By Kenneth Stepp
Most of my friends and readers know that I’m a creative writer not a technical writer. This means I have visions and I attempt to paint these visions using my words and emotions. Today will be one of those times.
I have been thinking about those in my singles journey who influenced me the most or in ways that taught me the most. I can think of four such people. I see myself standing in front of a room with one table in it. Around that table are five chairs. 3 occupied by amazing people, two are empty.
In the first chair is the very first woman I met after becoming single again. She was absolutely amazing. I only spent a couple of months with her. I learned I had the capacity to love deeper than I ever thought possible. She was a gift to my battered soul. I began writing after we broke up as therapy for myself.
In the second chair was a person I not only love deeply but I admire in ways I’ve never actually told her. She was and is a warrior with wings. She overcomes whatever the world throws at her with a smile and an, I’ll be ok. From her I learned love is a life sentence. Another way to say it is this: 1 Corinthians 13:8 and Romans 8:38-39. They say that love never fails, that means it never ends.
In the third chair is someone who took me by surprise. We dated for almost two years before my life exploded, I’ll get to that later. She saw me entirely and still loved me. I had no idea early on I’d ever love her back. When I was released from the hospital 10/23/2021 she visited me. She kept visiting me. Falling even deeper was inevitable I guess. I still miss her and will always hold tightly to the fond memories.
I now come to the fourth chair. She was a reader of mine for over two years before we ever had a conversation. I drove over 100 miles to take her to lunch. We were the proverbial fireworks others hope for.
Her smile would light my dark heart up and make me forget I had ever been hurt. After she passed away I was so lost. I guess I still am but what a ride we had. I learned that the times I spent loving those in my past made our love even more amazing. Neither one of us had ever been so happy.
By now you have to be wondering about that fifth chair. It’s reserved for someone very special. You see, I have been learning to love, I have been learning the depths and the breadth of what love can be. I believe she is being prepared for me like I have been for her. As I look back on my singles journey I see nine years full of hurt and excitement. Both are teachers. One a terror and one a joy. But we learn from both equally.
We all get knocked down. We all get hurt and confused. There will always be questions. Some will go unanswered and some will confuse us even further. In the end we only have us. We choose how much or how little of us we share with someone.
Having said that, I believe that love is sharing. The more we share the more love we are capable of. You can’t hold back and find depth. When I met my last love I saw myself on a high cliff. I was scared, I never wanted to feel the hurt again, and I was afraid once she really got to know me we’d drift off into what those in my past did. We all face this. And we all fear it….
Her love was so tender, so complete, and was so safe that I stopped looking down, spread my arms like wings and fell. She caught me there. She taught me how to be that person for someone. In that fifth chair there will be someone that experienced that high cliff and found it safe enough to fall the way I did that day. I can’t wait to catch her and say, I told you it would be ok. Insert a smiley emoji here.
Relationships have many good and bad things in them. Learn from them, become better at them as you travel on this journey with others. Our past can help make our future work. I really don’t know much about my future. But I know what love is. I’ve had great teachers.