What I learned during a summer of love…
I have had a summer of love. I remember summers of love as a teenager, meeting someone new at the beginning of the summer, diving in deep to all those yummy feelings that come with the discovery of knowing someone and allowing them to know you.
As my summer of love continued, I realized that every day I woke up happy, full of energy. I showed up in my family and friendships differently, better, happy, more energized.
One day as I sat staring out at the ocean and contemplating how everything felt so different than it had in a very long time, I realized that love was flowing out of me onto everyone and everything around me.
As I felt this energy flowing from me, I had this very logical thought, this energy felt like it was coming from within me, rather than from outside of me coming in.
If that was the case, was this energy really about someone outside of me?
I sat pondering this question, what if this love that I was feeling was being sourced from within me, not the result of the person I was in relationship with, not from anyone outside of me but from within me.
As I am known to do when I begin to uncover my own truth, I began to challenge it. Okay, if I had what felt like this massive fountain of love coming from within me what was I loving about me and for the first time perhaps ever I explored the simple question of did I love me? And if I did, what was it that I loved about me exactly?
After exploring this, I realized that I truly love the person that I have become these last few years. I love the spiritual growth journey that I am on. I love how I continue to show up trying to be a better version of me every day.
I realized that I loved me, and I love my life, my life is full, rich, vibrant, and adventurous. I realized that I have a tremendous potential to love and it feels like loving those around me is part of my purpose for being here.
As I sat really feeling this love coming from within me and allowing it to permeate me and everything around me; I just had this knowing drop in.
My love didn’t have anything to do with anyone outside of me. My love is me and it would be with me always regardless of who was in my life and what role they may play in it.
In this knowing, I felt an amazing sense of freedom, in that moment my own happiness was no longer dependent on anyone outside of me, my happiness was in me.my happiness was in me.
It was odd to sit with this knowing over the following weeks as I continued to test it. I thought at first that it was illogical because I still desired a loving, committed life partner, I still wanted to go on great adventures.
I realized that my small self was just trying to make me fall into the trap of saying, “if I didn’t have everything that I wanted in this moment then how could I possibly be happy?”
But I realized that if my happiness was no longer attached to things or people, to things outside of me then I could be happy right here, right now in this present moment and it didn’t matter what I may want in the future.
This knowing seemed to peel away yet another layer of this onion as I moved into a feeling of more and more freedom.
That was when my ego, this small self, mean voice in my head, it threw down its ultimate challenge. I remember that voice telling me in her meanest, taunting way, “yes, you say that you are full of love now but you are still in a relationship but what will happen if that goes away?”
I heard that challenge and felt a grain of truth in it. Could I hold onto this feeling of love coming from within me while processing loss? I didn’t know.
A month later and the test was here. As we hiked and talked and talked and hiked over the course of several days we acknowledged all of the good that was and is between us, it was the good that was keeping us in it, neither of us wanted to lose that good but we could no longer ignore that there were just some fundamental things that weren’t there and no matter how hard we looked we couldn’t seem to find them.
In those conversations, surrounded by a blanket of the good between us, I said that it is okay if we just kept the good and let what wasn’t working go and change how we consciously defined our relationship. These words seemed to bring a sense of relief to us both, a feeling of pounds being lifted off and the heavy weight of a story that had been created that seemed to sit between us.
As we walked down that trail on that Sunday morning having made that decision, I heard those words of that challenge. In that moment I connected to that inner well of love that I had developed a relationship to and yes, I could still feel it, I still loved me. I still loved him, nothing had changed other than our agreements and the heaviness that had been sitting between us felt gone.
In the days and weeks since that day, I have continued to test if that fountain of love for me, for my life, would dry up. Would it go away? And it hasn’t, if anything it is greater.
The greatness comes from loving myself in how I showed up in a relationship with another and how we were able to care for each other while we explored possibilities and then closed the chapter on what didn’t work.
The greatness comes from loving the fact that all the good remains. I still have an amazing man in my life who I love and care for dearly, I still want nothing but happiness for the both of us.
The greatness comes from having the courage to say, these things are amazing, and these things just feel like we are the wrong puzzle pieces, we tried to move them into place over and over but no matter which way we tried we couldn’t find the right fit.
I hope these words and my own questions get you thinking… or writing… or both.
Here are some questions for you to ponder in the shower, during the morning commute or perhaps with your favorite journal.
- What do I love about me?
- What do I love about my life?
- How can I show up in more love with myself, with those around me and with my life?
- What is good in my life? What isn’t working in my life? Those things that aren’t working, do I have an opportunity to let them go and keep only the good?
I blog because I love posing questions to myself, I love forcing myself to grow in this way, answering my own hard questions. I love peeling back the layers of this onion that is my life and testing myself to show up more fully every day.
If you want to question yourself, then subscribe to my email list and ensure you have an opportunity to do that. I blog about once a month so you will not receive a ton of emails from me, only what I hope to be the best questions that we can ask ourselves to be better tomorrow than we were today.
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