Over the summer, I had the chance to reconnect with a guy, who, at least up to that point in my life, I had pretty much considered to be the “Love of My Life.” As cliché as it may sound, that title definitely held true for this guy, as he was the ONE guy who could make my heart beat a million miles a minute simply by showing up on my caller ID. He was my kryptonite. My Achilles Heel. My Mr. Big.
I feel like I should give you a little more back story on this guy, just so you can TRULY appreciate his significance in my life.
I first met him four years ago and went home and told my mom I had met the boy I was going to marry. We then proceeded to have an on-again, off-again, very perpetual shade of gray “relationship” for the next two years, until circumstances swept him out of my life for a year and a half. This past summer, he reemerged, and for three months, he lit up my world and shook the foundation of everything I thought I had already figured out about him. He changed me. He helped me come out of my shell and learn to be vulnerable, to lay my heart on the line without fear, and to leap off the edge of “safe” and grow my wings on the way down. We danced under the stars. We watched fireworks on the 4thof July. We tracked down the actual rock steps that Baby shimmies up in “Dirty Dancing” (since it is my all-time favorite movie)…and he took my hand and asked me, “Remember that day you got to kiss someone on the Dirty Dancing steps?” And I said “It hasn’t happened yet.” And he kissed me there, on the steps where my childlike heart had already been a thousand times in my mind, just never daring to imagine that my “Johnny” would turn out to be the boy I had loved for as long as I could remember.
Then just like that…summer was over...and so were we. We never even really had a last dance.
The most ironic part of it all is that we almost had it this time. We had really grown closer...and were spending more time together...and there was a moment when I felt a shift in our dynamic...a line was crossed that neither of us had ever ventured over before...and I thought, for a moment, that he was finally going to give in to this thing we had between us and see what happened on the other side of taking a chance. But then life and fate swept him away again...just like that...and the line in the sand that we had finally crossed over was washed away in the waves of his hesitation. And this time...he's gone for good. Not only because of his indecision...but because I finally decided it was time for me to walk away. The truth is, you can only give a person so much time to realize what's standing right in front of them. You can only let a person chase you for so long before you realize that maybe, just maybe, they never intended to catch you at all.
So you can understand how a girl’s heart could be a little banged up after a less-than-Hollywood Ending like that.
With the dawning of a new season in my life, both literally and figuratively, I decided it was time to not just turn the page on my Almost Lover, but to close the book. But how? How could I finally break away, and gain the emotional distance and clarity that I needed to move on into the next chapter of my life? Then I remembered my brilliant and inspired friend, Mastin Kipp, the founder of The Daily Love, who has created a 30-day “Love Cleanse” designed to wash away the remnants of past relationships, cleanse your emotions and spirit of residual baggage, and help you gain a fresh perspective on life and love.
This “Love Cleanse” consists of:
1) No dating
2) No flirting (which obviously includes giving out the digits, initiating conversation with a boy you happen to find attractive, etc.)
3) No kissing (or any other physical activity, for that matter)
4) No obsessing, ruminating, cyber stalking, and no mentally or physically engaging with anyone with whom you have a history of drama or are seeking to break free from.
5) Increasing physical activity. Mastin’s recommendation is yoga. While I have never tried yoga before, I am excited to say I will be attending my first “Hot Yoga” class in the next few days.
6) Living healthy – Thankfully, because of my awesome sponsors at Nutrisystem, I have the eating healthy in the bag. Think fresh veggies, lots of fruit, plenty of water…and it is also strongly recommended that you try organic, less processed foods. Also – make sure you get PLENTY of rest.
7) Journal your experience, every morning and every night. It will give you an excellent point of reference at the end of your cleanse to go back and see how you grew and progressed and even healed throughout the process.
I am on Day 4 of the Love Cleanse, and can already see its effects. Mastin told me to be alert, because guys (especially those from my past) would likely come popping out of the woodwork. On Day 2, I went to the grocery store and was approached by not one, not two, but THREE different men…all gazing at me with wonder, almost as if under a spell. It was WILD! It was as though they felt compelled to speak to me and to get to know me better. Obviously I was polite but went about my merry way without engaging any further - but just to see the evidence of how a woman NOT on a mission to find a man COMPELS men…it astounded me. Keep in mind: You should NEVER do a Love Cleanse with the intent of getting someone’s attention or attracting the opposite sex. If you do, you are missing the point. This is about YOU and your emotional health. Take men out of the equation and focus on healing and restoring your heart to mint condition. After all, haven’t you let that other person have ownership of the pieces of your heart for too long? Isn’t it time to take back your power? A broken heart is a GREAT place to start, because you get to start from scratch and build on a foundation of strength and clarity and forgiveness, rather than attempting to reconstruct the new you from shards of the old you. Let the old you be washed away, because the new you is here to stay!
At the end of the day, in my life, it turns out someone DID put Baby in the corner. But the good news is, SHE DIDN’T STAY THERE! I am now calling the shots and choreographing my OWN dance…and I have 30 days of “romance radio silence” to help me gain the perspective I need to let go of what was and embrace what is. And though I have some very special memories to keep in the pages of my memory forever, the new chapter in the story of my life is where the magic REALLY begins. Because I did have the time of my life – and I owe it all to ME.