His birthday

Today is his birthday, the celebration of his life. 

After we had spent last Christmas separately, both of us with our family, we met at the airport in Faro, Portugal. He brought me the most useful and cute present: a lighter. A lighter for Christmas, you are wondering? Don’t get me started about our first Christmas together, he gave me a quick drying towel, but this is a whole different story, for another time. Anyway, the lighter was a small gift, a side gift, as we had the agreement we only give each other handmade gifts. Why am I speaking about this lighter, you are wondering? Because this lighter has a beautiful drawing of a girl, very simple, very easy, accompanied with the words “Real love is an ART.”

Real love is an art. Every time I use this lighter, these words get a different meaning. There are so many ways of interpreting the same words, views, ideas, so as well these words of the lighter. And from all the meanings this lighter had before, nothing comes close to what they mean today. 

This ‘intelligent lockdown’ is a blessing and a curse – like everything, two sides of the same coin. When we are thinking about where we would ‘like’ to be, it wouldn’t be here, it would be already in the next chapter, that we believe soon will come. Yet in the same time, this is a precious time, a time where we can be with my mother, who has been alone for many years. We have the time to be grounded, to work on our book, to work on our website, to enjoy the nature of my childhood, that I could never fully enjoy when I was younger, to create solid foundations in many areas of our life. Where there used to be a lack, a lack of space, a lack of electricity, a lack of time, a lack of stillness from within. 

All this is beautiful, but all have a counterpart. Being together with my mama is asking for different dynamics between us. We are sharing each other with my mother, beautiful, healing but also exhausting. We have loads of time to work on our projects, but what about investing time in each other? What about being together, connecting?

It seems so obvious, we are sharing the space together, we are (for many years) literally on each other’s ass. Of course, with fun, roaming around with a backpack & driving around with our home on wheels. Always sharing time and space together. Always debating where to sleep, what to eat, where to park. Always together, like two magnets, glued together. But that doesn’t  mean that we are also connected. Connecting – at least for me – has a different meaning than just spending time and space together. 

And so as the days went by, here in beautiful Den Helder, ‘locked’ in the house, no where to travel with the mind – as life stands still at the moment, I look again at the words of the lighter, and they begin to have a different meaning. “Real love is an ART”.

Real love is a different connection every day. Real love is not being stuck on the ideas that we have about relationships. Real love is setting each other free. Real love is eating the dinner I made by myself, while he is doing yoga in the same space. Real love is ‘ignoring’ each other for a whole morning, because one needs time to wake up. Real love is going for a walk together and speaking a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings. Real love is kissing each other all day or not kissing each other at all. Real love is not feeling you have to do anything, just because your beliefs about relationships are like ‘this’. We all have the power to create. Create the life we want – create the relationship we want. 

My mom says: ‘We need to do something special today, it is his birthday.”
She hasn’t noticed yet that he left, that he took the van for a day in nature.
He needed space, time. A different surrounding.
And I.. I need to stay within, as I listen to the wisdom of my moon cycle, my bleeding.

Both of us felt guilty yesterday evening, while we spoke about this. He felt guilty that he wanted to go and I felt guilty I wanted to stay. We looked at each other and started to laugh. “This damn guilt, what a sneaky demon.”
“I don’t love you less just because I want to stay at home and honor my body,” I look in his eyes, with tears in my eyes. “I love you more for that reason. And as I love myself, I have to honor my feelings for wanting to go for a time by myself, but that doesn’t mean that anything changes within our love.”

The reason I share this, is because we have certain ideas about how a relationship should look like. And our inbuilt patterns will make us feel guilty when we do not live up to these ideas. But just because the whole world identifies a relationship in a certain way, doesn’t mean that you have to agree with this. We are here to live our own unique lives and what the rest of the world will think about it, doesn’t really matter, does it?

As with the ideas we have around birthdays, as in the comment of my mom: it needs to be something ‘special’. What about every other day of the year, shouldn’t those not be special too? Should we not live every fuckin’ day of this life with full gratitude, smiles and cakes? 

Today is his birthday, the celebration of his life and my present to him is a day by himself.
Today, I love him more than I have ever done before.
Real love is an art that requires communication, honest communication from heart to heart, to always express what you feel, even if you think it might hurt the other. Communication is the space where we kill demons (like guilt) and create space for love.
REAL LOVE IS AN ART and is always and ever changing, if you allow it too.

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