What is this love?

What is this love that has torn my world apart and leads me far from home?

It is no longer the heady love of first romance, that is fool hardy and blind. That love brings a cauldron’s worth of cupid’s sweet poisons, to course through veins and intelligence. You become mad with love, truly, and nothing but the beloved matters. It is an eternal love, and yet, I didn’t actually expect it to linger, if not grow, if not take roots, shed a few petals, grow a few thorns. It is an eternal love but I found myself swept up and flung on the rocky beach, wet and gasping, clothes torn and ragged, wondering what had happened to my old life and plans…

thetreeoflife

This love has demanded of me, truth and courage. It started as a  child-faery-fantasy but to make a hidden love affair something SEEN, to go from whore to mistress to NEW wife.  THIS took guts, foolishness, a romantic heart, a soulful connection, a stubborn determination and a fear of living a life-long regret of “what if?”. This has been a series of ordeals, and we live with the burden of the past around us even as we grow new life ahead. Many things have had to be accepted. I struggle and snarl and try to destroy it, to make the perfect clean vision, but slowly slowly I come to terms with the mess of life, of all life, and the life *I*have chosen.

What is this love that demands me to leave behind all I have known. Cherished friends, family that I only reconciled with out of this same love. It gives and then it takes. Hopes arise and smash and dreams are endless even when choices are few. The real ones anyway. The path is narrow and easy to loose, to find yourself in the dark woods alone and shouting even as your love is next to you, but one tree or bush apart. It’s behind you! We get lost so easy, withdraw so fast. Where has the foolhardy romance gone? Why the suspicion, the exquisite vulnerability now apparent, the deep knowing that you have opened too far now, and there is no way out of this that will not rip you apart.

What is this love? Your soul-mate? I don’t think so, not now. It is actually bigger that the Other, as it turns out. It has to be. Because one person is not enough, never enough, to empty to your life over, you might say it but how far would you really go?

b479a0c162c027a31454d1c840d2f1d6You might leave your country once, in a blaze of love and defiance. But to do it again? And Again? After you realise just how deeply your heart is rooted in tribe and country, nature and the birdsong of your birth town? When you remember how badly you fell apart, in pieces, completely lost, when you followed your love the last time? Why would you do it again? Why am I doing it again?

Because it’s not just the love for one person. It’s the courage to continue to “follow my bliss” years and years after reading those damn mythology books. It’s the knowing that real adventures do not follow upwards easy paths. It’s the love for a life of integrity – messy and mad though it is, I am living by principles I carved, bled, sweated and screamed out of me and I refuse to relinquish them now. It’s the ever growing true love for my own beautiful soul – the way I dont hate my fat any more, or the amount of time I can look in a mirror and see a beautiful woman, not a collection of flaws. It is the opening of my heart, in a way that is clearing out the anxiety and making space for vulnerable emotional feeling. The tears and the pain are part of the art of it. It’s that this path is the same that bought my true friends closer, that took me near enough back to my family and to Life, near enough that I can even BE this moved and sad to leave them again.

love_is_pain_1239-e13505000113471All I can do is keep moving forwards.
The fear from the start is still with me – that if I do not keep going down this path that I found, all the way through to the end, the rest of my life will be regret and wondering. That might be a cowardly reason to continue a path so courageously. But it is true. The love I have for one man turns out, incredibly, to be only a sort of practice level for a whole world where I love many others with that much feeling and fear. The tension in my heart is to close up and defend against the pain of loss, and to want to open and savour every tiny possible drop of it I can. If I choose the path of closed defense, I’m setting myself up for regret, guaranteed. Loss, suddden, unexpected, out of your control – this is not something I can guard against no matter how hard or small i make myself.

So onwards it. The life of being open and of feeling. What is this love that demands and tears at me, that challenges and spits and shakes me from the inside out? In truth, it is the soulful desire of my own being, longing to love and cherish myself. That is where all these paths have been converging. Eventually I had to stop looking in others and come back to me. It is out of love of myself, a gentle firmness, a determined heart that claimed LIFE that I am honouring here. THIS is the love that has torn me apart, and yet sustains me into the unknown, ongoing adventure.

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"There's nothing you can do that's more important than being fulfilled. You become a sign, you become a signal, transparent to transcendence; in this way, you will find, live, and become a realization of your own personal myth." – Joseph Campbell

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    Catherine Wildfox Written by:

    I'm a woman who is passionate about people claiming healthy, vital living on their own terms. I help people reconnect with and trust in their instinctive wild self & body - this is the key to making health changes that are enjoyable and sustained.

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