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To all the men I ever loved

By Lucy Keoni, Editor

I woke up thinking about all the men I ever loved. There weren’t very many but each one left an indelible mark on my life. Through the highs and lows of our time together, they taught me so much about myself- revealing the dark shadows, taking me to my edges, teaching me to trust and be vulnerable, learning to love unconditionally, serving as the crucibles that purified and cleansed me of the patterns and habits that do not serve me.

Here’s to the men I ever loved- the one who taught me about loyalty and integrity but could never break out of his limited beliefs, the ones who were self-destructive but taught me that I could never change anyone (yep, there were a few of those…took me a few times to learn that lesson ), the ones that loved me so deeply exactly as I am and helped me accept myself more.

And last but far from least, there was my comet, who has given me hope that healthy, authentic connections exist. Perhaps it wasn’t love but whatever it was, it was real and pure. Rare, beautiful, and always leaving me breathless- you are forever imprinted on my heart. You saw me, the real me, with those ice blue eyes. And just like that,you left as unexpectedly and quickly as you entered my sun’s orbit. With tears in our eyes, we said goodbye with so much uncertainty. Just like Halley’s Comet, the chaos within you makes it unpredictable to know if you will return. Was it your truth or your fear? Did my light shine too deeply into the dark crevices of your soul? I came along to teach you a powerful lesson and you told me that it was an unfair burden to bear. Was the thought of getting too close, too painful? You said that you didn’t want to feel the pain of heartbreak if we didn’t work out. But my dear, what if we did? What if it was the deep, soul shattering love that everyone is seeking. There are no guarantees in life. We can’t guarantee that we won’t get hurt. But by being guarded, you can guarantee that you are keeping yourself from ever being fully loved…. The possibility of that kind of love is worth the risk.

These men have all taught me how to let go when our journey together was complete, how to know when I had outgrown them, how to move on from someone you haven’t stopped loving or to let them go to work on themselves.

Thank you for showing me how to love myself, how to love better, how to stop repeating old patterns that perpetuated my core wounds, and now understand what it takes to make a relationship work.

I’ve learned the hard way that relationships based on infatuation, ego, fear, codependency or seeking fulfillment from your partner just doesn’t work. True love…that’s different. True love without attachment is not about what others can give you because you are empty and expect them to fill a certain need. Its about what you can give others because you are already full. You love and respect yourself first. I learned that love meant realizing when to let go, to not hold on to or try to possess someone for my own selfish desires.

Through failing over and over, I learned that love meant loving myself first and learning to be alone. In that solitude, I discovered that the capacity to be alone IS the capacity to love. Solitude enabled me, as Osho puts it, “to love, to share, to go into the deepest core of the other person — without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other.” I learned that love meant allowing the other absolute freedom, because I know that if the other leaves, I will be as happy as I am now. My happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other. I am the only one responsible for my own happiness.

Real love requires two people that get all that, who are fully present and ready, who have done their own work, who are willing to take the risk, who seek to understand each other, who can offer the other compassion in order to enjoy that unique intimacy that only you two have. And, it requires freedom- there is no desire to possess, no attachments, no projections of fears, no egos. Love in such a way that the other feels free.

So, here’s to the men I ever loved- thank you for loving me so I can be the lover I am today.

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