Do you believe in soul mates?

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I’ve always thought that I believe in soul mates. Not in the sense that there is one perfect person for each of us, rather that there are people that will reach for our hands and in doing so, touch our souls. It’s rare. It’s precious. In 41 years, I had known two prior to you.

The first is still the one person I turn to when life becomes unbearable. She and I have a bond that has often been tested, but never broken. The second I met by chance. He wasn’t my lover. He was my friend. Again a person I turned to and I mourn his death daily.

Reading the above picture caused my heart to catch in my throat. Because it is describing a soul mate. It is describing how I feel about you.

Standing in my driveway, a few weeks after we tried the first time to say goodbye, wasn’t the first time I felt like there were two sides to me when I am with you, but it was so noticeable because the definition of our relationship had changed.

I wanted so badly to touch you, even just my fingertips on your arm. But I wasn’t allowed…you were no longer mine. I’d spent two weeks feeling an absolute emotional destruction. But somehow standing there in the dark, your truck running in the alley, I was completely at peace. In that moment with you, nothing mattered beyond your presence in my life, right then, right there, you standing beside me was enough. I walked into my house that night with a calmness that I had forgotten I could feel.

It was always like that, though, with you. As much as I always wanted to be close to you, to touch you, all I ever needed was to be in the same room as you to feel a contentment like I’d never known. I could never describe it, so I just told you that you are my happy place.

I stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago. I believe in myself and I am whole without having anyone in my life. I’ve never needed anyone and I don’t need you. I want you. I crave you in the most primitive of ways. You used to tell me that even in the midst of our most intimate moments, you felt like you needed to be closer to me. I felt the same way. It was almost as if the deepest parts of our souls knew that we could never really be together. Yet the yearning wouldn’t allow us to stop trying.

I can’t imagine a time when the sound of your voice saying my name won’t bring complete peace to my heart. I can’t imagine that I’ll run into you and not want to lay my hand on the side of your face and look into your eyes, desperately seeking to see in them the reflection of my soul. I can’t imagine a time when you will not be the one who simultaneously lights the fire within and brings the peace to my soul.

I still believe in soul mates. For the second time in my life, I am being reminded that there is perhaps no greater tragedy in life than finding your soul mate and then being forced to let him go.

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Give me back my walls…maybe

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I’m not an easy person to love. I protect my heart with a fierceness that knows no bounds since my divorce. I’m so afraid of losing the best parts of me again to another person that I have made an art of building walls to keep people out.

… but not long ago I found love and I allowed him to love me back…and now it’s gone and I’m not sure how to move on. Because of him I stopped protecting my heart. I opened it up, broke down the walls and allowed myself to feel.

But now he’s gone…
And I don’t know who I am without my walls…

In a text conversation with someone whom I pushed away, he said “He probably doesn’t realize what he’s done by getting you to fall in love. That’s no small feat.” To which I replied,  “It didn’t happen overnight.” He responded, “Well I’m impressed. Those walls aren’t easy to break down.

My friend is right. They aren’t. I put up reinforced walls of concrete and steel triple wrapped with a mountain of “I can do this myself” and an ocean of “I’m better off alone”.

…but then I met him. He didn’t come into my life with a sword looking to rescue me from myself. He didn’t even come in with any intentions of finding my heart. It was supposed to be “sex with no strings”.

But one night, one magical, breathtaking night, he kissed me. The kind of kiss that takes your breath away. The kind of kiss that reaches into the depths of your soul and awakens parts of your heart that you never knew existed. The kind of kiss that breaks down those walls and leaves you standing in the midst of emotions you didn’t know you could feel. The kind of kiss that makes you want to hold onto him and never let go.

But I had to let go and it’s been months and I think I want my walls back.

It was easier when I didn’t feel. When you don’t feel, you can’t hurt. And I’ve hurt for so long now. It’s not an all day every day hurt anymore. It comes in waves. Some days it’s only when I wake up, like the waves at low tide gently kissing the shore – small memories of how wonderful our time together was. Other times it hits like a tusnami, unexpected and sweeping me away in an powerful surge of emotion.

The hurting is not so much fun. If only I’d kept my head in the game and not let down those walls around my heart…

But then I would’ve missed the feeling and the feeling part was so amazing. The feeling filled up my heart and overwhelmed my soul. I don’t know if it had simply been so long since I’d felt the touch of a soulmate or if maybe I’d never really known one like that, but the feeling was something that will always stay in my heart.

So I guess that maybe life is better without the walls. Maybe I’m still struggling to find my way again without him in my life, but the pain is worth it because I knew a love that convinced me to stop protecting myself, to recognize that while being alone is good and healthy, life is really so much better when you allow people into your heart.

To my boys

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Dear Jake, Zachary and Colton,

I’m sitting at home on a Friday night watching Disney’s Brave and missing you. Missing you is nothing new, I do it every day. I miss you so much it hurts. I wish things could be different. I wish that I could find my way back to you….

I doubt that you can understand. You may often ask yourselves why. Why did I leave? Why didn’t I come back when I got my license back? Why don’t I love you enough to be with you?

Love is a precious gift, someday you’ll truly understand. In order to love others and I mean really love others, you first have to love yourself. You have to accept and love all the things that make you unique, even the parts that others might tell you are bad or wrong.

I hadn’t loved myself in a very long time when I left New Hampshire. As a result, I wasn’t the best Mama that I could be. Moving to Illinois had more to do with healing myself and making myself whole again than losing my license. I needed to accept my mistakes and the things about myself that I don’t always like…I needed to find a way to love me.

I’ve always been strong and independent. My strength came from pushing aside hurt and pain and fear and simply moving forward. And while that kind of strength is good and necessary sometimes, there are also times when it’s good to fall apart. It’s okay to admit that you can’t keep going and that you need time to cry, time to grieve, times to hurt and then time to heal.

I’m finally getting my time to let all of the hurt in. In New Hampshire, I was far too busy holding our lives together to take the time I needed to fall apart. Being in Illinois has allowed me to begin the process of healing me and loving me…all the things about me.

You may not ever understand. My hope is that whatever damage I’ve caused is not permanent and that you boys will be stronger because of what I’ve put us all through. It’s important that you know how much I miss you and how much I love you. You may not believe it now, but someday I hope you can understand. I love you with all of my heart. And it’s because I love you that I needed to find a way to love myself. You boys are my strength. You are the reason that I want to be better. You are the reason that I have to stay in Illinois for a little while longer.

When I finally come back to New Hampshire, it will be for all of the right reasons and I’ll be able to enjoy being there again. In the meantime, no matter how long we go between visits, always know this:

I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my babies you’ll be.

Love,
Mama