This morning my house looks like a florists.
Yesterday was the much feared birthday party. The one in which my love was to meet my family and friends. I had visions of crying into my cups going into yet another birthday alone.
He asked what the criteria for invitation was and I was a bit flummoxed, but it struck me when I looked around that these are my oldest friends and family – with a few exclusions- work colleagues and a few of my friends who could not make it or who like to remain “exclusive”.
Who could be sad when buoyed by so much love in the room – not just for me but for each other? I was intensely proud of the community I have created wherein my ex in laws mix with my family and friends. Where my ex husband asks his new girlfriend, who was there with her daughter, to source my birthday cake for me. Where the 30 people who came stayed around and said how lovely it had been – and it was, lovely.
Over the last couple of years I have started to get to grips with this talent for creating community and use it in my work to make a difference in the industry I’m in. But I’m sure there is so much further to go.
There were no tears at all. When my best friend’s sweetheart looked at me and asked how I was, I was shocked to feel as relaxed as I did in saying, it’s ok, I’ve learnt from this one; there will be another one along in due course. He reminded me of the fraught and tearful 3am conversation we had 5 years ago in which I told him, having come out of a sexless marriage that no one would ever want to sleep with me. Then, having roundly tackled that, last year saying …hmm there may be plenty who want to sleep with me but no one will ever love me.
As I allow myself to get more and more present to the love there is in my life, so he becomes just a part of that. I’m present to feeling compassion for him and even for his wife. I believe I am further along the line in my journey than he is, and that would have caused us problems.
And his journey may lie in a completely different direction to mine after all. …