The following is the last part of this story: This Love Thing
In the months after my divorce, my heart felt closed and bruised. I wondered if I would ever be able to feel love or express love again. I wondered about my capacity for vulnerability. I wondered and I worried.
Over the months and years since, I’ve come to realize that my capacity for love and for vulnerability is huge. Not a day goes by without either in some respect in the relationships of my life. Instead, I now see this fear of post-divorce more about the willingness to focus this capacity for love towards one person. A partner, a travel mate, a lover, a friend, that one man who sleeps beside me, holds my hand, and willingly witnesses the ebb and flow of my life.
At first, I spent a lot of time trying to characterize the object of my desire so I might recognize him when he appeared. The process helped me clarify much within myself about how I undervalued me and how I misunderstood the inner sources of my happiness. I also learned about the possibilities of living my life for me.
In the last six months, as I have written, the get-to-know-you process with a certain gentleman has upset much of the apple cart that I had so painstakingly arranged within my post-divorce-focus-on-me life.
Uncertainty. This is what he taught me. I have realized that no matter what I might learn or understand, release and let go, embrace and incorporate, there is no certainty about love relationships. Uncertainty is the nature of vulnerability. Without vulnerability, deep, life-long love is not.
In this moment of relationship between him and me, is the experience of being present to one another. In this moment is choice. In this moment, all that is certain is perhaps my awareness of my own feelings and my own experience, however jubilant or tumultuous.
And now, in this moment is the expression of his choice. I hear his voice. I feel his emotions. He steps away. Our paths, no longer to be in step, separate. His truth. His choice. His journey.
And I feel my heart. I feel my body shake. I feel the paths of our individual journeys move into the unexpected. I feel him step away. And for a bit I feel nothing but sad, heart-aching dismay.
I wonder about myself because I feel the divide, the separation, the end. I consider my heart. With surprise, I feel pulsing elation for myself. I see my huge heart and I see its amazing capacity. I see that I am entirely able to love one, to love deeply, to love without certainty. Wholely vulnerable.
As I take my step in a new direction, alone, I do so with immense gratitude and joy.
What was feared lost has been found.