Life continually delivers up opportunities to grow, to learn, to shift my perceptions, to experience new things, to embrace new ideas, to let go and let change happen. Since the sociopath has been gone from my life, the lessons I’ve embraced are ones that support me. They’re lessons that enrich my life with love and laughter.
I’ve been dating C.C. for four months now. Known him for three years. I know who he is. I know his values. His beliefs. I know he is true. And still, sometimes, I feel the fear of the past haunting me.
Recently, I stayed late at the office trying to clear up a project I need to have finished by the end of the month.
It was dark by the time I got home, but the house was lit and welcoming. C.C. had come over earlier to feed the dogs and when I entered he was busy hanging the toilet paper roll holder in the bathroom. The old one had fallen off some time ago and I had not gotten around to replacing it. A delicious aroma of food cooking permeated the air and on the stove a stir fry simmered. The dogs raced to the door to greet me, C.C. gave me a welcoming kiss and I had nothing to do but come in, take off my coat and sit down to a delightful dinner.
What could be more perfect? A handyman and a chef all in one waiting for my home-coming!
Some experiences are so delicious they need to be savoured slowly. After dinner I took the dogs for a walk while C.C. listened to the hockey game on the radio and then left to go play a game of his own.
Coming home to a man who is doing things for me is a unique experience. Never had that happen with the sociopath. I was always doing for him. I was always the one cramming everything in, continually taking care of what needed to be done so that he could relax, destress. unwind. To have someone do that for me is a new experience. A new sensation.
And sometimes, that can be scary.
Consciously, I know the past is not the future — unless I make it so. My subconscious, however, doesn’t always keep time with my heart beat in the moment. Sometimes, my inner voice, that beast inside who gets scared when I step out of the narrow corridors of its comfort zone, whispers disruptive comments like, “Uh. Uh. And why is he doing that? What’s he want? Don’t trust this sensation. You’ve never experienced it before. It can’t be trusted.”
Sometimes, the beast can be even more strident, blaring alerts like a submarine warning sailors about its imminent dive. “Alert! Alert! Batten down the hatches. Hang on. Get your head down. We’re going under! These waters are too dangerous.”
Sometimes, there’s a lag between what my mind perceives and my heart knows. I know that was then. I know this is now, but my subconscious is still terrified of having the past repeat itself as it perceives me to be busy daydreaming about a different future with a man. Like a soldier who has come back from war with hyper-sensitive responses to any sudden sound or noise, my senses are on hyper-alert, continuously scanning the horizon for signs of disorder and disruptive behaviours that may or may not be a precursor to danger.
Sometimes, things are exactly as they seem. So are people.
I have known C.C. for three years. In that time he has always been a kind, caring, thoughtful, honest and honourable man.
How I perceive him to be is how he is.
My fear is not of him. It is of me. Of trusting in myself, and my feelings. Of trusting that I am safe within me. Of knowing that no matter what in the world happens, I can trust myself to listen to my intuition, to be confident in my heartbeat and know it beats steady, sure and true because I am always safe within me.
That was then. This is now.
In the past, I did not know what I know today about me. About who I am. About how I am. My hungry heart drove me places I dared not go, but went anyway. My hungry heart kept me still when lies abounded and terror reigned. My hungry heart left me at risk of being abused.
Today, my heart is full. Today, I love myself, exactly the way I am. I accept myself, warts and all, as the perfectly awesome human being that I am, because the truth is, I am perfect in all my imperfections.
Long ago, my fear of never being enough, of never having enough, left me exposed to the attentions of those who were untrue. My fear of being unworthy set me up for the sociopath. It kept me trapped in his web of lies.
Today, my courage keeps me breathing freely as I step surely and confidently into unknown territory. My fear is the opportunity to be courageous. My courage is the gift of love I give myself when I open myself up to having all that I want, and all that I deserve in love and life and living freely.