19 September 2012

Love Story: Would I Be Enough?

            Photo by Melanie Mauer, Bryant Park, NYC
It turns out, that before our first weekend together was over, I started to feel some fear seeping in... 

Oh my.  Yep.  You guys - it happened.  I mean, it was the ultimate act of vulnerability to meet in person for the first time...especially since we were already in love.  YES, we had put our hearts out there completely by email.  But in person, well - the stakes were higher.  (I mean, I now knew that he really, really was the greatest guy I could ever dream up!!  Oh man, how I wanted this to happen!  Things could not have been going better.)  And so...I started to feel a bit of panic.  Would I be enough?  I mean, there was no more editing an email.  It was just me.  He could see all of me.  He could hear me speak, hear me laugh, see me brush my teeth, see my crazy bed head in the morning when I came out of my room.  Was he still loving me the way I was still loving him?  My well-practiced self-worth/peace, dismissing fear, etc. was down for a moment, and I knew it.  Oh man.  I wanted to dismiss that fear.  I knew it would ruin our time together - and it may even ruin the close connection that we already had.  I wanted so much to be my best self.  And I knew exactly how to do it, as I had tapped into that many times before.  (Remember these posts on vulnerability?  I explain it all in three posts: 1, 2, 3.) 


And so, that second night, when I went to my room, I prayed my heart out.  Prayer for me is a time to re-align.  It's a few minutes where I deliberately try to shift my focus and get back to pursuing what matters to me most.  I HAD TO GET RID OF THAT FEAR!  I knew that dismissing the fear would require pursuing something better, in it's place.  And so...

I pursued love.  Love for Danny.  Love for him just as a kindred soul - not as a potential mate- not as someone I desperately needed in order to be fulfilled.  I pursued love, just for the sake of loving...just because that's the kind of woman I wanted to be.  I didn't want any ounce of fear to get in the way of what could be a wonderful friendship with Danny, even if things did not turn out the way I was hoping.  And, I pursued love for my unborn kids.  I always did that, and still do.  That one gets me every time.  I guess it helps me do hard things, in honor of them.  

I pursued self-worth and reminded myself that I still would have worth and my life could still have meaning, even if this dream did not continue.

I pursued hope that even if I didn't marry Danny, that there were wonderful men out there.

I pursued faith that no matter what, I was going to be OK.

I pursued gratitude.  Gratitude for this wonderful man that had come into my life and brightened up my world brighter than it had ever been my entire life.   

And, just as it always had worked in the past, pursuing these virtues changed me.  That fear left me.  Every bit of it uprooted.

New York photo shoot, melanie mauer
   Photo by Melanie Mauer, Bryant Park, NYC

The next morning, Danny was up early making me pancakes.  Oh, those pancakes.  This was before I was gluten-free.  And Danny's pancakes were the best I had ever had.  AND, he made rasberry compote.  Who does that?!  He had been testing out his compote at home before coming.  :)

And...I came into that kitchen that morning feeling different.  Danny had an apron on (heaven!! oh my :).  And as I said good morning and joined him, the fear was gone.  I felt my best self.  And um......you guys, Danny noticed it.  He knew something was different.  I was shocked!  He actually said, "Something's different :)"  haha.  Oh my.  I was dying.  Um, yes, I may have done a little something different.  I was blushing.  But I didn't tell him.  Not until later, at least.

But we carried on and had the greatest ending to the weekend.  I savored every moment of being with him.  I appreciated every second of being in the presence of this man who had the most loving nature I had ever seen.  And I really had gotten myself to the place where that experience was enough.  That experience of knowing him, being loved by him thus far, and experiencing what we thought was the greatest love story ever (ha!) was enough.  I knew I would be OK if we didn't marry- if he didn't continue to feel the same spark and love that I was feeling.  I knew I would be OK, even if I woke up the next day and it was all a dream- and even if I never had the chance to see him again.


And so, on that last day together, I decided to let him go.  Meaning, I decided to be at peace, no matter what the outcome, to let things happen as it was meant to be.  To surrender.  Just as I had many, many times before.  To let go of what my heart wanted oh so badly.  I knew I had to separate myself from that anxiety in order to love him in the best way - in order to actually be the best version of myself; in order to give this the best chance at happening in the best way.  And so, as the weekend came to an end, we said good-bye.  I thanked him for the best experience of my life, for being the greatest man I had ever known.  We shared love with each other.  The real kind of love.  And we were apart, just like that....not knowing exactly what would come next...

Have you ever had some fear or anxiety almost ruin something magical?  Were you able to figure out how to put a stop to it?


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21 comments:

  1. I love this post so much! I think this is one of your best yet! I know for me personally this is one of the hardest areas to control - the fear that creeps into really close relationships. I read something in "Conversations with God" by Neale Donald Walsch (Book 1) today that I think sums up what you are saying:

    "Inquire within, rather than without, asking: "What part of my Self do I wish to experience now in the face of this calamity (or situation)? What aspects of being do I choose to call forth?" For all of life exists as a tool of your own creation, and all of its events merely present themselves as opportunities for you to decide, and be, Who You Are."

    Isn't that beautiful and so true??

    I'm still in the process of practising these things until they become second nature to me, and I think a huge part of the motivation for me is my future husband (whoever he may be). I want to present myself to him choosing love in every instance. Anyway I loved this post. Thank you so much!

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    1. Oh my goodness - - I love that quote. Wow. So perfect. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Thank you Mara for this post. So beautiful; I just love hearing about yours and Danny's love story.

    I met the love of my life 2 years ago, we fell in love within a week. He is so wonderful and has brightened my life in so many ways. There are some days when the anxiety creeps in tho! He deals with panic attacks and anxiety every day of his life; he's a trooper, so very strong, and he works on himself and tries so hard everyday to be the best version of himself despite of that. But there are days for me that I worry about his panic... will that transfer to our future children (if we're so blessed to have them), will he be able to handle the responsibility of being a caretaker, husband, father? Will I be strong enough to support him through the good and the bad?

    And so, I have to do like you did, Mara; I have to let go, and just know that yes, I am enough. I don't know what I future will bring for us in his condition. But I do know that he's the best thing to happen to me, and if something does happen, I will be okay. I have to trust my future to God, and just show love. It's a struggle sometimes! But well worth it.

    Thank you Mara.

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  3. This was a good one!

    I wouldn't say there is much that is magical about pornography addiction. But I would say that the many fears that come along with it can destroy happiness. So I really liked the part about pursuing those virtues. I'm SO not there, but getting closer.

    Thanks.

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  4. So glad the love story is back! I get goose bumps and butterflies while reading!

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  5. Mara, this was so beautiful and helpful and really inspired. Thank you again, my friend. xoxo

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  6. I'm loving how maturity is playing into your story. The lack of it renders so many "great" love stories pretty darn useless for those of us who consume them.

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  7. so, so glad these posts are back. theories and ideas (for changing one's life) are most powerful when exemplified in a story, and that's what retelling your story offers. remember that!

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  8. Thanks for your insight and positivity. I really needed this post today. I have been single for a really, really long time and sometimes my loneliness gets the best of me and my hope wains. I talk to God a lot too! I continue working on the pure loving feelings I have towards others and express my gratitude often. It all helps fill that hole in my heart. Just saw an article today about high school sweethearts that reunited after 58 years (they married within a day of meeting again!) So, there is hope for happiness! and sometimes patience in the wait is worth it! Pam

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  9. Wow! I really needed this today. I really appreciate you listing all the things that you pursued. I've been feeling those things lately, or the need to pursue them and I hadn't been able to voice those thoughts and feelings. Thanks for "coaching" me through the process. :) I really just love this post. I'm going to print it off and re-read it. Thank you! - Amy

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  10. I really needed this, too. I'm in the process of learning all of this and pursuing these virtues on my own as I face my struggling marriage and my struggling husband. This can be so difficult for me. I seek happiness with self and happiness that begets happiness. My husband struggles with depression (I believe) and won't address it or face it. I have spent a lot of time thinking of how much improved our marriage could be if he only got help. Instead, I am trying to learn how much better I can be if I help myself and how, I pray, in turn, that might help him and inspire him. Your writing is helping me in this journey and I value it immensely. Thank you so much! -Emily

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  11. I stumbled upon your blog yesterday and I COULD NOT STOP READING!!!!!!!!! I was up WAY to late and I couldn't wait to read more :)

    Happiness with one self is so empowering. I struggle to always have that happy attitude and that sense of self-worth... your words are encouraging and I can feel a sense of change already coming over me. I want to try harder. For me, for my 'Boo' (that what I call my hubs) and my children! They, including me, deserve my best happy self.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us!!!!

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  12. Mara, we need to read the follow up emails you & Danny wrote to each other after this trip. Or, did you finally decide to speak on the phone by that time? <3

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  13. awwwwwww, this was such a beautiful post! what a beautiful story!!! :D

    p.s. you are an amazing writer! :)

    <3, Mimi
    http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/
    Spirit Ink Tattoos Giveaway
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  14. Oh, how I love your story and your perspective...

    Different parts of the journey, but this made me think of birth! With our sixth baby (ninth pregnancy) we had a rough time trying to keep her safely in there. When I went into labor it was such an anxiety filled experience, not at all how I was expecting and dragging all the fears of our past pregnancies and losses into the labor. I was terrified, and so worn down. I just wanted our baby safely breathing in our arms, and I prayed for a fast birth - I didn't get fast. At one point about nine hours into labor I retreated to my bedroom and desperately poured my heart out in prayer. I needed to have faith that however or wherever this baby needed to enter the world, that it would be okay and she would be okay and I would be strong enough to endure it. It was a soul stretching, heart wrenching, life affirming experience having that conversation in the quiet of my room, seeking divine peace and grace. And finding it! Finding strength beyond my own.

    Six hours later our baby girl was born in that very room, welcomed by her older siblings and our birth team. It was perfect... I'm thankful that I was humbled in that way, and given the chance to surrender during her birth.

    Our daughter's name means peace & God's grace - very fitting!

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  15. You shared love together as in... sex?? or just love?

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    1. Perhaps the wording in the post wasn't clear enough, so thanks for pointing out your confusion. I suggest you read today's post in light of yesterday's post in which holding hands was about as "sexy" as it got.

      And what's with this "just love" thing? :) At the risk of being very cliche, love that is formed and developed--whether it is between parent and child, two friends, husband and wife, or in this case two strangers writing by email for weeks and finally meeting--is truly the greatest source of joy and meaning in life.

      There's no such thing as "just" love :)

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  16. This post was amazing and spoke to me right where I'm at! As someone who lives with anxiety it's encouraging to know, with God's help, that I too can be vulnerable and be at peace in a relationship! Thank you for sharing your heart!

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  17. Danny & Mara: I found your blog a few months ago, and it has been such a blessing to me in what has been the most difficult period of my life, to date. I love the idea of pursing virtues - you have such a talent for translating beautiful & powerful, but BIG concepts (ex: grow from your trials) into tangible thoughts & actions. Your story, your writing & your service to others through this blog are all so inspiring! Thank you!!

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  18. I love your blog. No pun intended. It's always so refreshing to read other's wonderful views and feelings. Yours is especially well written and very clear to read. Wonderful job, keep it up!!!! I write a lot about romance and love as well. Feel free to check mine out at ericfliger.blogspot.com

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