My little sister recently was trolling the aisles at the Walmart Market when she was approached by a ruggedly attractive vagabond hipster cradling a frozen chicken in his right hand. He leaned over to her left, and in a low, confident whisper said, “just wanted to let you know…you’re looking really good“. She smiled and graciously thanked him. He then took his frozen chicken and sauntered away. This man made her rethink her decision to get married in a few weeks.
Wow, people, you turn fast. However, she did promptly go home to tell her fiancé about her rendezvous to remind him that there are still men out there (at least at Walmart) that could steal her away at any moment.
So as she gets closer to the big day, it has made me ponder the concept of conscious coupling (thank you, Gwyneth Paltrow). It reminds me of a Choose Your Own Adventure story. Remember those? The ones where you get to pick the path of the story. It’s exciting, but at the same time nerve-wracking because what if you pick wrong?
I have never been one to believe in a one-to-one soulmate distribution mainly because I feel as humans we have the capacity to love many people. I think it’s more a one to many soulmate situation. I also don’t buy into the idea that it’s as easy to spot like it is in the movies with grandiose fireworks shooting off in the background when you first look into the eyes of your one true love. Might as well cue the crescendo of violins. I guess for some, maybe that is how it happens. I think it’s more like the song from the Pink Panther is playing in the background. Love is dressed from head to toe in black, sneaking right up behind you until…
It knocks you on your ass and scares the bejeezus out of you. All the checklists you’ve made of your perfect person get thrown out the window. A scene in You’ve Got Mail describes it well…”I could never be with a man who likes boats”. “I could never be with a woman who listens to Joni Mitchell”. Guess what, when love creeps up on you, the two of you are now living on that boat with Joni Mitchell blasting in the background. Reason gets thrown out the window. Your heart has become a possessed magnet and no matter what you do, you can’t break free.
I recently spent time with an adorable newlywed couple. I have met this gentleman multiple times throughout my life and he was always very stoic, never really saying much. Listening to how they spent hours on the phone, talking about nothing really, butterflies flapping around in their stomachs, I truly believe he has found a soulmate in his new wife. He was laughing and smiling and part of the conversation. He looked like he’d been lifted up as if all the weight of the past finally got knocked away. That is what true love does to you. It’s scary because until you find it you really don’t know if you have it or not. And unlike the Choose Your Own Adventure stories, this is life. As the Indigo Girls sang in Love’s Recovery, “Nobody gets a lifetime rehearsal.”
If only the Magic 8 ball really worked.
“Magic 8 Ball should I marry this person?”
“Outlook good.” or
“My sources say no.”
Instead, you have to decide, you have to leap. And for those that have loved and lost, it’s a constant question of whether or not it’s worth that leap. Seeing that so many people keep trying, I’m guessing people think it’s worth it. (Oh, silly humans.)
Eventually the giggling, manic euphoria of beginning love transforms into a safe haven of complete openness. We will do things for each other that we could have never imagined back in the days when we were holding hands and humming love songs (stories for another time). You are able to live as individuals with space in between because you know that magnet is still holding you together. Although every day, through the ups and downs, you must choose each other over and over again. Some days are easier than others. Some days it may feel more like shackles than a magnet. All you can do is choose your adventure. Jump right into your story and ride it out to see where it takes you.
But know this.
- Love doesn’t make sense.
- Your heart doesn’t listen to your brain.
- Love makes you feel like no matter how bad the world gets, you will survive.
- Love hurts like hell and can break you down into pieces.
- You don’t get do-overs, but you do get new starts.
- The person you are has been shaped by each broken heart along the way and makes you that much more appreciative for the person standing alongside you, choosing you over and over again.
Every part, good and bad, is worth it in the end. So stop worrying if you are making the right decision, and as Nike said, “Just Do It”.