Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Love Recycled, Grown, Transforming.

The myopia of love (or infatuation, whatever ails you) is so enveloping when you're in the thick of it that it perhaps never occurs to you that someday you will not care about the person who used to take up 97% of your brain power. Time and space begin to stretch between you and your former, and eventually their name will come up in conversation and you'll realize it's been months or years since you thought of them. Or their relationship status on Facebook will change and you can begin to answer the question, "What happens to all those people I used to be in love/infatuated with?"

This is not something I ever really consider. By the time I let someone go, I've exhausted myself and the connection so completely that there's no returning- it's part of my intense, all-or-nothing charm. Recently this guy I used to have a mega-crush on got married. Long ago I sent him to the Island of No Romantic Feeling and he had come to only exist for me in the periphery of my consciousness. Still, something funny happened when I was looking at a photo of him at the end of the aisle, beaming at his beautiful approaching bride. It was not jealousy, but curiosity- "Who have you become to be able to look at that woman that way? What's happened to you over all these years?"

Of course, I don't know the specifics, only the general details that Facebook supplies. One might fall into a thought spiral considering why it couldn't have been them at either end of the aisle- what was wrong with them or missing, etc. Danger danger! Over the last year I've become acutely aware of how it's less the people involved and more the timing of the relationship. Some people are never a good match even in the most ideal circumstances, but sometimes it really is just a question of timing. Sometimes people meet while one or both parties are in other relationships, or one or both parties are just getting out of a relationship. Sometimes two people meet when one of them is moving far away in a week or going through some other major transition. We relate to one another not in a vacuum but within the broader context of our lives, and life is not always conducive to nurturing love.

It takes everything that's ever happened to us, every shred of experience, for us to become who we are- the groom busting at the suit seams with so much love, the wizened young woman content to wait until someone looks at her that way. Whatever role (if any...) I played in helping the guy of my past to become the man of some other woman's future, I am grateful. Because the man that elopes with me someday, barefoot on a quiet beach, will be the guy of other women's pasts. He'll know how to take care of my tender heart because he will have had his heart broken and broken hearts along the way. We will come together in the right place at the right time and I will say a prayer of deep gratitude to all the women of his past who helped ready him to be the man of my future.

Love- and infatuation-fueled myopia stems from a starvation economy mindset in which there is not enough to go around. This lacking is an illusion. Life is rich, ever expansive and abundant. Reconsider all your relationship "losses" as mere stepping stones on the path to becoming who you need to be in order to attract your beloved. The best that I might hope for, my ideal, is a wizened young man who will meet me where I am and continue to evolve and grow with me, sharing in this crazy, beautiful mystery of life. No matter how many stepping stones it takes, I'll be over here joyfully living my life and holding out for a look so filled with love.

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