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“You know you really love someone when you don’t hate them for breaking your heart.” ~ Unknown
There is no real way of saying in the early stages if a relationship will work out.
There is no way of saying if both people will be willing, and capable, of working through the fires and bumps and choices that will arise.
There is no way of saying if both people are ready to take this shared journey.
I knew this when we met, but I decided to ignore it. I decided that it was you.
I remember meeting you when I had decided to change my life, fully. We met at a restaurant one Tuesday evening. You turned your head and body toward me, twice, before coming closer to chat. I can share now that I was waiting for a sign, a sign from life that I had made the right decision by going that far away—to Southeast Asia, where I didn’t know anybody—to find my meaning and purpose.
I remember thinking, feeling, even that early, that you were the sign that I had been waiting for.
A few years later, I got a divorce—for us, for you, for the hope and the inspiration that you gave—but you were gone and we never worked out.
We never ended up being together.
Here are my lessons from falling in love with someone who couldn’t love me back:
1. Follow your heart and take the leap, or your heart will yell at you until you do.
When we met, I was engaged and my whole life was on the other side of the world, so at first I resisted you. A new chapter of my life was starting and I could feel it, but I couldn’t acknowledge it and allow you in.
You insisted. I told you I needed time to think. You kept being there. You were an energy, a calling. I was drawn to your spirit, to your soul, to your words. The first night that we made love, I felt guilty—but this was only a side note, because what I had been looking for was you. With a capital Y.
Nobody had ever clicked with me that way. I thought you would be my all: my hero, my husband, my best friend, my soul lover.
During this trip to Cambodia, I would travel often outside of the city. I would think of you daily. What a life could be like with you. Why you felt so similar to me, yet distant and ethereal. Almost unreal.
In fact, you were too good to be true.
The power of our possible union made it almost unrealistic.
But I couldn’t be fully there with you yet either. I had to let go of the rest of my life. I travelled back to France. You texted while the taxi was driving back home. I thought I had to make a decision. The more I was avoiding feeling you, the more you were there—in my body, in my heart, like pink honey in my thoughts.
In time, the desire that I had to be with you won over everything else. I quit the rest of my life to be with you.
This is when you said no.
But the leap was worth it. Otherwise, I would have spent a lifetime regretting you.
2. Some come to awaken us, not to stay.
In truth, if I had to follow your calling and make these moves, it’s because it wasn’t only about us and serving the potential development of our relationship. It’s because my own soul’s journey was calling me forward, to fully change my life, and you were the guiding light, a clue on the way, or a confirmation from spirit that I would be supported if I followed my own new path.
You helped me do this because the hope that I had for us often became the underlying reason why I was making choices to improve my life.
You told me that we needed to hurry up to be together because we were starting to age. I took those words as a promise. They weren’t.
You were an awakener. Not a lover, not even a friend.
One day, I arrived where I was supposed to be. I was free from the corporate life. I was free from outdated relationships and from my marriage. I had reinvented my life. I was writing. I was being read. I was fully on the spiritual path.
At that exact moment, when all was set and some new solidity was found—you were gone.
You stayed as long as I needed you. For this, I thank you.
3. Letting go of a deep connection is both the hardest and most powerful thing in the world.
Maybe this is the biggest thing you taught me.
You taught me how to let go: how to disengage from what’s unhealthy, to break free from silence, from what’s left with no responses, from imbalanced bonds.
You taught me, through the medicine that only true, long-lasting, dramatic pain can give, that I deserved more. That your lack of presence, of commitment, and of clarity were not acceptable for me, even if they were for you.
You taught me to never abandon myself and my own self-worth for a man. You taught me that love couldn’t be, and didn’t have to be, self-betrayal.
I deserved way more. I deserved someone who was fully in, someone who would choose me.
You taught me that what mattered most was to love myself, to choose myself—even over you.
And so to come back from this—from you—I had to find on my own all the joy I felt when we were together, plus the joy from what we could have been. I had to love myself fully to compensate for your loss. I had to find the sun within myself to replace you, and replace us.
You taught me this unique type of soft strength: a full, all-encompassing self-acceptance and self-love. You taught me that by being close to myself, intimate with myself, and my own best friend, I could overcome anything—even losing you.
For this, for showing me that the light had actually always been within myself: