The process of healing can be a daunting one. For me, I shut down and withdrew from the world of men after my last abusive relationship. I didn’t do dates, guy friends, anything. Boys were the enemy, the perpetrators, the cause of my hurt. As the healing progresses, however, I’ve come to realize that not ALL boys are on a mission of destruction. Not ALL boys are abusive, controlling jerks. I’ve seen this demonstrated through a variety of examples. For instance, several of my friends have healthy relationships. My dad is a wonderful guy as well. I have mentors and others who I respect whom I know are in healthy relationships with loving and supportive men.
If these guys exist for others, then they must exist for me as well. Somewhere. And, while I must preface this by saying I haven’t found Mr. Right, the goal during the healing process is not always to find him, but sometimes, I believe it is good just to test the strength of my personal boundaries, and to put a toe in the water on my way to swimming into the lake of a relationship.
Testing your strength can be incredibly scary. For me, I was nervous I would fall into another trap, that going on a date would mean being abused again. I realized however, that if I ever wanted to find a healthy relationship, I have to be willing to open the doors of my heart once more.
So I went on a date. On my terms, and doing activities that I loved. And you know what? It didn’t work out with the guy, but I’m really proud of myself/accomplished feeling. The point is, I overcame a legitimate fear, given my past, of dating. And you know what? I went out with a cute, nice guy, and gained a guy friend in the process.
Sometimes the goal isn’t about the final result, it’s truly about the journey. Getting out there again, older and wiser and with a greater understanding of your instinct/intuition , can be a terrifying, and ultimately rewarding experience. I learned that I am stronger than I thought I was. That my heart can open again. And that, although this didn’t work out, it wasn’t because of abuse, or self-consciousness, or self-doubt. It was a small hill I climbed on the way to growth.