I was cleaning out computer files and I stumbled over a document the other day; it was a cut paste of emails exchanged between a long distance lover and me. Someone I thought forever lost to me but found again and only through his tenacity. The first line of our exchange, a question asked of him:
“Do you believe in grace?”
I was asking a Skeptic this question and he affirmed that yes he believes in grace. He embodies this thing grace via the way he lives. For a man who does not believe in God he embodies all that is right about those who claim Jesus. He gave me the key to this life I have now. That’s grace in my book. He demurs when I mention to him the many ways he is responsible for my glass becoming half full; owning my sexuality; and moving to an authentically lived life. Of course he isn’t solely responsible for those things, he isn’t a wizard. But his example and love for me moved me to the place I am now.
Tucked in a box I have a bound volume of love letters from many years ago. It’s no surprise I appreciate the written word and find it easy to express my passion, love, and devotion via the written word. I am a writer after all. Just that sentence is testament to the ways I’ve come round to loving myself fully. Owning I am a writer. Some days I’m better at it than others.
“I wish you would let the goddess I see in you come forward.”
I had forgotten about that line until I was contemplating this post for Valentines Day and remembering the people who have honored me with their love. It’s one of the first letters in the book of letters my lover put together for me. I’m pretty sure I discounted this line as overblown sentiment but now it resonates with me. What a dear thought and wish to give me. I wasn’t ready for the love being offered to me so many years ago (2002) and ran from it. Who knows where we would have landed if I hadn’t ended our liaison. I think eventually we would have swallowed one another whole in a big co-dependent mess. Both of us had huge lessons to learn about over functioning and codependency disguised as care taking. We learned them on our own. Again, grace in motion. By the time we were finished with one another I might have hated him. But he always manages to call me when I need to speak to him the most. The last time we talked it was a day after I returned home from witnessing my father being placed on life support. He offered perfect words and comfort. I can’t remember what he said but I was no longer exhausted and sore from grief after our conversation.
“I can only promise to love you.” Such purity in this line from a card given to me about ten years ago. The promise was kept, too. For better or for worse, I stole it and used it on that new boyfriend because it’s succinct and sparkles in possibility. It leaves the door open for manifesting togetherness without being bogged down in the form. It is more resonance in feelings shared than the structure of the feelings. This past year the single most important lesson I’ve learned is paying more attention to the resonance than the form of happy details in your life. I’ve almost missed out on tremendous gifts offered to me late in my game because I was getting hung up on form. Again, grace came to me.
Valentines day isn’t that important to me. It falls three weeks before my birthday and I would rather be feted for that than a Christian Martyr. But this year, I have someone special in my life who sounded mildly disappointed after I confessed months ago: “I don’t think Valentines is that important.” I’m making it important with the gift of a night out in the city and a simple but elegant meal at a long-standing favorite restaurant. A gift to him that gives to me! Perfect, right?
But my real gifts to me for both Valentines and my birthday are those three things once given to me: grace, owning the divine nature of my soul, and unconditional self-love.