The nice thing about long bus rides across the country is that they allow for long periods of uninterrupted thought. Perfect for sitting with what ails you. Sitting immobile, watching the countryside pass by, stuck in your cramped little seat with no place to go; assuming you don't escape, and allow yourself to face it all - you can do a lot of processing; you can manage an incredible amount of prayer. I know from experience. Back and forth from Dallas to Cincinnati - two 24-hour trips in a 3-day period of time is exactly how I spent my weekend. And I had a fair share to process...so I know of what I speak.
It isn't everyday that you come across a person that leads you to believe you've found that shiny, romantic "someone" you've been looking, waiting for. It's not a common thing to meet and be touched by someone you feel you've known for lifetimes - even less common, I'd say, to have the feeling be returned. So, when I met a man online a little under two weeks ago now, who happened to live in Ohio, and we started talking and my heart began to burn with that exact sort of fiery recognition, I sat up and paid attention. One of my great prayers in recent times has been for the Universe to bring me a partner with whom I can get real and grow with. I've said it before and I'll say it again: my "life's purpose" is to know Enlightenment. I'm here to take whatever steps I can to live as consciously and authentically as I'm able, in order to consistently know myself, and all of life's experiences, as manifestations of the Divine, or God - in a real, practical, experiential way. So when I came across this person - whom I'll call Ambrose - and I inwardly sensed the potential facing me to go toe to toe with an actual partner that moved me body, mind, and soul - I had to listen. I take my talks with the Universe seriously. When I speak to God, I trust that I'm being listened to. When I ask for help in being grown up, and stretched and molded, in order to be a clearer, more effective vessel for Peace in this world, I trust that everything needed is being provided for me - in every way, and in every conceivable matter...which would include a romantic partner. Do I need a partner to be fulfilled or enlightened? Of course not! To put it simply, what keeps someone from knowing themselves as their true nature is the egoic mind - thoughts and fears, in other words. Fearful concepts are just as "easily" experienced and worked with as a single person as they are for someone partnered. I know that. I've lived it. But there's something so intense and delicious about human relationship - and by God (literally!), if that's something that's waiting for me, I want to experience those nasty shenanigans - and badly! So when this gentle, funny, beautiful man who attracted me in every single way - which I'd never experienced before (it always seems to be this or that I'm charmed by...never everything!) - came in to my world, saying things that I've been wanting and waiting to hear...I was hooked...and eager.
Foolish or not, I paid no mind to logistics. The fact that he lived a thousand miles away didn't faze me. I operate with the knowledge that if something's meant to be, it will find a way - so I dove in, head first. We were constantly texting, talking for hours every day. I felt so comfortable with him. I was so turned on by him, everything about him. One of the first signs that he was just my flavor was a text exchange where he said if I were nearby he'd meet me in a heartbeat. I said, likewise; I'd meet you with a mothafuckin' quickness. To which he said, "meetin' like ninjas n' shit." It made me laugh. First of all, adding "and shit" to anything makes everything funnier, I think, and it's just the kind of humor that I share with my friends. That's just one tiny example of the many, many ways he felt right and familiar to me. We bonded hard in a short period of time. We didn't have the luxury of going on face-to-face dates, so we shared and opened-up the way we could. And I dare say we covered more ground and went more in depth because of our lack of physical proximity than other people do who might live in the same town and only go on, say, a two-hour date once or twice a week. Aside from sleep and work or study, our contact was almost constant. We exchanged "I love you's" (indeed, a whole other discussion!) and our plan to meet in person was a must. One week to the day of learning he existed, I was on a bus.
During that week before I left, I shared my good fortune with both Emre and another of our friends, whom I'll call Milo. I got happiness and love; I got support. And one expression of that love, as any good friends would give, was the warning to take it slow, not to open up or emotionally invest too quickly. I heard and respected their words, I truly did. But from my point of view - a view I still hold, by the way - there was no danger in letting myself be vulnerable. Where, exactly, is this potential danger? Where's the chance of being wounded if you're the one consciously calling your own shots? The way I saw it, as long as I took it one moment to the next, honestly sharing with Ambrose everything that I intuitively felt safe and comfortable with sharing, then there's nothing he could have taken from me that I hadn't been happy to give, wiping away the possibility of being any sort of victim. It's not my job what others do with what I offer. Whether or not its offered truly is my only concern.
And offer truly, I did. Laying an honest, sturdy foundation is the only way to have a healthy, vital relationship, the way I understand it, and that's what I was going for - something special; something bold. I laid out my demons, one by one, and introduced them, brought them out in to the light and presence of another person. I used to think that I had been so open and so honest with Silas, but only after my time with Ambrose did I realize how much I had held back. I hadn't felt comfortable with Silas like I did with Ambrose. Maybe I hadn't been ready. Maybe I hadn't been aware then of my inner darkness to the extent that I am now. What I do know for sure is that I shared things that I was scared to say out loud. All of my fears - about my body, my experience, my life situation - I put them out there. I handed him a bag full of diamonds. I call them that because each of those things, all of those painful concepts are what keep me chained. Those doubts and self-judgments are what keep me from living as fully as I could be; they are precisely what keep me from freedom. If held and handled wisely, and met with an unconditional love, those things have the capacity to transform you in to light itself. So, what I gave him was precious. I know it now and I knew it then. And in return, I was given equal amounts of love; an understanding and reciprocity that made my head spin.
I don't say "I love you" to just anyone. I don't share my heart with someone - regardless of who it is - if I don't want to, if it doesn't feel right to me. I walked in to that situation, in to that attitudinal space of sharing, in to that "relationship," and on to that Ohio-bound Greyhound knowing full well that I didn't have all the information that there was to have. But I had what I had and it was enough for me. I knew that what I gave might not be received or wholly treasured. Hell, I knew that Ambrose could end up being a psycho and that I could end up tied up, gassed, and set on fire. But those were just thoughts. My practice is not to be led by thoughts, but by the voice of the Heart.
And that voice told me it was safe to follow what I felt.