I have been wanting to write this story for a while now, but up to now it didn’t want to be written. I felt too caught up in all my mental stories and emotions and too much in the process still. Not that I’m not in the process anymore (is there ever going to be an end to it??), but now, since I’ve been in the Netherlands, my other home, I feel enough distance has been created and time has passed to be able to lovingly reflect on the past months and how my experience of love has changed. I also feel more capable to now find the right words to share what I want to share.
These past months in this corona era have had an interesting impact on my relations. Relations with myself, with Charlie and with the finca.
In the beginning of the year we split up because he had met someone else. That completely changed our dynamic, from living together in the van on the finca, to living apart again, but still sharing the project. His new relationship didn’t work out because of the distance (and corona). Then the lockdown happened, so we were ‘stuck’ together. Him, in the beginning, dealing with his sadness about his new relationship that hadn’t worked out and me dealing with the sadness of our break up and the transformation into a desired friendship. But since we were on the finca together in lockdown we kept working on ourselves and our transformed relation. Sharing our feelings, our needs and our lives. I still felt a lot of love for him, but the feeling of being in love had passed. It’s the deep desire that had gotten less deep, a little wall that had gone up again.
Staying together was quite a new experience for me, since I never stayed in touch with the 2 ex-boyfriends I’ve had back in the days. In a way, back then, it was easier to work with ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and kind of letting the feelings fade in that way, although now I’m not sure whether that was ever really true. It sure isn’t true anymore now. Like one of the lyrics of a Damian Rice song says: ‘Letting go is not the same as pushing someone else away’. Through my experiences with therapy, trainings and applying that in life, I’ve reconnected to the innate need for connection and relating, that I believe we have as human beings. That feelings take time to grow and to fade again and they cannot be directed, but need to be acknowledged and felt and that they then can and will change again. Not ignoring or fighting against what is (that is sooo exhausting… and a battle I will lose), but being with it (still quite exhausting…), sharing and reconnecting with yourself and the other. The realisation that everyone is a mirror and tells me something (that I might not want to hear) about myself. And that I invite these relations into my life. Being able choose whether to keep them in my life or not.
And so, the relationship with Charlie transformed. We were spending pretty much all our time together and we are people with needs, desires and hormones. So not totally unexpected, a new curiosity towards each other developed. An exploration of my feelings towards him, but now without the ‘being in-love sauce’. That sauce that tends to totally mess up my perception of my life and the experiences in it. It became much clearer what felt right for me and what not, in the now-moment and in this period-moment in my life. The desire for sharing closeness and intimacy up to a point and being able to (verbally) share those wishes better than before. The felt experience of really having nothing to lose by sharing my needs and engaging in intimacy with him, that felt right. This felt or embodied experience that doesn’t make me feel nervous, uncomfortable or makes my mind very chatty with opinions and doubts, but a sense of peace. But, by all means, not necessarily easy. Every moment is different and my feelings can quite subtly shift. Added to that, comes the state-of-being and intention of, in this case Charlie. We’re both sensitive beings that feel off when intentions aren’t matching and can be triggered by words and the way things are being said, or not said. There were many moments where we had this couple dynamic, arguing or intimate and everything in between. At some point, Charlie asked me what had gone wrong between us and if we weren’t meant to be together after all and that he did have feelings for me.
Very good question indeed, since I was wondering the same at times. Sometimes quite confusing and frustrating, because what is it that I’m feeling? Love for sure, but what kind and to do with that? Am I falling for an idea that is in my mind again? A wish of how things could be, but really aren’t in this moment? Many reflections about us had crossed my mind. Looking at all the good things we share and the feeling of love we both have for each other. Our ability to share so openly about what is going on, our feelings and always having been able to work our struggles out. Learning from and supporting each other, growing together. All things that are important to me in a life and love partner.
But we also have quite different characters, which makes it challenging. We can trigger each other a lot. But aren’t the triggers something to be worked through? Because if I don’t now, they will probably come back in the next relationship. Or maybe not and it really just is a tough match and it’s healthier to be friends and work together? Can someone please just tell me what to do? 😉
The idea of an open relationship and the experiences with that up to now have challenged me a lot too. I can see beauty in it, but I also feel how incredibly delicate it is and how strong and open the communication needs to be for everyone to feel respected, heard and loved. That it needs to come from an abundance of love that wants to be shared instead of a lack of it or a fear. That I haven’t felt the trust and presence I need to feel, from myself and him, to be able to surrender fully into this kind of relationship. Deep down I feel a ‘no’ towards that kind of commitment with him now. Not to say that that will never change, but now, in this phase, it doesn’t feel peaceful.
Sharing that was challenging and a difficult process to go through. But as with everything so far, we kept sharing and found understanding and compassion with ourselves and towards each other.
A while after he met a woman and they fell very much in love. I genuinely felt happy for him. At the same time I felt sad for myself, because it reminded me of my own desire of wanting to share my life with someone lovely. I’ve done this alone life for so many years and I feel ready to share it. I could also notice my mind getting busy with whether I’d said the right thing with not wanting him back. The idea of how it could be. The happiness I think I see between them, which is also only my perception, because they also have their struggles. But deep down the feeling of peace towards being with myself now, stayed. I again felt this space to focus on me. My movement practices, my social life by myself, instead of our social life together, feeling where I stand and how I’m doing with me for me and reflecting again on how I’ve grown in these months.
I got to meet her and we shared some nice conversations. Both feeling conscious about not yet knowing each other and our relationships to Charlie. She also has a background in children’s education, so Charlie wanted her to be part of the forest school project. Quite quickly she was living more and more on the finca, and the whole dynamic on the finca and between Charlie and me, changed. There was quite some tension and Charlie and I easily got into arguments. My nearing journey to the Netherlands also created stress for him, which didn’t help the situation. Since I’m always on the finca, I know and do a lot and now I wouldn’t be there for a month. I hadn’t been feeling very comfortable on the finca with all the changes that had happened, and felt I was in a full-on resistance mode. I felt so stuck in it that it was difficult to feel what was right for me. The overview was gone. Inner peace had left the building. My upcoming trip turned into some much-needed time away.
I have really built a homebase for myself in the South of Spain. I’ve made great friends, have a social life, have lately been sharing several (massage) exchanges with lovely people and friends and even given my Art of Not-Doing workshop there, which everyone enjoyed very much. I can really see a future there now, and am proud of the rich life I’ve created with beautiful people and to be able to share what I’m passionate about.
Creating some distance is now giving me the space to get some perspective and get back to how I feel about my life and the choices I’ve made and whether I will need to make some new changes when I’m back. It’s all about giving myself time to be able to hear the inner peace or the inner noise, share it and act accordingly.