Three is the first odd prime number. Three is my number. It is odd, as I am. I am in my prime, so I am often reminded. Those are a couple of the reasons why I have a close affinity with this digit. Three is also the number of adult relationships that I have had. Three is my comfort level.
I identify with three.
In the history of the world the number three has recurred numerous times and it is part of many religions and myths; Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists all have concepts of a trinity.
Three is a huge part of my story, both as a Christian and as a woman. Three represents my adult life. It has three major parts – these have not always corresponded with the relationships I have had. They are my childhood, independent living and motherhood.
Being a mother really changes you. It has to. It makes you into three distinct personalities: nurturer, protector and disciplinarian. Like a Venn diagram these all co-exist, sometimes happily. The person that I am most of the time is somewhere in the centre of these three roles.
This month, August 2010, has a special significance for me, and yes, it is related to the number three. It is an anniversary; one that I alone celebrate. Three years ago, for the first time, I felt the reality of being loved. That may sound overly dramatic but I will never downplay it because it was extremely life changing. In one moment I knew I had received the genuine deep affection just because I was me, not for anything the person giving the gift could gain but simply because they cared for me as I was in that precise moment. It literally shocked me awake from my comatosed state of existence.
In the intervening three years I have separated from my partner of over ten years, whom sadly I know I never really loved; I have been free to love and travel to my love – I regrettably left my heart across a foreign border; I have since found happiness when and where I least expected it. I am now at peace with my heart.
This year was the time when I had planned to be reunited with the one person who I will never forget, but bad decisions made in the intervening years now mean that that door is closed and I can never reopen it because of my respect and love for her and myself - I have to leave the past alone.
An interesting fact to remember is that while you are procrastinating the likelihood is that others are moving forwards and you will never synchronise again.
I know that there always comes a time, a time of growth, when you become uncomfortable, when you are growing. Because things are changing within then the outward movement also has to make adjustments, just like a baby learning to move from crawling to walking – there are sometime a few falls before the steps gain some steadiness.
I believe that this anniversary month, a month of so many good and treasured memories may well be the month when I finally move through my uncomfortable stage at the edge of three and veer away from the fading past familiarity.