Today (Feb14, 2014) is an opportunity to contemplate and explore love, in history, in hopes, and in actions. Sitting with this in mind, I am going to honestly share what has come up for me….
Last year, on this day, I fell in love with a woman. The experiences her and I shared that night created a bond between us and a sense of intimacy that was I had almost forgotten was even possible. After that day, she and I developed, expanded, explored and merged together, deeper and deeper. Of course, this was not without its challenges, when is love ever without challenges? But my heart and mind told me that whatever the challenges were, they were worth it. In time, I was offered something I had several years ago decided wasn’t for me, the call to be monogamous with someone. I had found ‘the one’ I wanted to invest myself into and explore fully. I was so venerable and uncomfortable, and unfortunately, I was also alone in this desire.
What progressed from here has become the trail of breadcrumbs to track how our relationship came apart. The strongest element that began to emerge was a lack of trust. This lack perpetuated and the feedback loop created allowed for some juvenile patterns to unfold in both of us. Of course, I can look back and claim that I was less of a contribution to the conflict than her, but that is naïve thinking. Besides, it doesn’t matter who played what role exactly, what matters is that at the end of the relationship some choices were made that left both of us feeling pretty shitty. For me, those were the feelings of being horribly betrayed, dishonored and heartbroken.
Left in the aftermath of horrible choices, I felt angry, resentful, lonely and distrusting of love in general. The split with my partner went down while we were visiting my family in Ontario. My next step was the west coast for some events and I was only to have 2 days in Calgary before I was off again. I had some time alone in Ontario it digest what I was going through and lots of friends and family support, though I was nowhere near healed and all I wanted to do was hermit in my home and be supported by my friends. I seriously considered canceling my tour west in favor of hiding in my room. But, I didn’t give into despair and followed through with my original plans. This trip west offered me the opportunity to meet and connect with women who I felt really embodied and understood what ‘conscious relationship’ meant. It softened the hyde of distrust and opened me to explore what it means to be vulnerable with someone again.
Since that trip I have come to heal through, advance beyond and develop past a lot of the hurt that that was left echoing from my breakup. I have come to see that I was responsible for putting myself in the situation to allowed these things to happen. I also have come to see that in facing the challenges of heartbreak and distrust, I have come to learn how much trust I am offered from the women in my life; even to the point having allowed myself fall in love again (even though it came with an inevitable departure).
Somehow, the pain and resentment and all the emotional challenges that come with being hurt by love and ones you love also come with the opportunity to feel how amazing it is to be a tender emotional human aware of the elegant agony of human existence. And eventually, with the opportunity to really understand what it means to have healthy love, romantic and otherwise.
2013 was a year of great love, great heartbreak and great opportunities to heal. Looking back, there was a lot of time when I wondered whether or not the pain of heartache I faced was worth the few months of what felt like true love. And today, I am confident to say yes, it was. In all of it, I feel like I truly understand what it means to embrace the uncomfortable honesty of human venerability and all the blessings that come with it.
With that, I want to leave you with a short story:
A few years back, I was hanging out with a few friends in Ontario. Near the end of the night. One of my closest friends in the world told us the story of his great heartbreak. It was so potent I felt heartbroken just listening to it.
At the end of the story, I looked at him and said “I’m Sorry”
To which he quickly responded, “why?”
In my attempt to explain that it was because he had been pushed to go through such deep challenges at the result of selfishness on part of someone he loved, he offered me a lesson I will never forget. In paraphrasing one of his favorite authors, he told me Douglas Copland said in one of his books that the last thing he would ever want is to be lying on his deathbed, wishing he would have fallen in love more.
He then looked me in the eyes and said, “Go get your heart broken and many times as you can, kiddo”
Here on Valentines Day 2014, I understand why.
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