Below is a picture of me in Cape Town, South Africa last week. You may not know it, but the smile that’s on my face is for the person behind the camera, for the man that has infiltrated my heart.
I’ve been divorced for six years. I’ve engaged a few different men over the course of this time but if I’m honest (which I’m learning is non-negotiable), I haven’t been in love with any of them. I’ve loved some of them but I’ve not been IN love. I’m glad that over the course of my 35 years I’ve learned the difference. I love everyone. I truly do. I love anyone who shares a piece of themselves with me; with anyone who is vulnerable, raw and authentic. It’s the way that I’m wired. I can’t help it.
However, falling in love is a different animal all together. I’ve learned that being in love directly correlates with my own ability to show up as my truest self – as the person who is deeply flawed but still worthy of love and belonging. I fall in love with those who see me fully and who inspire me to be ME, without exception or apology. The difference of merely loving someone and being in love with someone is both liberating and excruciating. Liberating because my guard is down and excruciating because my guard is down.
When I think about falling in love in this sense, I can honestly say that I’ve only be in love a few times, two times to be exact. And now, I feel it happening again. And I’m terrified. This is the first time since my marriage and subsequent divorce that my heart and mind have imagined what life could be like with a partner; with a mate who does this thing called life with me.
My deepest desire is to see and to be seen. My heart longs for complete and utter vulnerability and authenticity that calls people into life. I constantly seek out opportunities that expand my vision. I deeply value relationships with people who help me consider life from a different angle. I am addicted to traveling to places that force me to call into question everything that I know to be true. And I desperately want to be in love – soul shaking, earth shattering, heart transforming love. I want that for myself and I want that for everyone else.
I don’t know what’s going to happen but I do know that life is better when I’m open to all it has to offer. It is my sincerest hope that what’s unfolding within me blossoms and becomes something permanent. Regardless of what happens though, I know that it will change me. That’s what love does. True love makes us better and gives us a glimpse of the Divine. It inspires vision for what could be and uplifts our spirit. It leads us to be the best version of ourselves and to lean into all that life has to offer wholeheartedly. I truly believe that love, in its various forms, has the power to reconnect the disconnects. And for these reasons and so many more, I’m open to it, even if it’s brutiful.
My goal is to love. Then love harder. Then love some more. Won’t you join me?