What you gonna do with that?
Magnets coming off
Drippin’ sugar from your cheeks
You can’t help but show your row of whites
every time you get a whiff
say you’re sick
in a twist
that’s love, baby
I have been thinking a lot about romantic love lately. Remembering adolescent angst, excitement flip-over-backwards love. Answering my six-year-old’s question: “What’s a crush?” And thinking about my own marriage. My husband and I were both raised by single moms so when it comes to bumps in marital bliss, we look at each other and say, “We’re still learning.”
What if the same goes for romantic love? Are you in that kind of love now? Have you ever been in love? Were you heartbroken after? Or did it fade and now you’re bored? The poem above was inspired by my friend who fell in love and didn’t know it. She had gone on a few dates with this guy. She was complaining about her stomach hurting all the time. We were standing in line outside the White House:
Me: Girl, you’re in love.
Friend: No, I’m not.
Me: Yeah, you are. You’re done. That’s what it feels like.
They’ve been married for eleven years.
Love doesn’t always come in the form of a stomach ache. Sometimes you find it again with long-time partners. You can find it in their crooked teeth. In the way they make you laugh. In the way they fold your laundry. One thing I’m learning is that you can ask for that kind of love in your life whether you are with someone or not. It starts with your heart’s center. According to The Institute of Heart Math, your heart creates a magnetic field five thousand times greater than your brain.
For years I was a serial monogamist, in one long-term relationship after another. I even had a brief stint on match.com. Then I said, I’m done for a while. And I consciously chose not to date. It gave me a chance to just be. And what a marvelous time I had. I was so happy just taking a break. I didn’t think, “I’ll never meet someone if I don’t keep trying.” You know what happened when my heart center was generating that glow? I met a cute guy at a cafe’s art opening. He was shy and I had this kind of soul recognition and shameless attraction. I was talking to a group of people, all Mexican-American, and they were asking me about my background. I told them that I was Mexican, Polish, Irish and German. The cute guy said, “You came out good.” In that moment, I was another kind of done. I took a big fat risk with my heart and it worked out. Keep in mind, lots of risks were taken with that organ in the previous years. I was highly skilled at scooping that puppy off the pavement.
Sometimes during mundane moments of solitude on the bus, I think, “I love my life. I’m in love with my life. Someone is driving me around and I don’t have to pay attention.” This kind of happiness is cultivated consciously. Two great things happened yesterday. I read a beautiful story about a man eating his first meal alone after losing wife of 43 years. He watched a couple during dinner and was inspired to pay for their bill. Here’s a man who’s heart might be aching from grief, yet he’s morphed that into a pay-it-forward kind of love. Second, a friend and colleague sent me Pharrell Williams Happy video saying he thinks of me when he hears the song. I was so touched that I danced right there in my office. Watch it here and see your heart pulse with ten thousand magnets!
Whatever your circumstances right now, I hope that you’ll fall in love with your life. Even if it’s starting with a bus ride. You might get to know yourself better. You might get to know your partner better. Or the person next to you might give you a stomachache.