Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound
Sometimes I spill everything in my blog. Sometimes I polish it. Sometimes I just don’t post, and nobody’s the wiser. Last weekend, no post. You weren’t the wiser. BUT, you’re about to be!
I wrote about how I saw my ex last Friday and then planned a date night with myself that evening. It was a simple evening, a little sad, but also healing. This is all old news.
What I haven’t yet posted is that Saturday I went to a laughing yoga class and ran some errands. After that, I came home. To my apartment. Which I love. Which is quiet. Which is also a place for solitude. Solitude is good. Until it isn’t. I muscled through the evening and it wasn’t terrible. I listed on eBay and watched another episode of “This is Us.” MUST WATCH! I was feeling the creeping in of loneliness but I kept pushing it aside. It’s been almost 5 months. C’mon!
Sunday I woke up and knew that my familiar friend, the creeping loneliness, had taken advantage of the night hours. I felt the searing of unshed tears behind my eyeballs. I fought it back in the healthy ways that are familiar: journaling, meditation, exercise, homework for my coaching certification…but, it didn’t really work. I went to church and saw my ex, and those tears left their hiding place.
I came home and made plans to go bowling with a friend. For 2 hours, I found comfort in connecting. Then I faced another evening solo. Need I say more?
A girlfriend, Anna, and I had scheduled a call for Monday morning. Here’s where the magic happened! I described my weekend, my loneliness, my excruciating shame for being too needy. After all, I left the marriage. I have an amazing life. I have friends and activities and a business to build.
My sweet friend responded in the way that is so natural for her. Her gift is grace. She said, “Sarah Joy, you are highly relational. That is part of your makeup. You don’t need to change it. Be curious about who you are. See what you can learn from the weekend, and look for ways to take care of that need next time. You are not too needy. There is no such thing as too needy. You need what you need. Your ex was meeting about 80% of your relational needs and he’s no longer there. You now have an 80% vacuum. You get to decide how to fill in that void.”
Can I tell you the instant freedom I felt? It was like I’d been held at the bottom of the ocean with no oxygen and suddenly I surfaced.
Wait, I am not too needy for wanting human connection?
Wait, I lost 80% of the relationship pie and of course I feel a gap?
Wait, if someone thinks my needing connection is too much, it says more about them than me?
HUGE sigh of relief. Yes, I am a relationship person. It feeds me. I am NOT TOO MUCH!
Next weekend I have made plans. Not because I’m needy, but because I honor the big relational gap I see. It will close in time. I will find my own way. In the meantime, there is no gold star for suffering through it. I love myself too much for that.
Oh, and by the way, I cooked myself dinner again tonight. And I poured a glass of wine. And I watched another episode of This is Us. And I’m still damn good company!
And, one more, Anna is a counselor in Chattanooga. And she is amazing. If you are in that area and you need some grace, I can connect you! We all need a little grace...