To follow up on my friend Peter's idea, how do we measure if we live a rich and meaningful life? If it indeed is by the quality of our human connections, then how do we measure the warmth and depth of these connections? By how much they hurt if they break? By how much we've given or received? or by the feelings that remain throughout, when together as well as when apart?
In friendship it is easy to keep the freshness of the feeling, even if we separate for a long time. So I think our true trials come out in love.
Throughout many years in my life I grew weary of love, feeling afraid of the intensity and of the negative possibility of having my heart torn out, which did happen, of course, many times. I remember the last time it happened, a couple of years ago. I was with my family and friends on vacations at a friend's house, on the river Izabal in Guatemala. The house we were staying at was much like a resort, with several pools, bungalows, and even a boat to take us around the river and the adjoining lake. Everything was Paradise, we had it all, the best food, the best cocktails, the best music, the best company. Yet I was suffering greatly. I was suffering the pains of a broken heart.
The offender in this case was also present, which made my torment worse, since I could not take my mind off of my misery even for one second. I remember being actually sick from the pain I was undergoing and wanting the earth to open and swallow me whole. It didn't. What did happen was that I had an astounding insight regarding my pitiful situation. I realized that my heart was indeed broken, and I also realized that it happened to everyone, ALL THE TIME!!! So suddenly my situation was not as bad as I thought, it was actually quite common, and even more, it was also impermanent. Although I couldn't foresee it clearly, the day would come when I no longer suffered the way I did.
I had to wait a while for that. Almost two years went for me to recover all my strength and self-assurance. And trust still felt like a lifetime away... Until then, a miracle happened!!!! I fell in love again!! Unexpectedly Waldo came into my life and showered me with love, and sweetness, and tender words and actions. From the loneliness where my previous broken heart had left me I had suddenly a place where it was warm and cozy. It even felt safe. And it was!!!
As you might know - if you're faithful and applied readers - our love story didn't endure long. It ended, and of course this caused disturbing emotions. But it didn't break my heart. And it didn't break his either. The amount of good impressions we planted into each other's heart is intact, and the good feelings that once united us are still there. I still want all the happiness in the world for him and he still wants all the happiness in the world for me. If he were here right now, we would hug tightly and feel the happiness of our connection. Yet we are no longer in love. (With each other ;) )
For the first time in my life a love connection ended without me going through a zoo of difficult emotions and untamed wild feelings. I actually observed the whole thing disintegrate gently, softly, as if we both knew we had to take care of the other one's heart, as of course everyone in a relationship must. But I have told this story already...
The interesting thing is having new stories to tell. And I think I might...
The duration of this connection is yet to be seen, and not really important, things being as they are, impermanent like clouds in the sky. But I cannot doubt the depth of it. As I write these words, I feel my heart flutter with joy. I feel equal parts of excitement and prudence, but I know I will not shy away from the experience. I do have all the tools necessary to deal with whatever comes to be after all... So I'll just be who I am and let my heart beat like it does. Like Lama Ole says "When you don't expect anything, everything is a gift. When you have no fear, everything is an opportunity". So, for now, I'll just enjoy the butterflies and smile :)