I opened an old journal the other day and read open-hearted entries on love written by 28-year-old me. I cried. I didn’t realize I felt so deeply once upon a time. I’d forgotten.
The pain was not in reminiscing the pain, but in realizing how much I’ve possibly missed out on because I’ve held back since then. I haven’t been in that open, vulnerable, wide-eyed and wide-hearted space for years, and who knows what gains I passed on because I closed myself off.
I sat with a friend and talked about our fears of being vulnerable and getting hurt again, and I found myself articulating advice which I also needed to hear:
Stop the fantasy of promise. When there’s someone before you, let go of forever, the long haul, next month or tomorrow. There is never a guarantee you’ll get there. But now, here you are. Enjoy it. It is enough.
Stop trying so hard. We are intense people. We wear our hearts on our sleeves and give our all, right away, in total surrender. Why? Is it because we believe that we are loving the person best when we are intense? Maybe this, in reality, is a vain exercise, an imposition of who we are, without enough regard for who the other is. And maybe it is an example of why it is easier to give than to receive.
The best relationships, everyone says, are based on friendships. Friendships flow. There is no outright agenda among friends, no trying so hard, no future to move towards. What’s there is a respectful witnessing of each other’s individual agenda. No pressure to impress the other, to be our best selves, to keep up an ideal. A friendship is relaxed and forgiving. It is not possessive, obsessive, addictive.
It’s been seven years since I lost or muted the capacity to feel so deeply, and what a gift to be reminded of and befriend my past self as I enter a new 7-year cycle this year. Can’t say it enough– I’m very excited for what’s to come!