When I was young I looked for love and happiness outside of myself. I found very quickly that to depend on others for my happiness was to be let down time and again. Even those who professed to love me and want my happiness would at some point or another would say or do something (or not) that would make me sad and question whether or not they truly loved me. Often it wasn’t anything they had meant to do intentionally, though I had my fair share of those who wished me ill for whatever reason that only made sense to them. I was determined to find Love and Happiness within myself. While my heart was broken, I learned to mend it myself. Wholeness could only be found within myself. So at a tender age of 20 I went on a quest to discover how to heal my broken heart and learn to find the answers in myself how to be Happy.
The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it is not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person – without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other. — Osho, Being In Love
I learned to be my own Best Friend. I learned I didn’t necessarily need anyone else in my life, and sharing my life and myself with others was something I could choose. I looked for like-minded people who were Whole in themselves. I sought relationships that would indeed enhance what I already had within me. I wanted to share myself with others who found that my being in their lives would also enhance what they possessed already.
Over the next two decades I slowly built my Heart Family. I found a man that gets me so completely and shared my odd sense of humor that I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I married him. I have a child who is kind, sweet, and has her mama’s odd sense of humor. She’s learning to be a whole person at a much younger age than I did. While she frustrates me to no end, I’m so proud of the young woman she is becoming. My Twinnie is my sister of another mister. I always felt like I had a twin but was somehow separated before birth. When she came into my life I had no idea how bonded we would become. Boyfling and his family have been wonderful additions in my life. All in all I have to say I’ve been very blessed with so many people who enhance and share love and happiness with me. Even with all these blessings, I began to notice that I wasn’t finding as much joy in them as I once did. What the hell happened?
At first the changes were subtle. I’m usually the Pollyanna in my circle. I find the things to be Glad about. Kidlet is struggling in Language Arts and Social Studies, but look at her rock math and science! We’re down to one car, but look at how money much we’re saving without the additional gas and insurance! I’m always able to find the silver lining in every dark cloud. I still had more up days than down, and even then I didn’t stay down for long. But it became harder and harder to see the brightness until one day all I saw were dark clouds and the silver linings were either a tiny sliver or non-existant. What happened to the vibrant, bouncy, positive woman I once was?
Somewhere in the brain fog brought on by the constant pain and fatigue the Light that once shone brightly from me sputtered and started to die. I was relying on everyone else around me to remind me there was still Joy in my life. After awhile others became more aware that being around me was draining. I felt people pulling away, not realizing why until my dear friend expressed her concern. I am forever grateful to her for smacking me upside the head with a gentle bludgeon. I could either do nothing and lose the people I loved, or I could start putting the pieces back together again.
Awhile back Husband Darling introduced me to the Japanese art of kintsugi. Broken pieces of pottery are mended with resin made to look like gold creating a whole new piece of art. The beauty of each piece lies in its flaws. In a way I am an ongoing kintsugi project. My heart has been broken, but I learned to put the pieces back together in a way that creates a new work of art. Yes I am flawed (as are we all), those flaws have a beauty of their own. My Heart Family knows I am flawed, but they still see the work of art that I am. While I am putting the pieces back together, someone passes me a pot of resin. Another helps keep two pieces together as I bind them. Eventually I’ll be whole again with all these wonderful people by my side who cheered me on the entire way. Tomorrow I may hand someone else the pot of resin or help hold pieces together while they do the hard work. After all we have chosen to be part of the Happiness in each others’ lives, and there’s lots of Love in that pot of resin.