I had plans to see the man who was almost my lover.
Even typing that word — “lover” — triggers my gag reflex, but it’s true. When we met, I wondered if I could sidestep the very real and potent truth that I am not built for frivolous romantic pursuits — especially not when the romantic pursuit in question was someone I was very much infatuated with and thus made nearly powerless by.
In fact, that’s a great word to describe my side of that particular relationship: power-less.
And it had nothing to do with anything he said or did — mercifully, he was utterly tender and completely transparent about his inability to offer anything but a short bandwidth of attachment. Despite the gnawing sense that it would hurt, I handed my power over to him — wrapped in glitter paper and miniature rhinoceroses.
I made a choice to endure what I knew would likely create pain for me, because I was learning something about the electricity in my body when he came within three feet of me, or, good lord, when he kissed me — I was coming awake in a way I never had, and wanted desperately to develop a bodily memory of it so that, in the future, when it mattered, I could remember what it felt like.
This, pure and simple, was conscious suffering. And it of course did not keep me from making up mean stories about him in my mind when he didn’t fall madly in love with me, nor developing hard (and swoony) feelings for him — but it did mean that two years later on my way to his fabulous apartment, I started praying.
“Sweet Mystery, divine Love, I need some help here….”
The problem wasn’t that I didn’t possess the strength necessary to make a wise decision about how my time with him would go — it was that I wasn’t sure I wanted to activate it. So I didn’t ask for strength, or for what was best for me — I asked to want what was best for me. I told the Universe that when I woke up in the morning, I wanted to feel really, really good about myself.
I needed guidance I wasn’t sure I wanted — so I asked to want it. I needed words I wasn’t sure I wanted to utter — so I asked for Truth and the desire to speak it.
As I rounded the last steep corner, I dabbed some jasmine oil behind my ears and threw one last energetic Hail Mary up and out into the ether — and put my foot dead on the brakes right in front of this man’s apartment as the loveliest mama and baby deer walked in front of my car… across the street… and disappeared behind the neighbor’s magnolia tree.
• • •
What I hadn’t recognized two years prior was that, while, yes, I had made a conscious choice to savor what my almost-lover gave me (even though it wasn’t the fully committed relationship I craved), it came to matter very much to my spirit and my self-esteem that I ignored what I knew to be running right alongside my desire to connect with this man in whatever way I could.
As it turned out, my parallel longing was to be met. Loved. Seen. Chosen.
That longing did not become untrue simply because I chose a different longing to invest in at the time.
Lying side-by-side that gorgeous man two years later, I was tremendously grateful I’d chosen what I had during our prior relationship, because I got a lot from it — as well as the priceless information that it wasn’t enough.
My longing to be met hadn’t gone anywhere, and so I found myself speaking words that rang so true inside my body: that I could easily acknowledge my longing to be literally swept off my feet and carried away to be bedded, but I could not afford what it would cost me to ignore my deeper longing — the one that would not be satisfied by anything but the real deal.
• • •
I’ve come to regard my choices — and my thoughts — as energetic investments. Some yield results that draw out long, tired stories of not-enoughness, and others, when coupled with the commitment to follow through and continually reinvest in what is spiritually integral for myself, create a buoyancy inside my heart that carries me into far deeper trust.
Following intuitive Knowing generates trust in the mechanisms involved in inner listening. Like most listening & dialoguing, it’s not enough to interact on a surface level with the information we receive — true listening requests conscious responding. We just can’t numbly nod our heads when Spirit requests something of us which honors us to our core.
To listen requires that we deeply consider, become humble and respond with authenticity in support of Spirit’s desire to bring us into full integrity. The one speaking is from the deep Center of our being. When Spirit hands us our boundaries, our only job is to not be the one to betray them with inaction.