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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2 thoughts on “Love Is A Four Letter Word

  1. What a very powerful message! We are all excited for Sarah and I know you are proud of her!! Thanks for being her BIG SIS! Love you bunches…your prince charming WILL arrive when you least expect him to get off his horse! Soak up the sun this week!! Love, MOM

  2. Hannah, Wow! How much you have grown emotionally while how much you have lost in lbs. physically. You are to be greatly admired by everyone who has joined in this journey with you. We are so proud! I shed a few little tears when you wrote of you and Sarah and parts of reflection of your early years together. How sweet of you to look at her with great respect and love as she enters a new chapter in her life. But there IS a man out there for you and true soul mate! Maybe you needed to get to this point in your life to find the one who needs you and you need him. It may come as a complete surprise and maybe someone you already know and have never thought about it. We are so excited to be able to see beautiful you at the wedding! So glad that we could join in for Sarah and Dan’s special day. Love to you from all of us, Jinnette, Bill & Grandmother

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