I once drove from Atlanta to Detroit to meet the grandmother of an ex-girlfriend only to have granny call me by another guy’s name for the entire weekend. Should have taken that as a sign of things to come. Visited out-of-town friends of the same ex-girlfriend and proceeded to enjoy myself while unbeknownst to me the girlfriend was plotting her break up with me in the next room. I guess I’ve never had good instincts when it comes to women or relationships. I’m the type who finds out everything that really happened after the fact. Many times thru the punch line to a joke that I’m the only one not laughing at. This is one of the primary reasons that I have such a wall around my heart. The problem with being so guarded is that it can be just as difficult to get out, as it is to let somebody in. When you meet someone who is worthy of taking a chance for, how do you get out of your own way?
I’ve been known to sabotage potentially good relationships because I wasn’t able to get beyond my fears, insecurities and trust issues. The more a woman would expose her heart to me, the more I would retract from her. The idea of being someone’s fool again was not worth the risk in my mind. The reward for my stoic behavior was nights, weekends & holidays filled with loneliness. The kind of loneliness that is too painful to deal with so you just pretend it isn’t there. Thinking that you are hiding it from the world, all the while it’s perfectly obvious to anybody who has known you for more than five minutes. For a little over two years, I dealt with my loneliness in that fashion. Mind you, I was involved in a relationship during this time. Sleepwalking my way through it. I once read something that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said about when he really got to know God. He said until he was out of the reach of his well-known preacher father and his mother couldn’t come to his aid, he had just been pretending. By growing up in the church, he knew all the right prayers, the right voice inflections, and the right bible passages to make himself look like a righteous man. Once his house in Montgomery had been fire-bombed and everybody turned to him to do something, he really had to fall on his knees and get to know God. I was faking the funk in the same way. I knew what to say and what gestures to make it seem like I was totally involved in the relationship. Once I found myself in a situation that I really had to work to maintain the relationship, I just walked away.
Today, I find myself breaking down that wall from the inside. Letting the light of love come into my world. I’m still afraid of being a fool but I know that life in the dark is not for me. I’m taking baby steps but they feel like a Carl Lewis long jump to me. In the near future, I plan on standing on the podium receiving my gold medal.
Have you ever been a fool for love?
If you are guarded like me, what would it take for you to risk it?
How important is timing to finding the right one?