Today I am thinking about twists in the road. I am thinking about how letting go of resistance and opening one's heart to the unexpected curve, makes way for a rush of grace that envelopes the soul.
When my husband first started coming around, I remember sitting on the floor and looking him in the eye and telling him I did not believe I would ever love him. I remember it like it was yesterday. I liked spending time with him. And I loved him in the sense that I loved everyone being the open-armed hippy that I am, but I was not open to the possibility of ever finding true love again. I didn't think it was possible to ever view another role in my life in that way, and I believed that "true love" could only be viewed from that one perspective. I did not think I was allowed to find love again. I thought it only came once. Maybe I did not think I was deserving. Maybe I was just afraid of the possibility. I was still grieving... still grieving the loss of a love who died -- a man with whom I had buried all of my dreams. When you have tangled all of your meaning and all of your future up in another's, and they are gone, you know that you are not your dreams nor your expectations. You are not your roles nor relationships. You're not really sure what you are because it is astounding to still exist on your own... regardless of any tangles, of any plans, of anyone else in your life or what you may be to them. It is hard to imagine ever again finding love of that intensity... when your perception of love itself has been forever altered.
I told him I would never love him as politely as possible because that's how I am, and he simply said, "Okay." I assume that I wanted him to understand on some level, but I never thought he would. Maybe I didn't want him to, perhaps that would have been "easier". I suppose it was my resistance- my way of tugging back, of staying in my misery.
I expected him to see my damage and walk away. He did not leave. He did not argue. He simply said, "Okay," and stayed there anyway. He accepted how I felt and how I chose to express it, and over time, I began to understand that this is what love is about. Love demands authentic expression and acceptance. If we do not express ourselves authentically, we rob the other of the opportunity to fully accept and love us as we are, and there will exist doubts that will continue to get in our way. Over time, I was able to work through my grief, and my husband was there, patiently accepting the whole time. A long time... I had not realized until recently how great of a gift that was - to be validated and accepted just where I was, to be able to continue expressing my grief and my doubt as I moved through it rather than trying to fit an expectation of where I should be or how I should show up.
An unexpected loss changed the course of my life. An unexpected person showed up with an unexpected and un-hoped for response that helped me lower my resistance, opening to the curve. And through that opening grace entered, bringing me the discovery of happiness and love within my own soul and within my own heart. I came to understand all that I am and all that I am not, and I came to view love as a choice -- a choice that can be made in any and every moment. I did not understand the gravity of this at the time, but it has made all the difference.
Love evolves... as does our experience of and our understanding of it. I do love my husband. I loved him even then, though I didn't understand it. I love him in a different way... a way that chooses rather than needs. That does not mean I did not love before. It doesn't make my past love any less meaningful. Even love has angles and dimensions. There is more than one way to look at and experience it. I am looking at my beautiful family and I know that I am right where I am meant to be. And I am looking at how I live and how I connect and I know that I have learned and grown through all of it.
Life twists... And sometimes, we get scared. Sometimes, we push people away. Sometimes, we clench the old expectation and fight the new future that awaits us. Sometimes, with the right support, we navigate this transition... but we cannot do that, unless we authentically express our grief over the lost expectation, whatever that may be, and allow that support in.
And now here I am. I am happy and I am loved and loving and I have learned to follow the curve. I am open, allowing grace to flow in through the unexpected... no matter how heartbreaking or earth-shattering that unexpected may seem. All tragedies are unexpected, and as we heal from them, new possibilities begin to unfold. Don't fight the possibilities. Open to them. I cannot tell you where it is taking you, but I know that it is better than staying in defeat.
I am grateful today and I needed to express that. Thank you for letting me share. I am grateful for the first love as I now know it. I am sad for the loss, but I have integrated the lesson, and I am grateful for the time we had. I am grateful for my family and for my husband and I am grateful for his unexpected, "Okay," and the space it allowed me to find my own truth. I am grateful for patience, and new beginnings, and all of the twists on the road to NOW. I am grateful for the light and the love that I have found within myself and the adventure of sharing it in the world. I am grateful for all of you reading. You are beautiful!
And the moral: Stop fighting! Allow the grace of the unexpected to help you find your own truth and your own love, and shine that light forth into the world!