My therapist asked me if there was a time in my life when I had been left by someone, and I missed them terribly, but was still able to stay with myself. A memory came to me of being heartbroken over a man named Alex. I was on my roof deck on 8th St in Jersey City, listening to Angus and Julia Stone’s And the Boys on repeat, drinking wine and smoking cigarettes, crying in to the skyline of Manhattan. I was so so sad, and yet I was offering myself these things as a way of care-taking myself. Wine, cigarettes, skyline, music, tears. All nourishing at the moment. And my therapist said, “And that was the beginning of caring/tending to yourself.”
I have often looked back at my love for Alex and been puzzled what the point was. Feeling like that whole drama was a complete waste for me, unrequited, never fully realized, a whole lot of pining and never quite landing into the relationship I was desiring. All these years, it’s seemed like such a waste of my heart, and that’s the story I’ve walked with. That I have wasted my love and my heart on so many who don’t deserve the bigness of me (mostly because they’re not even asking for it). That I don’t know how to choose the right one, that I’ll always choose someone who can’t hold all of me. And I’ve even found myself many more experiences to further validate that story as mine.
Now, all these 6 years later, I finally receive the meaning of that relationship for me, the purpose and service to my own self-growth. Six years later. The heart knows not of time. The pain and the love in that relationship served as a way in to myself. Today, I realized the existence of this gift, but it was unfolding in me all this time without me noticing. Albeit a less conscious version of tending to myself, tending to myself I was. The degree of the pain brought me into myself, I had no choice but to be with it, with myself and only me, on that rooftop.
Today I’m walking with a new meaning. The meaning that recognizes that the beloved changes faces through life, but it is always the same beloved. That the purpose of the beloved is, always has been, and always will be, for me to see myself, fall in love with myself, care for myself. That the beloved is always in service to more love, and through pain there it is. And there is a gentleness and there is a ferocity and there is a searing quality and a feeling of being wrapped in wings. And in there, through loving this beloved, I find the capacity to love with true abandon, to love with the true expanse of my heart, to love without consequence or fear of consequence (because truly, what does the heart know about consequence?), and without fear of loss, because loss dovetails with love simultaneously and is always with us.
Today I find a completion in myself for my love and relationship with Alex. After years of feeling even the smallest pang of “what if” when we come in contact, I finally feel complete gratitude for him and how we walked together. I have the fullness of the gift. Six years later. And yet, the heart knows not time. Other lessons from love have landed with much more speed. The heart correlates to lessons, to the inner work that is unfolding in me, and the heart heals when it heals. Sometimes in a breath, sometimes in a lifetime. Sometimes in the next.