So today I woke up. And I realized what day it was. That day. That trendy day that media sells to us. That day that we confess our love to hopeful romances, or show our already loved ones how much we truly care, or on the other hand….that day that makes the rest of us realize we are single. When I woke up and saw that it was ‘that day’…..I didn’t care about what society thinks I should feel. Because I know how I feel. But I know that I have cared before what ‘that day’ meant, and I realized how awful it feels to be alone. And in those times that I have felt alone, I had wished for something to make me feel more connected. So I began to write.
First I thought of a day in the woods a couple months ago. It was a beautiful day in the Royal National Park. We were on a hike to explore the Figure 8 pools. I was with beautiful friends, and the sun was shining. And we were all so happy. It was the last adventure many of us would spend with our friend Gareth, who we lost a week later. I am grateful even more so now for that memory, because it was a beautiful last memory to have with him.
My friend Fuchsia and I began to have a conversation about love. In all of it’s capacities. We spoke about what it is like to be in love, to lose love, to want love, and what it is like to be on the other end of unrequited love…. or even so on the end of unwanted love.
And I came to a realization that day. And I told Fuchsia. “What if ‘this’ right here….moments like this…..are my great love affair?” “What if I have been having this amazing love life with the world around me…this entire time…without being aware of it.” I spoke to her of times when I did feel lonely. Times when I felt that because of the life I had chosen, maybe I wasn’t allotted one great love story with some man I had never met. Maybe there would be no one person that would take the journey with me. Maybe it would always just be me. I confessed that at times it was lonely to never have someone to wake up next too, and share sunrises with, or someone to fall down next too when the day was over, when I was exhausted from adventure. We both agreed that at times life could be lonely. We spoke candidly about our own loves, and losses. We spoke of the beauty, and pain that love can bring. We also spoke of the gain, and loss of having great love stories with people.
Each side has its luster, and each side has its darkness. But I began to realize.
We choose our own paths. Just as I chose to live a life of adventure. I chose to live a life of spontaneity. I chose to live a life full of unknowns. And maybe just maybe the great love affair that the universe devised for me….what just that. A love affair with the world. An affair so vibrant, and beautiful, and long going that I could never lose it….that it would never leave me. It would never let me down, it would never leave me longing, it would never leave me to feel alone. Because this life is one so full of love that you can’t help but to share it.
Too many times we look for someone else to fulfill something within us. We crave something we feel we cannot achieve on our own. We look for beauty in others that we do not see in ourselves. We find characteristics in others that inspire us to be more than what we are on our own. But what we do not realize is that…. that power, that love, that potential ….rests within each and every one of us. We all have the power to love, and completely fulfill ourselves. We do not need one another to become more fully ourselves. We can inspire one another, we can motivate one another….but in the end it’s the love we share with ourselves that truly makes us grow. We do not need cards, and flowers, and chocolates to fulfill us. Those things are superficial, and trivial to the kind of wholeness we are all searching for.
The only truly great love affair that has ever really mattered in our lives…..is the one we have with ourselves. We cannot expect external love, until we are so fully consumed by it….that it pours from us in every which way. Then and only then will we truly be able to find happiness in external influences.
When we create that love affair with ourselves, and the world beyond us. We begin to realize that, that is all we truly wanted all along anyhow. And at that moment, any additional love that finds us is just icing on the cake.
I think this day, of this year…..is different from the rest. Because although I had self love before….I have been so completely consumed by it in the past year, that sometimes it is overwhelming to me. I see love in every single thing I do, in every single person I meet, in every single opportunity I am given.
Love is not a possessive word that denotes a union between just two people. It is a feeling of wholeness with ourselves, and every single living thing around us. A feeling so universal, and vast that we could never truly be alone …. when in union with it.
I know where I stand, and sometimes I am physically the only person standing there in the middle of the woods. But I never feel alone anymore.
I feel more connected to the world around me, than I ever have before. And maybe just maybe one day there will be a person standing there with me under the sky, beneath the trees. Someone to share certain moments with. Someone to highlight what I have already found in myself, and around me.
But if not….that is ok. Because this life is much to beautiful, and much to fleeting to spend time searching for just one person amongst the masses….when we should be celebrating the life around us. Love is in everything we witness, everything we feel, everything we are. We just have to truly….see it.
Waiting for us to dance with it.
In the middle of the woods.
When no one is watching.