2 min read
17 Jul

      I have had the great fortune to know many different people in this world and have met amazing human beings in my travels. Some have taught me lessons more than others and some taught me painful lessons from hurt. In the end though they all helped shape me to the man I'm becoming. In my romantic relationships I learned a lot through pain and hurt. I also failed to do many things in those relationships with lead me to guilt and shame. Though 3 main people stand out for me and taught me the most important lessons, those of healing.  

     The first woman I met while dancing at midnight rodeo and we had an amazing time. I didn’t want the night to end, but at some point, it had to so we exchanged numbers.  I set a date to go hiking with her that week and we did. She was a veteran like me but a nurse not enlisted. In those days I still harbored a lot of resentments and bitterness towards my time in the army. For the first time since I left the army, I was able to talk to someone who understood me and my experiences. During that long hike, she helped change my perspective about my journey. She brought back meaning and purpose to a situation I had become disgruntled over. She reminded me that we did make a difference in the world and that we learned more than most people ever could while in the military. As our relationship began to grow, she also taught me to stand up for myself when people let me down. She reminded me of my worth as a human being and as a man. Something I had thought I lost in those dark days. She let me know that it was okay to have negative emotions about how things happened, but not to let them shape my present or my future.  I never did get to thank her for these things, but I am truly grateful that God put her in my life for a reason. 

     The second woman I met in a different chapter of my life and my healing. I had just graduated college and went off to Europe for the 2nd time. I met her on a pub crawl in Scotland on my birthday. It was funny because it started off as a small group of maybe 5 of us so we quickly got to know one another. By and by more showed and we were full when we began the crawl. We danced, we partied, we sang and we had a beautiful time. In the morning we shared intimate moments about our past and our journeys, and saw that we were both on the path of healing. I have visited her in her home in Germany once before covid and it was amazing. We have kept in touch and she continually teaches me more about myself, spirituality and changes my perspective for the better.  She pushes me to be a better version of myself and I am so grateful to have someone walking along the same path as me even for a moment. I've learned to accept the parts of me that were painful, the abuse I suffered had meaning and purpose to help others. That I am more than enough, I am loved and loveable and no one can ever take away my worth as a human being. So, I thank God, my higher power, every day for the teachings and the support we have been able to give one another. 

     The third woman I met through a mutual friend in the early days of my sobriety.  Though it was brief in nature, I experienced an abundance of love and healing. In my early days of recovery, I had a hard time forgiving myself for my past decisions when I was active in my addiction. She taught me that it was okay to have made mistakes as long as you learn from them. She was always telling me to give love rather than hate. That karma can be my friend not my enemy if I make better choices. Karma did come to bite me in the butt many times, but I started to look back at the last few months of my life with more clarity. I learned what I was looking for in a relationship, and the things I needed and wanted out of one. In the end we just weren't compatible to move forward and said our goodbyes. It helped me start a new chapter in my life, to turn the page on my past. To look at it and say I'm not going to let this determine my future anymore, I'm not going to let it dictate my moments in the present. For that I am eternally grateful, and I thank God once again for putting her in my life. 

     Each of these women play a vital role in my life and the ways I perceived the world. I'm only starting to take these lessons to heart during my sobriety. Like with many things, I wasn’t ready to fully grasp the lessons, but my heart is open and listening now. These women showed up in ways that I couldn’t imagine, and gave me the love I needed without me ever realizing it till now. God placed them in my life to guide me, to teach me, and though things didn’t end the way I wanted them to I find joy and gratitude in having known them. It was truly a blessing to have them in my life and still have one in my life to share in my experiences with. I pray every night that God transforms my heart, softens it and leaves it open to love, and to freely give love. I spent a lot of my life with a heavy and hardened heart, but that’s not what God has in store for me anymore. For everyone out there who lost love, ended relationships and felt hurt I pray that you find healing in the story God has for you. I pray that you learn, and continue to let the light of love into your hearts. I know the beauties and the greatness God has in store for us all and I hope he delivers big time in your life. I pray he gifts you with a love so powerful it shakes your entire life, and I pray that you are ready to accept that love in your life. Good things await those who keep their faith and keep their hearts open. 

 With much Love, 

Mack  

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