In October of 2016, I had an issue with my visa in India. The NGO I was working with sent me to the foreign registry office with paperwork. I had come with a tourist visa and I was doing volunteer work on it, which is technically a violation of the visa terms. I didn’t know this, of course. I ended up being served with an exit permit, and granted two weeks to leave the country and return with the proper visa.
After snot bubble crying in the foreign registry office for 4 hours, I decided to book a flight to New York and get my visa sorted there since I hadn’t been “home” in 4 years (I’m originally from NY but I had been living in Los Angeles for 6 years before taking the volunteer position in India). After 3 hours of attempting to purchase the flight with my debit card, draining the currency on my phone calling my bank and squeezing out a few more tears, it was apparent that I was being blocked from booking the flight. Even my bank told me to just try again the next day and there was nothing more they could do. At 4am the next morning, I woke up to text from a friend who sent me a one way ticket to Los Angeles. It seemed that the universe had an agenda that was bigger than mine.
When I arrived in LA, I was depressed. I had no clarity about why I was back in the states. I had left there just three months prior to allow myself to unplug in an emotionally safe environment (India) and here I was back in superficial, spiritually barren Los Angeles – and just in time for the presidential election (eye roll).
Two days into my LA trip I met a man… another Pisces.
He was tall and handsome (and not to mention had the hottest accent). I couldn’t help but recall all those articles I read on sites like Elephant Journal, which proclaimed that women should “wait for the guy who… (Insert all these wonderful things in a man that women would only dream of here)”… because it seemed that he was all of those things. I think the thing that caught my attention the most was the way he looked at me. I have never had a man look at me the way he did. He would just gaze at me with this curious expression. I would look back at him and say, “what?” He would mimic me, “what?” and then he’d smile. It was as if making me smile was the most important thing in the world to him. Had I actually attracted a man who thought the opposite about me than what I thought about myself? Or was all the spiritual practice and self-talk about self-love and self-acceptance actually starting to materialize?
The conversations flowed between us. We spent our nights dining out at sushi joints all over Los Angeles and laughing until our stomachs hurt, and our days in bed cuddling and playing with his dog, or in the city trying new restaurants. And, oh lord, was he a good kisser. When I was with him, everything else seemed so irrelevant.
One day we made Turkish coffee at his place. If you’ve never had Turkish coffee, it’s a very grainy coffee and when you get to the bottom of the cup, you can flip it over and read it like a palm reading. We made the coffee too watery and, when we flipped the cup over into a plate, it made a mess and was unreadable. When we finished, he walked over to the plate and acted shocked. “What?” I inquired. He picked up the plate and showed it to me. He had drawn a heart in the coffee grinds.
Through all this “sweeping me off my feet,” I continued to remain emotionally unavailable. Yes, he was indeed chipping away at the cement shell surrounding my discouraged heart, but I surely didn’t let him know that. As a Pisces, he wore his heart on his sleeve and, as an empath, I knew everything that was going on in his head. I knew he was sincere and genuine, yet I remained guarded. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t trust him, it was more that I didn’t trust myself enough to attract a good man. I had been attracting shit shows for decades, why all of a sudden would I attract a man who treated me the way I wanted to be treated? Did he not see how damaged I was? Was he fucking blind?? If this sweet man only knew how difficult this was for me to let him in. If he only knew how terrified I was to let him know that I cared back, that I adored him actually. That I was afraid he would go away if he knew that I was a mosaic of shattered glass stuck back together with expired glue. I wanted so badly to show him the scars from the past that riddled my heart and how they create pain in present. I wanted him to know that he could destroy me with one lie, with one judgment… and I wanted to ask him not to. But I remained silent, yet present.
The weeks went on. The visa came in and I still didn’t book flights back to India. I was starting to believe that he was the reason why the universe not so gracefully forced me into going to Los Angeles. One night we had cooked dinner together at his place. He told me he wanted to take a nap before we went out that evening so I took my phone in the bathroom and called my friend while I did my makeup. Most of the conversation entailed me telling her that I didn’t want to make a mistake and that I knew my fears were irrational. I was referring to my fear of doing something to lose him. The conversation went on for a good 20 minutes on this topic. When I came out of the bathroom it was apparent that, not only did he hear my entire conversation, but he was convinced that HE was the mistake I was scared of making. He was used to the soft and sweet me. He wasn’t used to hearing the loud New Yorker me, the tone I used when I spoke to my girlfriends. You know, the “girl, you’re not gonna believe this shit” tone. He accused me of messing with his head and insinuated that I was playing games with him. I tried to explain that he heard my conversation out of context but I don’t think I did a good job. I was so shocked and hurt by his accusations. It devastated me that he listened to me for 20 minutes and interpreted the entire time that I was referring to him as a mistake. I broke down in tears and tried to convince him that my words and intentions were sincere. For the first time since we met, I told him I didn’t want to lose him. I opened myself up with the utmost vulnerability, yet he remained cold, distant and untrusting. This coldness ripped me apart. He insisted that we speak more in the morning when we weren’t so upset and the wine we had with dinner had worn off. I “slept” on the sofa that night, though it was more like staring at the wall for 8 hours with gut wrenching anxiety. Though we spoke a little more in the morning, something had shifted. That sparkle in his eye he had for me was no longer there.
A few days later we had a conversation. He told me that, while he may have misinterpreted my conversation, my reaction (crying and sobbing) had made him feel like I had done or said something wrong. He told me that his ex fiancé reacted like this when she lied to him about that things that eventually destroyed the relationship and only guilty people react like that. I started to piece together what was going on. What happened between us had triggered his trust issues. His disposition had triggered my abandonment issues. I felt defeated. I knew if he couldn’t trust me, nothing could become of us. I called him out on his trust issues and told him that he would have to deal with them with or without me in his life. I could feel him shutting down further, becoming defensive and pushing me away. He tried to hide it but I could feel the shift. I asked him what I was supposed to do. He told me that he didn’t want to hold me back. He told me I could meet my soulmate in India. His words cut me like a blade. I booked my flight to leave for 8 days later. During those 8 days I only heard from him once. He called me and told me that he what we shared was real and that he loved me… but he still said goodbye. He didn’t fight for me.
Words can’t describe how angry I was. Angry at him, angry at myself, angry at the situation, angry at how stupid the whole thing was… angry that this was a hurdle we could have easily gotten over together. But yet he insisted that this situation made him realize that he wasn’t ready for me, that he knew his trust issues would hurt me again. There was nothing I could do.
I went to yoga one day in Los Angeles before going back to India. Bikram yoga, actually. It was incredibly hot in the studio that day and all the sorrow from the past few days had violently propelled me into the painful present moment. In the middle of the practice, I received information from source. I was shown the soul contract he and I shared. I saw how his tendencies would trigger the false belief system I had a about myself and how I would have to fight through my conditioning in order to achieve self-love. I saw how his innocent, yet hurtful, unconsciousness would force me to overcome my fears, communicate needs I never thought I was entitled to and make standards based on self worth. I saw how my intolerance for his judgmental disposition and tendency to make impulsive decisions would force him to make corrections as well. I didn’t know if we were meant to simply have a short-term experience during which we would assist one another’s ascension just as karmics can be, or if he really was my flame. It made sense now why he kept telling me that he felt like he’d known me from before – our souls were recognizing each other. And while this “download” I experienced was incredibly beautiful, I still felt like my insides were being ripped from my body.
And so I went back to India. Like most, if not all, women do, I vomited out a multiple paragraph letter to him. Two months prior I was the girl who was scared to even reciprocate letting this man know I liked him, yet now I was spilling my heart out the utmost vulnerable manner in one last attempt to get him to realize how stupid and unnecessary this all was. I had nothing to lose. He was already gone. It was as if I had barely hit “send” when he messaged me back. He asked if we could speak on video chat. I was so exhausted and SO OVER letting him see me vulnerable and raw, yet I somehow mustered up the courage to get on Facetime with him, alligator tears and all. He told me that he wished we had spent more time together before I left LA. He apologized for hurting me and told me again that he’d rather not be with me than continue to hurt me. I explained to him that it’s part of life – people getting hurt, by what hurt me more was that he didn’t fight for me.
Dear Beautiful Man in My Life,
Today you let me know that you’re not capable of being present for me. You didn’t exactly use those words, but that’s what you meant. I hope it’s not forever, but it’s ok that is it for now.
I do not take it personally. I forgive you for being unconscious. I know the last thing you want to do is hurt me. I know that you are confused about how to handle my emotions, I can barely handle them myself.
I see that it hurts you when you hurt me and, for this reason, I am able to continue to return to you from a place of compassion and forgiveness. You wear your heart on your sleeve, Pisces, and sometimes that can be raw for me. I know the things I say can be raw for you too, and I’m sorry for that.
I understand that you feel like you let me down. You did let me down – and it’s ok. It’s brave of you to get up and dance with me again. We are both brave. I know I am not easy, but I can assure you I am worth it. I observe your efforts towards being the best version of yourself you can be, in all aspects of your life. Sometimes I wish you weren’t so hard on yourself. You are a good man.
I also see that, through your confusion, you do your best to show up for me. Your efforts are acknowledged and appreciated immensely. I know you’re not ready to hear these words from me so I will save them for when you are. I will continue to participate in this with you because I think you are worth it. Thank you for being you. <3