'm just the antithesis of you."
"look at the company you keep."
"I know you'll get bored of me eventually."
"I feel out of place and inadequate."

I don't understand this, these are men with vocations, avocations, education and experience. Interesting, funny, competent guys. They look at my life and their first reaction is "I'm not good enough." 

I'm pretty competent, I understand that. I have my business managed. I have two elite degrees and money in retirement. I pay my taxes and fix my car. I bring home the bacon, AND fry it up in a pan. I'm stylish and I do things beautifully, because I care. I get involved in things that matter to me and in the process meet interesting and accomplished people. But this world makes everyone feel less than. 

A couple years ago I went one step further and met with a matchmaker who said, "I think you are a wonderful person, but I can't help you. And don't trust anyone who says they can. I don't have one client who wants a woman your age with children in the home. Either you wait until your kids are grown and look for someone, or - my suggestion -  is get out in your life and wait for lightning to strike. You're going to have to meet someone who sees you, adores you, and all of his "musts" and "won'ts" will crumble." 

It's hard not to feel a flare-up of anger and dismay at that. A knot in my throat and watering eyes. But anger, I've learned, is an indicator that I have something at stake, and that treasure is belonging and connection.

I'm waiting for my magician. A BIG one. 

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