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Recently, I fell in love.
Madly, deeply, intoxicatingly, in love.
It wasn’t planned or expected, I didn’t realize it was happening, and I certainly didn’t feel in control—the whole experience crept up on me like a mischievous, highly amused child playing a sneaky game of tag behind my back.
It wasn’t until I found myself, with world-imploding realization, standing in a somewhat new and bewildering territory that I realized someone else, another human being, was filling my heart and mind in a way I’d never experienced before.
My soul was undoubtedly leaping and dancing—in fact, I was dancing night and day in just about every way! My long-sleeping heart was now awake—skipping beats left, right, and center, and life, the world around me, had somehow gotten covered in a most delicate, soft scattering of fairy dust. Magic unexpectedly glittered what were previously ordinary sights.
This wasn’t a straightforward journey by any means.
In the early days, I was in denial at just about every level. Despite our solid foundation of a deep soul-level connection and friendship, I found myself tenderly holding this new relationship like an exquisite, expensive piece of china—drop this and the consequences could be devastating, even shattering. In fact, I replayed that potential in my mind’s eye in agonizing slow motion, on many occasions.
And our timing was appalling—I was going through a sad, slightly predictable divorce and despite my ex being in a new relationship, the timing felt slightly “off.”
Even so, like Alice tumbling fast down the rabbit hole, falling I was, and I simply couldn’t stop it. And as deeply intoxicating as the “drink me” juice Alice is so famous for sipping, I celebrated the head-spinning moments like a nectar-drunk butterfly flitting randomly, without direction, in the basking summer sunshine.
There was so much life, so much joy—it was a head-spinning celebration of life and connection in just about every way.
With this, however, came a new and, if I’m honest, less welcome sentiment: I was scared, I mean really scared.
For when we reach such dizzy heights, we begin to acknowledge that sharing ourselves, our hearts, and our dreams with someone else so openly, without constraint, is possibly the scariest, most petrifying thing we can do. In summary, I felt vulnerable.
I liken it to standing at the top of a mountain and seeing breathtaking scenery, but with it comes a massive concern of the increased risk of a more extensive, heartbreaking fall. Standing back up after such an experience would be painful, a test, and to be blunt, bloody hard.
Coming from an opposite relationship, the wildness and unexpectedness of this new, mesmerizing union not only took me out of my comfort zone, it sometimes made me feel like I was dancing naked on the motorway with my eyes shut. Yep, it was really that bad.
So, as I sit here now, several months into the same relationship, I am not going to lie: the array of emotions haven’t considerably changed—although they’ve become more prevalent, deeper run, which I would never have dreamed possible. What has gradually shifted is my true appreciation of this connection and the incredible journey of self-learning throughout.
For I have learned that to love fully, as deeply and as unconditionally as this, we have to be okay with stepping into the vulnerable, we have to take the leap, we have to trust our partner wholeheartedly and on more profound scale, we have to know that the universe is there to protect us, to basically cover our back.
Acknowledge the fear and know that whatever the outcome, the duration of relationship, we will be okay.
Because mutual love is always magical, in whatever form, whatever capacity, and for whatever duration. And we have faith—and I mean real faith—in our journey.
I’ve learned if we hold back and choose safety, we sabotage and deny ourselves the opportunity to be honest, to be raw and real. We also deny ourselves the opportunity to be loved fully, for all that we are, flaws and fears included.
The profoundness of this experience has touched me in a way that I know I will never love in the same way gain.
Partial love or love based on only one aspect of ourselves—that which we choose to show our partner (knowingly or otherwise)—is sadly a dishonest love and, in my experience, will always shortchange the people concerned. Every one of us deserves more. Every one of us deserves to know full and unconditional love.
So when I reflect again on the nectar-drunk butterfly flitting about, directionless, in the basking summer sunshine, I conclude that to choose love over fear is the way to experience connection in the richest, most rewarding way possible.
And if it means, like the butterfly, like its short-term flight in the summer sun, that this love is fleeting, I still remain truly grateful and so positively changed for the experience.