But I love him…
“But I love him.”
“So love him.”
“But I miss him.”
“So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Profound, huh? I know it’s cliché at this point in American culture to be a single woman saying this, but that book really did change my life. I read it at just the right time, when I was wondering just the right things and it had a lot of answers for me. Well, maybe not answers. But it pointed me to the next questions. The right questions.
It helped me let go of a lot of things. A lot of people. A lot of ideas. Maybe I need to read it again right now, because I am in a quandary. An emotional, mental and spiritual quandary.
This is my current question: Is it worth falling madly, deeply in love with someone or something that you can’t have? Or that you can only have for a short time?
Until recently I would have said yes. Hell yes, even. Why not? I mean why not enjoy every moment available with something you love? Because it might hurt to let it go? Well of course it will hurt to let it go. It hurts to let go of anything and everything that we love. But we should love it anyway, right?
The knots in my stomach have me feeling not so certain of this anymore.
We’ve only hung out five times now. But I already want to tell him first every time something fun or funny happens. And I already want to have him with me when something painful is going on. Just to kiss my forehead or let me lean on his chest.
I am smitten to say the least. It may be more appropriate to say that I am in deep smit.
Because where can it go? He has one, huge, over-arching desire for his life and it doesn’t jibe with the huge over-arching plan for my life.
I’m getting the hell out of here. That’s the plan. But here he is.
That’s not to say that he is wedded to this town. In fact, he has a specific place he wants to go that is NOT on my list of desires and possibilities.
So, is this just for now? It seems like he’s in – for now, anyway. He has said that he likes me a lot. I’ve been completely myself and completely honest. So I don’t have to worry about him suddenly finding out who I really am and deciding that he doesn’t like it.
I get anxious and nervous and scared when I think of the future. When I think of my plan. And ideas of my future, my plan, keep me from enjoying the moment with him and even my memories of times with him. So I should probably ignore them, right? Because they are keeping me from being truly present and enjoying our time together. And if our time together is, indeed, going to be short, I should be careful to enjoy every minute of it. To bask in it. To wallow in it. To jump in with both hands and both feet and a wide-open heart and mind.
Ugh…my stomach is starting to hurt again.
The truth is – and always has been; no matter what we acknowledge – the future doesn’t belong to us. The past doesn’t exist anymore. All we have is this present moment. And if he is with me in the present moment, I need to enjoy it. Not ruin it by desiring more than is even available to me in that moment.
This is a difficult practice. Emotional sit-ups. Mental pull-ups. Spiritual laps. Ugh…and regular sit-ups are already so emotional for me.