When Love Wins out Over Fear

It’s been a little over a month now since Mike proposed. I’ve had a few hard triggers. Trying to think about planning a wedding has been tough at first. The last time I was going to marry someone, he died before we ever got to the big day. He died before we ever even got into the true planning. So needless to say, that part of me that remembers is very aware. I’ve had a few moments of just bursting into heavy, deep sobs because sometimes it feels like reliving the past and it gets very scary to imagine it all disappearing again.

I’ve worried this whole process would be too much to handle, and too emotional to deal with, and that I wouldn’t even be able to manage the idea of planning a wedding ever. But aside from those moments where the fears get big and scary, most of the time, I’ve felt a new awareness of time and a new appreciation for each day.

Just last week, I told Mike, “I’ve gotten to be engaged to you for a whole month now! That’s more than I ever got to before!” And it’s true. Just as with each anniversary year we have hit (4 YEARS next week, wow!)… there is a feeling of thankfulness that we’ve somehow gotten this far. Part of me is still expecting it all to fall apart at any moment like it did when Drew died. But instead of being so afraid of that, I just feel excited for every small piece. Excited to ask one of my best friends to make our wedding cake. Excited to ask another of our closest friends to be the one to marry us. And honored, so honored, that I get the privilege to have had one whole month of planning such a special day, so far. Even if all went wrong and it didn't happen, I still got this part. I still got to spend all this wonderful time dreaming of the day - which is something that was taken from me the last time I was going to marry my person. 

I guess I did expect this to paralyze me with fear more. I wondered if I was going to have to go back on anxiety meds to deal with all the triggers and fears in fact. But instead, I just seem to be deciding to live. Commiting to taking the risk of pain again for the privilege to love. Deciding maybe even to naively hope that it won’t happen again like before. And deciding that, if it does, I will be so glad that I got to spend this extra month, day, year, etc with this person. Somehow, I’ve been able to focus on the love a whole lot more than the fear… and it’s helped so much.

The not knowing is the hardest part I think. And the looming sometimes superstitious feeling that there already IS an ending worked out for us, but that neither of us know any of the details. I don’t know if I believe that, but there are certain things about Drew’s death that do kind of lead me there… and its scary to think that maybe my ending with Mike is already laid out somewhere in our souls but we don’t know anything about it. I’ve spent so much time thinking about these ideas though, that anymore, I just try not to go into it too deep. Spending too much energy on the idea of people leaving is far too draining on me. And since I can’t control any of it anyway, it is best to let it be and to leave my heart free to spend it’s time loving instead.

The thing is, loving people is ALWAYS a risk. Whether it’s a spouse or a sibling, a parent or a friend or a child. I try and remember that, because it reminds me that we are ALL risking this way every single day. In fact, it’s pretty impossible not to unless you completely isolate yourself from the world. So we might as well just keep on loving and let the fears go by the wayside as much as we can. At least that way, whether death comes at old age or cuts a life short in a shocking way, I feel like I will have very few regrets to carry, and far more love. 

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  • Betty Shelton
    commented 2019-02-09 18:59:09 -0800
    It was hard for me to read this. Since my fiancée passed last December, it’s been hard for me to even think about another relationship. Inknow it’s way too soon for me to be seriously considering that, but I can’t help but wonder about if I want to take this step again. Your words have made a big difference for me because I’ve wondered if anyone in my situation ever gets to the point you’re at and are able to fully enjoy the relationship and not short change their partner. I know loving anyone is a risk you take and you can’t control. But you’ve done it eyes wide open. It’s refreshing for me to read this and you’ve given encouragement. Thank you.
  • Betty Shelton
    followed this page 2019-02-09 18:47:51 -0800