Tenderly, I now touch all
knowing one day we will
-St. John of the Cross
I think of this man, and how he has made me laugh so wonderfully. I think of how his face brightens when he sees me walk into the room, and how much I will miss that smile. I think of how he has taught me to not take things personally, how he has affirmed that my intuition is on target, how he has shown me what it means to genuinely take another person into consideration — and all of this has not been easy to learn, sometimes through conflict, sometimes through late-night discussions, sometimes through compromise, but always necessary to help each of us grow as human beings. By the two of us sharing our lives together, I have learned to love myself more, to have confidence in my beliefs and truths, to better accept others who differ from me. He has helped me embrace my Taiwanese culture, speak my truth louder, become clear on what I want and how to express that to others. I now understand the colors of anger and how to mix my own palette of emotions.
I think of all the things that I will miss — our meals, surfing, climbing, trips, hugs, kisses, cuddling in bed at night, planning our adventures, habits, dependabilities, envisioning, forgiveness, compassion, learning, gratitudes — and how I don't know how I can live in the same town and not want to call him when something new happens, when something old happens, when anything at all happens.
"I've had some of the best moments of my life with you," he shared with me the other night, as my tears fell on his bare chest. The photo of the red iron chairs above is from our trip to Hawaii at the Maui Dharma Center, where he found a Tibetan singing bowl that made the shopkeeper tear up. We have gone to Mexico, Taiwan, Yosemite, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and many more itineraries we were hopeful for, but haven't yet hopped on a plane, train, car, buggy, rickshaw, or dingo to experience in person.
I wanted to believe that he was The One, the one who I would make a home with, the one who I would create a family with, the one who I would spend my days looking forward to seeing again and again. But instead, One of us wants to go all around the world aiming to help in every way, big and small, spontaneously and adventurously not knowing what will come next. The other One of us helps others too, by having a plan, taking it slower, leaning towards being settled. One of us lives completely from feelings and energies, connects with everyone outwardly. The other lives with linear thinking, structure, intellect, and connects with others inwardly. One is a floating goddess of two worlds. Here, there, everywhere. The other is a wise old sage. Grounded, reliable, solid in support.
The One has become just 1. Each of us, now just 1. We tried to go in the same direction, but our internal compasses kept revealing a different True North for him and for me. We are the same in many ways, yet our perspectives differ so substantially on fundamental matters that our words become sparks that ignite the embers we constantly try to tamp down. How the flames engulf when two dragons fight. Rather than lick our wounds and see that we're both hurt, we snarl in protective growls and retreat into far away caves. Darkness, where Light has a hard time finding us to bring us together.
Plenty of people go through broken hearts every day. And life goes on. We heal. We mend. We learn. We change. We hope to find our fit somewhere else with someone else. But what happens when the both of you don't want that to be the case? You don't want to admit what's staring you in the face? What happens when the love is still there so strong, but both realize that the way to genuinely love each other best is to let one another go? How do you do that?
I cannot imagine my life without this man. I cannot imagine that I will not keep turning my key in our door, and hearing his voice in my ears, and feeling his affection in my heart. I cannot imagine parking my car somewhere else, then going days or weeks or months or even years without another "Hi babe!" in that boom he has. I cannot imagine how it will feel not to have his body near, not to feel him walking by and always knowing he will give me a sweet pat on the hip, the shoulder, the small of my back. Or, perhaps even more painful to start, I cannot imagine what it would be like to still have this man in my life and know that we are meant to just be friends.
We wish each other well. We truly just want the other person to be so happy and healthy. And, we're working on a way towards the sunset of our relationship, coming together to go apart, embracing all that is good, all that we've learned, and leaving everything else behind. There are no rules, only suggestions. We take it minute-by-minute, day-by-day, enjoying the time we still do have together until it's gone. There's no way of knowing how things will be. All we know is that this is what is meant to be right here and now.
So I practice faith. I choose love over fear. I practice letting go and letting a power greater than me help us both continue to move forward. I take solace in the reminder that if it's meant to be, we'll come back into each other's lives again one day. It's hard not to ask the Universe for a firm date on whether or not that'll happen, to make a date with my beau six months from now or more to check-in and see how things are, because what if we do, only to discover the even harder realization that we made the right choice?
How do you love someone so much to let them go?
The only answer I have is to be with him tenderly now, knowing one day, we will part.