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Most who know me remember that time I thru hiked the Appalachian Trail. It was a big thing. One that's hard to forget. One of those things that changes you as a person and changes the way you view the world.
A while before I set out on my journey northward, I set a new goal for myself. I wanted to make a change in my life that was pretty major and really important. I wanted to be better at loving. I had failed throughout my entire life up until that point at having even a remotely serious relationship. I had made up plenty of excuses why things couldn't progress. "He wasn't my type." "It wasn't meant to be." "I needed to focus on other things." All of it, of course, was just a bullshit excuse for the fact that I was an Ice Queen with stone walls around her heart. Poor fellas never stood a chance at scaling them.
But I saw this unfortunate trend in my life and was saddened by it. Who wants to living the the safety of a stone fortress if you're all alone? Thankfully, one last relationship made it into the story of my life before I set out on the Appalachian Trail. This man taught me what love was. It wasn't getting gussied up for cheesy dates. It wasn't saying or doing the right thing at the right time. It wasn't gifts or words or actions. It was a connection and a decision.
We had an intense connection that brought us close over time and resulted in feeling love for one another. But I love brussel sprouts and Modest Mouse and driving into the sunset. What made this actual love was that we simply decided to love each other; to open up, be vulnerable and love each other. I can't help but love the taste of brussel sprouts (weird favorite food, I know) and the music of Modest Mouse because that is my personal taste but to really love another human, it requires making a vulnerable decision to act on your honest feelings.
But as humans, that is so hard to do, particularly for an Ice Queen with a fortress around her heart. I was scared; of getting hurt, of it not working out, of losing somehow. It's rational, but it was a proven failed way to live and love. So for the first time, I trumped the fears and dove in head first. Not because I can just overcome my fears as if they were nothing, but because this guy had taught me how easy and forgiving and understanding love was. It wasn't going to hurt me. Love is one thing worth the struggle, worth the risk, worth the effort. Done right, love would only ever bless my soul.
We embarked on a love done right. A simple, true, understanding love free from fear and jealousy and negativity. Better known as a relationship with good communication. It wasn't always perfect and it was doomed from the beginning; he traveled for work and I was set to be living in the woods for half a year. But that almost made it easier. We held as tightly as possible for as long as we could and then one day we had to release each other out into the world to live the rest of our lives. It was hard and it hurt but it was beautiful and it was right. When you love something you are willing to let it go. Same for a person. If life so calls, I hope to never hold back a lover because I am unable to join them.
Before taking a step on to the trail, I set a goal for myself, a goal I will always be striving towards. I wanted to love as well as I could. I don't want to be afraid of falling in love. I went on from that perfect love to thru hike the AT and I failed to an extent to love properly during that part of my life. A piece of the perfect love puzzle was missing and I was never able to live up to my potential as a lover the way I wanted to, the way another lover deserves. Sometimes I do better than others in having an open heart but I have made great strides since my days of storing my heart is a fortress. Still, I am working on being better.
In my life right now, I have so many paths ahead of me in the future. I need help discerning where I should go so I have been working to open my heart chakra in order to better feel out my direction in life. Tonight, in my meditation specifically working towards a more open heart, this phrase came to me. It is a mission statement of sorts and it is the exact sentiment I charged myself with working on as I set out for the AT. It is still in my heart and mind and came back to me tonight and I am glad it did. All of that being said, this is all this post is meant to be about.
"My goal is to love deeply, quickly, simply and purely
with an acceptance of the temporal nature of life."