When we both get there…

Cultivating trust. I used to be so good at it. Yet, at some point, I subconsciously learned that it can lead a person right into years of abuse. When one person has a high level of trust and loyalty, it makes sense to attempt to resolve the fears of someone who doesn’t. However, what happens in the process is that the person cultivating trust loses something. Maybe years of life, freedom….or a little something called “choice.”

There have been two times in my life since my marriage when I really fell for someone. The most recent was definitely the best and worst of the two, but both instances have one thing in common.

I failed to cultivate trust.

Why? Because……I needed the freedom and time to make a deliberate choice. If I gave up my freedom before I was really ready…..before I was certain…..it would be no good and I knew it deep down.

Though, perhaps failure is the wrong word. I can say instead that I just didn’t do the things necessary to cultivate it or that I simply did what I needed to do, which raised some red flags in the trust department. Even if this wasn’t the only reason two people didn’t reciprocate my feelings, I have my suspicions that it was a huge part of it. I mean, one can’t exactly open up and develop feelings for another person when the other person seems to be unsure of what exactly it is that she wants.

Nevertheless, we all move through different phases of our own growth and in both instances I was no longer in something just to make the other person feel better. I was no longer in something to reassure the other person or convince the other person.

In fact, I needed reassurance too. I needed to know how someone else felt about me. Cold, emotional distance wasn’t cutting it anymore. I couldn’t offer certainty when it wasn’t offered to me. I couldn’t put myself in a position of co-dependence or even abuse.

Furthermore, I wanted to exercise my freedom to make my own independent choice, not just choose based on the influence of some weird subtle sense of coercion.

Yet, there has been a cost in this, as well.

While I did choose the same people I would have otherwise chosen, I was unable to hold on to them. The irony is that even as I was able to fall harder and even fall in love in one instance, choosing and loving freely wasn’t enough. It’s not ever enough for those looking only for security.

And maybe that’s okay. I was looking for security once, too. I thought it was love I was looking for, but it wasn’t….and I realized it. I then did something about it. I dropped the fear. I took a chance. I risked.

And I did find love. In me. I felt it, lived it, was it….in every part of my being.

The possibility that other people still seek security over love is not my issue. The possibility that these same people haven’t found it yet or don’t find it with me is not my issue. The possibility that other people may mistakenly believe that I only seek security, myself, is not my issue.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not here to make anyone feel secure. It’s not my job. It’s not anyone’s job. Instead, I’m here to simply love and risk loss because that’s what love entails.

Once I make a choice, I’m 100 percent loyal and trustworthy, yes. But I’m not going to fake it until I make it. I’m going to make sure it’s solid. I’m going to make sure it’s really what I want….not just what I think I want.

Why? Because there is a difference between thinking I want something and actually wanting it. I can be pretty goal oriented and it’s easy to make another person into a goal. However, I know better at this point and I’m never again going to do to anyone what I did to my late husband. I’m not going to turn someone into a goal. I’m not going to attempt to “earn” trust or open myself up to abuse, only to end things years later because I’ve spent all of my time building security for someone else instead of risking loss for what I really want. I’m not going to allow myself to be left out in the cold because I am too afraid to do what I need to do to make sure of what I want in my own time.

No. Next time it has to be more solid than that. It has to be stronger. It has to be stronger because the level of my commitment is going to match the level of my conviction. That conviction, in turn, is going to be built on real love….not some illusion of it…..not “security” in the guise of love, some mediocre version of it, or a list of relationship and life goals.

And so, this is where I am and this is what I am looking for in someone else. I’m looking for someone who will risk losing me in being true to himself. I’m looking for someone who isn’t trying to turn me into a goal, who wants to be just as sure of me, and who wants something just as strong and real. It doesn’t matter who falls first or takes longer to get there….to this place. But when we both get there, assuming the possibility that we do…..

That’s heaven on earth.

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