I had every intention to post this great post from my dear friend the month of February. As I sat and read the blog my friend wrote, it became one of those days. You see, I was proposed to on Valentine’s day. I didn’t think much of Valentines day until I was proposed too. The knee, a rose, and the ring. It was everything a girl could ask far. So as I read this beautiful post from my friend, I cried and could not hit send. Missing a deadline, for the first time in my life, went but the way side.
As I know have a clear head (and maybe a little vodka), my friend’s inter strength inspire me.

Enjoy my Guest Blogger!

I have been extremely blessed to watch a dear friend venture out into her uncharted territory of blogging. While I enjoy reading blogs, I have not had the opportunity (until now) to write one. As a divorced, single gal, the opportunity to write a blog during the month of love or ‘Valentine’s Day’ seemed daunting. Yet, I stopped for a moment and was quickly reminded of the courage of a close friend. I continue to watch her resolute courage in the face of challenge upon challenge and thought, “How could I decline?’ I realized the occasion was a ‘beautifully wrapped, priceless treasure’. An invitation for comradely and an opportunity to venture together through our ‘unknowns’.

I’m grateful for the friends who push me beyond myself for something greater than myself. As a dedication of ‘first’, thank you BlindSidedValleyGirl for your courage that gave me courage.

February is here, which means Valentine’s Day is the around the corner! Definitely my favorite date night, gift giving, ‘love is in the air’ Hallmark moment (as I insert sarcasm here). In fact, the reality is that this heavily marketed holiday creates such high ‘unrealistic’ expectation, that year over year I find myself disappointed. Living in a romantic Hollywood, fast food, ‘what is in it for me?’ society; unbreakable and sacrificial love is hard to come by. Single, dating, divorced, or separated; love these days has taken on a tainted and sometimes superficial meaning.

Regardless your stage of your journey, I’m learning that disappointments within relationships have caused me to become overly guarded. I have learned to push others away with defense mechanisms. While sometimes these boundaries were or are necessary; with people undeserving of such boundaries, they are harmful. As I evaluate my relationships with self-awareness, I noticed that I am the common denominator of my disappointments. How could I discredit myself from unwanted outcomes? These disappointments have propelled me into an area of growth requiring a paradigm shift about my idea of love. Love was not just about preventing disappointment, but instead love is about the depth of my intentional vulnerability through being present.

For me my PTSD conditioned me to breeze through life at a ‘safe’ distance, never really connecting with many on a deep interpersonal level. In my heart of hearts, this created ‘less-than’ relationships that really could have been more engaging. Overtime, I realized my auto-pilot allowed me to kind of ‘check-out’. Instead, I overly focused on performance-based results and this was well suited in the corporate environment. Instead of developing inter-personal relationships I focused on title advancement, performance metric rating, or wage increases. While my performance allowed me to climb the corporate ladder, my personal relationships seemed to downward spiral.
As I look back, perhaps the feeling of daunt, disappointment, incompatibility, or unworthiness – were my gentle reminders for something more. What if these frustrating road blocks were similar to a ‘bruise’. The Oxford Dictionary defines a bruise as an injury appearing as an area of discolored skin on the body, caused by a blow or impact rupturing underlying blood vessels (www.en.oxforddictionaries.com). Could my childhood blows and divorce impacts condition me as a preventative measure to prevent inter-personal injury? I believe ‘yes’, and my idea of love had become distorted.
Is it possible that the fear to be known, keeps us from being known and vulnerable? Insecurities of what we think of ourselves or what others may think of us, can steel our ability to remain whole heartedly present and unintentionally kill passion. The key is remaining mentally present because it allows us to listen. When we fully listen with our heart, our presence becomes available. This offers an opportunities to connect more deeply and hopefully invites others to feel the same. Oh how we crave to share the real rawness of the life? My soul thirsts for connection and my heart hungers for true love born of authenticity. I’m grateful for possibility that more can exist. I’m grateful for greater heights beyond myself. This challenge is daunting, but the reward is far greater. True love like we have never known.
What is truly amazing and inspiring is that we have the freedom to acknowledge disappointments or fear and intentionally move beyond them. We have the freedom to turn-off auto pilot, whether it is a first date or fiftieth date this Valentines Day. Lets give the gift of presence, to be ourselves which opens the doors for another to open their heart. The giving of ourselves, to remain fiercely intentional and offer the gift of our undivided attention.

“As we let our light shine, we… give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others” (Cuddy 2015).

Cuddy, Amy. Presence: bringing your boldest self to your biggest challenges. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2015. Print.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/bruise?#_=_