Not every person that you are drawn to is meant to stay in your life. Some people are brought into your life to open up your mind and heart to other parts of life and to…other people. Some will even cause you to edit your heart a little more.
The buddhist belief is that we should never fully attach ourselves to anything, a moment, a thought or even a person. The thinking is that every moment is fleeting, moving past us, moving through us. If we attach ourselves to a moment or the person too wholly we set ourselves up for disappointment and “loss”. If we let the sad moments of our lives swallow us whole, we miss out on the next happy moment. The idea is to stand back a bit and just let life sort of move through you without the extreme highs and lows, to appreciate both happiness and sadness but not get too worked up about either because the moment, the feeling is temporary.
I’ve come to adapt to this way of thinking when it comes to low moments in life, it’s a very convenient meditation when it comes to sadness. Basically, if your going through something awful, remember that it’s temporary and try to move through it. In the words of Churchill, “If you’re going through hell, keep going”. Now happiness, I inhale my happiness like it was incredibly fresh forest air, I curl myself up in love and hold tight to the memories I have of the people I’ve loved. Maybe this is because I know happiness is also temporary and I’ve also seen the way love shrinks, grows and changes. A moment is not mine to harness. It moves with yours. Or so I think.
There have been people in my life that I thought would be apart of my day to day for always. They aren’t. But, I have memories that fill my mind up like a Thanksgiving plate. I savor them and they make me feel full and yet days later after I reflect. Thanksgiving is over. Time has moved and I have moved with it. There’s a sadness there but not because I would trade this moment for that one, but because that moment was beautiful and now it’s done. I suppose it’s similar to a parent seeing their baby walk, they are giddy and excited as they watch time move but then, in an instant they realize they will never be able to go back to the time before their baby walked. The moment, that version of their child, is gone forever.
There have been people whom the first hour I met them I knew I wanted them in my life forever. My husband was one of those people for me, I was actually sold on his character within the first 10 minutes of meeting him. I’m not going to say it was love at first sight because I was far too cynical at that point in time, but I was very much taken back by his curiosity and respect for strangers, from the cab driver to our server. He was a good one, I knew that. Eventually, he reintroduced me to my own capacity for love.
This post isn’t about that though, it’s about how people can lead us to other people.
I was brand new at dating, though over the course of the first 6 months, I’d met up with quite a few fellas, all fascinating. Not all good fascinating, but never the less, I was amused. The majority of them were good looking, smart and had something to say, but I was dating the way some people shop for shoes. I was browsing. I was going on these dates with a belief that I wasn’t going to find a “connection” to someone right away. I thought a connection developed over years. I was coming out of a 9 year relationship and though I thought I knew everything about “relationships”, it was clear that I knew absolutely nothing about dating. It later became clear that I also knew little about relationships as well…
I met up with this one fellow. He was scruffy, loved living, exploring and challenging his own thoughts. He was incredibly present. Something in me felt really calm and centered just being with him. It seemed that he could see right through me. He inquired about my dreams and my life plans in a way that some of my best friends hadn’t. There was this balance within him that he undoubtedly sought. He was grounded, earthy, humble, genuine and yet his eyes lit up when he talked about traveling and taking career risks. His father left this life earlier than he should have and that caused him to live life more fully and explore what that might mean on a daily basis. He had just left his desk job with a predictable income to freelance and film movies that inspired people. He had lots of ideas. All good. All meaningful. He spoke of redefining the patterns of life and making it what we wanted it to be. I completely related to this way of thinking. I found everything about him refreshing. He was unlike any friend or date.
After our 5 hour conversation over a bowl of mussels and 2 glasses of wine, I went home and told my room mate about him. The story telling ended with, “I didn’t let him kiss me because I didn’t know how he fit into my life yet.” I wasn’t sure that I wanted to date him. What I was entirely sure of was that I wanted him in my life forever. Dating rarely leads to forever. Rarely.
He asked me out again, twice, then cancelled due to work, or the busy holiday. But really, I think he was as intuitive as I am and picked up on the fact that I was sold on who he was right away. I was too “in”. Anyway, somehow our friendship turned into this twice a year meet up for about 4 years. I cared. I cared about him and further more I liked what I felt when he was near. There was always this draw but it was mostly a friendship veiled over some fiery chemistry until about 3 years in. But alas, I’m emotional quick sand when I like someone and…uh, guys don’t line up for emotional quick sand. I suppose that’s fair. For years, I found myself pretty hung up on this guy or more so…the feeling I felt with him. The interesting thing is by way of my own expectations and his honest, careful ways, my heart never broke. In fact, my hope in finding this feeling again was kept alive.
This one dude, this one connection changed how I dated. I also found myself cultivating friendships with more people that inspired me. I compared every first date and every man to him. I sought out that feeling I craved. I also knew that I didn’t want to be with someone that just followed along with social expectations. I want to be with someone who rewrote his path, someone who carved out the story of his life with his mind. This experience, this love I felt opened up my heart to new people, it also lead me to incredible heart break and eventually to my husband.
My husband absolutely carves out the story of his life and now our life through his dreams, his goals and of course, his mind. He is humble and warm, loyal and yet wildly adventurous. He fills my heart to the brim and I find that I like him more and more everyday. 🙂 I could go on but that’s not what this article is about.
I write this because I know a lot of people have a hard time letting go of one person in their life. It’s easy to get hung up on our memories. Sometimes a past love prevents us from dating, or from opening ourselves up to new people. We convince ourselves that no one will make us feel the way that they did. Or we decide that putting our heart out there again will only end in pain. But! What if, we allowed love to inspire us, to help us see what our heart is capable of feeling? To pull characteristics from those we once loved and bury them away in our soul until we stumble upon them again in other people.
Like happiness, struggle and sadness, I think moments of perfect love, of perfect connections are fleeting. Rather than be swallowed whole by them, we should be in the moment and let it guide us into the next.
My point? Move your heart forward. That person you’ve spent years wanting more time with might actually lead you to the true love of your life, but only if you let it be. Only when you stop wishing will your heart actually open to someone else.
As always, love to you,