A few months ago I ended a relationship with a wonderful, and astonishingly handsome, man after fifteen months together. With my 36th birthday just a few weeks away at the time, it was a terrifying undertaking. I have never been one to stay in a relationship that in my heart began not to feel right, especially because of age or societal expectation. But my 36th hit me a bit hard.
So not long after the breakup, with love desperately on my mind, I took the recommendation of a friend and began reading Calling in the One by Katherine Woodward Thomas. It took me more than the seven weeks allotted to complete, but whenever I did have down time to pick it up, I was happy to. This book is in my opinion pretty incredible. It is one of those books I wish I could recommend to everyone I care about, but like most, has to speak to the reader, the timing must be right, as it really is more of a course than a book. And to learn something new, a person must be willing with an open mind.
My copy’s pages are now wrinkled with condensation from too many nights read in a hot bath. And riddled with pen marks, thoughts shared, and crooked underlines, as I hope that for ages I will continue to pick this book up for guidance. The reason why is that it is a brilliant summary of so many incredible lessons and concepts. It is as though Katherine has read all the right books, all books I would like to someday, and their lessons are all shared in this one convenient vessel.
I did about halfway through, look up the author, in hopes of discovering another book filled with her talents and insights. And was disappointed then to find that her only other published work is called Conscious Uncoupling. Ugg, that term. So in indirect ways it turns out that Katherine is in fact responsile for Gwynneth Paltrow’s strange divorce statement. And more to the point, that Katherine and the man about whom she writes as though he is her soulmate, her knight, her life-long love, are now after what it seems was a marriage of around 11 years, divorced.
After these findings, it was difficult to pick the book back up for a week or so. I was losing faith in who had seemed like a worthy love guru.
But then I remembered a valuable lesson I have come to know, most teachers are experts in the fields that they most need growth in. So yes, therapists have therapists, and yogis have yogis, and any human hoping to be the best at anything has someone better to learn from. I for instance value balance highly, it to me is of vital importance. But the reason I now know so much about how to achieve it, is because in the past I had lost it. I had to work hard to regain it in my life, and I work hard to keep it. And so, I finally did pick back up Katherine’s book, and even read it through to the very end.
While people of interest have crossed my path over the past few months, I do admit that completing the course did not magically bring my dream mate into my life, as I had hoped it would. But I also realized throughout these months that I tend to too easily lose myself in relationships. I have strong convictions and goals ahead, and for now those are what need me most. I still am open to love, but my focus currently rests elsewhere, and appreciate life’s allowing me this time to myself. And that too I credit partially to this book. For years I have been working towards certain goals in my life, but every time I immerse myself into a relatinoship, my goals are muddied with distraction. So as much as this book touts itself as a means of coming together with another, I think in ways it is more about connecting with the self in ways that encourage me to be my best self, and hopefully therefore someday the best partner I can be.
It’s a lot like happiness, you cannot ask anyone to make you happy but your own self. Though giving myself up in honor of the wrong relationships has made me quite unhappy. So yes, I suppose it did lead me to love, it’s just that for now that love is within me, and saved wholly for who needs it most, myself.
Someday when I do meet someone quite special and begin to date again, I do hope to pick this book back up, to reference all of my highlights, to make sure that I am staying true to me, and giving our relationship the light and air it needs to survive and flourish.
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