When I’m asked if I’ve ever been in love, my immediate reaction is to say yes. I say that I have been in love four times: I’ve been in four serious relationships, so it would follow that I was in love with each of these four people during at least a part of the span of time in which they occupied a role in my life. Ugh, rules. {When I set out to write about this, I wanted to focus on the notion of falling in love with the idea of a person as opposed to who that person truly is when the facade breaks down, when the exterior is stripped away, when you see through to a person’s core. At some point in between the moment I experienced the initial spark of inspiration and its residual molding of a vision and the time that I sat down to type this, I came to a new understanding: I don’t know how common it is, for someone to truly know another’s being, or true essence, or soul… or how many strive to know this in another… but my own experience with it has been that I’ve only seen pieces of each of the people I’ve been in relationships with. I’ve seen what I wanted to see, and I fell in love with the image of the being who those pieces helped to construct. This realization isn’t at all connected to whatever feelings I used to so fully experience, though, because even if I was in love with the idea of each of these people rather than who they were behind a veil, my understanding of who they were upheld my perception of the truth; whether or not I was in love with an idea or the ‘actuality’ of a person is of little consequence: Our perception creates our reality. That being said, I’m taking a direction different from what I originally set out for. That’s pretty typical for me, though, and seeing it manifested through this post is serving as an awesome, humbling reminder of what a waste of time it is to make a plan. Unless, of course, I wish to make one specifically so that I will find a different path… because this is how typical it is for me to take a route different than one that I plan (and is why I don’t make plans.) Sort of a practice in the realm of reverse psychology.} It’s quite the trip, when I think back on each of these relationships and the partners with whom I shared them; my idea of love, the meaning I associate to the word ‘love’, my dream of love… it’s so much more colorful now, its complexion clearer, its shades more brilliant.

These four very different relationships – each of them sequential in nature and purpose, occurring just when I most needed the lessons they would bestow upon me – helped to shape the dream of love I have today: what being in love feels like, looks like, how it presents itself, how it feels when it passes through my lips: its sound and taste and ability to fill me. My dream’s canvas shows me what love might feel like when I move with it, dance with it, the pace at which I allow myself to melt into it. Each of my past partners fulfilled the dream of love that I held during the period that they were in my life. After each of these relationships ended, my perspective on love would shift slightly, evolving ever so beautifully. I now see the humble change that was pulsing forward just below the surface of my awareness: my innate yet subconscious practice of eliminating from my growing dream whatever traits in that partner that didn’t serve me; the ones that didn’t contribute to my most positive evolution, my feelings of uninhibited happiness and a growing inner peace… those didn’t come with me along my journey. And thus, they didn’t come with me into my next relationship (easier said than done, sometimes, I know. The universe has been good to me, though, bringing the people into my life who will make a resonating impact at the times when I am most able to make decisions which allow that impact to eventually and so fully manifest in my understanding… and I am so, so grateful.) Today, my dream of love is much more complex than it’s ever been but when I envision it in HD [thanks, 2012], its vibrancy and fullness is apparent and its colors pulsate like they’re alive… because they are.

A part of me resists relationships today. The fear I experience is based on the knowledge that I’m still evolving… and with my evolution grows the effervescence of the dream. My fear lies within the ego-based notions that I’ll either begin the long-winded and intimate, complex journey into another being and not like what I might eventually discover there, or that I won’t find someone who meets me today and whose own path will move along in the same direction and at the same pace as my own. I suppose that knowing just which direction I am headed and at what pace is for the future to decide [and the shape and scope of all of our paths are very much cultivated and advanced by those with whom we share space.] I try to remember that to be concerned with the business of the future takes away from living in the moment of now. I look to my dream of love for help in silencing my chattering mind and its senseless worries: my dream has no room for fear… its colors are too busy dancing to the beat of the moving earth, swirling and pooling with their sisters and brothers in an embrace that shames rainbows (and rainbows are not easily shamed), laughing with the force of the sun, breathing in and out with the tides, living within the ebb and flow of the cycle of the moon. This is the choice that my dream makes… in its aliveness, this is the picture it paints. These colors exemplify the beauty of their experience and are so rich because they, like me, have been to the other places that have led me to today. Their hues glitter with all of its possibility.