I received the following e-mail from my girlfriend of two and a half years:
I love you…I wonder if I could even find the words, could I possibly describe or portray a hint of the waves of wonder and pleasure as love flows up and down my body with thoughts of you.
I appreciate and feel so touched by your gesture.
There is a calm and widening of inner horizons. I feel chosen. Unquestionably chosen and the parts that don’t deserve it are shushed and soothed. Wide-eyed and in awe of the realness at which you present and hold our love.
Hidden Beliefs without any hold and I am left with a beautiful raw stretch of heart that is here to play. I feel my bones commit to the realness of our love at which we get to witness, play, and explore.
I am honored and blessed and blushing really. I am blushing at your tribute to me, to us. What is that feeling…? The biggest wave of love washes over me as I take in the tiniest of pleasures and feel the wholeness of this world shake and shiver at the power of a moment.
And the moment shines….
She sings as you weave in and out of all my everything.
Holding you, my love…Ever so sweetly and maybe not so saintly. Want you, I do.
The occasion for this e-mail wasn’t a birthday or an anniversary. It was a “thank you” for a present that I gave her. An unusual present that just might provide the cure for jealousy.
I gave her peace-of-mind.
Since the beginning of time men have fought, forgiven and formed accords.
And women have held onto grudges and slights like few men ever can.
I know that I may be offending some people by saying this, but that offense just may prove my point, and it certainly proves a lack of knowledge of history.
My girlfriend lives 500 miles away. And just last night an ex-girlfriend was coming through town. The rancor between these two is the stuff of legends and I have given up trying to understand it.
I found myself between these two Titans. My ex is still a good friend, but my current girlfriend hates her with a passion. I don’t want to turn my ex away, but I don’t want to indulge jealousy either.
To use a cliche: I was walking a tight rope, and there were two hungry alligators beneath me.
It seemed I couldn’t win. And at that moment it was obvious that I couldn’t please either woman. So I simply had to please myself.
Whatever course I took it had to be for me so that I didn’t hold anything against my current girlfriend or slight my ex. I had to be honest with myself, which often isn’t easy but is incredibly important.
We are often motivated either by trying to please someone else or trying not to upset them. Both of these can be impediments to personal growth.
What did I want? That was the question.
And as I continued to ask myself that question, not needing an answer or relief the answer revealed itself. The process of asking myself the question, “What do I want?” was a bit like chipping away the unnecessary aspects of me to get to my essence.
I called some friends who live not far from me and asked if my ex could spend the night there. “Of course,” was the answer I expected and received.
My girlfriend viewed this as a present, my gift to her. I viewed it as a grown-up response to a difficult situation, and one alternative among many. I might not do the same thing next time.
The essence of life is that we don’t have to be consistent or live out of mindless rules.
But in this case the cure for jealousy was for me to discover what I wanted and make sure I got it. I woke up the next morning quite clear headed and happy. Then I found my girlfriend’s juicy e-mail and felt all warm inside. Trying to please other people is just so darned complicated. Pleasing myself, that is the ticket. And it provides me with a very special person, a person I love and respect to spend time with: me.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Marcee Murray King/ Editor: Travis May
Photo: sea turtle/Flickr