I recently fell in love with a woman who is so intelligent, funny, caring, sweet, thoughtful, beautiful, and scared shitless of love. She tried to run a few times, but couldn’t. She fell in love with me too. When I mentioned this to her, she called me crazy, but didn’t object. We are good together. We talk nerdy and dirty. We laugh from our cores. We work well as a team. We see each other for who we are and accept each other, faults, fears, sorrows, and joys, all of it.
We had a most amazing Christmas. We both got to meet each other’s families. Her family is amazing. That household was full of chaos, crime, dirty diapers, alcohol, maybe some drugs, awesome food, and so much love it was radiating from every door and window and lighting the neighborhood. My heart was full to burst. Honestly, I would have given up the rest of the weekend to be bathed in that kind of love. As it was, we hit the road for a short road trip. We drove, camped, sang, talked, listened, shopped, kissed, laughed, loved.
Upon returning, she quit talking to me. Then the text came. Ridiculous, I know, a text, but sometimes written word is more efficient. She had decided to take the safe route and be with someone who cares about her, but she feels won’t hold her back from her plans. Not that I would, but she may hold herself back from her dreams for me if I am stuck here. I didn’t speak to her for days after, to allow myself room to heal. I know what my heart tells me is true and it tells me that she is the person I love.
In the last few days we have reconnected. I got physically hurt and needed her help. I tried everyone else first, but she was able to come to my rescue. She stayed at my house until 3am that night. She cared for me. She laughed with me. She learned with me. She held me. I cried. I spoke my truth. I wished she would stay to hold me all night, but I let her go with little fight. She needs to be let go.
I called the ex in an act of desperation. She told me, “I see how much you love her when you look at her. Fight for her.” I thought I couldn’t fight any longer because I fought for the ex, only to leave myself burnt out, feeling worthless, and losing myself while telling her how amazing she was. But I am not sure that that is why I won’t fight for this one. Sure, she’s absolutely worth my love, my attention, my heart, my fight, but she is worth my respect to her wishes more than anything.
You see this isn’t a game to her. She isn’t playing with me. She loves me. But that is unsafe. I must respect her fears because like every other emotion we feel, fear is legitimate. In order to love this woman, or any woman, I must let her live her life. I must let her continue on the path she feels is the safest. I must let her walk away, because I do love her. And because I love her, she must live her life. She must feel free and safe and content. To love someone does not mean to hold tight.
We see love on the TV and movies, we read it in books, listen to it in songs; we watch how others interpret love. Love is romanticized. We need to cling to, live with, be that person’s everything, and beg of them to be our everything. In Buddhism, to love someone means to set them free to be themselves, for better or what we may see as worse. To love this woman means to let her fly. Sure, like everyone else I have a romantic view of love. I have to fight to feel love instead of mold love to my wishes. In this case, my wish to love will be granted in a way I wasn’t capable of doing before. I will love her where she is. Truly, where she is. If she and I are meant to someday be together, we will be, but for right now, my love needs to feel safe in what she knows.
Sweet girl, I will love you just as you are, where you are, how you are. I will stumble and cry and beg and wish, because I am a human who has been inundated with notions of romantic love, but I will read my own words and the words of those much wiser than I. I will remember that your feelings, while not the same as my own, are real to you. Your stories are your truth and right now your stories are telling you to run now before it hurts more. Your stories tell you the truth today. Not my truth, but yours.
You have a home in my heart. Your family has a home in my heart. Thank you for giving me my heart back. Thank you showing me that love can come from the humblest of places and the most chaotic of families. Thank you for trusting me enough to give yourself to me for this short time. Thank you for helping me to be the kind of lover I want to be. Thank you for asking me to let you go and letting me exercise trust in the teachings I have studied for so long. Thank you, Universe, Goddess, Higher Power for this woman.
My heart beats hard when I think of her. That’s a good thing, even if she can never quell or speed up the beating again. My body aches to have hers near and that’s okay even if my desire for that can’t be filled right now. This will not set me back in my belief that love is the ultimate goal and sacrifice. I have only been strengthened by her love and mighty for letting her go. Love free, sweet girl. Love hard. Love. Love. Love. Love this world and all it has to teach us.