Friday, December 24, 2010

Finding Innocence Once Again...

Twice in the past month, I’ve drawn the Two of Cups. It’s one of the most beautiful cards in my Tarot deck. A man and woman stand together with two cups, locked in a deep trance. They are in love, and—I think—so am I.

I step into this thought, just bare toes on the water, and wait to drop into the sea and feel nothing again. I am fluttering, hopeful, terrified, and elated, all at once. But I am alive, and I feel…something. Something that isn’t hurt and grief and anger and betrayal and devastation. Something I haven’t felt in a long time.

I see Robyn to tell her what I’ve discovered, but she already knows. My eyes have a sparkle in them. She tells me I sound like a teenager, and she just loves it. She’d been afraid I would become bitter toward all men, given my marriage, and she gets a kick out of hearing me describe what I like about this man and the way my voice softens and lilts when I say his name.

Thinking this news will make my mother and another good friend feel more secure about my new and independent life, I tell her I think I’m in love, but she doesn’t want to hear it. Why would I be interested in another man and so soon after my divorce? Would this stop my ex and me from getting back together? Maybe it would be better to let my ex remarry before I fall in love with someone new, she says.

Disappointed, I tell her nothing else.

I should quit while I’m ahead, but I don’t. This new feeling is exciting and I want to talk about it. I tell two other friends over lunch because they want to know why I keep smiling to myself. They want to hear all the dirt, so I describe this man and his sense of integrity and the way he makes me feel all shiny and new. They note the lightness in my voice, even a giggle, and then tease me until I have tears in my eyes. They take a happy moment and shred it. I don’t finish my dessert, but I feel stupid and childish, and I cross their company off my list. They tell me I’m being too sensitive and shouldn’t be upset with them.

None of it changes the way I feel. I’m totally and completely besotted with this man and didn’t know it. I can’t tell him this, not yet. I have to know if there’s a spark there first or if I’m the only one who’s smoldering. I don’t want to make the mistake of confessing to someone who isn’t ready to hear that I am madly and deeply in love because he opened a gateway, a portal of love.

So I tamp down the feelings. I swallow them. I choke on them. Along with so many other feelings I’ve had that I wasn’t “allowed” to have during the course of my adolescence and later my marriage. I’m not allowed to feel anger because, I’m told, it’s morally wrong. I should be forgiving instead. I’m not allowed to feel joy because too many people see that as bragging or selfishness. I should feel selflessness instead. I’m not allowed to feel grief or despair because then I’m accused of needing anti-depressants or even, as one friend hinted, a suicide watch. I should feel calm and rational. And I’m not allowed to be in love because it’s too soon, too childish, too…whatever.

I choke on my feelings, and they settle into my fifth chakra, right at my throat. I swallow them but they stick in my throat and won’t go down and won’t come up. I can’t breathe. And yet...what I want to I have deep feelings for this man.

She laughs at me. “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

“Yeah, well, everyone else seems to think so. And I don’t know what to do about them, so they must not be good. I’m expected to have separation anger and grief and everyone wants to know if I’m having those and well, good, now swallow them and get on with your life. But these feelings are different.” I describe my affections and the reasons for them, and she stops me.

“Aw, honey, it’s okay to have feelings. Feelings are good. And these are good feelings. Just enjoy them. You don’t have to express them to this man or to anyone else. Just enjoy them for what they are.”

These feelings do feel good. I could get lost in enjoying them. I could want to drag them out and make them last a long, long time.

“It’s been so long since I’ve felt this way,” I tell my healer.

She laughs again. “I can hear it in your voice. It’s like you’ve become a virginal maiden all over again.

You get all giggly and feel like a teenager around him instead of the calm, cool, and collected businesswoman that nothing fazes. It’s very sweet and wonderful. Just enjoy that feeling.”

Before I can say anything else, she adds, “Honey, don’t you see? You might very well have written off all men after your marriage, but instead, here is a man who has touched you deeply and rekindled an innocence in you that you thought you’d lost forever. You don’t have to say anything to him or to anyone else. Just breathe through your feelings and explore them.”

And now I have tears in my eyes again because my healer has revealed to me that:

I’ve reclaimed an innocence I thought was dead.

I’ve found a part of myself that I locked away a long time ago.

And I’ve fallen in love when I least expected it.

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