A summer of love
It’s been five months since I’ve written anything here. And boy/girl/options, dear reader, do I have a story to tell… It’s a happy story, a sad story, an inspiring story and a precautionary story. Yes—it’s a love story.
Flashback. Spring 2019. I met someone online who lives in another country. A very strong emotional connection quickly formed. It was extremely powerful. Heart to heart. With a strong sexual element thrown in for good measure. We connected in every way. In early summer, we arranged to meet. My Potential Love booked a flight to come and see me.
Shortly before coming, my Potential Love told me there was an Other Person in the picture. Someone they weren’t with, but someone they thought they might be with, in some way, at some point.
I had a mini crisis. I have always been fiercely monogamous. I have entertained, theoretically, the idea of being with more than one person. But I feel sure I couldn’t do it. I goes against my core values. But while we are alive, we have the opportunity to examine our ideas and I wondered if my resistance was down to conditioning. I wondered if, perhaps, I was a bit old fashioned. My Potential Love said they did not see this person as a partner and that their first step was to come and see me. I handed my mini crisis to the universe and trusted that all would be well.
And so my Potential Love came to stay. And we had one of those weeks where everything was perfect. We lived in love. We were love. And we became each other’s Love.
Then my Love went home. But it was OK. Because our love was so big, it contained the world (or, at least, Europe) and there was no sense of separation. That was our experience. Our daily messages talked of infinite love, exploring, marrying, growing old. And we could feel each other in our hearts. In the game of love, we had “levelled up”. And this level was amazing! Because of work commitments, the soonest I could go and visit my Love was two months. We booked it.
While we were waiting, the Other Person declared their love for my Love.
It troubled me, but my Love assured me that I was their partner and the Other Person was not a threat to that. I was a bit alarmed by the degree of messaging that was apparently going on between them, and my Love had already stated that there was something they needed to explore with this Other Person. That the heart of the Other Person was tightly closed and my Love could help them open it. My Love also talked about polyamory. I looked into it, but it felt scary to me. I saw a few videos and I got the feeling that one person generally wants it more than the other and the other goes along with it, hoping the keen person will get it out of their system—but that they would prefer the keen person gave all their love and attention to them. To me, it felt ego based, greedy and unloving.
The time came, and I went to see my Love. It was not the same as July. They live in an urban environment and I live a simple life—in a woodland paradise. There was a lot going on with them and their attention was scattered. The Other Person sent a lavish bunch of flowers while I was there, which felt directed at me as much as my Love. I felt the Other Person was interfering. I knew they were in love with my Love, but I felt strong in my position as my Love’s partner—potentially, for life. My Love even gave me a ring, and the only finger it fitted on was my wedding-ring finger. At the end of the stay, we arranged that I would return four weeks later.
Messages of love, and our heart-chakra connection, remained constant through this time. My heart would leap whenever I saw a message from my Love. I knew I was living in my head—and in the future—more than is wise, but it felt amazing. I am a full-blown romantic and I let myself go there.
Just before I was due to go back, the Other Person asked if they could go and stay with my Love and my Love said yes. My Love also said there was a possibility that they would be intimate with the Other Person when they were there. Dear reader, I was shocked to my core. My body reacted in the following way: Legs, wobbly and light; heart, troubled and with an increased heart rate; forearms, flooded with energy extending to the hands; head, locked into panicked thinking.
But I told my Love that my love for them was unconditional. And I was required to trust them. Of course, I hoped they would not become intimate with the Other Person—that I would be enough as my Love was enough for me—but I had to leave them free to make their decision in the moment.
When the Other Person was with my Love, I suffered intensely. I am reliving some of that as I type. Those physical sensations were constant, combined with an inability to sleep. I had not suffered this much for four years. I was in hell, in my head, but unable to get out of my head, into my body, back into the present moment. How could I, when the present moment also included my heart-connected Love being intimate with someone else? (Yes, my Love did admit to that, by not admitting it.) It is such stuff as stories are made…
Of course, my Love suffered too. And to lessen their suffering, they reduced their contact with me significantly. So I was alone in this suffering (I use the word, because it is useful—we will come back to it).
I realised I could stop being involved and save myself some of this pain. I could just cancel the trip to see my Love and that would be it. I knew if I went, there would be more suffering. But there was a part of me that said, “Keep your heart open, go and endure more suffering, there is something you can learn from this”.
Here’s a significant missing piece of the jigsaw. Just before the Other Person went to see my Love, my Love told me they had been intimate back in the spring. Once. Which, in my mind, suddenly made me the Other Person, albeit unknowingly. The ground I was standing on was no longer firm. I have a longstanding principle of not interfering in other people’s relationships. It’s a Rule. It falls into the same set as “Do as you would be done by”.
Of course, part of me also wanted to go and see my Love because our level of intimacy is unparalleled in my experience. It is extraordinary in a way I am sure few people are blessed with experiencing. There aren’t words to describe it, so I won’t try. You will understand why I found it difficult to give up the opportunity of revisiting such bliss.
I went. I arrived on the same day that the Other Person left. They had played a masterful game. Maximum disruption. My Love had no time to know what they wanted.
We had one short evening together and then, for unrelated reasons, I was alone in my Love’s bed for a few nights. During one of these nights, I went into total suffering until 4.00am. I knew I was stuck in my head but I was totally unable to escape into my body—even with all the knowledge and practice of several years walking the spiritual path. I felt abandoned by my Love, alone in a country where I knew no one else. In their bed but without them, precious moments of potential togetherness passing painfully.
After a heart-to-heart on the phone, my Love agreed to direct some attention towards me. The universe instantly released the space for that to happen, and we re-discovered the love we shared in July. And yes, it was beyond words.
Then came time to leave. My Love said that they needed time alone—without me or the Other Person—and I left, not knowing if I would ever hold them again.
But the messages and promises of infinite love continued.
Can you feel the end coming?
Two weeks after I left, the Other Person played their trump card. They went back to visit my Love. I thought I would suffer but that it would be less. And that’s how it was. But the suffering, although less, was intense—for me and, through our heart connection, for my Love. I realised that my suffering was unnecessary and, possibly, dangerous. I wrote to my Love and said I was out of the game—until they were ready to explore monogamy.
I can dress this up in any number of ways but, essentially, I found I could not be emotionally committed to someone who was in bed with another person. And I learnt that my love for someone else is conditional—all or nothing. Flashback ends.
Since this experience, I have heard the idea that we suffer in order to grow. In the same way that a tree needs deep roots so it can be tall. I know that my suffering only happened because of my thoughts about the situation. And I am reminded that, once the energy of suffering takes you, you have to wait until the energy passes before you can find your feet again. I have returned to doing yoga salutations first thing in the morning, and touching the present moment regularly, through breathing and meditation.
(I am a little out of practice, because I have spent so much of these last months in my head. In possible futures. With one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. Our connection is immortal, historic, and I love that it happened.)
This is not the only time in my life I have flown to another country to be meet a potential love of my life. Clearly, each time has ended. Some more painfully than others. But one insight I have had in the last couple of weeks (yes, dear reader, this is as fresh as a restaurant salad) is that this is another example of looking for happiness on the outside. I have done it with alcohol. I have done it with THC. And I’ve done it with lovers. Of course, I could give up on lovers. A lover is a magnificent distraction but a distraction nonetheless. Just look at what could be… So many possibilities…
My Love asked me, before we fell in love, what I was looking for in a relationship. (I wasn’t actually looking for a relationship.) After a bit of thought, I said, “Emotional security”. I didn’t want to wake up one day to find out that love had gone, having eloped in the night. I wanted to be sure it would always be there.
How does that sound to you? To me, it sounds wonderful, impossible and achievable.
- Wonderful because, at a level beyond the mind, we KNOW that is reality. Everything is love and there is nothing that is not love. Even the greatest love we experience on this planet is a pale reflection of the fathomless love we come from. The reported evidence for this is overwhelming.
- Impossible, beyond we cannot ask someone else for emotional security. I go to many weddings every year, because of my work, and I see people making vows they may find impossible to keep. I can see which marriages may work and which may fail. (Or so I think.)
- Achievable, because there is one person who can make that promise and keep it. One person who will stand by you through thick and thin. A person you can trust with your life and who will support you in every situation. That one person is you.
I have realised that I must stop giving my love away to people who can ignore it, take it for granted, turn their back on it, resent it, resist it, disbelieve it and treat it however they feel like. I have realised that I need to give my love to me. Not in an egoic sense. In a healing, supportive, understanding, hopeful, growthful sense. Imagine for a moment treating yourself in the way you treat a Love, or even a Potential Love. Imagine being your own Love. Your own Beloved. You can be faithful, honest, open, free, nurturing and spectacularly wonderful with yourself—and that love will not disappear like summer. That love will be there, year after year, until the end of your days.
Yes, there will be periods of sun and rain—we need a balance of everything to grow. But you can choose to be there for you, all ways. Always.
I saw this video, this week, about one of my favourite subjects—near-death experiences—and it touches on this idea of loving yourself. It’s part of the path of Going Within. (Oh, I have other things to say about that—and I’ve only just started.)
And finally, a new book
Last week, when recounting my summer of love, someone gave me a book by Byron Katie, called “Loving what is“. I’ve come across her system—”The Work“—before, and even did a worksheet when I was throwing a narcissist out of my life, a couple of years ago. I’m less than halfway through and there are already some very useful ideas and phrases I can bring to mind, as my thoughts drift towards my Most Recent Love. I resisted doing the work—it’s hard for me, maybe for everyone—but I did a worksheet on one of the core issues surrounding this affair and it was very illuminating.
If you have something you’re suffering with, you might want to have a look at that.