I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I love you for a thousand more
I was in my early twenties and nurturing a heart lacerated with wounds inflicted by an abusive, faithless ex-husband. I was damaged, fragile, like a bone that was broken and had not yet set. Every move brought pain. It hurt to breath.
In those lonely small hours, I wondered if I would be able to repair my heart enough to give it to someone else. I wondered if I would ever be able to trust again. I would lay in bed looking for answers in the shadows stretching across my ceiling. What do you do when your mate leaves scars on your soul?
And yet, with each new dawn, I would feel an effervescent bubble of hope forming inside me. I would heal, trust, love again.
Twenty years later, I realize I made a habit of choosing mates with a propensity for wounding my soul. It has left me confused about the notion of soul mates. If you're unfortunate enough to choose a love who abuses, uses, or discards you, does that mean you're destined to spend eternity aching and unfulfilled? Do we each get only one soul mate? Is it possible for us to live our entire lives and never meet our soul mate?
Or is it possible that we have multiple mates - people who enter our lives and leave an imprint on our soul?
A few years after my divorce, the Universe brought me a wise, compassionate mentor, a strong, female personal injury trial lawyer with impeccable style and a unique philosophy on life. She seemed to gather the world's wounded like a naturalist scooping moths in a net. And we flittered around her, drawn to the light emanating from her. She looked beyond my bright smile, beyond the beautiful, irrepressible mask I wore, and saw my battered heart. I confessed all. I remember I sat in her office, a soggy Kleenex balled in my hand, wishing I had never met my ex.
She tilted her head, looked at me through the thick fringe of her ebony eyelashes, and said, "Leah, my darling, don't you know that everyone who has ever come into your life was put there for a reason?"
I have thought of those words many times over the years. I think of them now, as I am pondering the idea of soul mates and love ever after. I don't know if I wholly subscribe to the idea of predestination, but I like the theory. It's comforting, isn't it, to think that somewhere up in Heaven, there exists a tremendous map plotting out all of the points of your life? And printed on that map are red stars, symbols designating the people who will act as major detours in your life.
And maybe that is what we are to each other - frustrating detours or pleasant diversions. We are red stars on each other's maps, stops on an endless journey.
Through my confusion and pain, I feel those bubbles of hope forming inside me again. I listen to Christina Perri singing A Thousand Years, and I think of that timeless lover, that mate who has spent a thousand years loving me, loving me many lifetimes over. A love designed by fate that stretches over time and space. That thought lifts my spirit, heals my battered heart, gives me a course as I navigate the rest of my journey through this life.