Hanging in my wardrobe is a dress that I have never worn. That’s not an uncommon thing for women I know, but this one is a wedding dress. When I bought it a few years ago it represented everything blissful in my life...or so I thought. I came to understand that everything I held to be blissful was actually only elements of life that I considered would bring me bliss if they all came together, especially wedded bliss. We’ve all done it. I will be happy when this happens. I will be blissfully happy when x, y, z happens. Don’t get me wrong, it is never wrong to dream and we must never stop, but I was so caught up in my projection of the blissful life I yearned for that I was living and breathing it. As powerful as that creative process was, the truth was that my dream life was way out of step with my actual reality. It had gotten out of hand. My dream life and my reality were poles apart. I was actually living fully in the dream, ungrounded and completely unaware of where I was headed like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Thankfully like Dorothy I made it home but I never got to wear the wedding dress.
As you can imagine the engagement ended but I still had a balance to pay on the wedding dress. No-one ever thinks they are going to return a wedding dress when they sign the contract to have it made do they! So I found myself driving there to pay off the balance and collect the dress for the wedding that wasn't to be. I held myself together in the store while the sales assistant rang through the final payment fetched my dress and the staff wished me good luck for the big day. I made it to the car, threw the dress in the back seat and burst into tears. My dreams of my hero, of blissful love, a life partner, safety and security lay in the back seat of my car with the remnants of my aanandha. It was devastating, but I was thankfully back in the real world and totally grounded. I have often described the moment in which I realised my dream was not my reality as being hit by a huge wrecking ball squarely in the solar plexus. Thank you Universe for hitting me and for hitting me real hard! It was a major turning point in life for me.
I am forever grateful for the many lessons learned from all that transpired from the relationship itself, including the ending as hard as it was; and with my relationships with family and friends. It was a time that was instrumental for me in me finding my voice and finding my true allies and supporters. I quickly learned to define my values and beliefs, and defend them by speaking the truth. I learned to set very clear boundaries rather than retreat to my age old pattern of sacrificing my own happiness rather than stand up for myself. I defined what was non-negotiable to me going forward and took a stand, especially in relation to the importance of unconditional love (self and others) and support. It was like watching a perfect storm blow through my life, uprooting everything without substance, then after the winds had died, having only the strongest foundations remain. It taught me never to fear chaos as it clears the way ahead.
Today when I opened my wardrobe I saw the dress hanging there still packaged and looked at it with calmness. My dreams of wedded bliss have not been lost, they have simply changed. Now my dream is not on the who, how, when and where, but instead it is simply on the desired end result of experiencing bliss. How, where and when it happens...well I have surrendered that completely to the Universe. Meanwhile the dress hanging in my wardrobe reminds me never to get lost in a dream so deeply that I lose touch with reality, while at the same time, it reminds me never to stop dreaming big and never to stop believing in love. Without force it will come.
For now I am grateful for the real life aanandha that I feel every day from the lessons I have learned. After all what use was that time in my life if not for the incredible lessons learned. “Life is like a wild tiger. You can either lie down and let it lay its paw on your head, or sit on its back and ride it.“ While you may not need a wedding dress in your closet to remind you of the bliss that is all around and is yet to come, it works for me...and when the time is right...have dress, will travel!