Breaking open with spring and abandoning the rumination that comes with the ending of a particularly catastrophic love feels a lot like the pre-season before a second chance. As either a fool ready to fall again or a true optimist at heart, here are the lessons I’m compelled to share:
1. The greatest heartbreak is not caused by another, but by ourselves letting go of “the dream.” It is a choice to circle out of the constellation of emotions shaping what once was our world with the other person. Muster the strength to do the following even when old habits become tempting: look towards another part of your life, prep for the next event (however small it may be), and expect to discover something new every day. Start seeing uncertainty as a blessing. Talk to others while you do this. You’ll be surprised at synchronicity.
2. I’ve learned that when we think we’ve found “the one,” we doubt it. We doubt them, we doubt ourselves, we unconsciously doubt all of the plans we have not yet made with the other person for actually going through because if this were to happen then a greater fear would have to be addressed: losing “the one”.
3. When you find someone very special, you will know because you will feel the connection, rather than think about it. It becomes intuitive and irrational and everything science is now giving second thoughts to. You will care more for their welfare than your own. Even for the most agnostic individual this will feel like a profoundly spiritual connection. Some might attempt to escape this aspect by trying to describe it, which brings me to my next point:
4. Don’t cheapen a great love by poor description. Be able to articulate to them what they mean to you in a way that transforms you both.
5. I’ve learned that when you find something really, really profound, you might not talk about it at first. Listen to this silence.
6. For some, one of the hardest things is being able to say “I love you”… first. As I envision “The Rules” burning in the background while I write this, a true love will not be entangled in the game of “who says it first”. You will be on the same page. Pay attention to this. The moment you’re not on the same page, pay closer attention to this.
7. Remember the more you try to chase something, the faster it runs away. Let it and watch where it reappears in your life. Nature is self-organizing.
8. I’ve learned that when you find yourself running, you’re not ready for “it” yet. Forgive yourself, but when you realize what you might of missed, don’t let yourself run back. The truth is, we can never go back. We only move forward. If it is meant to, it will cross your path again, whether it be in a different shape or at an unexpected time, remember that life moves in circles. We move in circles. Remind yourself of this. Keep the path clear and keep on moving, which gets me to my next point:
9. Whatever you do, don’t stop moving. Even in severely cold temperatures we have the best chance of surviving when we keep moving. Movement fights freezing. Now apply this concept to your heart. Gravitate towards friends and places that reconnect you with your core. They will help you remember. They will also help you forget. They will let your love run its course until something profound enough reaches in to slow you down again.
10. When you find this next great love, greet them with an open heart and no expectations. What does this mean exactly? Don’t focus on where it’s going or how things might work out. Focus on the feeling. The moment they make you question where the relationship is headed, remember that the right person will blend so well with you that despite any outward differences or personality quirks, moving forward with them will feel natural. Easy does not mean you won’t have your differences. Easy means that even when you have your differences you are still moving forward. When you’re with a true love, the day feels like it whittles down to a sunset at an abnormal speed. With the right person we move towards something greater than anything we could have ever reached alone. Moving, in sum, is our saving grace.