The right kind of Love

20151226_114043 (1)A friend of mine recently asked me how does it feel like to be with a man after staying single for a long time.

My response,” it feels great because my husband is a wonderful man . He is very kind, patient, loving and forgiving. I am beginning to understand what a healthy relationship feels like and what its like to be loved.”

Isn’t marriage supposed to be like that  you might wonder. So whats the big deal you might ask. Well the thing is after being in an abusive marriage many years ago my self worth and self confidence had eroded quiet a bit. I was strong enough to walk away from my ex husband and file for divorce. I was able to pick myself up and start afresh. Working with abused women and other social causes helped me heal slowly over a period of time . But when it came to relationships fear paralyzed me and I was scared to even think about marrying again. I had severe trust issues. Many years later when I started socializing and met some really nice guys who were my good friends I slowly started to realize that not all men are bad and there is still a chance that I might find love.

Although dating came with its own challenges specially when you are trying to meet someone online I already knew what I didn’t want. I guess when you know what you don’t want its easy to weed out the bad stuff until you get to what you want and you are able to recognize the real thing when it shows up. I believe this is what happened with me. There was plenty of pressure from family and friends to find a guy and settle down soon. But I had experienced what it was like to be in a relationship with the wrong person  and I didn’t want to make the same mistake again. I had already lost precious years of my life because of one bad choice. I wasn’t going down that road again.

And it wasn’t easy but eventually I found the courage to walk away from bad choices.Dating is a very stressful process. I went on some really bad dates and I started to feel like maybe there was something wrong with me because of which I was attracting guys who were just not right for me or maybe all the good guys were taken and there was no one out there for me. I was plagued by fear, doubt and I felt lost. I started losing faith and wondering if I was going to ever experience love, get married  again and have a wonderful family.

Many bad dates later I came to a point where I took a break from dating and did a  lot of soul searching and  I realized that the only person that can really love me like no other was me. I am my own cheer leader and I always will be.There was nothing or no one out there that will fill the void I felt in my heart except me. I needed to have a loving and healthy relationship with myself first before I could have that kind of relationship with someone else.Besides if I am not happy with myself when I am alone it didn’t matter if I had the right person around me, I would probably still be unhappy. And this realization came over a period of time in bits and pieces but when it did it started a slow process of healing and self discovery.

I started to accept and  forgive myself. I let go of my past and stopped worrying about things I had no control over. I slowly learnt to focus on the present moment,on being happy and enjoying life doing things that mattered to me. Meditation, listening to uplifting videos, getting physically active, writing all of these activities and many other helped me heal. In short I chose to flex my spiritual muscles and practiced mindfulness. Emotional well being and mental health got priority over everything else. It still is.

And just when I was busy having a good time my current husband walked into my life and things just fell into place. We do get on each others nerves sometimes but at the end of the day anger, fear, resentment, doubt are never allowed to stay. Love always supersedes everything else and forgiveness follows. When I look back and think of all those years I spent hanging on to hurt and pain from a broken abusive marriage, all that self doubt and fear I wish I had let go of it sooner. I guess back then I wasn’t ready to look within but once I was ready healing followed quickly. Once I learnt to love myself and be myself nothing but goodness came out of it.

The following lyrics from my favorite song pretty much says it all,”I set out on a narrow way many years ago. Hoping I would find true love along the broken road. But I got lost a time or two. Wiped my brow and kept pushing through. I couldn’t see  how every sign pointed straight to you. Every long lost dream led me to where you are. Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars. Pointing me on my way into your loving arms. This much I know is true. That God bless the broken road that led me straight to you”- Lyrics from Bless the broken road by Rascal Flatts

©2015, Vani Murthy. All rights reserved

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