Big Love: The Resilience of the Heart

I remember my first real heartbreak (I say real because earlier heartbreaks were the result of a kind of adolescent fantasy,

intricate relationships I had conjured with people I didn’t know that played a part in our ‘life’ together without any actual participation.) I was in my twenties and engaged. After the families met and the ring purchased and the dress bought and the location rented, I had the realization I wasn’t ready. It was devastating and confusing. How could I want this and reject it at the same time? Without any obvious external distractions like meeting someone else or falling out of love, I had to trust that something bigger was happening in me, something deeper than my own agenda for my life. Little did I know then but I waking up to the sacred world.

I know that could sound a little woo-woo -- I was waking up to the sacred world --but what do you want from me? In hindsight, that’s what was happening. But tell me that then and I would say you know where you can shove it. I was lost, insecure, and desperately wanted to know am I making the ‘right decision’? Which of course turns out to be a silly way to think about life as if it were a video game with one winner instead of a garden of orchids cycling from barren to blossom year after year. There was no reason to change the course of events in my own life as I did. Except for that inner feeling. Something else was calling me, calling for me. It was my own life.

Of course now I look back and it all makes sense. He wasn’t right. I was too young. There were several more incarnations of myself that would need to live and die before marriage could ever become possible. Heartbreak, it turns out, was preparing me for big love – the kind that lays quiet at night whether or not someone lay beside you, the kind that leans into death and birth and sees the harmony. Big love was being willing to look for it in any interaction I had, in a dish I was making, in an afternoon stroll. Big love wasn’t something I was hoping would come. I had to see that it was already here. That I was love and that this was love. I no longer had to look for the lover. The lover was already in me.

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