Love Is A Four Letter Word

I’ve done a lot of reflecting this week…on where I am, where I’ve been….where I have yet to go.

My weight is continuing to drop (I can’t believe it’s this low…when was the last time I weighed this much?!) and so is my clothing size.

I am by far in the healthiest place mentally that I’ve ever been in. I have conquered many demons and learned to love the one person that I seemed to have the hardest time having an ounce of respect for: myself.

Now that I have learned to love myself unconditionally…can I truly love another the same way?  Years and years of a detrimental self-image also lead to years and years of looking to another to fill the holes that I had created in myself.  Looking elsewhere for fulfillment I should have been getting myself only created bigger voids and more confusion on what it was I really truly wanted.

While thinking this week about all the things I may have done right or wrong in past relationships…I kept asking myself:  What is true love? Does everyone really have a soul mate?

I certainly think this to be true. I yearn for it to be true for me.  I choose to believe that there are 2 people that are created with the other in mind.  I also feel like many of us go through life trying to force the wrong person into that mold…or never finding it at all.

My sister found it.  She found the one made with her in mind.

Her wedding is going to be a blast, and enormously emotional all at the same time….my baby sister…married. The girl who crawled in my bed when she was little because she was scared of the dark…the girl who refused to leave the house without her infamous stuffed animal, a lamb named Stuffy Puffy…The girl who I’ve seen grow from a precious pigtailed girl to a beautiful, talented, brilliant woman.

She found what I and so many others have searched for their entire lives…her soul mate.

If I had been given the task of crafting the most perfect man for her, I could not have asked for more than Dan. He is her perfection. He flawlessly balances her quirkiness, and is patient with her sensitivity. He loves her without question, as she loves him the same.  They are amazing together.

Sarah and Dan...the soon to be newlyweds!

Watching her this weekend at the wedding shower being thrown for her, it was evident, even without him present how excited she was to be marrying her best friend.  Not just about the guests, not just about the presents or the dress…she is truly 100% excited about meeting him at that altar to begin the rest of their lives together.

I’ve certainly searched for that one special person that would make my life complete. Plenty of times I thought I had found it.  Society (and Nicholas Sparks) has made it hard for people to live up to the expectations of the fairytale relationship…the fairytale like my sister and Dan have…the fairytale my Grandmommy and Poppy Doc have.

I am grateful that I am starting to uncover this fairytale…that I am learning that my perfect person may truly exist after all. But I think this notion that finding my true soul mate is possible has more to do with me than it has to do with ‘him.’

As I’m sure it’s obvious to you now, I’ve had a strong inability to find the perfect relationship.

During a counseling session a year or so ago, my therapist asked me to write down what my ‘ideal’ relationship looked like and to describe my perfect partner. I don’t remember what I wrote specifically, but I do know one thing was very clear regarding my perception of what a healthy relationship is…it was a lot about me and what I was demanding from a partner.  I believed and required that someone make me happy…without any effort on my part. My ‘ideal’ was all about what I needed, not about what I can offer.

And trust me, figuring out what I have to offer hasn’t exactly been easy.  I was only able to do so in finding out who I really am.  Finding who this person is was scary initially. I struggled with the constant fear that I might hate who the real me actually was.  It’s hard to take a good look at yourself when you’ve been running from it for so long.

As I discovered the real me and started to find peace in myself, I realized that I had often times felt uneasy in nourishing, communicative and emotionally involved relationships because I had NO IDEA how to be in one. (Obviously given my track record.)  My confusion in myself was evident in the relationships I was attracted to. If we’re unable to have a healthy relationship with ourselves, how can we expect to have one with someone else?

I truly believe that I have finally found my true self.  The self that wakes up happy and goes to bed with a smile on her face….the self that doesn’t look to validate herself by the actions of others…the self that can finally, after many years and many rocky relationships, say that she knows what it means to be fulfilled.

And while not every relationship was devoid of love and happiness, without being able to accept what it was supposed to feel like, I couldn’t experience true unconditional love… complete acceptance…total devoutness and trust.

But that was then…

I am starting to experience true happiness and give it in return. I am starting to understand what it means to trust 100%. I am discovering I have a lot to offer…I am discovering what this so-called life is supposed to be about…

I am starting to write the pages of my fairytale…and it is certainly time for my happily ever after.

“People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself.  But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.”  ~Thomas Szasz

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Old Hannah vs. New Hannah

I’m baaaaaaack.

A bit of time in Miami had me distracted from my typical posts…but no fear! I am here again.

If it weren’t for the blonde hair, I might not have looked like such a tourist. Ok I lie…the blonde hair was just the start…the fact that my accent turns heads and my Spanish vocabulary consists of only the words gracias, burrito and cerveza doesn’t help either.  With that being said, a southern accent takes you a long way in a place like Miami!

My Happy Place...I stayed 100 yards from here.

Covering a territory from Baltimore to South Beach certainly does have its benefits every once in a while. Despite being there for work related reasons, the trip was amazing, the weather even more amazing, and the company even more amazing than that.

I am now addicted to Cuban food and likely have mojito running through my veins. I dream of 100% humidity and palm trees. That turquoise ocean, that powder white sand…that climate….I was definitely in paradise. But unfortunately, I ate a ton while I was there. And by ton, I mean that I ate enough to send Jenny Craig off the side of the nearest bridge. Not having a kitchen, not being 100% familiar with my surroundings, and late nights at the office made for bad choices on the menu.

I did, however, manage to not completely unravel my progress though….

Not a ton of momentum in the last 2 weeks…but hell, it’s not a gain!

And while in the land of beautiful people…where butt implants and boob jobs are offered at 2 for 1 deals…I discovered how much different I am.

Old Hannah would have been afraid to go to South Beach…to go outside her comfort zone. New Hannah grabbed it by the balls and relished in every second of it.

Old Hannah lacked even the smallest amount of confidence when she walked into a room full of strangers. New Hannah (although sometimes needing some reassurance) put on her strappy 3-inch sandals and strut her stuff right through the crowd.

Old Hannah trusted few and let her guard down for even fewer. New Hannah has learned to trust again.

Old Hannah had little faith in her ability to accomplish anything. New Hannah is 71% of the way to her goal.

Old Hannah felt weak and worthless. New Hannah knows how incredibly strong she is. And how incredibly worthy she is as well.

Old Hannah struggled to feel normal after every meal. New Hannah lives proudly and successfully with Celiac Disease…and has never felt better!

Old Hannah was a size 20. New Hannah is a size 10.

Old Hannah ate when she was emotional, bored, sad, or happy. New Hannah eats when she’s hungry.

Old Hannah settled for far less than the best. New Hannah is starting to uncover the best. And she will have it.

Old Hannah was broken and battered. New Hannah is strong and secure.

Old Hannah was worried about things that were beyond her control…Things that would keep her up at night. New Hannah knows that anything that comes her way will never be more than she can handle…one day at a time.

Old Hannah hid under the covers, dreading what each day would put in front of her. New Hannah wakes up every day with a smile on her face.

Old Hannah was told she was just a pretty face. New Hannah knows she is sooooo much more than that.

Old Hannah let minor setbacks affect her for days or weeks at a time. New Hannah deals with them and moves on.

Old Hannah let her life pass her by. New Hannah is making it count.

Old Hannah thought she knew what happiness was. New Hannah knows her lifetime of divine, complete happiness is only beginning…

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”  ~ Carl Jung