Rediscovering Hope and Love

I meet so many people through my blog and social media. Many I consider friends without ever having met them. Alycia Neighbours is one of those people. She’s someone I know it would be fun to grab a cup of coffee with and spend the morning talking. Alycia is the type of person you feel grateful for knowing, whether it is in person or though the internet.

I love so many things about Alycia. I love her grace and strength in the face of adversity. I love her writing. I love her humor. I love her lack of cleaning skills (inside joke). I love how she has redefined her life.

What I love most is that Alycia is a Naked Girl in a Dress.

I was so excited, but surprised Alycia accepted my request to guest write for me. She has had a significant change in her life this month. To find out what I am referencing, go visit her blog. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. But before you leave my site, stay to read what she has written here. As usual, it’s a beautiful piece from the lovely and talented Alycia.

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“Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

…said NO woman ever lying in bed surrounded by crumpled Kleenex, empty chocolate wrappers, watching “The Notebook” on loop, crying on the phone with their mom and their best friend waiting on hold.

All the fluffy cotton candy sentiments that we pass around like an offering plate when there has been a heart broken, is just that; fluffy with a lack of substance.

Regardless of how you lost love and how long you had love; it hurts and cuts deep. Cotton candy sentiments aren’t going to cut it. Although cotton candy flavored ice cream isn’t a bad way to go. It doesn’t hold a candy candle to some Rocky Road goodness…I digress.

When I lost love this last time, it was like trying to hold water in my hands. I could see it slipping away. Drip by painful drip. It began with simple cutting remarks, flowed inside physical abuse and rage uncontrolled in the suicide of my spouse. The actual love died a long time before he did, but the hope for love would not dim until his life was extinguished.

I’ve come to believe inside my healing that it wasn’t the loss of love that hurt so incredibly bad; it was the loss of hope. The hope that I was good enough. The hope that I was worth loving. The hope that I was worth living for. The pain was so intense for that rejection, that I swore I would never love again. More accurately, I would never hope again.

I started to spend a lot of time with myself and realized that over time, I had believed what he had displayed. I wasn’t worth it. I wasn’t good enough. I had fallen out of love with myself. I believed I didn’t deserve better. I believed he was right. It wasn’t worth hoping for.

I was that broken woman in bed with her ice cream and I had lost hope and love.

Luckily I had a great support team on the line and willing to help me begin loving myself through their eyes. They showed me what was inside me that was worth falling in love with and I began to hope again. I fell in love. Deep in love with myself.

Loving myself allowed the hope to begin to ignite again. Loving myself permitted another love to find me.

I recently walked down the aisle with my new love. Able to love strongly, fully and with wild abandon. I owe that to the fact that I loved myself before he ever did. I knew I was worth his best. I knew I would accept nothing less. When he showed me that he believed all the same things, I said “I do.”

“Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Sometimes that might be true, especially when that loss shows you that you didn’t really lose and opens you up to learning, trusting and hoping in a more deeper love.

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