Even When It’s Right

I did it right this time.  I stepped into the possibility of love with all of my centres wide open. I listened to my heart and my gut. I made changes in my life to create space for this new relationship. I communicated my needs and my insights as clearly as I could. I owned my mistakes as soon as I saw them (again, I’m sorry for that alarming 3:00 am text). I didn’t hide the love I was feeling. I allowed the whole person to emerge instead of keeping them on a pedestal. I nurtured. I gave. My anger was held until I could see the fear and hurt that fueled it, and so my words were always delivered with unmistakable love. 

I dropped all the pretense I could detect and connected as deeply as I could. I slowed down when I was asked to. I gave the space that I was asked to give. I gave space that my gut told me to give. I saw the deep potential for loving in this person, the beauty and wonder in how their mind works, how deeply intuitive and sensitive they are. I was wholly prepared to let this be big and real and long-lasting if that was really what it was going to be. In the first month, I had glimmers that it could be that kind of thing. Then, I did the hardest thing; I allowed myself to see what was actually happening, instead of what I wanted to happen.

I am single again.

Love is not enough. Seeing the beauty in someone and feeling grateful for the gifts they bring is not enough. Unless both parties are arriving, and speaking their intentions in a language that is clearly understood by both, there will be a failure to launch. The old me would have stuck around, hoping. Aching. Wondering what I could do, or say to make a difference. Present-tense me knows that we are all complex beings full of fear and pain, and if someone isn’t showing up, you can’t do a single thing to inspire them to arrive. Or to stick around consistently, if they aren’t able to be there.

And so, with as much love as I have ever had in a moment such as this, I let go. The brittleness had started to set in. I can’t ever let myself get hard like that again. I let go of this beautiful soul, and my hope is that he will find whatever stillness and peace he needs to be able to arrive. I realize this will likely mean he isn’t arriving with me. That’s the fear that keeps people holding on, isn’t it? The fear that someone else will get to see it through. A funny fear for someone with complex views on monogamy, to be sure.

Holding on to a love that isn’t flourishing is a stranglehold. It will kill love, just as surely as the fear of losing love will result in…well, losing love. Hang on to something that isn’t quite there and it will get crushed under the weight of your expectation and fear. Stay distant because you’re afraid that this person will leave you, and you will push them away for good. One of us was trying to grab onto it, the other was pushing it away.

The hopeful (delirious?) romantic in me wishes that this isn’t the end of the story, but I know that if the story continues, I’m not the one who needs to write the next chapter. And so, to keep this heart of mine soft, I look for the lessons.

Here’s what I learned, this time:
I see people very clearly, in the way they want to be seen when they first arrive in my life. 

There is a lot more to people than this first impression.

I can communicate with love through frustration and difficulty.

I have an ability to help people open up and look inside themselves.

Opening up and looking inside themselves is something that other people are not used to, and often not comfortable with.

Helping them do this will often make them want to withdraw from me, or more correctly, make them want to withdraw from the magnitude of feeling this can unearth.

People’s actions or silence may be hurtful, but are usually not a reflection of who I am, or of my worth.

I can end my time with someone with more love than I began, and accept their humanity while still protecting my heart.

This hurts a lot because I felt a lot. I was deeply moved by the potential I felt, and the depth of this person I encountered.

I don’t have the capacity for any more romantic conflict, and I need to focus on my studies, so I need to withdraw from pursuing that kind of connection for some time.

And so, as the summer gets rolling I will get lost in school, my children, my girlfriends. In hiking, in nature, in writing. I will feel what it’s like to not think about dating or finding someone. I’ll keep my own heart at the forefront of everything I do, and fill it with love. 

This heart of mine is unbreakable. It keeps stretching and growing. I don’t give it away, I share it, but for now I’m going to hold it close.    

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