She sat across from me, discussing her love life and the desire to find that serendipitous story which according to every fairy tale should have fallen into place by now. She lived in New York City, all of her other relationships had come into existence surprisingly and excitingly, the next one should be here by now. She was 35, so it was time, according to her maternal or societal clock.
I looked into her eyes as she told me a story of a more tranquil moment in time for her, “My skin was amazing, I lived simply, and I was just so happy. I remember being almost…care-free.”
I smiled, only because I didn’t know what that felt like to be that care-free — a pause before my response. I wanted to think about her comment, and it’s the relationship to our discussion on love that this statement had stemmed from.
Many people associate love with happiness and positive moments in their life. Oh, the dopamine, and how it takes over our perceptions of the reality we live in. The brain lights up in new love the same way it does when we do drugs, did you know that? See this TedTalks on how love affects the brain.
Next, she asked about my relationship.
How was that going?
I said, “Still amazing, it kind of blows my mind actually, how easy it can be. Definitely a new experience for me.”
“Still long distance?”
“Yes,” I grinned again wondering where he was in the world. What could he possibly be doing right now?
I said her name to call her back to our initial conversation. Then I asked her, “Do you want to find love?”
“Of course,” she said.
“I think you can find it. Here are the two things you have to know and accept before you begin to find that love. That is if you are open to my opinion.”
She looked at me, curious about what crazy thing I might say. She nodded.
“You need first to believe that there is no ‘one’ person for you.”
She looked at me frustrated, “So there is no ‘one.’ There are a lot of people, and I have to pick one?”
This is something most women that I talk to struggle to accept as a reality. I am from the camp that believes that there can be many “ones.” Think about all the “not the ones” we experience on this journey. There will be many people that come into our lives that are possibly also the ‘ones’ if we choose to define them as so. At some moment, it will be our decision, for a person to be our one. Subconsciously or consciously, we choose. The magical fairy dust doesn’t just come out of thin air; we decide to step into that magical stuff.
I responded to her, “Once you can first accept that it is your responsibility to recognize there is no perfect ‘one’ and that you must choose…you will learn the power of your mind to your heart.”
Subconsciously we didn’t pick the other ones, so yes, selecting the next one will potentially be a subconscious decision. The first step is deciding what we are looking for, then, stepping toward that decision.
Don’t look for proof, seek to prove that you are worthy of what you find.
“After you have decided that you are ready to accept someone as your person, you will set criteria; You will make decisions on what love is for you. Be clear. It will come. The next step, once you find something worthy of holding onto…accept the fact that love may ruin you.”
“Ruin me?” she shuttered.
“Yes, once you accept that that love could completely crush you, this will help you remove the fear of finding it. This fear may be currently blinding you.”
Okay. This is where I typically lose people. They are not accepting of this reality. That love is this blissful thing until it is not, and then it can be excruciating. Matters of the heart have deeply bruised scores of men and women through time. The strongest love comes from lessons of the most profound hurt — those that can love without the fear of love’s power, love with their whole hearts.
“Realize that the pain prevents most people from having a deep love, most people don’t know how to do the work required of this intense love or when they come to find it, they neglect its power.”
“Right,” she said. “Be open to being completely devastated. Got it.”
She chuckled, which let me know that she was not prepared, fear met with laughter is purely discomfort in its natural form. We laugh because at the moment it seems unrealistic only to realize, it is a more significant journey that we are not yet ready to travel.
As we walked away from one another, my comments on her mind, I turned to her, and I finished with this:
“You can always heal your heart if you are prepared for it to break. Just be open to the idea that you may choose to find that ‘one’ and that love may crush you. Once you accept that love can have many faces and can still break us, you will realize that love is this infinite cycle of lessons that teach us our own heart.
The lesson I wished I would have learned a long time ago is that once we accept the power of love and step towards it without fear, we find it has been there long before we recognized it. I believe in you.”