September 29, 2015

Daring Greatly in the Face of the Man I Love.

Jessica Winterstern

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An Afterword to An Ode to My Ex:

It’s amazing how many times I have taken a specific moment for granted because I was banking on the fact that there would be more of them to come.

I have lacked presence in interactions, not realizing the significance of the now, instead relying on the tomorrow as if it were guaranteed. Or I was afraid to be fully there with that person because it required an openness and vulnerability that I didn’t have access to at the time.

I have given my power to intense emotions like anger, grief, frustration, sadness, allowing them to take over me, instead of simply noticing them yet finding some sense of stillness within the chaos of my mind.

I have been lost in limiting beliefs, irrational stories and victim mentalities that had me projecting my issues onto that person, taking me out of the discomfort of facing myself.

I have been careless and ungrateful, assuming that I have endless time to make up for what could have been honored, celebrated and acknowledged in that moment.

I have been ignorant.

I have been unappreciative.

I have been terrified.

We don’t take into account how critical it is to experience the now with an open and fearless heart; we undermine how crucial it is to put the bullsh*t aside and let go of all the self-imposed limitations; we forget the importance of allowing ourselves to reside in the unknown instead of putting pressure on what is yet to come; we tend to unconsciously sabotage these precious moments that are gone in an instant.

I took for granted the time I had with a man I love because I was afraid; I was afraid of being vulnerable, of allowing him to experience all of me, and most importantly of losing him. I believed that my worth depended on his presence in my life, that my lovability was contingent upon the success of our relationship. Thus, I did everything I could to keep him, refusing to face the truth and let him go. And when I finally did, my heart shattered and it felt like it was broken beyond repair. I fully believed that this man “completed” me and by  “losing” him I was under the illusion that I was a fraction of a person.

Ultimately, this was the catalyst for one of the greatest lessons I could have ever learned and the opportunity to heal a deep pattern within me.

We cannot fully love another human being unless we fully love ourselves, and I did not love myself. It took letting go of him and breaking apart to get to a place where I could see the truth beyond the fear and feel our love for what it truly was.

I wrote The Ode, via elephant journal, to him as a way of honoring what I wasn’t able to do back then. I never expected to share this vulnerable piece of writing with the world…But I did.

I also never expected for it to be published the very weekend I happened to be in the same city as him, after over two years of no contact.

I got a second chance to expose myself completely having nothing left to rely on for safety. There was no more hiding, no more game playing, no more manipulating, no more waiting for tomorrow, no more holding back, no more playing it safe.

I had waited a long time to be face to face with this man and the time was now. I finally had the opportunity to dare greatly from a place of wholeness within myself—to meet in love, in the moment, without attachment of anything beyond the now.

The following piece of writing came through to me after I saw him. I humbly offer it as an afterthought to my Ode, an expression of my heart and invitation to you to dare greatly in face of the person you love.


I’ve waited a long time…

To be present with all that is you,

To give you permission to be exactly you,

To honor the fragility of your process, the tumultuousness of your journey thus far,

To envelop you with unequivocal love as you fall apart before me,

To see you for your magnitude as you bare the torments of your mind,

To love you through your bleeding heart, accepting you as you are.


I’ve waited a long time…

To share my tender heart with you,

To allow you access to my deepest, darkest wounds,

To give you entrance into the abyss of my sorrow,

To not pretend, not hide, not run from what is present,

To let you witness all that caused me to unravel

To permit you to see the agony that led to my undying strength.


I’ve waited a long time…

To kiss your lips,

To feel them press against mine,

To share the same breath as you,

To get lost in the ignited passion of our embrace,

To let go of all control and surrender all of my fears

To follow my intuition and trust my heart

To give in to this potent pull that’s led us here.


I’ve wait a long time…

To look at you again,

To take in your every detail this time around,

To etch all facets of your being into my memory,

Noticing each movement, each twitch, each gesture,

To forever remember the contours of your gorgeous face,

To memorize the amazing wrinkles around your blue-green eyes,

To try and count the newfound greys in your hair,

To notice the marks on your skin that I never noticed before.


I’ve waited a long time…

To show you that I am no longer a girl,

I am no longer afraid of my shadows, I am no longer afraid of my light

To let you experience the beautiful woman I’ve grown to be,

The woman you knew I was long before I ever did.

To stand strong in your presence—

A regal queen with a vulnerable heart.

To be feminine, graceful, fierce and bold.

To let you witness all of my colors, textures and shades

To be seen.


I’ve waited a long time…

To tell you I love you to your face,

And mean it more than any other time I have ever said it,

To look into your eyes and to actually see into your soul,

Reminding us both why we’re here, allowing our hearts to have their way.


I’ve waited a long time…

To live this moment fully, not taking any of it for granted

To appreciate each fraction of each second that comes to pass,

Not closing my eyes, not sleeping, not allowing a single moment to be stolen away,

To be here. Now. Nowhere else but here. Now

I’ve never been this acutely present before,

To soak up this time, wishing I could bottle it and carry it with me.


I’ve waited a long time…

To stay true to the promise I made to my heart long ago,

That it would beat strongly again in the presence of a man,

And to gift it with the moment its longed for since the day we parted.

To reconnect to your ineffable heart

To feel them beat as one.


I’ve waited a long time…

To witness my incredible strength in the face of grave impermanence,

To rise above the intense struggle that comes with detachment,

To accept the harsh reality that I cannot hold on forever,

To love myself fiercely as we say goodbye again.


I’ve waited a long time…

To have you for a moment

And to let you go in the next.




A Letter of Gratitude to the Universe.

5 Ways to Face our Feelings Responsibly. 

An Ode To My Ex. 





Author: Jessica Winterstern

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Image: Courtesy of the author

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