Last night I went on my first ‘first date’ in over 18 years.
It was very different in some ways to my last ‘first date’ and in some ways similar.
Similar in the sense of nerves, a tingle of excitement, uncertainty laced with anticipation of where it may lead… and what to wear!? Revealing or demure? Classic or trendy? Natural or dramatic? What first impression did I want to make…? I was late… not such a great impression…
Different in the sense of what we did. My previous first date was in London, in the summer, drinking in the eclectic and trendy bars in the backstreets of Regent Street and ending up dancing in the Hannover Grand, pizza on the way home in the early hours. This time it was in Leeds, a very smart restaurant, beautiful wine, a chateaubriand and a movie.
My original date nearly killed me. He didn’t have a key to the house he shared with 2 others – they only had 2 keys between 3. So he had to smash a window with a brick… and the brick missed my head by an inch.
My date last night started to heal me, revive me. He spoke of his first wife. All the things he loved about her, admired about her, missed about her. He spoke of the remorse he felt, the anguish and guilt for all the pain he has inflicted on so many. He showed his vulnerability and shame, with humility and honesty. He was generous and kind, respectful, grateful and patient and reminded me very much of my last first date, the man I fell hook line and sinker for, fell in love with and adored for over 18 years.
And in those moments I was reminded of the words of Marianne Williamson, who continues to give me great comfort and inspiration:
‘Forgiveness is the choice to see people as they are now. When we’re mad at people, we’re angry because of something said or did before this moment. By letting go of the past, we make room for miracles to replace our grievances.’
The road ahead is a long one and I can already see the ups and downs, twists and turns from where I stand. I know it is just a road, a path, a decided route that I can step off at any time.
So with a deep breath and by trusting that I cannot heal while dwelling on the past, holding on to my grievances, carrying around bitterness and anger, I can only heal by living fully in the present moment, by opening up my heart. I have taken the first step.