Valentine’s day is around the corner and for many it defines our love life.
For me, the highlight was always getting chocolate from my dad, which he stopped sending once I married.
This year is up in the air—I am not living with my husband but I am not divorced.
I am not single and I am not married.
But relationships are always a dance—and I learned more about emotional intimacy from one of my good friends than I did from any other man.
I am a willing student though. Right now my husband and I talk and/or text most days. Both of our lives are shifting as we find the new ground of self beneath our feet.
I spent months in and out of sadness, as did he. And I spent time, and continue to spend time, gathering my needs and letting them plant themselves like new seeds in my heart. I am trying on hope and determination as if they were the sun and rain to my dreams.
My husband and I are friends and think we always will be. Beyond that I don’t think either of us know what the future looks like but then, we never do—we just think we do.
So living in the land of not-knowing might seem scary or uncomfortable to some but honestly, I find what it asks refreshing.
I don’t have to know. And I am okay with not knowing. I am okay with nurturing a friendship as we each get to know who we are better without the other while still sharing.
Our relationship next year won’t look anything like it did this year and this year looks nothing like last year.
My lesson here is the lesson we are all here to learn: to love. Love is not passion. Love is not flowers or candy. Love is not obligation or need.
Love is the action of caring with all our heart and spirit for another. We learn what it looks like by the actions we take to live love and by the way life takes our love and gives it back to us.
I want change. And as a healer said to me, joy, gratitude and love are the ingredients for transformation.
If I feed my spirit I can feed love and joy and gratitude. And then I have all I need to give love and to continue to learn what love asks of me.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photos: elephant journal archives