Sunday, May 17, 2015
Minefields & the Miles Ahead
Next week is a very big week in my world. Early Thursday morning, I will be hopping on a plane to see this new man that has come into my life. Yes, something I haven't shared yet is that we live pretty far away from each other. I'll be sharing more of the details next week, but it will be the first time seeing each other again since we met several months ago.
So yup... not only am I beginning again, but beginning with distance. Because apparently, the universe decided just being widowed and dating locally was not a huge enough challenge on its own. The distance has created a whole other set of challenges, but also a few benefits. It has created safety for me in this very scary and fragile world of trying to love again after death. I've had a buffer zone, allowing me to keep my life here the same for the most part while gradually opening the door of my heart, just a small bit at a time. It has been a beautiful experience, but not without difficulty.
Let me tell you, as soon as I began to open my heart again, oh how the triggers came flooding in. At every small step of the way... on every day that I choose to open that door of my heart just a millimeter more to this new man, the triggers are there waiting to rush in. At first this scared the shit out of me. At first, I was so terrified of having the triggers climb inside my heart that I was triggering myself ABOUT having triggers. I was in fight or flight mode about it. And then something began to happen... I realized this person was still here. Still listening, still supporting, still loving me. Doing everything he could from a thousand-plus miles away to comfort me and acknowledge my feelings. And I remembered, this is what Drew always did for me. At each turn, when I met a trigger, I shared it and it was heard. This was how he helped me to heal my old wounds. And this new person is doing the very same thing. With his patient love, I am finding there is so much room for healing.
This past week has been a grand buffet of triggers. On Thursday night, he announced excitedly that it is now just ONE week until we will see each other. And underneath my excitement the trigger swooped in. Within moments I was in tears... because Drew died exactly a week before I was supposed to go visit him up north where he was working. One week before seeing each other. It was a trigger I didn't even see coming... but one that seems obvious now. Instead of shutting down about it, I opened up. I cried to my new guy, and I told him what I was feeling, and how scary it was for me. And he just reminded me that he will be there. Just a few minutes of feeling deeply heard... it passed right through.
There have been many others splintering off from this as we get nearer to the date... like thinking about having to say goodbye at the end of our trip. Not knowing if it might be our final goodbye, because after all, I didn't have any idea the last time either. I hate that new love means new triggers... but, I'm deciding it is worth it.
We are days away from our trip now, and I am gradually learning how accept the new triggers surrounding this whole thing. I am excited beyond belief, but also emotional. I know seeing him in person again will be a trigger. The physical closeness will be a trigger. The goodbyes will be a trigger. And likely a dozen other micro-triggers I won't have even considered.
I am very aware that I am traveling into what may look like a minefield in the next week. And there is something actually very exciting about taking that risk. The thing is, I think most of the fields we travel in life may only have one or two actual mines. Yet our triggers are like signs telling us there are hundreds... telling us to turn back, not move, there is danger everywhere, be afraid. If there is one thing my life with Drew taught me, it is to question those signs. To not listen to the signs of my triggers telling me to turn back, but instead decide that love is worth walking through the minefield for. LIFE is worth walking through the minefield for.
Drew was worth the risk of having my heart blown to pieces when he died. And it is worth risking the chance that I may be blown to pieces again. It is worth it to feel the messy, uncertain, electric energy of living life fully. It is worth deciding to trust even though I have no clue whether I will be hurt... just to feel the cool rush of aliveness pumping in my veins. I know now, that I can put myself back together again. That is a gift his death has given me. And I also know, that some of the most beautiful parts of life are waiting just on the other side of my fear. I am walking ahead... into that so-called minefield with adventure - not fear - on my mind.