09/29/2014 04:15 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Sleeping in the Middle of the Bed


"I'll talk to you later, my friend," I said as I was pulling up to the front of my house. I'd been on a call with a man named Tony. We'd been getting to know one another for the last week or so through phone calls and a bit of texting. He was a nice man with an easy laugh who had just helped me with the purchase of some new tools at the big box home store. We'd had fun on the phone as we discussed my choices for 10-in-one screw drivers and combination packages of vise-grip and channel-lock pliers.

I sat there in my driveway looking out the car window contemplating the breeze-tossed trees as the word "friend" echoed in my head. The echo told me that I did not want to hear from Tony again. I knew he was interested in our just-starting relationship and wanted it to be more, but I didn't. My wishful thinking that he might be "the man" had dropped into soul-honest clarity when I had spoken those words, "my friend." In that moment I also knew that I was done with this long-held behavior of mine -- I was not interested in the "search" anymore. As night began to fold around me, I understood that I had changed in a primal way. There was a sliding-into-place sense of wholeness within me -- I was no longer "alone." I was "all one" and I was at home with myself. I had become partially aware of this heart-change just the night before as I settled into the middle of the bed and realized I was totally comfortable sleeping alone.

The funny thing about changing on the inside -- at least for me -- is I don't notice that I have been needing or wanting something at a deep level, until I no longer do. Then, the sense of relief and release that comes flowing into me tunes me into the fact that I have not been at peace, that I have been unsettled. This wanting a man as my "significant other" has been a very deep-seated ache within me for a long time. Now that it is no longer there, I can feel how pervasive and tender it was, how far-hidden and pulsing it has been beneath all that I would tell you I am: the feisty and independent woman, the inspired writer, the soul-dancing philosopher.

I see now that I have been a woman on a self-hidden mission for years -- eight to be exact. I wanted to replace my ex-husband, the man who had tagged my soul and owned my heart for more than 25 years; the man who grew away from me and me from him. I was going about my life always with the idea in my mind's heart that the other side of the bed needed filling, that there should be two toothbrushes in the bathroom and that there ought to be another voice saying hello to Scruffy the Wonder Dog each night -- not just my own. I thought I was trying to find the "perfect guy" these so many years when, in reality, what I have been doing is finding myself.

Over these past months this yearning for a partner has shifted and remade itself at a fundamental level. There has been a quiet pulling and then a powerful yawing and tearing of my "beinginess" into a new understanding of who I am and what I am about. These past eight years in "no man" land have been the most potent and co-creative years of my entire existence. I have awakened to an inner way of living that is heart-roaring and soul-polishing in its burgeoning strength and it's beautiful -- and sometimes brutal -- growth. There is more stretch and depth to my spirit; my mind is firing and seeking into places I never even imagined existed. These hours and years of living single have given me the gift of freedom to discover my energy and soul, to harness and enhance my talents, curiosity, ingenuity and imagination. I have grown into myself.

Of course, I would like a partner and special friend in my life. I would love to have a confidant and lover. If this man shows up -- wonderful! If he doesn't show up -- wonderful! I don't need to fill the other side of the bed anymore. Because being with my "self" is enough now. I am enough.

Robin Korth enjoys interactions with her readers. Feel free to contact her at or on Facebook.

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