Lately I've been thinking a lot about how I've changed since Karl died. You see all these movies where somebody's lost their spouse, and what ticks me off lately is that often it seems like the only way they are allowed to be happy, healthy, or whole again is to find the next spouse, who is, in fact, the same person as the one they lost.
"She could peel a whole apple in one long piece."
"He only does that with you."
The last year has been challenging, obviously. I had been lucky enough to find somebody who loved me and took care of me, more than I knew till he was gone. I've learned to be my own cheerleader, my own chef, and my own friend. Not that I don't have an amazing support nework who also does this, but I really didn't do it for myself before. I was far more critical of my own thoughts and actions.
Now I cut myself a lot more slack than I used to, and am far less inclined to feel guilty or put up with crap. Maybe it's the part of Karl that stayed behind in me - the part that loved me most - that reminds me now that I am worth loving. And because I'm able to forgive myself for being weak, I think I'm stronger.
"The Missing Piece Meets the Big O" has a much healthier take on moving forward. It's not so much about finding what you are missing as realizing that you have it in you to be whole on your own. It may be challenging and awkward and wobbly as the ragged edges get smoothed out, but keep working at it, and soon you're rolling right along. Maybe slower than before, maybe smaller than before, but whole all the same, and able to grow.