My Happily is Now!

happilyI will start out with a warning for you…this blog is going to be a little sappy.

Today is Valentine’s Day and it is the day when we express our love to someone special in our lives.  I know, I know, this day is over commercialized.  Roses cost a fortune today.  Jewelry stores love this day.  I still remember the times in elementary school when we would have envelopes on the wall and we would put cards in the envelopes for our classmates.  I would always save the best card for the girl I liked.  Sadly, they would never return the favor.  Yep, I was the one that got the “Goofy” card.  I wasn’t very smooth in the 4th grade that’s for sure.

Things are different now.  Today it is about the love.   Well, for me it is.

You see, the reason it is a happy day for me is that I found that one true love people talk about and movies are made about.  I have that happily ever after and I’m living it with my wife, Crystal, today.

It wasn’t always this way.  I have had many miserable Valentine’s Days in the past.  I remember how dreadful it was to look at the hundreds of cards and finding it difficult to get the right now because – honestly – I wasn’t feeling it.  Not for a long time.  When you are with the wrong person, life is pretty miserable.  I hated my life.  It wasn’t much fun to be me.

I met Crystal in high school but lost touch with her for over 30 years until we re-connected on Facebook.  Both of our marriages were over and we were broken people.  The first time I heard her voice on the phone she had me.  No question about it.  It was a magical moment.  After years apart, our souls connected.  We found what we were missing when we found each other.  We had no trouble saying “I love you” in fact, it took incredible restraint NOT to say it.  We just knew.  It has been an amazing experience.  People have criticized me for going after the fairy tale and believing in a happily ever after.  That’s okay.  Those critics can stay in their miserable marriages and enjoy playing the lead role in their life’s drama.

Do I believe in true love?  Absolutely.   Soulmates?  I do because I found mine.  I know people like to toss around that term.  Soulmates.  People scoff at that too.  You mean there is one person out there for everyone?  Well, I can’t say that about everyone.  I can only say it for me.  Crystal has made me a better man and gave me another chance at being a better husband.  You see, I wasn’t a good husband before.  I failed at it.  That’s what happens when you are living in the wrong life.

The moment I saw Crystal, I knew.

A fairytale sometimes doesn’t happen without the rough parts leading to it.  I went through that rough part.  I just didn’t know where it was leading to.  Sure, I wish I had gotten it right the first time and made the right choice in my early 20s but that’s not how it happened in my story.  I’m not proud of that part but my years of sorrow was turned into joy.   I did that.  I found her.  Now I am living the life I was always destined to live.  My own family, former friends and co-workers can have their judgment about it.  They didn’t live my life.  It’s easy to judge something you don’t know or haven’t experienced yourself.

I stepped into the life of the real me when Crystal entered my life.  I lived in fear in my previous life.  Constant pressure to measure up to everyone’s expectations and the fear of letting people down.  That stuff will kill you.  It nearly did.   I found a new life with Crystal and now I have my happily now.  Everyday.  So forgive me if I’m a little sappy on Valentine’s Day.  You don’t know my journey.

Sure, call me a romantic.  I am not ashamed of that admission.  When you have found it, you know it.  When you get to that happily ever after you just know.  No one has to tell me.

We don’t live in a fantasy world.  We still deal with every day life just like everyone else.  We have to work jobs and deal with the pressures of finances and all the rest but the difference is that we have each other.  The Bible calls the person our “help meet” and Crystal is that to me.  She is always on my side and my biggest supporter.  You can’t imagine how huge that is.

Serendipity is finding something good without looking for it.  My life found that serendipity.  Today I celebrate my happily now.

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Marriage Of The Soul

I know we often toss around the idea of finding our “soul mate” and making it sound magical and romantic.  

Well, if you find the right person it is.  

I spent over 20 years in my “previous life” (that’s what I call it) married to the wrong person.  While I tried to force it to be what I wanted it to be, it never was.  It was a life of frustration.  

Today, my life is different.  After six years with the right person, I know what it means to have your soul mate.  There is no scientific formula for this, it’s one of those things that you just know.  It clicks inside of you without having to be forced or questioned.  It isn’t something that has to be work or difficult.   I am very fortunate to have found it.    Not many people get the chance I have had.  I always say that I have a second chance to be a better husband and I won’t squander the chance I have been given.  

If I have some advice to give people it would be:

Don’t base your decision on your fears of disappointing others.  

This one had me for most of my life.   You are the only person you know how to be.  You have to make decisions about love for your own happiness, not based on the happiness of others.  I lived with the expectation of others and the church and worried more about disappointing them than my own happiness.  Let me tell you a secret that I wish someone had told me:  you will always disappoint people regardless what you do.  You have to live with you.  Make decisions of love on that, not for the approval of others. 

Don’t settle because of low self esteem. 

I used to have a very low self-esteem which is a terrible trap when you are in a relationship.  This will deceive you into thinking that this is all you will ever have or you will be alone.  You have to love yourself more than that.  Not to the extreme of being full of yourself but living where you don’t have to settle for something that isn’t right for you.  

Follow your heart but take your brain with you.  

Be careful that you don’t just fall in love with love.  You have to have love but you need to make sure you like the person too.  You have to genuinely like being with the person. You can’t fake this or it will only wear you down after the honeymoon period is over.  Obviously we all have our differences but you have to decide if you can live with those differences and not just ignore them.  

Although I have been divorced, I am not an advocate of it.  Divorce should never be an option in your mind.  Yes, I went down that road but it is a choice I made.  You should never go into a marriage thinking that as your way out.  You should always do what you can to fix your marriage.  Unfortunately you can’t always do it.  Again you have to find your own way and not seek the approval of others.  

The soul knows and when you find them you will know it.  This is why I never wanted the “till death do us part” in our vows because when the soul has found the one it loves, that is a love that lasts.  

Yeah, we all mess up and make the wrong decisions in love.  Yes, people scoff at true love, soul mates and happily ever afters but it does happen and there is hope for the soul.