Sunday, February 22, 2015

a letter to a man across the world

Sunday, February 22, 2015

dear D of sheffield,

in a conversation over coffee that i had with a couple of friends a few days ago, we all agreed that it’s been an off-putting start for this year. in my part of the world, there’s been a couple of earthquakes (no one got hurt but it shook a lot of people, no pun intended), my (very pregnant) sister’s next door neighbor was robbed, three people really close to me have ended their romantic relationships, a lot of people have also been sick. and today, there is a storm. it’s only the beginning of the year.  i myself have been under the weather, and the inspiration to write has left me. i hope only temporarily.

two nights ago, one of my readers left me a message saying that she’s still suffering from a break-up from two years ago (this invisible writer still gets stoked when she gets anonymous e-mails from readers. you too, dear readers, can do the same if you wish. there is a request for me to write about how people deal with pain from past relationships. i am flattered that i’ve been asked, but i’m not sure if i am the right person to write about it. i’ve had my share of bad relationships. my process: get hurt, bounce back, repeat. note: repeat only the good part of it.

you got my attention. i’ve never had a guy from across the world write to me about being “shattered into pieces”. they say it’s easier to open up to strangers. first, there is the complete absence of pre-judgment. second, it’s the next best thing to talking to yourself. i am celebrating, with a cup of tea, the fact that someone like you has manned up to run to a blog with the name “stilettos” screaming at you.

i am sorry to know that you are hurting. i am sorry that loneliness, you said, is killing you. i am sorry that you feel hopeless, among so many other emotions that come when a person turns his or her back away from you. that certainly is a lot for a person to take in all at the same time. we have all been through episodic walks down that familiar lane. i don’t like that lane one bit. there was a period in my life when that lane moved up in front of my house. even conakry that time seemed like a great place to fly to but there was simply no way to escape what lay in front of me. 

when we are in great deal of emotional pain, we look around for anything that will fill the void. that’s how we stumble into bad decisions sometimes. when your girlfriend left you for another guy, kubler-ross’ model of the stages of grief must have hit you harder that two bottles of absinthe. 

now that you’ve denied, gotten angry, probably bargained and are depressed, let’s hop on to the most challenging stage to achieve — acceptance. there’s no telling when it’s going to happen for you, but there is another way around it — and that’s making it happen for you.

after the break-up, you said you want to deny yourself love because all it does is draw in pain. your exact words, “i don’t believe in love anymore.” 

D, love is what you give. in the years of my long and stormy, but rewarding, journey, i have learned that loving becomes painful when you expect it to be given back to you. what human from this planet would not want to be loved back, right? 

eventually, one reaches a level of awareness where bliss is sourced from giving and not getting. joy comes from a place of knowing that the person you love is well, happy and healthy. love becomes a present that you give, not a prize that you’re trying to win.

i reread a favorite book when i introduced it to a kerouac-loving nepalese friend a few months ago. the little prince by antoine de saint-exupĂ©ry has taught me some of the most valuable things about the world and my connections with people. this one, i really value….

D, i’m not even going to say that i understand what your heart is going through. it’s always different for every breathing soul. i thank you for sharing your pain and your thoughts because it is proof that what lies within you is a bright shining moon called strength. 

tomorrow isn’t necessarily today’s friend. 

love hasn’t left. it hasn’t left your heart and soul when your ex-girlfriend left. love lies within you and it’s waiting for you to give it.  

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