“Abundance comes not from stuff. In fact, stuff is an indication of non-abundance. Abundance is in the sacred; it's in the connection of love. We will find abundance through hard times when we find each other.” ~ Rebecca Adamson
I fell in love with Tony 8 years ago at first sight. To date, it was the most immediate reaction I’ve ever had to anyone. Two and a half years later, after about 1,000 ups and downs, we parted ways romantically, not because we didn’t love each other but because Tony didn’t love himself as much as I loved him.
I rarely talk about my romantic life on this blog, mostly because I keep those relationships extremely private. This one though has taught me so much that I know will help others and so I’m taking a risk here and putting a little more of my heart into my writing than I have ever done. Tony taught me a lot, more than anyone else I've ever been in a relationship with, and these lessons should be re-told.
To date, he is the only person who sends me text messages around 4:00am exclusively. I never reach him or hear from him during the day or even at a reasonable hour in the evening. We just don’t work that way. He’s a night owl, a serious night owl. Usually I don’t get his text messages until the morning on my way to work. Last night I happened to be awake when my phone buzzed, and of course it was Tony.
“I’m still not happy in my career. The only difference is that I’m not hating me anymore…just what I let myself lose.” Now, I don’t think he’s referring to me at all when he talks about what he lost. I think he’s talking about time and effort and energy lost to a career he doesn’t like and really never wanted. He just never thought he deserved anything better. By not liking himself for so long, Tony lost a lot of his life.
I smiled when I read his message this morning. Not because Tony lost a lot of years of his life – that I will always think is tragic. I smiled because finally, finally, finally all the love I felt for him, he now has for himself, and that’s all I ever really wanted for him. He is a good, good man with a good, good heart. He’s kind and generous and brilliant. And for so many years, I wanted him to see himself the way that I saw him. No matter what I did, nothing worked. So I let him go. In the end, there was no other choice. When he looked in the mirror, he didn’t see what I saw. Now, he does.
I wrote back to him, “T – I am so happy for you. You are on the right path. And it’s never too late to make a change. Xo” I meant this – every word of it. I’d like to believe that somewhere along the line all the love I gave him helped him in his journey. I’d like to believe that me being in his life helped him flip the switch from self-loathing to self-loving. I’d always like to believe that love, when given freely and in abundance makes a difference eventually. That love, unrequited or not, is never for naught.
I thought of him all day today - of so many good times and so many not-so-good times. I thought about who I was then and what I wanted then, and how much that has changed. I thought of all the things about him that made me smile, and those things still make me smile. What's amazing about my journey with Tony, though so long ago, is that all the hurt I felt upon leaving isn't there anymore. Somehow all the hurt faded, and only the good stuff remains. Even the bad times just don't seem so bad when placed side-by-side with all the happy and wonderful times we had. I hope he feels the same way. Our hearts and memories are funny, malleable things, and for that I'm grateful.
Tony showed me how much love my heart could hold. This is a powerful lesson. As much as I fell in love with Tony, just as he was, I fell even more in love with his potential. I used to regard falling in love with potential as a waste. Today, I changed my mind on that thanks to him.
Potential might be more worthy of love than anything else. Potential is hope. Potential is something to look forward to. Potential keeps us looking up and working toward a better tomorrow, toward bettering ourselves. My love for Tony’s potential was not a waste at all; it’s a remedy that he eventually used to build a better life for himself.
He gave me so much and now I finally feel like I was able to return the favor. Even though it didn't work out for us in the long-run, I regard my time with me him as precious. I am nothing but honored and privileged to have been a small part of his healing.
The image above is not my own. I love it though, and found it here.