Though you need neither my permission nor my prompting, I feel obliged to offer you my witness. I have noticed you struggling to find your way, bruising and scratching among the brush as you try your hand in this game of love. Come, sit close and allow me to remind you of what you already know.
You have only two tasks in this search for love: First and foremost, love yourself. Fall madly, wildly in love with your own vastness. Savor your quirks. Listen to the music of your multitudes. You are radiant beyond your knowing.
Secondly, do not be afraid to dream in vibrant color! To be bold and brave and sing your deepest desire standing tiptoed among the trees, to give name and texture and color to the littlest things you long for, to pay attention to the minutiae, the moments that set you buzzing. This is where the magic lives.
You’re on the right track, my love. Take the time and the courage to name what it is you truly desire. Surely it will come looking for you once it has heard its name called.
Thank you for the reminder. Your letter reminds me of something I heard once, that so many of our waking hours are spent pressing forward, extending out, losing grounding for the sake of gaining ground. How much better our time would be spent easing back into our own skin, where our quiet wisdom tends to live.
Your words have inspired me to do a writing exercise. I’d like to share it with you below.
What My Heart is Singing For:
I want a partner that brings out my highest being, someone I move through life with, in all its kaleidoscopic beauty and hardship, its highs and lows, at whose side I can laugh and love and grieve and give and create and eat and play and pray. I want to feel enveloped by and confiding in the presence of Something Greater, a love between us and beyond us that gives us hope, faith, and courage to be instruments of joy and laughter, healing and radiance, loving our world individually and together.
I want a partner in every sense of the word—a best friend, a confidant, a lover, a playmate, a fellow mischief-maker, an anam cara, a co-creator, a pal. I want a partner who both inspires me, fills and fuels my spirit with laughter and joy and exuberance, and someone to hold me accountable; someone who sees and reflects back to me both my glowing radiance and my imperfections; someone who is able and willing to see and hold me at my brilliant best and petty, paranoid worst; someone who can patiently and playfully, truthfully and tenderly, love me through all these shades of my being.
In other words, I want someone with whom I can be vulnerable and authentic and who is willing to open themselves up and to be with me fully. I want the foundation of our shared relation to be trust and mutual blessing. I want to feel the spaciousness and sigh of relief that comes with making space for our imperfections like old friends, knowing that at the core of this human journey we are always simultaneously perfect and flawed, wounded and wonderful, wriggling upstream towards the light.
I want someone who has my back through thick and thin, who is consistent and faithful not only to me but to themselves. Someone who is in love with life, whose first thought upon waking is an emphatic yes, who is plagued with the same itching need to create and make worlds through splotches of their imagination. I want a monogamous, committed partnership, someone I would drive through a snowstorm in the dead of winter to see, someone who would fly across the world to surprise me. Someone who guards and protects my solitude, like Rilke says, who honors my need for space and who treasures their time tending the soil of their own soul. I want to feel that tender, effervescent, tear-rendering gratitude that fills me with a sense of stewardship toward this person, to guard, tend, and care for our love as a prized, most precious gift. I want to feel the wordless warmth of heart that radiates and pours from each of us into the other like a waterwheel, a refreshing stream of playfulness, forgiveness, acceptance, and care.
At the end of each day, I want to rest our heads on the pillow feeling the job well done, the right kind of pride that comes from tending to our own hearts and the hearts of each other with the care of a gardener, the patience of a teacher, the love of a friend.
I feel lifted by the clarity this exercise has opened in me. We will see what the universe has in store.
Until then, what do you say we go play?
Author: Cait Scudder
Apprentice Editor: Taija Jackson/Editor: Travis May
Photo: Author’s own