Over the last six months or so a rewarding pen-pal relationship has developed with a woman down in Texas. Our communication is on an irregular and infrequent schedule, but when we write there is openness and sharing like you’d expect between two who have long known each other. Seems a bit odd to say about someone I have never met, but we’ve become trusted confidants and probably good friends. Maybe it’s the safety in distance that allows us to openly share of ourselves as we do. However defined, I do know the connection is good.
Today I received an email from my Texas friend after not hearing from her for several weeks. She seemed a bit sad and a little troubled, but on the move forward and focused inward to reposition herself in a better place. She wrote of desiring less of what blurs life and more simplicity in living as she progresses past a near-miss love relationship.
Like me, she hopes one day to love and be loved again deeply and profoundly. My friend wrote: It should be an exciting peeling of layers. Instead flags of red loom in the distance… I have tried the life of love 3 ways: heart and mind lead, heart leads, and forget both, just let them lead… In summary, it seems to me I have failed to listen, absorb, apply and discern. But it also seems I will not settle… the challenge remains to never hurt another’s heart. It is impossible…
I relate to what she wrote. Being single in middle age with the weight of experience, previous marriage(s), children, protective barriers, responsibility and the like, it can feel impossible that the magic of love will ever sparkle again. The hapless romantic in me, says it can, but I still get lost and disbelieve a good bit of the time. Finding this passage by Erika Harris helped: It is good to feel lost… because it proves you have a navigational sense of where “Home” is. You know that a place that feels like being found exists. And maybe your current location isn’t that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it.
In my life there have been times when I have been lost and I have been found. There have been times I have proven my courage and other moments when I have shown my cowardly side. With courage I have helped others and myself, but overcoming cowardice has been the greater teacher. Today I am a coward about opening myself up to fall in love once more. One day though I have faith a woman will again move me to my spiritual core and the courage to love will return. But how will I know?
There is no logical answer I can give to how I will know when she arrives in my life except to say my spirit will know. The cue will be my fear of pain and heartache will be overcome by courage that will compel my heart open again without thought to how things will turn out. Spiritually I will just know. My spirit is the only force that can bring harmony and balance between my heart and my mind. It is then when falling in love becomes “can’t not do”.
Often I get lost in my thinking and allow my ego to convince me that I am what I think. It is impossible to stop my whirring mind, but it is possible to relax my attention to it. When I am able to do take a few steps away from my constant storm of thoughts through meditation, prayer or stillness, I find there is a softer and quieter awareness within me that has nothing to do with my mind. There I find a certain knowing without conscious thought that comes from the depths of my being where my soul resides. My spirit always answers true if I am in tune enough to hear its soft and gentle voice.
So the advice I give to my distant friend is there exists a fourth way to experience the “life of love”. It is to spiritually be on the lookout for someone who moves you; one you can willingly and easily risk your heart for. Let it be when you can hardly stop yourself and when logic makes no sense. When the spirit brings harmony between mind and heart the miracle of true love is possible. Like a magnet to iron, two are pulled together by the magnetism of their spirits through an knowing beyond unconsciousness. The key is to be aware enough to notice when the spirit is trying to move us. Sometimes a chance for love knocks so softly if our “spiritual radar is down” we can miss it entirely with no second chance.
I am grateful to whatever force drew my Texas pen-pal and I to share with each other as we do. She is a good friend. I am grateful for our connection and the insight writing here today has given me. And, oh, by the way… I just checked. My “radar” in “ON”…
Loving can cost a lot but not loving always costs more, and those who fear to love often find that want of love is an emptiness that robs the joy from life.