This morning I had a memory of the first time I was stung with uncensored and unconditional love. I’m sure I had hundreds, or perhaps thousands of moments, but that evening seemed to stand out loudly.
My husband and I had been dating for a few months. I spent the night at his place. We had made love and only a candle lit the room. He had fallen sleep on his stomach. I turned over and saw him. The light from the candle enhanced his back muscles. I gasped. He was beautiful. I looked at his bare back in pure delight. Tears formed and I allowed for their release. He was sound asleep. I became very aware that he was mine, for however long that would be, and he was lovely. Not just because of his body but his sense of humor. I was falling in love. I was falling into a known territory that felt remarkably unfamiliar to all others.
I traced my fingers on his back softly following the shadows. He woke and turned over to his side while I kept rubbing him with my nails. At some point I fell into a slumber wrapped by his arms. The next morning as I drove the hour and twenty minutes home, I kept thinking of that moment that allowed me to fall so profoundly that every cell in my body felt the expansion of love. I literally felt a huge break in my chest.
Then I started to freak out. I felt I was losing myself. How could I? I’ve done this dance many times before. I had given all of me for years and not been reciprocated but what amazing lessons I had learned. I regret not a one!
As I watched the stretch of mountains ahead my heart felt a tingle and a pull. I was safe to fall. I was safe to rise towards the delight of being me…my authentic self without censoring from a man. The sun was rising over the landscape and I knew I had permission from the heavens to just feel the love that was to grow. I remember this many years later. I remembered it this morning as I watched him sleep in his stomach bundled under warm blankets.
Driving over the mountains that morning I recalled twenty years before when I was dating a lovely man. After we made love I fell asleep in his arms. Sometime after that I woke to him watching me sleep and the blinds wide open. He said, “The moon looks beautiful on your back. It makes your freckles look like stars!” He meant every syllable of that sentiment.
I buried my head on the pillow in embarrassment. I had a hard time taking in any kind of compliment.
I had never been seen…Or so I felt. He saw me. And when he died a year later a part of me died with him. Now noticing my new lover and his divine essence naked in front of me I felt all the love in the world that had been given, shared and exchanged. I felt it intensified and released in my soul. It wasn’t just a physical or emotional connection. It was a spiritual one.
At midlife I was finally me without apologizing.
And I allowed for all that was to come. He was mine then. He continues to be mine now. It has taken a tremendous amount of work and dance to stay in that love but it’s been so worth it. Because that’s what marriage entails. We are on the other side of that mountain of uncertainty and doubts. We are led by stars and candlelight through the darkest of obstacles.
We are in it because of the raw vulnerability from one another. We show up not always in perfect lighting. It’s in the unmade beds, crazy sleepless nights with kids, messy days, hard obstacles, little moments and unconditional love without judgment. It’s real life naked and fully clothed behind closed doors. I’m blessed.