When did we all start judging each other so instantly? I wish we could all slow down and listen to each other, without prejudice.

I like my privacy these days. But I still want to, no, need to, CONNECT with fellow humans. And I still want to BELIEVE in the best in others.

I’ve been searching for that elusive thing; BALANCE. Balancing my need for quiet, healing, solo space whilst forcing myself to do things so I can (hopefully!) enjoy real human connections with friends.

Usually that involves a good old chat. Catching up on each other’s lives. It can’t all be one-way. Inevitably we go out on a limb and share ‘new’ information. So when a friend asked me how things were going and if I was thinking about dating, I told them I had a ‘boyfriend’.

“Whoa that’s a bit fast, isn’t it?!”

I felt like absolute $hit and stared purposefully at my nail while I thought how to reply.

“ummm, well…” cue a string of dribble where I try to justify my yet-to-be-understood or reconciled, recent moments of joy, to this person whom I thought loved and cared for me.

(BTW UGH! what a shitty word boyfriend sounds like in my head after being a wife! It makes me cringe to say it out loud)

I continued to feel like $hit for a few days. Then I thought, hang on. Maybe I should expect more from my friend? Why do I need to feel ashamed, embarrassed, judged, for managing to drag my ass through two years of grief and have yet another profound realisation… that the heart has truly unbelievable ability and capacity… that it can co-process immense pain whilst trusting in love again, at the very same time.

So I stop sharing. Hide and withdraw again. I pluck up the energy to do more work through my guilt, shame, fear and tell myself I’ll try trusting them again later, another time.

Months pass then a relative of my husband surprises me with incredibly supportive and kind gestures and words when I share my new relationship status. My heart aches with gratitude. I want to tell Michael about it.

I get cocky. A colleague askes me over a Christmas drink after work, “do you live alone?”

Gulp. Not wanting to lie, I reply my truth.

“No, I live with my boyfriend.”

“Gosh that’s a bit quick, isn’t it?!”

Just crushing.

We can all choose to be kind-er. Please, be kind. No one knows each other’s truth.

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