Guest column

Fear of falling (for someone) needs to be conquered

Column by Linda Newell
Posted 2/12/19

For some, Valentine’s Day is an anticipated opportunity to have a romantic, loving time with our partners. But for those of us who are single, divorced or widowed, this day can be just plain …

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Guest column

Fear of falling (for someone) needs to be conquered

Posted

For some, Valentine’s Day is an anticipated opportunity to have a romantic, loving time with our partners.

But for those of us who are single, divorced or widowed, this day can be just plain awkward. Whether it’s missing the loving companionship of our lost or last partner or being grateful we’re out of that unhealthy relationship, Valentine’s Day is not necessarily so joyous.

Being divorced and single, yet regularly optimistic in life, I have spent this day historically delivering valentines and chocolates to my co-workers or fellow senators.

I always believed that this could be a day when we can share our neighborly love and acknowledge each other as humans rather than just workers or doers.

For years, that’s what I’ve been doing — focused on giving to others so I could ignore the fact that I was still alone and had no date for “V Day.” I’m not saying that I wasn’t giving from my heart, and that I didn’t love finding funny cards and candy for people.

I truly did enjoy that, and I did “love” those people (well, most of them). But what I’ve come to realize is that I’ve run out of excuses for being alone.

I’ve filled up my V Days, and all days, with so many other things in my fun, busy life, that I haven’t allowed any time for partner love.

From the excuses of single parenthood, running a campaign, serving a constituency, or going to seminary, I’ve created enough busy-ness around me to trick myself into thinking my life was full and complete.

So … after much deliberation and my daughters’ prodding, I signed up on a dating app! Yup, can’t believe it. But … I’ve been so “busy” I haven’t taken the time to even go look at my “likes” or to “like” anyone else! What good is signing up if I don’t use it? It’s just one more way to avoid the fear of dating.

I can speak or sing in front of thousands, go on a zip line, or go-kart racing, but dating a stranger? EEK!

The irony for me is that my own parents met on a blind date on Valentine’s Day, and that relationship lasted over 60 years until their death! You would think I would get that a little bit of fear is worth walking through it.

The question is what am I truly afraid of? Certainly, not being alone. I’ve proven I can take care of myself and love life well. But can I find a loving relationship that is healthy? That is most likely my fear, and I can’t find out if I don’t date!

I share all this to ask you — what are YOU afraid of, that you’re avoiding or “pretending not to know” about yourself?

Do we have enough self-love to step outside of our warm and cozy comfort zone to take a risk for even greater comfort and warmth? For me, it’s time.

Here’s to a wonderful Valentine’s Day of loving ourselves wholly.

Formerly a Colorado state senator, now a seminary student at Iliff School of Theology, Linda Newell, of Littleton, is a speaker, filmmaker, facilitator, and consultant. She may be reached at senlindanewell@gmail.com, www.lindanewell.org, www.senlindanewell.com, @sennewell on Twitter, Senator Linda Newell or @TheLastBill on Facebook.

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