Single Again… We’re All Damaged
By Kenneth Stepp
“We’re all damaged. Every single beautiful, stupid, precious one of us. Damaged, damaged, damaged.” ― Matthew Norman, We’re All Damaged
Yep, that’s us. We’ve trusted people that didn’t deserve our trust or did not have the integrity to “go the distance”, we’ve believed someone who did not understand how temporary relationships become once a lie is introduced, or we’ve lost someone that was the very foundation of our world, either by death or divorce. These things leave a mark on everyone and I’m guessing 100% of those on this singles cruise has experienced damage. Most have received and caused damage. A great way to know you’ve grown is that you can admit both.
What is growth? And is it important in the moving on process? The answer to what it is, is more what it causes for me. Growth has made me a better person. When I first became single I had no idea what I was or more importantly, who I was. I knew I didn’t want to be alone. I fell in love with the first girl I met. I would learn so much from her and from the damage our break up left behind in its wake. Who I was was a needy man wanting someone to love me. I suppose that when she told me she loved me, I believed her because I needed to be loved. I had no idea how naive I was back then. It’s funny how at our weakest points, we look for those comfortable lies. They just feel so good.
Reality… You remember that place don’t you? That’s where we actually are and the way the world actually works. Five and a half years later, I’m still a work in process. I still want someone in my life for the rest of my life. I still want to find my soulmate. But now, a little wiser, a lot more damaged, and perhaps a little more guarded. In a nutshell, I am one of the walking wounded. I learned my capacity to love is huge. I never really thought of it before. In a good marriage, and mine was for most of it, love is on autopilot. I didn’t have to give it a thought, it was silent, but always present. Now days I dwell on love, I critique it, examine it, and desire it. Is that because I have been hurt? Or chose to be a write with his only subject being love to write about? This is a great place for a smiley face…
Ghosts of relationships past still linger. I’m unsure it’s like that for others, but I give a piece of my heart away with every relationship. And those pieces come back to haunt me at the most inappropriate and sometimes worse times. Typically I meet a girl online. It’s the world we live in I suppose. We chat, meet, have lunch or dinner, and boom! She’s back. She being someone that I’ve allowed in before. My past haunts me. I’ve been told I talk too much about the ghosts of my past. God knows I write about them too much. Even I know that. So I’m working on not mentioning them to any potentials I might meet. It must be important. No one wants to pay for what the last one did, or worse yet, compete with one. Ghosts are relationships that have past. Let’s learn to leave them there.
So is damage altogether a bad thing? I have a saying. “I’ve never learned anything while winning”. This is true for me and many others. “We do not change until the pain of remaining the same is worse than the pain of changing”. This is a quote that I’m sure I butchered. The author that wrote it was someone I met in Chicago in 1998 at a leadership event. I cannot recall his name. So what did damage do in my life? I’m kinder now. I am always nice, I’m patient, and as my father taught me, I am always a gentleman. The girl who set the course for me, I still miss her after all these years. Love attaches itself to hearts as if it were surgically sewn to it. Am I able to move on? Time will tell. I’ve thought I could numerous times. Yet here I sit, tapping the keys, still writing about her.
“There are some who enter our life and leave too soon, then there are some who enter our life and leave, but are never really gone” – K Stepp