Trust the Process, Part 1

12973396_10154810270134816_8980740602952449345_oBy early December 2017, I had decided to let Raymond, the man I thought I’d waited for all these years, go. But letting go is never easy. Yes, I was miserable. Yes, I hadn’t seen him in over four months, hadn’t communicated with him in two. But he was so perfect for me! Except for one fact that was now impossible to ignore: he was a workaholic who couldn’t make time for me.

Yes, I felt wonderful in his presence, but those precious hours were few and increasingly far between. Plus, did I really want to live with three autistic kids? Sure it made a great story, but that was hardcore even by my admittedly warped standards. Yes, his boys were high functioning. Yes, I’d always wanted three children. Yes, Raymond had always wanted a daughter. But did that make us soulmates?

Would I feel so lonely if he was my soulmate?

Did I even believe in soulmates?

I felt like I was back having the internal “am I settling?” debate that I’d had when I was dating Nate. (You can read about that here.) Once again, I confronted the fact that asking these types of questions probably raised a red flag (or two). Even so, I struggled with letting Raymond go.

As you, my readers, are aware, this was not my first rodeo. I knew I needed to get back in the proverbial saddle. But it was harder this time. After more than a decade of being single, I was losing faith that I would ever find a stable, long-term relationship.


By late December, however, I had three men chatting with me online. One was a short, pompous Indian guy who thought he was far funnier than he actually was. I could tell he would bore me quickly. Maybe he already had. The second was another tragically short man. But he was funny and smart and knew how to flirt, which goes a long way in online dating. The third was tall, but had photos that did him no favors. I could tell he wasn’t ugly, but had no idea if he was, in fact, cute. Still, like Raymond, he could write beautifully, and before I knew it, we were exchanging long emails.

On December 31st, Guy #3 (aka Christopher) asked for my phone number, email address, anything. He was staying in St Louis at his parents’ house with his four—FOUR!—children, and well, the dating app was less than discrete. His kids, and maybe even his parents, were wondering what was up. I laughed and sent him my phone number.

The self-described family man and nerd had managed to ask for my number before two other potential suitors. Interesting. The other guys checked in via email before heading off to parties.

A Chartres-styly labyrinthLater that evening, while I waited for my daughter to swing, Christopher texted and asked what I was doing for New Years Eve. I explained that I was just about to join some friends at a year-end labyrinth walk. It’s about letting go and requesting what you need going forward, I wrote.

“Interesting,” Christopher replied. “Go do that and I’ll be in touch later.”

Katie finished swinging and we went to the labyrinth. There was an unusually large crowd in the candle-lit courtyard, but Katie said hi to the people she knew and calmly sat on her favorite bench, near the fountain. I bent to pick up a polished black rock at the entrance to the labyrinth. Each is engraved with a single word, and this evening, mine read: TRUST.

Interesting, I thought, not realizing until later that Christopher had said the same thing just moments earlier.

As I paced slowly through the Chartres-style labyrinth, I focused on letting go of Raymond plus everything else I had struggled with in 2017. I thought about the word on the rock. What or who did I need to trust?

When I reached the center of the labyrinth I looked at the icy winter sky, glittering like diamonds, and heard my internal voice: Trust the process. You’re on the right path. Everything will be fine.

I knew I’d made the correct decision to stop waiting for Raymond. I silently said goodbye and wished him well. Then I walked back through the labyrinth, calling in what I desired for 2018: courage, laughter, adventure, ease. I asked for effortless self-care and all the help I required. I asked for guidance in solving Katie’s challenges, plus joy, creativity, peace, patience, financial serenity, and abundance. And don’t forget the man I’d been waiting for, one who would make me a priority. As I said it in my head, I heard the word TRUST repeat again and again.


I reached the labyrinth entrance and looked at the stone in my hand, finger tracing the bold letters. Okay, Universe, I thought. Bring it on!

To be continued…

Until next time,

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
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