I was such a romantic little kid.
I remember listening to Elton John love songs on repeat when I was 10 years old catching the bus home from school.
I would look out the window and cry tears of melancholic heart ache..
It makes me laugh reflecting on that because of course I didn’t have the slightest idea what true love was..but I was so drawn to the idea of it that I became intoxicated with fantasies about being swept off my feet.
Back then the fantasy looked like making sure I am a good looking woman so I can find a good looking man, get married, have some babies and live happily ever after.
I have to credit Hollywood for that one!
But as I grew older I came to realise something was not adding up.
In fact, nothing was adding up.
The stories I had been told about love were very far from what I was feeling and saw others experiencing.
I saw couples arguing, men and women shaming each other, and people dating to validate themselves.
I saw people choosing to be with each-other based on looks and status but secretly resenting one other.
I saw betrayal, deceit, disrespect and endless drama.
I wasn’t actually exposed to any romantic connections that were based in a True, genuine, wholehearted love and adoration. At best I saw committed partnerships with a ‘team’-like energy. People who had settled for one another perhaps out of obligation to meet societal norms or because they were simply too lonely or too ashamed to remain single.
But a part of me still knew what was possible and didn’t let go of the intention to find a love not born from pain and self-abandonment but from purity and a true alignment on all levels.
So as a teenager and young adult I directed my own love towards the wrong people in the hopes that I might find what I was looking for.
I convinced myself that these fleeting connections were real, that they were genuine, that these boys and eventually men truly cared about me and that we might just live happily ever after together.
Of course I failed miserably..and thank God for that.
It finally took getting my heart broken into a thousand pieces when the most glorious and shiny fantasy fell apart, to wake up from that dream.
It took me the next half decade to piece my heart back together and disidentify from this old conditioned paradigm of love and partnership I had been chasing.
During those next 5 years I refused to settle.
I decided that unless a connection was worth having my heart destroyed like that again, I wouldn’t waste my time and energy.
Instead I worked on myself.
I travelled the world, I discovered what I value most in this life,
I pushed my edges of comfort to the extremes,
I dove deep within myself,
I developed an intimate connection with what felt like endless pain within me.
I developed a deep and irrevocable connection with God.
I sat with the pervasive feeling of aloneness. Of separation. Of feeling abandoned by life.
And slowly but surely I found a strength in that.
I began to think I might spend my whole life alone,
and for the first time I didn’t have a resistance to that idea.
It didn’t make me feel like a failure, because I was no longer buying into the ideas we have been sold about romantic love making us more valid human beings.
There was no need for anything to come and fill me up anymore.
Yet one romantic cliche ironically came true for me in the end..
“When you stop looking for love, love will find you.”
Out of nowhere, a love was born from a beautiful and deep friendship.
Not based on a fear of being alone.
Not based on receiving validation.
But instead free of empty fantasies.
Based instead in the knowing that the love between us is merely a reflection of the love we hold for ourselves.
And founded in our mutual intentions for this life, what we want to create, and a genuine desire to support and care for one another.
This love that I am experiencing goes beyond all Hollywood fantasies.
It is not picturesque.
It is deep and brings everything in the way of it to the surface to be destroyed and reinvented.
It is not easy all the time. In fact it is often quite challenging.
Yet challenging in the best possible way.
Deeply transformative and equally nourishing.
I have never felt so integrated, so strong and so able to feel the pain that lies within me.
I have never felt so held and seen by another person.
I have never felt so accepted in my darkness and the qualities within me that I had been running from for many years.
My heart is so full and I am constantly pinching myself.
The love is deeper than I ever could have imagined…it’s depths are teaching me that absolutely anything is possible.
I have come to believe that a relationship like this is only available when we have met ourselves in that place of aloneness. When we have given up all our illusionary ideas about love entirely.
When we have allowed ourselves to feel the pain within in our hearts and found a sense of okay-ness within that.
This love continues to show me everything within myself that I have been unwilling to meet.
It requires me to take down the layers of armour I have built around my heart to protect myself.
That is terrifying to say the least.
But so incredibly worth it.
In this way the pain becomes the soil for more love to grow.
There is no longer any expectation for it to be a ‘happily ever after’ kind of story.
Because in this moment I am overflowing, and there is no need for anything more.
There is no need for ideas about the future.
I know that as quick as life brought us together, it could also take us apart..but regardless of what happens the love will always remain.
There is such a deep power when two people are willing to face their own pain,
to acknowledge their own scars,
to be witnessed in this integration of deep emotional wounding,
to open up to the possibility that they might be wrong,
to release the tight hold they have on their own ideas,
In order to open to each other even when the pain convinces them to run away or close down.
Because in my experience after each layer of pain or armour is illuminated and felt, what’s left behind is a pure love so deep and awe-invoking that it brings me to tears and cultivates an unfathomable trust in life.
Because I know that life brought us this love. And only when we were truly ready to receive it.
I have found that in letting go of all of those false ideas and diving deep within, the most utterly beautiful life experiences now find me without much effort on my part.
I have found that feeling my pain always leads to so much beauty and slowly cracks my heart open, bit by bit.
I have found a best friend, lover and partner who I don’t need, but love and adore with my whole heart.
Life has never tasted so sweet.