Getting the Message

I truly think that sometimes The Universe tries to tell us things. There are lessons that need to be learned, and dammit, if we don’t learn them, then we end up finding ourselves in the same patterns over and over again in life.
Recently I got thinking about patterns in my own life, specifically my relationship patterns. In my life I’ve had three serious, long-term relationships with three very different men. The first was when I was in University; our relationship lasted 6 years; honestly about 4 years too long. The second was with my ex husband. We were together for a total of 10 years. Some of those years were very good. The last three or so, not so much. The third is CBG. So far we’ve been together for three and a half years, and honestly each year, each week is better than the one before. Hands down the healthiest relationship of all three. We both learned a lot from our failed marriages and are able to put all of those lessons to good use now, together. Together, we are truly magical.
These three men are all very different — in appearance, personality, values, goals…in pretty much all areas. But for some reason I got thinking about one of the things that they all had in common: the fact that they all spent time during the course of our relationships being absent from my life.
My first boyfriend had cancer. It was discovered when our relationship was in its infancy. He was away a lot for the first year of our relationship — recovering from two surgeries, going through chemo. He also lived in a different province than I did and we spent most of our summers apart, since we each went “home” for the summer to work and save money. Even after we reached the stage of being together most of the time I was still left on my own a great deal, since he spent a lot of time working toward his challenging university degree.
I was lonely and miserable.
I met my ex husband online when we were living in different provinces. It took us a while to arrange for him to move to be with me, but we were both young and foolish and there really wasn’t that big of a risk involved. He ended up moving much faster than we originally thought, because of that whole “young and foolish thing” and couldn’t stand being apart. I had never lived alone before and it terrified the pants off me. Shortly after that we moved again — back to his home city (where I still live). Then, even though we were living together, for about a year, early in our relationship, we worked opposite schedules. He had a night job and I worked days…which meant that I spent many an evening alone, pining away.
I was lonely and miserable.
CBG and I have never lived together in the 3 1/2 years we’ve been a couple. I won’t lie — the initial phases of our relationship, the being apart stuff, was tough. As in, so tough that I considered — many, times — calling it off because I couldn’t stand being lonely and miserable. With my girls with their dad half the time and CBG only on the scene a handful of days every month, I struggled with being alone so much. For a good long while, anytime I was alone, I was lonely and miserable.
And then there was a shift. I’m not sure when the shift happened exactly, or even what caused it. But it happened. I made a conscious decision to embrace all aspects of my life, particularly the being alone part. Guess what happened? It got easier. I even learned to love — and deeply value — my independence and my time alone.
CBG is moving here now because we’re ready to share our lives together, not because we can not stand being apart. There is a distinct difference. There is no desperation to have him here to stave off loneliness. We both have a quiet peace about it, because we both know, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is the right thing for us at the right time. We’ve paid our dues. We have earned this.
When I think back to what my relationships have in common — being forced into situations where I spent a lot of time alone — it seems to me that The Universe was sending me a message, loud and clear: Embrace independence. Learn to be on your own. Love spending time with just yourself. I didn’t get the message the first two times. All I could do was feel sorry for myself. This time around I got the message loud and clear…and I daresay, have learned the things I needed to learn.
Thank you, Universe. At least I get the message eventually, right?

10 Responses

  1. “You cannot be alone if you like the person you’re alone with.” – Wayne Dyer

    I was really moved by this video on spending time with yourself:

  2. Wow. The universe really WAS talking to you in a big way through these three relationships, huh? Incredible to see your journey through each relationship and what you learned, took away from each, and ultimately became as a result of all three. A strong, independent, BADASS woman…who just so happens to be in a relationship now with a pretty amazing guy. Pretty awesome if you ask me 🙂

  3. Wow, that is such a good way of thinking about it, such a strong message from the Universe, huh? I also found the very same thing, rather than rail against being alone, I learned to embrace it and LOVE it. Just as you have. Awesome post and realization!

  4. Of course you know I’ve been through similar. Dating/marrying a man who travelled every week with work, dating a deployed soldier and now dating a man in another state. I can’t say I’ve learned a lesson. I do enjoy my time alone but what I have noticed are the parts of me I gave up to make precious time for these men. I’m just not willing to do that any more. It takes a conscious effort at times but I want to continue to nurture the ‘me’ that exists outside of a relationship instead of feeling tied to my house or a phone waiting… Interesting points here. You may have sparked some thoughts I didn’t realize I had.

    • You know…the similarities in our lives sometimes really astound me. I hadn’t thought about the similarities that we shared in this regard until you mentioned it. I’m glad that I’ve been able to give you some food for thought. 🙂

      • Yes indeed. And thank you. I’d decided long ago that I no longer wanted to be in a long distance relationship and even said as much when GJ and I began communicating. Apparently, I gave up that idea as well.

        I guess I still had more lessons to learn or I would’ve stuck to my guns, huh? 🙂

  5. Yep, that Universe sure can speak to us. But today, you spoke to me. I’m at a point where I needed this nudge. Thanks!

  6. I read this this morning and the tears started flowing! I’ve just been through some life changing events in the last year, and have been wondering if I’ll EVER find someone suited for me. Your post gave me hope that YES…he is out there and I need to be taking this time to just be me, heal, be with my kids and find a new path. This is the first time ever, even at 42, that I’ve been totally alone, not in any relationship…kind of lonely, but I’m learning so much about me!

    Learning to embrace my independence!!!!

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