Friday, June 21, 2024 14:35

Remaining Single: WAIT (Walk Along In Trust) and HOPE (Heart Open Prayers/Patience Extended)

As the dating process continues, and I continue to WAIT (Walk Along In Trust), I have time to reflect about trust and faith and belief and HOPE (Heart Open Prayers Extended).

For me HOPE also stands for Heart Open, Patience Extended. Indeed the dating journey is no different than any other life journey. It’s a process, a trust thing, a one day at a time situation. When I started this latest chapter in my dating story, I was hopeful. At times I have been impatient and frustrated, wondering why I kept going out on first dates and sometimes second and third dates and even sometimes more dates than that, and nothing clicked. A little romantic glimmer here and there perhaps, sometimes feelings became invested, but so far nothing has led to a lasting loving romantic partnership. Sigh……

Whenever I think something romantic might be starting and then it doesn’t work out, I feel sad, hurt, and lonely. Sometimes I feel angry too, but that doesn’t last very long. Mostly it’s the other three feelings of heartache that are closer to the surface. It’s hard to go through this process of feeling the feelings again and again. It’s uncomfortable and painful. That’s where hope comes in. With the knowledge that I keep hope alive, I’m able to get to gratitude for having met the person at all, for know he was sent to my life for a reason. Sometimes I don’t know the reason but eventually it becomes clear to me that I was given a gift. This is not only true of romantic encounters, but also with friendships. Many times I have found that I’ve needed to let go of friendships in my life when it began to be clear that none of my friendship needs were being met and it was all a one way situation, with me doing the giving and the other person doing the taking. I hate when that happens but at least I’ve learned through constant reminder and constant repetition of this situation that it’s better to walk away sooner than to hang on to something where there is no reciprocal effort.

Recently someone told me to give up on hope in order to let go of desire and that way the heart won’t be hurt. But why would I want to protect myself from hurt? For me, hurt serves a purpose. The hurt lets me know that at least I have a heart that can feel and my feelings deserve to be felt and honored and validated. I don’t want to close myself off from hope just to avoid being hurt. Rather, I choose to stay hopeful around many things in my life, not just romance. What is hope after all, but a willingness to believe in things going right, or working out, or coming to pass, or anything else positive? I don’t think I’ll take this person’s suggestion, which I was told comes from Buddhism’s teachings. I don’t know much about Buddhism, but that doesn’t work for me. No matter how many times I may be shot down, no matter how many times I open my heart and my life with the belief that someone right for me will walk into it only to have that belief negated, I will continue to have Heart Open Patience Extended (HOPE).

And if hope is the belief that things will work out somehow when that’s meant to happen, along with HOPE must come WAIT (Walk Along In Trust). That’s a tough one, because I get impatient sometimes, and when I get impatient I know I stop trusting for a while. But again, along with the resilient belief in hope, I soon regain my trust and my willingness to let go of the outcome, which is what I know I need to do in order to keep with the whole concept of WAIT. In the lonely times when nothing is happening on the romantic front, or I’ve let go of a friendship that wasn’t working, I feel the sad and scared feelings that go along with the impatience. The impatience speaks to anger but soon passes into sad, lonely and scared. I wonder why I’m by myself again, or why it seems as if I’m more on my own than closely connected to people. Then those thoughts give way to gratitude and I go back to being able to Walk Along In Trust (WAIT).
Ultimately it’s the trust factor that I’m being taught to embrace over and over. With each experience of letting go, I’m being shown how important it is for me to define my self worth and to be true to my own needs. So often I believe I’ve let go of my own needs for the sake of someone else. I know I did this for years with family of origin relationships, based on the belief that if I kept modeling the caring and giving behavior it would come back around to me. Didn’t happen. Then with certain friendships I thought If I did nice things for them they would reciprocate. Didn’t happen. And with certain past romantic partners, I believed if I demonstrated loving gestures, they would be returned to me. Didn’t happen.

Through the decades of my life the constant reminder is I need to make my own life the primary focus an the ultimate number one priority. When I feel the shift of moving my life to a back burner, or the role of supporting player in my own life, that’s when I know it’s time to let go of whatever relationship is not meeting my needs, be it romance, friendship, family of origin member, client, colleague, whatever. I’m being shown what is required to be able to go slow, let go, relax and let go of the outcome one day at a time. It comes down to the same two concepts – Walk Along In Trust (WAIT) and continue to keep my Heart Open Patience/Prayers Extended (HOPE).

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