I remember the moment I surrendered to her, to love. It hadn’t been an easy journey, but after months of resistance, of catering to the fear within me, the moment had arrived when I would just let myself fall. I had to see where this path would take us, it looked and felt that perfect to me despite all of the danger walking other paths like it had shown.
We were, and remain, two poets bound by a common heartstring. Having followed each other from a distance for years, we were suddenly becoming closer. First, we messaged through the very social media platforms we had used to discover each other. After a while, we texted each other and began sharing even more intimate bits of ourselves. The moment then arrived when we talked, where we could hear each other’s voice and inflection, and where we could share things too difficult to type.
Then, we met. And we knew. And we fell in love.
Our first date was a nervous one. I am not usually the nervous type, but this seemed different. This poet always had a special place within me, even if that place was distant and removed from the quakings of love. She spoke my language, and my internal flame would always burst in her thoughts and words as if they were explosive vapors in the air within me. I had always thought she was a most beautiful sight, and her shy smile and bright eyes would always melt me when I would see her picture. When I would read her words and see her image I would just have to sit and breathe through it, neither understanding nor seeking to understand the effect she would have on me. She did, after all, live far away and I was not about distance.
But there she was on a chilly spring day in Boulder, Colorado, sharing our first embrace, then sitting across from me eating our first meal. I mentally pinched myself several times wondering if I was in a dream. How could this be real? How could she be exactly as I had envisioned her? Even more, how can she be interested in me?
She excused herself to use the restroom. When she returned, she sat next to me and held my hand. I choked back some internal wave of emotion that had both startled me and bewildered me. It was as if she had always been there, and that she had returned from a trip to reclaim her rightful spot beside me. I began to wonder how many lifetimes we had replayed the same scene, and how many more we would have. Then that trusted voice within me said, “Focus on this life, on this moment. The past is the past whose purpose was to get you here. The future depends on what happens here. Live the moment, focus here, and see what happens.”
I let go of my meandering thoughts and focused on her. Her hand felt quite natural curled up in my own, and as her body got closer I realized that the empty space I used to write about was her space, a place created over time meant just for her. There had been visitors to this place, meaningful events in a life’s journey that had led us here, but there seemed little doubt to me that this was her space. I didn’t say a thing, I just sat with that feeling.
That night we walked, and talked, and kissed. Each moment was new yet familiar, like rediscovering a long-lost but favorite blanket as you clean out the attic of your life. We spent a couple of days in that bliss of rediscovery, me staying silent about the churnings within me.
Fear can be a bastard, and though I could feel the warm waters of love surrounding me, I could also feel the cold touch of an arctic spring rising from the bottom. I was not ready to let go of fear to embrace the truth of what I was feeling. I would have to go with this process as it flowed and hope I would not screw anything up as I did.
She left for home, back east, and I stayed playing on mountain trails and seeking the touch nature offers my soul. She and I would talk, but not a lot. A couple of months went by and she said she wanted to come back. I more than welcomed it.
We spent a couple of days together again. It was a wonderful time, and that rampant familiarity mixed with the fresh scent of newness. We share even more of each other, and it became evident to me that we were more than just poets, more than just two people walking along a similar life’s path. There are things about someone that just clicks, that just makes sense, and frankly I couldn’t find anything about her that didn’t click or make sense. We were beginning that path together with an openness I had never experienced before. I was being completely myself, enjoying a woman who offered herself to me, and it was wonderful.
On this trip, we shared “I love you”. While it felt completely right and perfect, it also unsettled me. She’d be leaving soon, and the distance felt like a knife pressing up against my chest. There is nothing about distance that works for me. This feeling came to bear heavily on the day I dropped her off at the airport. Sadness enveloped me as I watched her enter the terminal, and that sadness pushed me toward the cold waters in our pond, away from the warm waters that existed when we swam together. I suddenly was lost, unsure, and realizing I would feel this way each time we were forced to depart chilled me to my core.
I went silent as I struggled. I felt like a rope in a holy tug-of-war between love and fear. I wanted to love this woman so completely, yet feared the effects of time and space that were sure to come. I needed silence from her as I became lost between the truth love was whispering in my heart and the shouts fear was screaming at me from within my mind. I wasn’t sure in the moment which would win, but I had to wage that battle. I had ignored this part of my growth for far too long, and now the Universe was pressing me to finally figure it out.
During those few weeks, my every meditation, hike, workout, and dream was dealing with this battle. While the world still saw a stoic warrior on the outside, I was fighting a much different battle on the inside. Finally, at the end of those few weeks, I had a vision. In that vision, my guide took me to that the top of Mount Sanitas in Boulder, put his hand over my heart and pointed east. In my life, I have rarely taken the easy way nor shied away from a challenge. It became clear to me that this woman, the feelings she inspired within me, and the love we were sharing and growing upon deserved the chance to be. My guides had finally been awakened to lead me to the high ground and to show me where I was meant to send my heart.
On this battlefield, I knew fear may prove itself right, but love must be given its chance. Love would have its full due.
We reconnected, and through the growing pains of loving someone at a distance, that commitment to love has certainly had its way. We’ve navigated some twists and turns on this path, but love has been our compass. Together we’ve grown, we’ve fallen deeper into the warmth of love’s great waters, written tremendous prose and became the best of friends. The time obstacle of our relationship has narrowed, and we see each other more frequently and talk to each other more. The distance is taking care of itself, and perhaps soon we will take that long, bold step the Universe is prodding us into.
Today, I focus on the present moment, although I see it differently. Our present moment began with that first message long ago, then continued with conversations and then nights spent renewing a relationship that started before either of us was born. We recognize something in each other that is not human, but rather divine.
From time to time I revisit those many trials and tribulations that led to our reunion. Not just my own, but hers as well. I reminisce about those many dark moments that challenged me to shine, those failures that prompted me to begin again, and those stumbles that forced me to rise. I can easily see how each one of them led to that first embrace. I had to lose so many things to gain what I was truly looking for. Those lessons learned have made me wise enough to be the man she needs me to be, in a way I want to live. I feel like a marigold who has struggled so much to bloom and then has found he has opened in the perfect spot at the perfect time. I don’t live in those past moments of challenge. I just used them as a springboard to the gratitude I’ve found in my survival and my soulful education.
And the distance? To be honest I still don’t like it at all. Yet, I’ve decided to use it as a tool until that distance closes. I feel certain that I will never take her presence for granted because I’ve experienced so many moments longing for it. We both will always need our alone moments in life, but we will certainly enjoy those together moments fully versed in the experience of our prolonged absence.
She and I often use the story of the Hare and the Tortoise to describe our relationship, me being the “ready to go” hare and she being the rather cautious tortoise. I have rewritten the story, however. In the original, it was about who crossed the finish line first. In my version, it’s about crossing the finish line together. After all, when you’ve found the truest essence of love in another human being, what else truly matters? The tests, the challenges, the egoic demands all begin to pale in comparison to the reality of love you’ve found. The will to win is replaced by the desire to finish the race together – side-by-side, arm-in-arm in one sacred embrace.
Sometimes the hare will cause the tortoise to speed up, and sometimes the tortoise will cause the hare to slow down. That’s the ebb and flow we both spent our lives searching for and have, finally, found.
Perhaps the best way to describe what happens when twin flames unite is this. First, there is recognition. Then, there is combustion. Finally, there is a settling into a warm and gentle flickering. Twin flames may at first be like stars half a universe apart, but the gravity of love and destiny will finally bring them together. Just trust and do the work necessary to find the truest version of you so that your twin can not only find you but recognize you in your crossing.