Dear former lovers, I am traveling back in time and invite you to join me if you wish.
This letter is being written by the 56 year old seasoned woman that I am now, to the 20, 30, 40 or 50-somethings you were when we were intimate.
Our bodies have aged, our worlds have expanded, we have accumulated life lessons and ideally, wisdom over the years. Other lovers have moved through us and walked with us. We may not have crossed paths in decades and may never meet again in this lifetime. Would we know each other if we did? Perhaps, since souls don’t age.
I remember someone asking me once if I could “love whoever God sends.” The woman who had just re-entered the dating world a few years after being widowed and experienced her first Tantra workshop, smiled beatifically and answered “Yes, but I just want to offer a little direction about what that person would be like.” Little did I know that one simple question could send me on the trajectory that led me to this moment.
My heart is pounding as I type these words since I have both regrets and rejoicing to do. First of all, I want to thank you for entering my life when you did. Still not sure if every encounter is pre-determined or random. Perhaps we signed a soul contract to meet, for a variety of purposes.
My take is that there are no accidents and we can learn from everyone who enters our hearts.
I can visualize each of the first hellos; at parties, school, work, workshops, presentations, introduced by well meaning yenta-friends and via the marvels of modern technology. Either way, I sensed something cosmic was about to happen. Brain chemical concocted heart pitter patters, or immediate anam cara (soul friend) connection. I can even recall the final farewells in some cases. Bittersweet, since I know it is literally impossible to enter into a relationship without leaving heart-prints.
When people breathe together, they take a piece of each other when they go. When people merge body parts, they also blend souls. When people take leave, they can’t help but be changed. I can honestly say that by being with each of you, I have evolved into the best version of me, even though I may not always have been at my best or shined my brightest during our time together.
My desire, if not voiced, was to bring out the shadow side of each other and then consign it to the light and to bring out the highest in each other and celebrate it to the fullest.
For the first, I ask forgiveness, if I was not able to face our shadows together and for the second, I am grateful, since I wanted to bring the best of who I am to every relationship and welcomed you to do the same. I was not always conscious and aware of my choices and actions and sometimes sleepwalked through our time together. I now know that nothing is certain and that everyone with whom we engage will one day die or leave us, or we will die or leave them. I have been on both ends of that equation—neither feels particularly good, but it is one of the most potent truths I have come to accept.
All I know is that we danced together for perhaps a mere few steps and then we changed partners and moved on. With some of you, the dance lasted years. Often we moved together with ease and finesse. On occasion, we stomped on each other’s toes. I can still hear the music playing and smile wistfully. I live to regret none of the steps and twirls we took, even as I wish for greater grace on the dance floor.
Many times I took care of you when I wanted to be taken care of, but feared hearing that you were unwilling or unable, so I never even gave you the chance. I attempted to solidify my place in your lives by doing for you, rather than being with you. I desired to be seen as the woman of magic and mysticism, the whimsical faerie, the safe haven, the mama Goddess, the divine seductress who could sweep away your pain and sadness and enliven you into love. And when some of you willingly offered to give, I sometimes held you at arm’s length and was unable to receive. For casting aside that precious gift you offered, I am sorry, since I know what it feels like to extend such and have it return unopened.
How might you have wanted things to be different? Were you unable to give voice to your needs as I was? I wish I was able to love with abandon, without fear of being abandoned.
I enjoyed seeing the world through your eyes; moved beyond words, at times, at least initially with all of you, or we wouldn’t have gotten to know each other beyond the initial attraction. With others, I was captured by your demons and my own. I felt pulled down into emotional quicksand. Surrender seemed like survival, since struggle would surely have had me drowning in the gritty grains. By initiating leaving those situations, I may have saved my life and certainly my sanity. Some of you have attempted contact since then and I have avoided it when possible, since to do so would have felt like sipping from a toxic well. Blessedly, there only a few situations like that. I wish you healing.
I have maintained cherished friendships with the rest, seeing you as treasured kindred spirits.
Since I have a vivid imagination, I can still call to memory what it was like to be in your presence and your arms. I remember certain conversations, insights, mental meanderings and musings and spiritual delving that we did. In some cases, we rode the cosmic rocket ships to other realms—those were among my favorite communings.
Since our bodies are repositories for our experiences too, I can call to mind full sensory times with each of you. Hearing and saying words of adoration, eye gazing, tasting the delicateness of flesh and being sampled, stroking skin and breathing in the aroma unique to each of you, are cherished memories. Residual tingles in some cases. Erotic echoes. Passion played out. Delicious desires answered.
I much prefer being captivated to being captured; beckoned into wonder. It has been awhile since that has happened. Trepidation had overtaken me. Ms. Independent who has created a new life for herself feels protective of that achievement and refuses to give it up just so she can be in relationship. Can I have both? Am I destined to be a solo act? A party of one? I desire a passionate and mutually satisfying partnership.
If I could sit with each of you individually, what would I learn about your lives and loves since our last encounter? Have you found joy and satisfaction? Have you felt loved beyond all imagining? I wish that for you.
What would you ask or tell me? Do you wonder how things might have been different? Do you harbor “I wish I had said or done …..” regrets? I do at times, but realize the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” futility of it. Thus, this letter. My amends to you and to myself for letting fear overcome love. My declaration that I am finally ready to move on and leaving behind residual resentments and judgments that what I wanted with you and what we experienced did not always measure up to my vision. Releasing the heavy baggage that I had been toting around behind me for years in some cases. In doing so, I set you free too.
My desire always, was to “leave the campground better than I found it.” I hope I succeeded. I would like to think that we have enriched each other’s lives. Since I know that love is never wasted, I imagine we have.
Being with you, cracked my heart wide open and left room for even more love to enter.
Wishing you infinite love,
Author: Edie Weinstein
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Tim Sackton/Flickr