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A Love Story of Self Trust

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

Why do humans have a fascination with crystal balls and fortune telling? My theory is that the sense of certainty allows us to relax, even if the certain event isn’t something we particularly want. In other words, the unknown causes more stress than the undesirable.

If you look back on a particularly challenging experience, can you honestly say that things didn’t work out for the better? For my own life, that’s been true. Every. Single. Time. So why does it feel so fucking hard to trust when a new unknown presents itself?

A year ago, I’d begin an experiment in trust I had no idea I was beginning.

Just as many huge growth moments tend to begin, mine started with a necessary and painful rupture. My three-year relationship came to an abrupt end, and this decision was not my choice. The emotions I felt in those first moments were strange. The intense sadness made sense. The thin bedrock of calm, underneath, did not. Even three weeks later as my partner and I hosted a previously scheduled retreat, there was a lack of finality in things between us. I remember looking at her and crying, asking why I had to say goodbye to my best friend, and feeling a strange sense of hopefulness and necessity amidst the confusion.

After spending several months living apart and in perpetual limbo, we decided to cleanse the container and go several months without speaking. This felt like anathema to my soul. I longed for her in the way my lungs seek the next breath while under water too long. I experienced several plateaus of grief and loneliness. She entered the dating scene and I was beside myself with heartache like I’ve never felt before. It was clear that there was something inside that I would need to come to terms with: a life without the person I felt like I was meant to walk beside in co-creation.

Having gone through more than a few divorces and another serious break-up, moving on was something I had plenty of experience with. There was just something about this one that didn’t ever feel the same. I constantly questioned myself: Was I just too stubborn? Was I suffering from toxic attachment? There something that didn’t resonate with moving on from her. Then there were the omens that refused to keep showing up.

It turns out we both reached out to the same local jewelry maker on the same week, and met up with him to receive our treasures on the same day, and there was literally no way either of us could have known that to be the case. There were the the countless pennies. The countless reminders of her no matter how many people I blocked on social media. The plant medicine journeys where I asked to see my soul and found a ribbon of her in there, woven with mine. Many more that are more private than I care to share. I felt like the movie Groundhog Day. No matter how many times I tried to cut ties and move on, her essence was still there. It reminded me of the movie E.T. where Eliot and E.T. experience the same illness, even the same drunkenness, though they are miles apart.

You can read instances catalogued in this blog where I had to take accountability for the mistakes I’d made in our relationship, and understand how to show up better for myself and another person through some intense inner work and time spent in solitude.

I practiced Sex Magic as a form of cultivating my intentions and manifesting experiences that would support my greatest good and expansion. She even dropped some mail off at my house one day, and left a sticker that said "Manifest That Shit." I admit I was looking for something, anything to keep that hope alive. My heart longed for her harder, yet our lives were clearly heading in opposite directions.

Though we weren't speaking to one another, there was a deep knowing that she was moving on and it felt important for me to do the same. On one hand, it felt irresponsible to begin developing feelings for someone else when I still hadn’t fully moved on. On the other hand, it felt important to try. I was as honest as I could be with this other person and admitted that I had feelings that I hadn't fully put to rest, but I was working hard at this in my own journey. I still made mistakes when it came to being 100 percent transparent at all junctures. I had held out so much hope, and knew what my soul called for. I also knew it took more than one person for a relationship to flourish. It felt like I couldn’t stand on that mountain peak alone any longer.

I knew what my heart desired deep down, and it felt out of reach. So I did the only thing I knew from my study in grief and acceptance: I built space around the grief and held space in love around it, rather than trying to eradicate it. That was almost as difficult as the initial breakup, akin to writing with your non-dominant hand, or surviving in a foreign country with no knowledge of the local language.

There came a crucial moment for me. To hold a paradox in my mind. To know that my soul ultimately wanted to spend my whole life with my former partner, and to know that I had to completely let her go in an effort to find happiness for myself no matter what happened between us. Leaving things up to the mysteries of life, I felt helpless, defeated, and had zero expectations.

The one lasting thought I had was, “The next person I meet is going to be pretty fucking amazing if I am not meant to be with this woman.”

Finally something more drastic shifted. In August, my former partner told me that she never wanted to talk to me again after some attempts to reconnect as friends. It lit the fire in my belly to fully let go. When I didn’t hear from her on my birthday, I knew this was for real. I became angry, and decided to mature that emotion into willpower. That’s the same moment my willpower was tested. She popped up on social media, people I knew were mentioning connecting with her, she even popped up on a Venmo payment with another mutual friend. In fighting forest fires, fire fighters will create a fire break by intentionally burning down rows of timber in order to remove the fuel for a raging fire to leap frog from fuel source to fuel source. I decided I had to create my own firebreak and burn down every single bridge I had with her if I hoped to move on. I massively deleted our mutual contacts from social media and had begun doing the same on my phone. I knew that I was never going to be the one that initiated contact between us, and I was firmly resolved on that fact.

It was a Tuesday morning. I was at the climbing gym one morning when a song that reminded me of her came on. I didn’t cry this time. I was bugged. “Leave me the fuck, alone!” I remember saying in my head. I went to delete the last number that needed removing: hers. As I reached for my phone, Siri announced in my earbuds. “Text from Kristy Johnson.” She had sent an olive branch after 40-something days, telling me she'd be willing to talk and sort through some of the shit that had come up.

I had reached the maximum resignation level to move on. At the last possible moment, she had reached out. The beautiful irony did not escape my awareness. I sat down immediately and took some time to myself. I remember asking myself distinctly, What do you want out of this? I felt stubborn, and angry. My ego spoke from my head asking Why now? My soul whispered from my heart: What have you wanted this entire time? Even on a friendship level, the answer felt clear, and powerful. Having Kristy in my life resonated clearly, and all the way to my core. It was also at that moment that I knew it would be unfair to ask any other person to accept that as my truth. Not many people are going to understand my undying desire to be as good of friends with Kristy as felt possible.

Almost a year in the making, especially eight months of intense refining, and I knew what I was going to do: I was going to let it ride on the fact that my soul had never wanted anything more in my entire life than to co-create with this woman, and if all I got out of it was a good friendship with a dope soul, then that seemed worth it to me. Even if it still left my heart more torn apart than before.

This is where the love story of trust truly begins. Without divulging too much of a story that isn’t mine to tell, entering back into a friendship with Kristy was an assault on my ego with a force I never knew I could bare. She had found herself in a different relationship. Jealousy raged on certain days. Intense heartbreak. Sleepless nights. Plenty of Why the fuck are you doing this? And some surprises.

Words like compersion, unconditional love, and ego awareness became common themes in those initial days. I learned as much about myself as I ever have, taking the lessons I'd gained over the last year of contemplation and self-soothing very seriously. Looking back, it’s weirdly ironic that I went through the 75 Hard around this time. A program I had tried and failed 12 times. Yet, I was thick into it when Kristy and I connected. I learned what patience and dedication truly entailed in the 75 Hard program. Reconnecting with Kristy was the universe saying, "We'll see how resolved really are, silly little guy." I knew exactly where I wanted to go. I knew exactly why I wanted to go there. Was I willing to endure the when, where, and how? That’s the question I constantly asked myself. Does this lead you to your heart's deepest desire. Luckily, I'd spent almost a year revealing the answer.

And there came more lessons. Calling things off with the other person I was involved with was the right thing to do, but it butted up against one of my biggest discomforts: disappointing others. Hearing my name drug through the mud added more injury to that experience. When my jealousy flared up, I got to ask myself, “Why is your ego hurt by this? Do you support Kristy's ultimate happiness? Where and who are you outsourcing your significance to?” I got to speak up to my boundaries and feel scared they might pop the delicate ecosystem of friendship that was developing. Once again asking, “Does this support where you want things to go?”

When it came down to it, I boiled the reoccurring question down to this: “How much do you trust that the universe supports your intentions and intuition?”

As unsure as I felt in the moment, every time I answered myself with, “I trust.”

Something put me at ease in that moment. It felt like pointing my feet down a river and knowing that the river was leading me somewhere great. If my feet got off track, I practiced pointing my feet downstream rather than getting frustrated and asking why my feet were always floundering.

This is where the experiment reached its crescendo. I desired all of her, and I was resigned to being able to text her as a friend. With her still in a relationship, I got to decide almost every day, "Is this what you want?" Well, I didn't know what was going to happen. But I also knew I didn't want to be anywhere else. So I did what I learned to do: Trust.

Personal affirmations big and small came frequently. A pile of pennies. A 100-dollar bill. Timely, reassuring texts. Signs of growth and of thawing. I could feel the momentum surge, reminding me of times I intentionally cut blood circulation from my hand, only to release the grip and let the flow begin again. My tears also flow when I remember the tremor of trust and deep knowing that vibrated in me all year. It wasn’t a crystal ball, and it wasn’t crystal clear, but god damn it, that feeling sustained me in some hard, lonely moments. It strengthened me when I needed it to, loosened my voice when it was required, and taught me the most important tool involving trust: patience.

I’m reminded of Van Helsing in Dracula when he talks of the Good Husbandman (farmer) who plants a seed and doesn’t dig it up out of worry or ineptitude to see if it's a good crop and has born roots. The good farmer knows it’s a good crop when it sprouts and bears fruit. The good farmer has the patience that comes from trust in what he’s doing.

In the crucible of confronting my ego and questioning what the fuck I was doing, I learned about trust and patience and the fruit they bear. Those two things kept me on my path no matter how life tempted, shook, and damn-near broke my will off course. The resulting fruit is the sweetest I’ve ever tasted.

Reconnecting with Kristy is so sweet, I hardly can believe the taste. It brings up another lesson my ego is confronting: worthiness. Trusting that I’m worthy of this type of love. Trusting that I deserve this level of happiness. Trusting that though the thaw takes time and trusting that I needed to the tools and lessons of the time we spent apart, and the patience required as we reconnect. The flowers of Spring bloom exactly when they’re ready to, not when the audience is ready. And they are that all the more beautiful for that.

My heart soars as I connect to what my soul called to for so long, and from such dark places. I’m left with a sentiment similar to what Dantes declares at the end of The Count of Monte Cristo when he says, “Wait and Hope," to Albert.

Trust is about listening to the whisperings of your soul, pointing your feet in that direction, and knowing that you have all that you need inside of you to make it to your goal. The journey is what reveals the tools, sharpens them, and alchemizes the pain along the way into the deepest form of joy and love. To my sweet partner, Kristy: This is the relationship I’ve been preparing myself for my whole life. This is the relationship I spent a year in agony dreaming of. I’m ready. My compass is tuned. Our adventure is set and I still trust every step of the way.

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