Brida’s mom and dad were soul mates. Yet one day, her mom relayed the story of a loving encounter with another man. She sought solace about life, and headed to church to pray. He was awaiting a mechanic and visited that church to pass the time. The two began talking life and civilizations past (he was an archaeologist). Before long, the sun had set:

There was I, like a 38-year-old adolescent, feeling that someone desired me. He didn’t want me to leave. Then all of a sudden, he stopped talking. He looked deep into my eyes and smiled. It was as if he’d understood with his heart what I was thinking, and wanted to tell me that it was true, that I was very important to him. For some time, we said nothing, and then we said good-bye. The mechanic had still not arrived.

For many days, I wondered if that man really had existed, or if he was an angel sent by God to teach me the secret lessons of life. In the end, I decided that he had been a real man, a man who had loved me, even if only for an afternoon, and during that afternoon, he’d given me everything he had kept to himself throughout his whole life: his struggles, his joys, his difficulties, and his dreams. That afternoon I gave myself wholly as well – I was his companion, his wife, his audience, his lover. In a matter of only a few hours, I experienced the love of a lifetime.

From Brida by Paulo Coelho

I’m becoming more aware of my capacity to love. Or perhaps my capacity to love is expanding. Or both. In any case, I’m actively dismantling the fortress erected after a profound hurt. Walls reinforced by years of covert distrust. It’s been freeing – this heart opening, sharing of self.

Radical moments of vulnerability.  And they remind me that love is timeless. I couldn’t or wouldn’t always admit past love. Yet my delayed realization does not diminish the love that went unnamed.  I think the naming of love opens space for more love.

It is a channel for more of itself.

Or something like that.

And it’s not that I’ve found a soul mate. It’s simply that I’m learning to have more love for every day.  It’s energizing – being able to love, finally. And really, being able to love first. It’s dangerous, they may warn. Why spread love that hasn’t been earned? Is this or that person truly deserving of your love? Won’t it come back to haunt you? It’s the walls that haunt, not the love. They leave you trapped in echoes of distrust, regret, anger. Poison, all.

How much can you apportion (and receive) from your cage?

I say let us craft epilogues of love. And then weave love clear through to the end. Certainly would change a few stories, now wouldn’t it?

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