She touches me like I’m Superman. But I don’t want to be Superman. And yet I feel like him in her presence.
“I hit the jackpot with you, baby,” she says.
She says big things like this to me often.
“I just want you to be you!”
Bam! That’s what I want – to be me.
Before I really knew her, before I trusted that she wasn’t just a big-word person, I was reluctant to fully take in her expression.
That’s just how she talks, I thought.
Yet I also felt wisdom in her. The feminine wisdom of deep trust. In me, she had found what she wanted in a man.
Someone strong. Someone kind. Someone loving. Someone unhinged by fear. And someone vulnerable. Her words, not mine.
And so, I take a breath. I feel the truth of her words. And it’s true. I am the jackpot. And so is she. It takes jackpot to see jackpot.
We’ve only been together a few months. And so it’s big for me to introduce her into my writing so soon — with her permission, of course.
But I’ve been leaping with her since our first coffee date when I wondered if I felt much energy with her.
Any doubts were quelled on our second date at an elegant Italian restaurant, after which I pinned her against the hood of her car.
Together, in a short time, we traversed landscapes that in the past would have taken years to move through – an ex-girlfriend, a transaction with my ex-wife, the truth of my not being ready to parent kids again, and a physical incongruence that had her walk out of my life late one night.
She came back.
This chick is a badass, I thought. She does not run from hard things. She won my heart then.
And through challenges, we’ve remained open, to one another, to feeling pain, to feeling joy, to trusting our being together without attachment to outcome, merely calling in and being the loving human beings we are.
And that’s it. It’s not about gaga-eyed love, although we have that. It’s not about not being able to be apart.
It’s actually about being able to be apart. Trusting our connection. Trusting who we are as individuals in the world, to do conflict and repair, to do sweet and hard truths, to do this life, together and apart.
Before we met, I thought I knew all that I wanted from relationship. I did not know I also wanted something else. Something she taught me. Something at age fifty, after a twenty-year marriage, I had forgotten was possible in partnership.
Something akin to unconditional love. But not quite that. After all, all love has conditions. If I were to start drinking incessantly, I wouldn’t expect our love to stay strong.
It’s something else. Something vaster. Something not Hollywood.
Something more akin to a deep trust, a deep knowing, a deep resting into one another. The kind of rest you feel after a life’s work of striving to become who you seek to be, and then being fully seen for it.
When she sees parts of me that I can’t see, when she sees strength in me that I didn’t know I had, my world expands and glows. Not merely because she sees me, but because she sees what I know is already in me.
She sees me as an eternal friend would. And I take that into my world, with and away from her.
This is not the myth of “she completes me.” It is something bigger, more universal, more of the world, not just about us. Something aligned with the sweet truth of mature adult love.
We are not the sum of each other’s world. We are not everything to one another. And we know from life experience, pretending otherwise would be a cruel burden.
We seek to bring our love into the world in who we are and all that we do.
She says, “It took a lifetime to find you, baby!”
“Me too, darling!” I smile.
Our story is far from complete. And while we’ve quickly built a foundation for the long game, we’ve lived long enough to know that the moment is everything.
Originally Published on stuartmotola.com