Relationships are the single most important things on this planet. Relationship with self and relationship with others. I find that they are more powerful than anything else in the world, and can affect us more and differently than anything else. I was thinking about this recently, as an old “friend” has been on my mind a lot.

Last year I met someone that changed my life. Flipped my world upside down and sent me spinning into an entire year (actually…it’s still going) of self-discovery. He probably has no idea the extent as to which he’s affected me really, by doing nothing other than existing.

At the time, I honestly couldn’t have imagined a cooler guy. The kind of guy that would take me shooting and teach me how to ride motorcycles, then go to yoga class with me and hit the country bar for some two-steppin on the way home. And then, leather tool me my own custom cowgirl belt while I was sleeping. Couldn’t have imagined it better.

Honestly, the only thing wrong with him was that he didn’t want a relationship. He told me that up front, to which I responded, “oh yeah, I mean, totally, me either.” To which I believed…mostly. But then, we kept hanging out. And talking all the time. And I really started to like him.

I technically didn’t want a relationship. I was exploring. Adventuring. Had just had a really heartbreaking break-up with someone I loved a lot. Was about to move to Costa Rica for a month and then travel in an RV indefinitely. With these facts in place, yes, of course I didn’t want a relationship. Didn’t want someone to miss. Someone to make me second-guess my decisions to explore (which is what started to happen). And most importantly, someone that I felt had the potential to really break my heart.

The “I don’t want a relationship” guy is actually the “I’ll never want a relationship with YOU” guy. I’ve read “He’s Not That Into You,” I know the drill. And I imagined that that would only lead me into heartache. And so, I ended whatever it was we had. Me and this amazing guy. Getting to know each other in that way stopped. And what ensued instead was months and months of me being upset and crying and talking to him and trying to be friends.

I often wonder if I did the wrong thing. If I should have just relaxed and let it play out. See what happened. In my mind, over a year later, it could have made all the difference. It could have made him fall in love with me and then we’d go ride off into the sunset on one of his horses and then two-step at our wedding and have beautiful babies and live on a ranch and laugh and be silly and go shooting together. In my fantasy, I’d have two-stepped right into my perfect magical life, with a boy named Hawk at the helm. Steering the ship. Holding me in his big strong arms, telling me it was all going to be all right. And I’d believe him because he was that strong.

But that’s not how it went. And that’s not what I did. And not where I am now.

It’s so easy to look back and feel regret. I should have done this and I should have done that. If only I had done this differently, everything would be great. But there are holes in this theory. Mainly, because this assumes that where we are now is wrong. That we took a wrong turn somewhere down the line. And even though I struggle with this idea, I don’t really believe we can take wrong turns. I think every moment that leads to this one is exactly what was supposed to happen. And just because it still hurts me in my heart to think about sometimes, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. That’s probably exactly what I’m supposed to be feeling right now. In retrospect, I know it’ll all makes sense.

Because the truth is…if Hawk and I were meant to be together, we would be. If that was my destiny, it would be happening. If we were supposed to be together, he wouldn’t have let me slip away, and I wouldn’t have felt threatened enough to want to. Assuming I did something wrong lessens the impact that this whole relationship has had on my life. Where it sent me spinning to, has changed my life in ways I think nothing else could have. I am pretty sure I’m not done spinning, and that’s cool. Apparently there is more for me to learn here.

And if nothing else I’ve learned about love. I know that the value of someone is NOT in how much they love me, especially in comparison to how much I love them, but rather in the merit of their character. If nothing else, this has taught me to love and open my heart, even when it hurts. To love people for who THEY are, not for what they do for me. It’s not Hawk’s fault he felt how he felt. Not my fault I feel how I feel. He’s still an amazing guy and deserving of love, which I still send him energetically, all the time.

Love is a powerful thing. And in my eyes, it’s the only thing that matters. Love of self and love of others. Being love. Heartache is just love getting deepened. A learning of loving yourself. A learning of letting go (which is also about love).

And in my opinion, you gotta let love rule. Get in heart deep, or go home. “Protecting” the heart actually means, hardening the heart, and that’s not the way to live life.

So the next time you find yourself feeling sad, or heart broken, remember that there is something much greater for you to learn here. This feeling is all about you being on your path to love. That there is no wrong move, no wrong turn, and no wrong way to be feeling. Embrace what’s happening. And with this, I’ll leave with you a note from the Universe that ended up in my inbox last week, just as I was writing this:

“One thing I know for sure, is that with time everything becomes clear, all questions are answered, what’s broken is restored, new trails are blazed, hearts are mended, love returns, and you will look over your shoulder, with a tear in your eye, at life’s utter perfection. And best of all, time is what you have plenty of. Trust me. “

Have you had a similar experience? Feeling a bit heart broken? Feeling regrets? Wondering “What If?” Leave a comment below and share your story and your best piece of advice about it.

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