The evening was growing late, so I escorted him to the door. As I reached for the knob, he scooped me up in his arms and for a moment, no words were spoken, but so much was said. He held me securely as we stood there, in the dark foyer, with only the porch light reflecting upon us through the glass door. My head pressed against his chest, as he towered over me, in all his chocolate glory and I remember feeling the sexual tension growing thicker and thicker by the second..
After a while, he broke the silence by asking me to look up at up him in a quiet, but firm voice. I couldn’t. His over-sized ‘man parts’ was all up on me. [Gurl, he had me sweatin’ and whatnot! I knew I was ‘bout to be in trouble!] His third leg was the only thing separating us and with each breath of him that I took in, I felt every ounce of common sense leaving my body. I knew that locking eyes with him would send me over the edge. So, I whispered, “I can’t.” He placed his finger beneath my chin and slowly raised my head up to meet his. Looking at him my imagination began running wild. [Lawd, he so fine!]
I had an all-out internal battle.
I don’t mean that on some super deep religious level. I’m talking about a real-life, full-on war within about what to do. I went back and forth weighing the short-term benefits and long-term consequences. I knew my next move would be a critical one. Not just for me, but for him too. [He may not have known that sleeping together would have meant we ‘go together’. I’on think he was ready! LOL It didn’t take long to realize what I needed to do. So, I broke his grip from my face, closed my eyes, hushed my hormones and replied, “I’m just trying to be a better woman.” And with that, I took a deep breath, stepped away from him, opened the door and bid him a good night.
Let me be clear, this is not about turning down sex. This is about me not using intercourse as a substitute for intimacy; which is ultimately what I desire. It’s about me not using sex as a bandage for my brokenness. It’s about me not making decisions I’m sure to regret based on temporary feelings.
In the past, I have allowed my insecurities, voids and loneliness to lead me to make some really unhealthy decisions and people were hurt in the process. I have entered situation-ships based solely on [really good] sex and tried to build happily-ever-afters only to end up with nightmares; not the fairy tale endings I had hoped for. I have ignored my intuition, red flags and my conscious and jumped into bed and relationships with people I knew were not a good fit for me just because I was tired of being sad and single. In each of those instances, the writing was on the wall, but I tried to rearrange the words to tell a different story; one where my night in shining armor finally came along to save me.
I have learned that no one can save me, but me. I am the only person capable of doing the work that is required to heal all my hurts and emotional pains. With God, I can do that.
Over time, I became intentional about mending my broken pieces. I grew tired of bleeding profusely and cutting other people in the process. For more than a year now, I have been seeing a therapist on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. I had to come to terms with some pretty hard and ugly truths about the kind of woman I was and the really bad choices I was making that created the dysfunctional life I was living. I had to go back and clean up the mess in my past. I had to forgive a lot of people, starting with myself. Even those who never acknowledged their wrongdoings or offered apologies. I had to forgive them too. I also had to humble myself and seek forgiveness. In doing so, I was able to release a lot of guilt and shame I was carrying.
Now, I’m realizing that healing is never complete. However, every day, I’m working to evolve into a better version of myself. I am accepting the past for what it was. I am releasing the parts that I can and using the rest as an opportunity to do and be better for myself and for my daughters.
For the first time ever in my adult life, I feel like I don’t need a man or sex to be ok. [I didn’t say I don’t want a man, but recognizing there is a distinct difference between wanting and needing one.] Somewhere along the way, I figured out that my singleness is not a deficiency or indication of my worth [or lack thereof]. This season has been about changing the narrative [internally] of who I am as a woman, what I stand for and making sure my decisions and actions are in alignment with that. l’m noticing that as I work to become the woman I was meant to be [for myself and to myself], the world is also taking notice.
The heated night I referenced above could have gone a different way. I was lonely and vulnerable and I was with someone I care about, but even then, I made the decision to do it differently. For me, I think that’s what healing is – recognizing the decisions, behaviors and patterns that lead to unwanted & unhealthy outcomes and choosing to do differently, even and especially when under pressure. I believe it’s small incremental changes and actions over time, that ultimately make us who we are and collectively, it has the power to change the trajectory of our lives - for better or worse.
As great a man as I believe he is, I know Mr. Wonderful and I have fundamental differences that make us extraordinarily incompatible in my eyes. Therefore, I chose not to share one of the most sacred parts of myself with him. Knowing that if I had, based on my previous experiences, it would have created a burning desire within me to force fit a relationship that was never supposed to be.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I wonder how do you know when ‘the work’ [the therapy, the prayer and the meditation, etc.] is working. How do you know when you’re healing? For me, it was in that moment, when I made the conscious decision to not repeat old toxic behaviors – that was the moment I knew I was healing. Growing even.
Knowing that I’m one decision, one action closer to being the woman I desire to be gives me hope and serves as encouragement for me to continue with my work. The journey is a lot easier when you know what’s at stake.
When did know you were healing?