We were four women gathered around a table to celebrate our friend, R's birthday. We laughed and chatted and shared and cared about the things that mattered to each of us.
"How was C.C.s course," one friend asked. (C.C. had spent a weekend at a men's retreat a couple of week's ago.)
"It was amazing," I replied. "When I picked him up at the airport and he walked out of the custom's area I fell crazy in love all over again. He was so incredibly present. So real. So there. I watched him walk towards me and felt my heart melt open and I sank into his arms and knew, this is what I want. Being present. Being connected. Being real in relationship. This is what I want."
"Wow," said one of the women. "And then what happened?"
And then what happened...
Life. Fear. Habit. Growth. Change. Wonder. Or, as Joseph Campbell would call it, heeding the call of the Hero's Journey.
See, C.C. walked out of the customs area and we walked back into the reality of our relationship. Into that place where we struggle to stay true to who we are as we bounce and jostle and butt up against each other in relationship with and to each other. That place where our pasts and our fears and the ghosts that haunt us when we turn away from the light within each of us clouds our view of the beauty of our magnificence in Love.
I've learned a lot about me in this relationship. Learned how to have a voice, even when fear would have me stay silent. Learned I can get angry and the world doesn't end. Learned I can feel and not fall apart. I've learned I can love another and not lose myself -- not because I didn't lose myself but because I did -- and I'm still here. And through that loss, I've learned, to be in relationship I must be real. Present. True to me.
And I haven't always done that with C.C. I have let myself be drawn out of my way into living on the sidelines, waiting for him to tell me what he wants. I've let go of knowing what I want to accept some things I don't want. And, I've let go of my dreams in an effort to make the dream of us a reality. A dream where two people lovingly care about what happens to the other. Where two people support and nurture and know -- the best that could happen for each other is for each to realize their true worth, the true essence of who they are.
And that dream is coming true. Just not quite in the way I imagined.
C.C. and I have reached a crossroads. I know. I know. We've been here before. Struggled to stay out of the intersection of our fears colliding into some cataclysmic event that would rend our world apart.
And here we are. Exactly where we are meant to be.
Long ago, I left a man I loved to find myself. I was scared. Frightened. Terrified I was letting go of someone, something I would regret.
And there were moments where I truly did regret what I'd done. But I knew, that to love him, to love anyone else, I had to first learn to love myself -- and I couldn't do that without knowing myself, inside out.
And I have been blessed. I have had guides and mentors come into my life who, through their insistence they knew what was best for me, or not, taught me about me. They taught me how to stand up for me. How to be me. How to love me. Through their good and bad, love and fear, I learned to open up to the absolute magnificence of my birthright. A birthright that only I can claim for myself.
There have been times when in my terror of falling into nothing, I have clung to anyone I could find to keep me safe. And through those times, I have grown and stretched and shed fears and tears to welcome in the absolute joy of being me -- no matter where I am, no matter what I do.
And in this journey, I have learned to become accountable for me. To be true to my principles and beliefs. To find my value in all things. To be of value in all ways.
And at times, in my earnestness to know, to understand, to 'get it', I have fallen down. Fallen back. Fallen over myself in my eagerness to break out of the box of my fears trapping me inside my comfort zone, keeping me from being free.
And sometimes, armed with nothing but my disbelief of my belief that we are all magnificent human beings, I have fearlessly leaped into the void of not knowing me to discover the wonder of me unfolding in time and space.
Life is an amazing journey and we all must take it in our own way. Step into at our own pace. Delve into its mysteries, dive into its beauty in our own time.
And sometimes, someone else's time is not my time.
C.C.s time is not my time today. "I must take this part of the journey alone," he tells me.
And I am sad.
And I am happy.
And I am okay.
Sad because I believed in this dream of us. Sad because I believed that I could love him into loving himself -- and I am not that powerful and that is not my job anyway.
And I am happy because he is taking this journey. He has awoken to the beauty within and is now willing and eager to uncover it, to embrace it, to know himself in all his wonder, beauty and the beast.
And I am okay because in spite of losing 'this' relationship, I have this amazing relationship with me -- and I get to witness someone I love discovering all that is amazingly loving about him. And in this wondrous place of not knowing, nothing of who I am shifts. Nothing of where I am within me changes.
I am blessed.
I know me. And I know I am a magnificent woman of worth. A human being on the journey of her lifetime, living it up in the now of being all that I am. Fearlessly. Passionately. Exuberantly in love with me. Beauty and the beast.
And, reality is, I have lost some of my exuberance over the last little while. Lost my passion for me and my life and dreams, as I struggled to find my balance in the conversation of 'us'.
I told C.C. last night, something I've learned about me which is really important to know -- because it trips me up whenever I fall into its fearful maw -- I hate losing.
Not healthy when it comes to loving someone exactly where they are, especially when where they are is not where I want them to be -- like I have the right to tell them where to be! And in my desire not to 'lose', I hold on and fight for something I don't need or want to the point, sometimes, I don't know what I'm fighting for -- because it all becomes messed up in the fear-driven desire not to lose!
See, as long as I look at 'this' as a loss -- I feel the sorrow, regret, pain of separation.
But, there is another way to see it. And that is the path where I am finding my balance. The path I embrace when I let go of fear and leap joyfully into knowing -- I am exactly where I am meant to be in this moment. And where I am is safe in the Divine embrace of Love.
Last night I told C.C. that I love him. He is a great man. A wondrous human being of magnificent beauty. A soul-driven being of light. I am happy and joyful and wildly enthusiastic for him that he is willing to take this journey.
It is all that I could want for someone I love -- to be willing to explore who they are, to open themselves up to the incredible beauty within as they search for their path into the light.
And I am grateful for his presence on my path.
My sorrow and pain only comes from my fear of abandonment. This fear comes from that place deep within me where I fear feeling 'less than' because the monkey mind inside of me wants me to believe this is all about me. It's an old fear that doesn't serve me well today and so, I lovingly embrace it and whisper, I love you. I release you.
Because it's not all about me.
It is about one man's journey to discover his truth. To live in the light of his magnificence.
And what can be more beautiful than that?
May we all live each and everyday illuminated by the beauty of our light shining for all to see. May we all know we are safe in the arms of Love.