By Kenneth Stepp
I am single. I am alone and hope I don’t stay that way. I’m an empath, I care about everyone I meet, and I partner well. There, I said all I wanted to say and you would think I would end this there. But like always, I cannot.
Two days ago I was having a conversation with a dear friend. I said, what are you looking for in a man? Her answer was typical. Honest, loyal, stable, and kind. While these are noble traits I had to say, you left off the most important trait. You left off capacity….
In January of 2013 after 24 years with my wife I found myself alone, lost, and confused. That trifecta is something I would experience many time in the coming years. I knew I was created to be a partner. I was wired for it.
I didn’t know who my future partner would be and in the process of looking for her I discovered I didn’t really know myself well enough to be my own matchmaker. I needed to know myself much better. Did I wait? Of course not. I climbed the ladder to the high dive and took a leap of faith.
I have dated a few girls in those years and learned my capacity from them. The first girl I met was Susan. A tall beautiful girl in Newnan Georgia. I fell so hard. I believe she did as well. Looking back I was so not ready to find my person. I needed to work on myself before I met her.
Meeting, loving, and spending time with Susan helped me to know my capacity to love. After we broke up the hurt caused me to write about my pain. I learned I could love at a capacity I never dreamed possible for this bumpkin from Kentucky.
I learn more about myself from others. This can be very painful and at times reassuring. I guess self discovery should always be these things. A mix of both. I want to talk about another angel I met along the way too. She was a beautiful blond from Madison Georgia named Kim. She was going to nursing school when I met her.
I learned more about myself from these two women than I knew about myself my entire lifetime. I won’t go into our story in any detail but what I learned about myself from Kim was the depth I was capable of loving. Kim had depth and the mirror in me reflected my own from her. It was a miracle. Love if it’s real is always a miracle.
Self discovery is an important part of being single these days. Everyone of us needs to practice looking in the mirror and seeing our own heart. I’ve hurt others on this journey, I have probably not been the friend some needed. But I have loved deeper and wider than anyone I know.
I have friends who are men, good men from all walks of life. I never miss an opportunity to share how self discovery has helped me be a better man and a better human. As men we were created to lead. At least that’s my belief. As men we are created to be more solution than problem. As men we were created to heal others not hurt others.
I want to say something about another girl I met. Her name was Rhonda. She read everything I wrote for years. We met, we fell in love, and today she is in Heaven. We talked about Susan and Kim.
She wasn’t concerned that I wrote about them for years. She reminded me that loving them prepared me to love her properly. And writing about them allowed her to know I would love her the way she wanted and needed to be loved.
Find a man with the capacity to love and the depth to plant an anchor firmly in the sand. Without these two things it’s just a game. My journey has been a mix of pain and pure joy. And I’d do it again in a minute. In the end here I am writing about other women from my past again. For the wrong one it’s a turnoff. To the right one it’s a lighthouse beside a raging sea.
More than anything I hope my journey can help others. My hope is that wanting to help others in this sea of singles becomes the norm.