Ayiyi, what a week it has been!! I’ve been frazzled as can be filling out reams of paperwork, tracking down documents and even getting finger-printed at an Australian police station so I could be verified as legit by none other than the FBI. Phew!!
It’s been a bit crazy.
But even in the midst of the mind-numbing paperwork and angst-ridden waiting for documents to arrive, there is much happiness for I am engaged!!
Yes, my dear Bear proposed and I accepted. Together we chose this beautiful antique jade ring. It’s not traditional but I love it to pieces and it makes me happy every day. It’s awfully nice to have something to remind you that no matter how bad things get, there is someone in this world on your side cheering for you.
This weekend Bear took me out for a drive in the mountains to celebrate our relationship and get away from the stress of everything.
It was so good to leave the plains and climb higher and higher into the sunny, cold, and oh-so-refreshing mountain air.
Bear made reservations for us at a place called the Spring Creek Mountain Cafe.
We’d heard the views were spectacular, but nothing prepared us for the stunning vistas of Condamine Gorge, Wilson’s Peak, The Border Ranges and a World Heritage listed rain forest.
Our table was right in the corner near the edge of a hill that plunged down into the valley below.
Although outside the cold winds were blowing fiercely, inside we were toasty warm in a pool of sunshine.
I had pan-fried Barramundi with macadamia cilantro pesto, and Bear had a steak burger with caramelized onions and homemade mayo and the best chips either of us have ever had.
Although the food was fantastic, it was the view we enjoyed the most. Both of us were tuckered out, and sitting there in the winter sun, drowsy from a delicious meal, was absolute heaven.
Being engaged is strange and wonderful. It’s made me think a lot about relationships, particularly about belonging. A friend recently told me that apart from necessary sustenance, mankind’s most basic need is to belong. To someone. To something.
I love belonging. Love being part of a healthy relationship, community, goal or project. I’m thrilled when I see someone’s eyes light up because they like belonging with me too. That is exquisite.
But I’ve also seen the dark side of this need. I’ve watched myself and others subject ourselves to abuse of all sorts, overlooking egregious treatment and behavior simply so we could belong. The need for belonging is so strong, we’re even willing to belong to bad people, bad family members, and bad groups just to fill that need.
Before I met Bear, I willingly subjected myself to neglectful, unloving, and downright abusive relationships simply so I could belong somewhere. It took me a long time to realize that in a healthy relationship – be it friend, family, or loved one – you never belong to someone, you belong with them. Equals and partners, respectfully learning and growing together. There’s no control or manipulation or crushing of body or spirit in this sort of belonging. It is safe, peaceful and happy.
Healthy belonging is not perfect. There are still apologies to be made and forgiveness to be given, fights to be had and misunderstandings to be sorted out. But the goal is always wholeness and happiness for all parties involved. I love that.
It is this new understanding of belonging that gave me courage to embrace my past, my present and my Bear with a delighted, “YES!!!”
I don’t belong to him, nor he to me, but we belong with each other, and that is the coziest, happiest, most peaceful thing.