Truly loving ourselves and others requires that we evolve. And stories of evolution can inspire us to love better, and evolve faster.
I found the Diane Sawyer interview with Bruce Jenner very powerful and heartfelt. I hope he is embraced by society with open arms. It still always amazes me how much people go out of their way to condemn people or things they don’t understand. If we were all the same life would be pretty boring. I think there is space for every color, creed, viewpoint and religion on this planet. Love is love, and I applaud Bruce for his bravery.
When we are witness to another’s story of love and life we tend to reflect on our own. That’s one reason I love telling the “Evolution of Love” stories, they inspire me, and I hope they inspire others. I’ve come to realize that sharing our evolution, even (or perhaps especially) when it has taken us through some ugly times, is part of making sense of our life, and part of finding beauty in the roughest of experiences. When we see someone else’s true worth revealed, much like seeing a raw stone shaped and polished, we begin to see how the parts of our own lives we’ve previously been ashamed to show can be part of revealing our own worth to the world. Listening to Bruce’s forthright discussion of his journey has given me the courage to talk a bit more about my own journey through life and love.
As a custom engagement ring and wedding band designer I’m often asked, “How and why are you still single?” I used to be extremely annoyed by that question, but I realize now that the question bothered me so because I didn’t really have a good answer to provide. As I’ve been going through my own personal adventure of self-discovery, it’s apparent that I haven’t been able to move forward in my personal life because I was still holding onto the past. The ghosts of my past have been visiting me lately and I feel like it’s the Universe’s way of giving me permission to start cutting the ties.
I’ve had five major heartbreaks in my life. The biggest I’ve already divulged in my article “Thank You to the Man Who Broke My Heart.” That gentleman, Todd, and I spoke recently as I owe him a financial amends. He very graciously helped me get on my feet after we broke up and I moved out and it feels good to start paying that back. Our conversation proved to be a very moving and tearful catch-up, for both of us. He is married now with two children and seems happy. That is all I could ever wish for a man who has had such a huge impact on my life.
Another ex-boyfriend of mine, Brandon, called me recently to help him build a pendant for his wife in celebration of their fourth child. I was overjoyed to hear from him and it was very special that he reached out to have me create something for her. But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t evoke a lot of tears. He was really good to me back in a time when I wasn’t good to anyone, especially myself. It’s taken me a bit of time to collect myself, but I’m now designing the piece with gusto. This man deserves happiness, and I’m so grateful he found someone just as special as he is. It makes my heart glow that he trusts me to build this for him. It feels like a chance to create some beautiful closure.
My first true love, Charlie, is married and lives in California with his wife and baby. We tried being Facebook friends for a hot second, but I think it was just too painful for both of us. Our love ran deep and fell apart over too many miles and different directions in wish we decided to pull our lives. He’ll always be a part of my heart and I wonder if he ever thinks of our time together.
Tyler and I are still best friends and will probably be best friends until the day we die. We are an awful, knock-out, horrible fight type of couple, but make awesome friends. I think it hurts both of our hearts that it never worked out, even though we‘ve tried about four times, but we are finally moving into a place of acceptance and understanding. We are learning to say goodbye to the idea of “us” and embrace the idea of each other’s happiness, separately. It’s been a rough place to hold onto the idea of something that you know will never happen. Our philosophies on romance, finances, child rearing, affection, and communication couldn’t be more opposite if we tried. But we are both built from the same moral code and could crack each other up all day long. I truly love this man and I will always be there for him. It’s just time to say goodbye to any hopes of a rekindling (we’re driving each other crazy). Perhaps putting it in black and white will help us both move forward.
And lastly there is Edward. Ah, Edward. Where do I even begin? I’ve known this man for 10 years now. We have been through a lot together. We’ve divulged secrets of our rocky childhoods that probably no other soul on the planet knows. We’ve gone on day long bike rides and not said a word to one another. We’ve gone on spontaneous adventures to far off places. We’ve cried, we’ve laughed and we’ve cuddled together. We know immediately when the other person is in the room. We’ve even used the “L” word which is a fairly big deal for two people who were crushed emotionally as kids. We’ve scarily talked about our own family one day. But much of our relationship has been fueled by alcohol. So much so, that those whispers of love were usually uttered when one or both of us were in a state other than reality.
Edward is another reason that my evolution is at the forefront of my mind lately. He contacted me last week. It’s usually every six months or so. You see, I put down the booze for good about three and a half years ago. I decided I’ve learned the lessons of history and don’t want to repeat them. I don’t want to be a drunk, neglectful parent. I want to be an incredible mother and perhaps a wife someday to the right man. Most importantly, I wanted to put down self-hate and learn how to unconditionally love myself when no one else would. It’s been the most powerful decision I’ve ever made in my life.
Edward is still out there. My heart breaks for him. He knows what he has to do. He says he’s “too weak” and that he’s proud of me. He tells me to keep making jewelry. Last week he reached out asking for help. It always makes me cry, and I always keep him in my prayers. This disease is a beast. I’ll always be there for him when he’s ready to get sober. He’s traveling this weekend and promises to call when he’s back in town. I’m at the breaking point. How long do you hold onto someone who cannot love their own self? I deserve to be happy. He deserves to be happy. Perhaps our evolution will just never collide. We’ve never been good at timing.
Who knows what the future holds, but I know this year of my life has been trans-formative. I’m comfortable in my own skin. I own my mistakes and give myself space to be human. I don’t mind if people judge me or look down on me for who I am. I’m still going to be me anyway. And perhaps the evolution is starting to move a little bit faster now. I feel the energy of my business’ success whirling around me.
I’m ready to build a family. I already have a good start. I surround myself with a gang of women that I would jump in front of a bus for and know they would do the same. I have shared custody of my dear friend’s furry baby Bailey who loves to chew up things in my studio and makes baby snores when he sleeps on my couch. I hope to get him a brother or sister this spring. But I also know I’m ready for the real deal. I’m ready for love. I’m not scared of it anymore.
I owe a big vote of thanks to the men who have seen me when I was scared, to the men who have gone on in their life to show me what the evolution of love looks like when it gets past the fear. I owe a big vote of thanks to Edward too, for supporting my new life and business even when he doesn’t love himself. And I owe a big vote of thanks to Bruce, although he will never know it, his brave transparency inspired me to be even less afraid of my own evolution.
And the funny part is about the whole thing is that I’ve stopped looking for Mr. Right. I decided to get right with myself and put my heart back out into the universe. I’m excited to see what happens next. The evolution of love is always a fascinating and dynamic thing. Once you think you’ve figured it all out the universe just smiles and flips everything upside down again. Nowadays I’m enjoying the ride.
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