I am a serial monogamist.
My first crush was in kindergarten. He had the most beautiful blue eyes. I loved it, the thrill of the chase, the holding hands, the secret notes.
This interplay and intrigue always gave the days excitement and relationships became a fixation. I would go from one cute boy to the next and sometimes go back to the first boy. High School was far more complicated. I met my first love and fell with a kiss in the breezeway. He was my biggest heartbreak. I cried for hours listening to “our song” and replaying every detail about what went wrong in my obsessive mind. After that, love was a snow ball getting bigger as it flew down the hill, it was dizzying.
There was the sweet, funny, hot one who always seemed like he was on a directionless path. There was the too serious, intellectual, jam band loving, introvert.
Then the repeat with my first love, which ended again in disaster.
This is when I hit a low point in my life. I wasn’t sure I was going to find my way out of that maze of misery. I fell into depths I didn’t think I could fall. But, I found a light and a helping hand by the man who would become my husband.
Then, the divorce, after 12 years of marriage. What does a serial monogamist do after her marriage ends? Well, she finds another boyfriend, obviously. This relationship after my divorce rocked me to my very core. I felt like I was on a rollercoaster where half the time I was looking for the eject button and the other half holding on for dear life. My mind was in chaos and turmoil. I had to reevaluate my life.
My choices were becoming increasingly more destructive and I was the one who was going to get hurt.
The heart wants what the heart wants, or does it? When we are in an emotional battle with our hearts it’s like trying capture raindrops. Some hit your hands and fall through and some evaporate away while billions of others are out of your reach. My heart is a mystery to me.
Why does it love certain people a certain way and not others? Is love a tangible thing or merely raindrops?
I have spent so much of my life trying to control my feelings, emotions, and my heart. Like some iron fisted dictator I have tried to suppress the sadness and heartache. I have cursed myself over tears and shamed myself that it is a sign of weakness. Handing over ones’ heart is one of the most vulnerable things you can do. To me it almost feels impossible. I have held my hand out trembling with my heart beating and have had it pushed away. Those are the most gut wrenching times. These times of despair have taught me so much about freedom. My beloved has freedom of choice and so do I.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.” ~ Paulo Coehlo, The Alchemist
This quote from The Alchemist has been one of my mantras this last year. It reminds me to be brave and bold with what I want in this life. While I do feel like I have suffered, I feel like the anguish in my heart is worth the price. We do not know joy unless we know sorrow. Which is why in my weakest moments I remember.
“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” ~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
This idea has brought me to a place of balance and I am able to find my equilibrium. My thoughts tend to be centered but still fixated. I am trying my best to not obsess about people and things that I cannot control. In these moments of thought, I still (to some degree) see them as weaknesses. I have to transform those thoughts into moments of compassion and mindfulness. The mind is an amazing thing and our brains can hold an unfathomable amount of information.
I often ask myself, why the fixation? Is it because it’s a riddle I cannot solve? When it comes to love I often wonder if after so much mental analysis if I would even be content with getting what my heart thinks it wants.
Maybe this fixation is also just another distraction.
After jumping into another relationship after my marriage you would have thought that I would have stopped there. No, I continued to search for my fix like the love junkie that I am. It wasn’t until I turned to see my own path of destruction that I saw that I was the one who had the problem. It hit me like lightning and I didn’t want to be that person. We all hurt others and receive hurt but if we don’t take the time to heal our own brokenness we will only continue the cycle of pain and heartache.
My friends, that is no way to live. This has put me on a path of aloneness, solitude, and the choice to remain single. I want to encourage us all to really take the time and care for ourselves to heal. If we do not take this time we are hurting ourselves and others. If a love is meant for us, taking the time will not interfere with the outcome.
What Rumi said is true: “What you seek is seeking you.”
I have given myself the time to heal. I am not perfect and I do falter. But for right now I am going to enjoy my quiet mind, my time with friends and family, and marvel in the magic of my two little girls. My mom always reminds me of the analogy in the movie Runaway Bride where Maggie Carpenter needs to decide what kind of eggs she likes. In the movie she orders what her fiancees’ are ordering instead of what she really loves.
I now have a minimum time set for myself to remain single. I am a recovering serial monogamist. I’m taking this time to decide what kind of eggs I like.
Author: Danielle Anderson
Editor: Renée Picard