Right around New Years Eve I bought one of those bracelets that is supposed to be a wish fulfilling bracelet. If you’ve never seen one before, it is a bracelet with beads in the middle of it, made up of some kind of material that slowly shreds over months time until it finally breaks. When it breaks, it means your wish has come true. They make ones with different colored beads on them, and because 2013 was supposed to be my year of Eros, I bought one with pink beads. I wore it every day for the beginning of the year, even as it became tattered and stringy and ugly. I hadn’t slept with my yoga teacher yet, and I was sure the day I finally did, the bracelet would magically fall off in bed with him.
Then the night actually happened. I woke up the next morning to see the bracelet was still clinging on. I left the bracelet on, day after day, in yoga and watching it stay strung together no matter what happened between me and him. I was frustrated, but I allowed the bracelet to do its thing and bring me true love.
One day in yoga class, a bead fell off onto my mat. He was helping me with an extremely hard pose, and as usual, I was letting him contort me into any position he wanted. On this particular day, I was very burnt out because I was up all night crying over some interaction we had and what it meant to me. All of the sudden, something inside me clicked and I was no longer okay with what he was doing to my body. I said out loud, I can’t do this, it’s too hard, in a halfway to tears voice. As soon as he let go of me, one of my shining, pink beads fell onto my mat right in front of me. For a minute, I was angry because I was losing my beads over him, the person who was breaking my heart. As I continued my practice, I let it sink in that what just happened was part one of true love. My admittance and acceptance of the pain and fear, to myself and to him, was true love, and nothing more. Even if it turned into nothing more than what we shared that one night…I had experienced true love in that moment.
It’s difficult because we expect true love to mean happily ever after but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. True love is true love, no matter what happens afterwards. And more importantly, surrendering completely to the vulnerability of true love is the first step to being able to hold it for longer, no matter how much it hurts. The bracelet that used to symbolize true love now symbolized vulnerability.
I wore the bracelet for a couple more weeks or so and then I couldn’t take any more vulnerability. The bracelet was ragged and ugly, and I was too weak. I removed the bracelet one night and didn’t put it on again. Until last week.