I’ve just returned from 10 days in the most beautiful Caribbean island of Grenada. Tan, toned, but not without a heavy heart.
Goodbye’s have never been easy for me. In High School, I’d avoid them completely — you would hardly ever catch me at a yearbook signing or graduation party. In college, I would ghost when it came time for the end of the night — I would smell the awful hugs and plans to reconnect coming from an hour away and peace out in advance.
Despite creating deep and meaningful friendships all around the globe, I’ve yet to conquer the ability of letting go of the bittersweet pain of goodbye.
Which has me wondering — is the fear of parting keeping me from love?
In lieu of the awful decade of my 20s and the never-ending questions that come with it, I am going to conduct a Q&A session to get to the bottom of just what is love?!
Why a Q&A? Because sometimes the right question is enough, with or without an appropriate answer.
[Note: This is a painful and difficult understanding for a thoughts-addict such as myself. The absence of a sufficient answer keeps me chasing my tail, light-headed and unamused. But I’m willing to fight the anxiety for the sake of a fun blog.]
A Q&A with My Self:
Q: Thank you for joining us today, Becky. So let’s dive right in. What do you believe defines true love?
B: Damn, deep-sea diving right in! OK. Well, true love in its essence, in my limited opinion, is non-judgement. I’ve felt love and soulful affinity in the moments of deepest connection, and those moments happened when there was no sense of ‘this person is going to judge me for this’ or ‘this person isn’t open to hearing what I have to say.’ Or when there was alcohol involved. Love can soar on the wings of vino.
Q: Interesting. Do you believe in love at first sight?
B: Hmmm. I believe in an opening for love at first sight, which doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely. I think love is something that grows with time. Which sucks, because I’m as impatient as they come. But if I look at the loving relationships in my life — the love grew through struggles, shared experiences, and milestones, which were carved and etched into the foundation of the relationship. The ‘first sight’ may be like finding the sweet plot of land that feels just right for the building of the foundation, but it’s not the entire mansion.
Q: I like the analogy.
B: Of love to a mansion?
B: Thank you. I just sort of channeled it.
Q: Have you ever been in true love?
Q: Everything alright?
B: Yes, yes. I’m just trying to switch off my brain, and turn on my heart for this answer. Which reminds me of words uttered in this morning’s spin class — ”if you don’t feel it, it’s not there.” It’s irrelevant that she was referring to the nonexistent resistance on my bike, I took it to heart. It made me think about love, and relationships, and life. Sometimes you don’t feel it, and it’s important to recognize. Because when you don’t feel it, you have options:
- Option 1: Turn off your brain, and commit. Get into it. You feel it now?
- Option 2: Just turn up the resistance. Sometimes we’re blocked — we have fear, we aren’t open because we think love looks like Ryan Gosling, or we’re not willing to let go of limiting habits to create the space for love. So turn up the resistance means quit riding easy, and challenge yourself enough to create the space for love.
- Option 3: Get off the bike, this workout isn’t for you.
Q: Sounds like you’ve been brainwashed by SoulCycle.
B: Oh I most certainly have. However, I believe I’ve been in different levels and layers of love. My first boyfriend helped me access the first layer, teaching me things about my heart I’d never known. By the time my second relationship came around, I’d recovered from my previous heartbreak intellectually, so the second dude taught me more about my mind’s prominent role in love, and how to peel back that second layer of my heart through communication and empathy. So then by the time my third boo came around, I had a somewhat vague understanding of the place my heart and my mind each played in love, and was able to dig deeper into both. And so on, with each relationship helping me access yet another layer of self, of heart, and of love.
Q: But have you been in love?
B: I’ve been in love. Yes. With several people, with numerous things. I fall in love with clouds, I fall in love with a beautiful sunset, I fall in love with the gentle soul who asks me if I’m alright when they see I’m boarding a plane only to leave my beloved family behind for months on end.
Q: Clouds though?
B: I love love.
B: But I believe the best and deepest love is still ahead of me. The kind that comes with time. The kind that I’m able to build because I’m finally coming from a seat of inner understanding of what I want, need, and deserve. The kind that has me going against my impulsive and impatient tendencies, and sees me willing to carve out a castle into that block.
Q: That sums up our Q&A.
B: How did I do?
Q: How do you feel like you did?
Q: You OK?
B: Just turning back on the feelings valve. Feelings are sometimes pushed aside by those trying to survive pain. [Raises her hand, knocks over the glass of wine]. Ach, sh*t! Look, don’t worry, I’m committed to keeping my feelings on, despite the heart-ache, the connections built only to be lost, and the love fostered that may have to “go away” because a relationship ends. Wanna know why? Because I secretly know that there is no “end.” This is all one big web of love, and we’re all just spiders weaving beautiful tapestries on the intricate journey to knowing more and more of it.