It's ironic: the best word to describe my state of being, now that noise is allowed back in my life, is "quiet." It's a deep contentment, a peaceful watchfulness. I'm loving it.
My scope for radio silence was so small at the outset, compared to where it ended up. "Father in Heaven, will Chris and I just be wasting our time if we keep dating?" I really grappled with that question. Each day, I had new tears and a different opinion, and each day, I deeply questioned any peace I thought I'd found. There just seemed to be so much static, so much information to try to work with and reconcile. Then, on Wednesday, I had a new thought.
And it changed everything.
The fact of the matter is, no matter what situation I am in, I have a responsibility to be as Christlike as possible. I realized that the troubling situation Chris and I were in, the one that lead me to this week's question, was partially my fault.
For years, I've had an underlying belief that is so completely false. Regardless, I've believed it, and lived by it, and I think it's undermined every dating experience I've ever had. The gist? That I have to give love unconditionally in order to receive any love at all.
The biggest repercussion of this idea, for me at least, is that I've accepted worse treatment than I deserve (to varying degrees.) I've loved with an element of desperation. I've lived beneath my privileges. I've been insecure. In short, I have not been as Christlike as I ought to be.
But no more. I get to be a different person now, even though all I asked for was help in figuring out my relationship status. God is so good. This new insight has taken so much of the urgency out of my approach to dating, and replaced it with a sense of peace. I wasn't sure that would ever happen...but I have finally made significant progress.
When I talked to Chris today, I offered to keep trying, because maybe this realization was what needed to change for us. In the end, he declined, citing that he felt he needed to make his own changes, too, and do some experimenting of his own -- and that couldn't happen while he was in a relationship.
That's okay. Chris and I might not be dating anymore, but I am better for this experience, and I think that's the best we can ask from our relationships anyway. I've gained so much knowledge in the last week -- the last 6 months -- and I'm excited to use it.
Grateful to use it, in fact.
Life is good.