For the past couple of months I have been blessed with the experience of being in the most amazing, intimate and heart-expanding relationship. From the moment that we met, I felt a stirring deep down in my soul about how powerful our connection truly was and who we could be for each other. But, knowing myself very well, being a true romantic and big pile of mushy gushy love, and how easy it is for me to go off into some future fantasy and become completely enamored by a person and a story, I recognized the need to try and stay present in every moment that we were together.
For the first time in my life I felt as though I had manifested EXACTLY what I was looking for. We were truly compatible and complimentary to one another on every single level. As more of our layers were peeled back and more truth was revealed, there was never a moment of wavering or questioning, but instead everything seemed to be confirming what I felt in my heart and knew in my soul.
The most beautiful thing of all was that I began showing up for her in ways that I had never showed up for any other person on this planet before. I was present whenever she needed me, always showing up looking for how I could serve more, support more and love more. All of my old self-sabotaging habits that seemed to surface in previous relationships had dissolved almost instantly.
As time progressed we grew even closer, experienced more together and learned to trust each other completely. Although this whole experience was new for me, something about it felt so familiar. For the first time I realized how ready I truly was for this type of partnership.
The challenge was the closer we got and the deeper the love and trust became, the harder it was for me to stay present when we were not physically together. I would go off into my dreams, thinking about all the wonderful adventures and experiences we could have together in the future and how our partnership would manifest into perfect form. I even began looking forward in the calendar to make plans for us to be together in certain situations and occasions.
Being the very open and expressive person that I am, it was hard for me not to share my visions and feelings about her and us. I guess I was unconsciously looking for her to validate that I wasn’t the only one having them. However after expressing them to her, I was met with a response that I didn’t want to hear.
One of my greatest fears has always been to fall in love so deeply with another person and to allow myself to be so vulnerable by expressing it freely and openly, and to then realize that they do not feel the same way or have the same visions of who we are for each other.
Unfortunately this time around that fear came true. Although she loved me so deeply and cherished our relationship so much, she did not feel what I felt and did not share the same vision of the future that I was holding.
This was incredibly painful for me to hear as I knew in my heart that she was truly the greatest gift I had ever received. How could my feelings and visions be wrong?
After feeling through all the sadness and reflecting on how to move forward, I was blessed with a major aha moment and my mindset shifted to seeing this as another opportunity for a big breakthrough in my life.
Up until this point, the love that I was giving and feeling was so deep that I thought it was truly flowing through me unconditionally. But at the same time, there was still the underlying desire to hear the words “I love you” or “I cherish you” in return. As much as I thought I was not attached to being loved back, it turned out that in some way I was. There is also a great amount of uncertainty when it comes to loving another person that can never be truly known. In my mind, I was dreaming and planning about the future because I wanted to feel certain that this feeling would last, that we would indeed be together as partners. It was as if mapping it out in my mind made me feel like it would all come true.
I now realize how much courage it truly takes to love another person, show up fully for them with an open heart looking to give and support wherever you can, without expecting anything in return and without knowing where it may lead to.
The art of courageous love is not about closing off your heart to protect yourself when you hear something you don’t want to hear or see something you don’t want to see. Courageous love is about keeping your heart open no matter what the outcome or circumstance. When faced with uncertainty, you love and trust even more. It’s about honoring and cherishing each moment you have together from that loving space, without looking for how you can create more of those moments in the future.
From this point onward I vow to practice and embrace the art of courageous love in all areas of my life. I choose to be present and cherish each and every moment I have with whomever I spend it. I choose to show up fully, support unconditionally, trust unwaveringly and love courageously.
After all, I can’t predict what the future holds. Feelings change all the time. I honor what I feel, and what others feel in the moment, and look no further than that. I trust wholeheartedly that whatever unfolds will always be for my highest and best good. And most importantly, my heart will always remain open.
Michael Eisen is the founder of the Youth Wellness Network, an organization dedicated to inspiring and empowering youth across the globe to live happier and more positive lives. Michael’s new book Empowered YOUth: A Father and Son’s Journey to Conscious Living, co-authored with his father, is now available everywhere books are sold. To learn more about Michael and the Youth Wellness Network, visit: www.youthwellnessnetwork.ca, connect with him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter: @youthwellnet