I’m thankful! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year because it is a time that I see, talk with, or hear from friends and loved ones near and far. It’s also a day that I’ll spend with my momma and that always brings laughter and lots of affection. For some reason this year, I’m reflective about my strained relationship with my late father. Perhaps it’s because his mother, my 104-year-old grandmother, passed away this past July, and this is the first Thanksgiving without her. Adele’s new LP, 30, and especially the lyrics of “To Be Loved” have me thinking about how I tried to love my birth father – as he represented himself to me – and I struggled to do that demonstrably. I’ll have to keep working to forgive my father for his absence and to forgive myself for feelings of shame and rejection that I carried for many years. I am truly thankful for the men in my life who served as father figures: my grandfathers, my uncles, and my male teachers.
I turned 53 years old recently, and I have to admit…this is the happiest, most well-adjusted, confident, and self-assured I’ve been in the past five years. I’m gentler with myself because I’ve learned that my beliefs, my feelings, and my intuition matter. Listening to my inner voice has protected me, and while I freely acknowledge these are whispers of The Creator, I’m much more intentional about respecting these gifts. When I think about love and all that accompanies an open heart, I know, for sure, that I have lived long enough to appreciate what I can and will tolerate, shoulder, or deal with at this point in my life. Peace…nothing can willingly enter my life and destroy the peace that I have. Love is accompanied by peace.
I’ve encountered a few “romantic interests” in the time that I’ve been divorced, and boundaries are clearly and swiftly established. From the hyper-sexual blast from my past, the unhappily married former co-worker, the second glance at a college friend, and the self-professed junior high school crush…the heart wants what it wants. The advantage of years of personal maturity and failed relationships helps me pump the brakes on those initial palpitations (lust) to respect and honor that those feelings can be fleeting. I’ve discovered that I need and desire a man who is intelligent, thoughtful in his expressions, and who consistently communicates with me in small and in adoring ways. I’m a “little sweet on” one man, in particular, but physical distance stymies the closeness we could share. Herculean efforts are just that…we both have busy lives where we live. I can find “things” that are attractive to me in almost any man, but if there is a hint of instability that could threaten the peace I value, it’s a wrap. I can be alone without being lonely.
The end of this year and the beginning of the next will bring about several exciting changes for me in my career and personal life. God has kept me from depression, unemployment, despair, and hopelessness during periods of great transition, and I count my blessings every single day. I’m happy, I’m healthy, and I’m optimistic about every aspect of my life.
Until next time,
Andi D 😘
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