I’ve been trying to write this piece for nearly seven months now. Each time I’ve sat down to type, something distracted me. Or the flow I expected just was not there and I’d get frustrated. I realize now that it was not quite time to write this piece because the cycle was not yet complete. It is now.
Last August, I wrote Offering. It was the beginning of a very intense period of self-reflection, exploration, loving, and pampering. I went on self dates- gave myself the love and affection that I’d been wanting and needing. I spent time with friends. Redecorated my bedroom – filled it with vibrant colors and fabrics, incense and soft lighting. It was wonderful. I felt myself coming back to life…waking from the mean sleep of depression and loss. That self-nurturing left me in a better place to engage in the next phase of the work – a sort of continuation of the piercing… and the closing of another circle begun during the summer of 2010.
In 2010, I got the word RECIPROCITY tattooed on the inside of my right arm. It is there to remind me to give that which I wish to receive and also to remind me that what I give will come back to me. It was part one of a two part tattoo. The companion piece was to be something over my heart chakra. Something symbolizing reciprocity. Something to remind myself to be open to the love and care and consideration that I work so hard to put out into the world. For months, more than a year and half, in fact, I researched and ruminated on what would best symbolize reciprocity (spiral, circle, adrinkrahene). Finally, I settled on a mandala for anahata – the heart chakra.
Anahata is a Sanskrit word meaning “unhurt” “unstruck” and “unbeaten”. Could that be any more perfect?! My heart cannot be broken. I will always strive to love better and better and as divinely inspired as I can manage.
Something in the ritual of choosing and receiving the tattoo altered me.
In the middle of March of this year, I came home one night and burst into tears.
I’d not cried like that unbidden in 15 years. A sobbing, purging cry and calling out to the Universe. The Divine. God. Shiva. Buddha. Allah. Jehovah. Odumonkuma. Oludumare. Heaving cries of my despair and loneliness. I cried. And I prayed. Then I cried some more. And I prayed… and finally exhausted went to sleep.
And I finally spoke a truth that I have been stuffing down for years now. I don’t want to be this hyper-independent single woman. I love my freedom but I am tired of celebrating all of my life’s major events without special someone.
Don’t get me wrong, I am blessed with lovely, wonderful, supportive friends and family. In the past five years, I have been awed and humbled by the amazing people who claim me as some special part of their lives. And I have been learning to show my appreciation of them more by showing up more often. I am, by nature, a rather solitary person. A loner. Fringe dweller. I love my space. BUT… I had vowed when I turned 40 that the 2nd part of my life was going to look starkly different than the first. I wanted a family of my own and partnership.
I poured out my hurt and despair and loneliness. Admitted that I just cannot do this alone anymore. I mean, I could but… I don’t want to. It was time to get serious.
In April, shortly after my 44th birthday, I started dating again. Like many women I know, I’ve ever really dated. I’d meet someone cool and interesting and focus on them and fall into something that looked/felt like love/lust and before I knew it, I’d be in “a relationship”. Hot, heavy, too much far too quickly and often, over just as fast. Or, as I’ve written about previously, I’d end up in what would amount to long term affairs that ultimately left me no where close to what I wanted: partnership, family, someone by my side for both the mundane and special events of life. I learned something from all of my relationships and most of my affairs, thankfully, but a lot of that was what I did NOT want.
The journey through the reciprocity cycle got me clear. I need, want and DESERVE someone who loves as passionately as I do. Someone who is strong and kind, considerate and caring, smart and driven, dorky and cool. Someone who loves to laugh and is optimistic. Someone even keeled yet adventurous. Someone who loves to receive a lot of attention and who can reciprocate. Someone who can love and accept me along with my quirks. In short, for me, someone who is ready to love and be loved.
To Be Continued