I want to leave. Run to her. I am obsessed. It is the only thing I can think of. The only thing I know. It is my truth…
This is a story we all know. We reside in one space and desire pulls us to another. Yes. It is brutally human, breathtakingly real. We often look for what we don’t have along roads we never meant to tread. The things we find there shake us to the core. We are seen and known and witnessed in ways we have never been.
Of course, if she is the catalyst for you leaving, then she is the catalyst for you leaving. Nothing can rewrite that part of the story. Not your word choice. Not the way you paint it for others. Not the justifications or the rationalizations or the things you wish were true. Deep down, you know what is true.
She feels like home, like breath. Like something I have always known and always wanted but never claimed. She is like memory and holy water and the intermingling of lives not lived.
This love that feels like home. Yes. I know this. Know it well. I understand the love that is memory. Lust that is holy. Desire that overwhelms and teaches and heals.
I know, from the inside out, the power of life changing love. The force of it. The sweet inevitability. The longing to run headlong and offer yourself as sacrifice to what feels like salvation. I know how the body quakes and soul expands and spirit explodes in one blissful realization.
But I also know the other side.
I know it is difficult, this leaving of one thing to dive headfirst into another. I know that the new relationship often struggles to hold the weight of being the undoing of the first. I know that after being defined for so long as a part of a partnership that is vitally important to define yourself for yourself.
And so I would say this, love. Even though it may not be what you want to hear. Even though it might be wrong. Even though you are not me and my experience is fundamentally mine and not at all yours. Even with all of this, there are things I want to say.
Hold some space around you as you go through this. Be cautious of the urge to dive into another life. Another love. Another partnership. Take the time first to learn where your edges and center live. To learn the blessings of your solitary heart. To learn your solid ground.
You need some room to go through the grief that will come. The guilt. The ache of the teardown. And yes, you’ll need to be held and heard and carried. Your body and heart and mind and soul will need to be loved and loved hard and good and long. But there are going to be interminable lonely nights that you will walk through alone. That you must walk through alone.
And diving into that free fall, blissful though it is, is sometimes a way to avoid rooting into yourself. Instead, imagine what could happen if you decided to build a shrine to your own divinity. Become solid with the ways and hows and whys of your existence in this world. Learn how you breathe and eat and sleep and dream when you are not intermingled with another.
This does not mean deny what is. This does not mean closing yourself to love. Not this love, or any other. It does not mean following grief with grief. No, not that.
It means loving yourself first. It means romancing your own mystical soul. It means taking yourself on a date and buying the good wine. It means getting comfortable with Saturday morning solitude and mowing your own lawn. It means long walks in warm rain, and catching eyes with a stranger in a coffee shop and smiling and looking away, and then looking back – knowing you are fully free to do so. It means sharing body and heart and soul on your terms and your timeline and with gratitude and reverence.
It means trusting yourself to know what is true, even if it is exactly the opposite of what I’ve said here. My advice may be right or it may be wrong. But in the end, there is nobody who can live this life but you. It is all yours. In the leaving or the staying. In the yes and the no. In the heat and the heart and the lonely and the grief. All yours, and only yours. And you will live it exactly as you should.
You will do it with a beauty and grace and fierce wisdom that will amaze even you.
And it will be perfectly, exactly right.
Uncommon Sense is an ongoing series where I respond to comments and questions that stir my heart. They arrive by email, by text, by comment. They speak to something universal in me, and my response comes quick and sure. If you have something stirring in your heart and would like me to respond – please send me your message. I cannot respond publicly to all messages, but I do promise – with everything that I have – that I will honor it and keep it safe.