One of the worst things I have done is to live in fear. Fear of being hurt, mostly, but also, and more importantly, fearing that once someone gets to know the real me, they will chage their minds and walk away. I can now attest one very positive aspect of drinking alcohol: this did not bother me when I drank. Liquid courage was literally that, and suddenly, I didn't care and my fears were set aside. But, now that I do not drink nearly as often as I used to, and I have been involved with someone that doesn't drink at all, the fear set in with a force I was not able to cope with. I was paralyzed when I was around him, unable to be myself because of my irrational fears. Naturally, things didn't work out so well between us. (Well, things are...we're working on some things. It's another story, and not the story I am focusing on. Maybe later.)
But the failed relationship is not the point. I finally was able to uncover something that has been bothering me for so long! I am so happy! The thing is, I have been looking for someone to give love to me. Although I am a giving person, I feel that my expectations in relationships are skewed, and I expect way too much, and do not give much in return. I will be changing that. A few days ago, I found an article on Oprah.com, and it really hit a nerve, in a good way. It helped me realize that I was focusing on the wrong things all along, and I could learn to give, and give freely in all situations and to all people. The author is having problems with her boyfriend. He has commitment issues, and refuses to tell her he loves her. She had tried everything, and was feeling pretty frustrated. One day at church, right before lent, she decided to go on a love fast. She was giving up her neediness for it, no matter how hard it was. Here is an exerpt:
One morning in the middle of my 40-day love fast, I awoke with a realization: I already had all the love that I needed. I had it from my mother and brother, from my friends, even from the memory of the love that my father had given me before his death. Consciously giving love to others—and seeing them spontaneously give it back—had made me recognize the love in my life more clearly. Most important, I had all the love I needed from God, or whatever you want to call that larger reality of the universe. I didn't need Joe's love. And yet, I still wanted it.
Of course, Joe is the writer's boyfriend. They do end up together, but she does make note that it could have gone the other way. Her love fast had prepared her for either outcome.
So kids, here's to fasting. And here's to giving. And here's to finally overcoming one more obstacle.
(If you would like to read the full article, follow this link: http://www.oprah.com/article/omagazine/200810_omag_love_fast)