My morning awareness…
A dear friend posted a video on Facebook that I didn’t watch because I started crying. She started her post with this sentence, “I worked with lots of kids in treatment centers who came in with all of their belongings in a trash bag…” and suddenly, I was in the middle of a flashback…
When I met my former husband, he had been living on the streets of Central District Seattle since he was 14. When he moved to SLC to be with me, he got on a bus and came with all of his belongings in two garbage bags. I remember him walking across the bus station to where I stood and me watching him, carrying all he had in those two bags, feeling tears in my eyes, and knowing he had seen more in his 17 years than I would possibly ever understand.
I loved that boy with all my heart. I was young, naive, and clueless as to what it had been like to live with the day-in, day-out terror he had lived with. His blunt honesty about the bits and pieces that he could share with me caused my head to spin, my eyes to burn, my stomach to churn. Coming from the life I had lived – sheltered, loving, gentle – I couldn’t begin to fathom being that afraid to open my eyes every morning; I couldn’t even imagine surviving the horrors he had. And… I loved him. Inexplicably, with all that I am, I loved him. I love him. Still. Always.
Everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – in my life told me I was making a HUGE mistake by choosing Charles. Everyone coached against it. Family members pleaded and begged and prayed and fasted for me, against him, and that I would “see the light.” And, the more they pushed against it, the more certain I became. It was the most rebellious thing I had ever done… to go against EVERYONE – family, friends, parents, and church leaders – and choose my heart and that boy.
I made that choice, knowing that doing so would preclude me from reaching the Celestial Kingdom because I wouldn’t be getting married in the temple as my LDS religion told me was mandatory for reaching the Celestial Kingdom. I loved him that much; I was willing to give up my salvation because I loved him. I was willing to give up the chance for an eternal marriage and only be together on earth, until we died. I loved him enough to begin questioning everything I had been taught my whole life. I loved him enough that I actually began the first part of the process of learning to love me enough.
Nothing in my upbringing could have prepared me for this 25.5-year journey with Charles. Some of it was so nightmarish; an absolute walk all the way through Hell, even. But, I’ll tell you what… who I am today IS because of all I have learned through loving this man. He has been my greatest teacher.
By choosing Love first, I learned of what I am capable. I learned the utter depths of my ability to love without end. I learned the divine art of forgiveness. I learned how far my reach is as an Empath. I learned about magic and miracles. I learned that my touch IS healing. I learned that I can love someone so much that it inspires them to begin loving themselves. I learned that because I trust first – without someone having to earn that trust – that I often get hurt, but for those who are willing to keep at it with me, I become a safe space and honesty becomes inherent in the relationship and there is no pain for me at that point. But, most importantly, I have learned that when I allowed myself to keep loving him – against all odds and EVERYONE’s counsel to do so… even to this day – I opened up to the truth of Love: it has infinite healing power.
I am grateful for every single moment of this journey with Charles. Every heartbreak … skin break … bruise … fall … push. Every kick … punch … crash … burn … rise … death … tear. Every smile … embrace … dream … nightmare … child … loss … win. Every friend … enemy … miracle … memory … lift … assist … touch. Every gift … flower … giggle … moan … explosion … crisis … grumble. Every connection … question … answer … truth … lie … sigh … low … high … peace. Every single heartbeat in every single moment in every single day in every single week in every single month in every single year in every single decade of this journey. All of it. I am grateful for ALL of it.
And… most of all… I am grateful for the day that that boy walked off that bus, carrying his life in two garbage bags and he sparked to life the magic in my heart. It was the best “mistake” I ever made.