Seven months back, fresh out of a divorce, I lay alone in my new home that overlooked the ocean. The beautiful view felt meaningless as I cried and cried, not just for the loss of my husband, who I still loved dearly, but for the loss of hope, that two people could meet, fall in love and spend the rest of their lives together. I had never felt so alone in my life.
A lot has happened in these seven months, I’ve found a job, bought a house and am doing all the necessary self-care things one must do to catch up on twenty-two years of marriage.
Lately I’ve been hanging out with a friend who is also single. We’d do lunch, go for walks and slip into hours of conversation. Unlike most of my friends, he willingly listened to my grandiose thoughts about life’s beauty, divine love and the cosmic connection that links us all. He didn’t shoot it down or tell me I was silly…in fact I think my perspectives fueled him.
One day while sitting at an empty pizza place together, his tone seemed to change and he turned the conversation directly at me. He told me how wonderful he thought I was, how simply beautiful. It was like he was mesmerized by my very being. To be honest, this made me horribly uncomfortable. My ex was a loving man but he rarely sang praises of me, nor did previous boy friends. Honestly I didn’t even see myself as “beautiful” – just a goofy girl who has a knack of screwing things up.
But my friend saw it differently. He saw the light in me, he saw my intensity….and he wasn’t afraid. So as we sat there with our slices of pizza I decided to not fight his compliments. I chose to let go of the notion that his praise would “go to my head”, and instead just take them as they were.
It took work for me to let this man across the table look upon me with love and admiration but as I sat there and let myself just be with it, I realized that maybe all that love I have poured out to people I meet–I was equally as deserving of myself. Over the weeks I relaxed and opened up to him and let his funny little being slip into my heart. He could see in me, what I saw in the rest of the world. He was my mirror. And even as I sit here alone at my computer, I can feel that love pour in.
He and I spent the evening, a few days before Christmas wandering the old streets of St. Augustine, Florida. Tiny white Christmas lights seemed to guide our path, like fairies beckoning us on a lover’s journey. In a back alley, beside a glowing Christmas tree, he stole a kiss….then one more, then another and I swelled, lost in this feeling that I never thought I’d know.
Without effort or stipulations he loved me.
But seven months is not a lot of time for a newly divorced woman to find herself. The more intense we got, the more a small voice within said, “Not now.” As seductive and delicious the feeling of falling in love was, it was too much and I told him this…and the crazy thing is he understood.
“I don’t want to cause you any distress,” he said and I know he meant it.
So here I am, turning my back on this luscious love story–the exact thing that I have yearned for my whole life.
But it is okay.
The truth is love is not finite. What I saw in him, what he saw in me are not tangible objects. True love does not end with the individual. It flows through all things. And I know what he gave me–that awareness that I am indeed worthy of someone’s love will be carried forward into whatever life brings.
This is my time of healing. What comes in the future I do not know, but I do know that I am grateful beyond words for this man of romance who snuck in my life and showed me my own light.