The notion of true love, soul mates, and romantic endings – is it real? I like to believe it is real. I think we all have moments, hours, days, even years, or lifetimes of this being real for us or people we know. If we have not yet experienced it, or only experienced it for a short time, does not mean it is not real and cannot be real for all of us.
I have maybe been “in love” a handful of times. Why can’t I put an exact number on it? Well, I suppose with each relationship I thought, “This is LOVE! – He is THE one!” and then it didn’t work out for one reason or another. However, in that moment, the love I felt, the love he gave, the love we shared, was my truth and to me it was very real.
I loved all the different Ryan’s in my life. Starting in the 4th grade, I had a HUGE crush on just about every boy named Ryan. There was Ryan F. in 4th and 5th grade. He was athletic, beautiful and super smart. I would take what change I could find around the house, walk up to the local grocery store, buy whatever candy or hostess products I could afford and leave them on his doorstep. Yes, he was my “first love”. It was not reciprocated, but that’s okay. Then in Junior High, I went through Ryan F___ (a different Ryan from the 4th grade, where I lived in Colorado). He was suuuuuuper dreamy. Honestly, one of the most attractive guys EVER. I heard he had sex with his babysitter and I didn’t care. This Ryan was very popular and didn’t give me the time of day. I don’t think he knew about me until later on in high school. I crushed on him for a long time. Again, not reciprocated at all. Then came Ryan M. He lived down the street from me. We rode the same bus to school. He was so cute, shy, and kind of just kept to himself. I again, thought buying his love was the answer, so on valentines day, I went all out and when we got off the bus, I gave him a huge basket of candy. I do not think he was impressed…embarrassed is more like it. He and I were at least sort of friends. A group of us would play down in the drainage system under the newly constructed homes where we lived until the city got smart and put up a fence so we couldn’t just walk right in from the local park. This was followed by short crushes on a Ryan C who was diagnosed with something in junior high and everyone started crushing on him while he went through whatever it was (again, my memory sucks). The Ryan crushes ended in Junior High and then I found a John. He was pretty much my high school … and if I am being honest, I think there is still a tiny part of me that will always wonder if things could have been different. But we are both happy and in two very different places in life these days.
When I “crush on a guy”, I crush hard. I feel deeply and perhaps this is what helps me find so much empathy for others in my life and even for those I do not know at all. This “gift” of being able to connect to people on an emotional level is sometimes a “curse” too – it has its pros and cons. While I love unconditionally, I also feel the loss of or disappointment in that love equally deep. It is a perfect yin and yang, a balanced scale of “good and bad” or experiencing polarity. You see, the deeper we are able to love, then the more we know about this gift as a whole. It has the ability to heal and fill our lives with so much pure joy. The curse is that once that is gone, we see the opposite impact to our hearts. Would you give up the pain, but miss the dance? Not me.
My marriage failed a long time ago and I hung on, pretending it was okay and enough. However, once I had the strength to be true to me, my life purpose, and the responsibility to my children to see healthy relationships, I knew what we had needed to change. I opened pandoras box and started communicating my feelings. Not having done this (maybe really EVER in our relationship) sent him over the edge and the addiction I knew was lurking blew up in my face. Saying no to a porn/sex addict, was not going to be met with a friendly, “It’s okay babe, lets work through this” approach. Needless to say, that relationship served many lessons and continues to help me grow in ways that are often painful. I am so ready to be done with this particular “college course” in life, so I can more fully move into my new purpose. To me, life is a series of college level classes with labs and lots of homework/tests. Some courses, I get A’s, while others, I am hardly passing. Needless to say, to move on in my eternal progressions, college graduation is the only way.
Today, I am in a very different kind of relationship with a man (lets call him “Jay”), who has taught me more about myself, sacrifice, patience and passion, following your heart, choosing optimism and living fully than anyone prior. Before Jay, I had no idea this kind of relationship really existed. I would read books full of connected men and women and watch these love stories thinking, “There is no way that is real?!” Are there really men out there who love so deeply, romantically, with all they are and all they want to be? I am here to tell you, men like this are real, they do exist and I am doing my best to raise my boys with this kind of love, passion, integrity and vision of what is possible.
I did not know what it was like to fight, make up, and grow stronger together. I was a pro at burying my feelings. I did not know how to freely express what was on my heart and mind without any fear of retribution … and now I had a boyfriend who did not judge my situation, he just kept asking, “What else?” until I was done expressing everything that had been bottled up. I did not know that being intimate could bring me to tears of complete joy. I had never connected with another human being the way our souls and our hearts would mush together with something as simple as soft, beautiful, positive intended, freely given, expecting nothing in return, kiss.
I keep asking him if he is my guardian angel who manifested into real life knowing I was going to end up in a real hard place, without the skills of how to find my purpose. Was he here to show me the way, to show me what I did not know really existed so I could never go back to not knowing? Was here forever or just for today?
In the end, I have no clue if we are forever, or if today will be the last day we have together as a couple. What I do know is I am grateful for everything I have learned from him and our relationship. I now know that the stories I had seen, read, or heard, were real and could also be real for me. I just needed to find myself, stand up for myself, and move through the sludge I had let pile up around me. Each day continues to be one day closer to where I want to be, who I want to be, and what I want in all my current and future relationships – a love that gives expecting nothing in return and can last through any challenge. A love that will challenge me to see the better way to go, and gently help me get back on course when I have veered. Our guardian angels come in all different relationships, but in the end, they are there to show us what real love is and can be for each and everyone of us.
I take lots of pictures of Jay and I in our various life experiences, because with my horrible memory, I never want to forget him, this love or what it has done for me in this life. Guardian angles are real and mine happens to be a gracious, thoughtful, smart, young, beautiful, giving, happy, animal loving, open and spiritual man who fills the current “title” of my boyfriend.