Eat, Pray, Love… Mexico
I came to Playa Del Carmen with the intention to only stay 2 weeks. Quickly that turned into the intention to complete a 1 month Yoga teacher course in November. Then, even faster still, I had also decided to stay for the month of December since work always slows down in that month. Well, my plans didn’t quite turn out that way. I find myself here now, in December, without any Yoga training and no real plans. Yet, I’m contemplating staying here through January. Am I running away, or toward something? Only time will tell.
My first day in Playa del Carmen was not a full day really, but it was amazing how quickly I felt at home and how easily I made my way through the streets. I was assured by the woman who helped me book my condo, an ex-Pat from North Carolina, that it was very safe in Playa. Even if she hadn’t told me that, I already felt this sense of safety and a feeling of home.
I got to my condo after a half hour delay and a 45 min cab ride from the Cancun airport. After being shown around by the property manager I fell into what would become my requisite 5 minute a day freak out. “What the hell was I doing in Mexico by myself for 6 weeks?” “What the hell was I thinking, leaving my business and my life?” I felt so alone and so isolated. Five minutes later I put on some music, began to unpack and make myself at home. I blame my Gemini schizophrenia and was happy the negative feeling didn’t last long. Although the fear subsided, it would return in the following few days if only for 5 min at a time.
I changed into more comfortable clothing and headed toward the famous 5th Ave. As I walked through the streets a light rain began to come down, but it did not deter me or bother me in the least. I relished every drop of that warm Mexican rain on my body. I felt as though I was being welcomed by each drop; it was a baptism of sorts. It’s incredibly easy to get around especially because Mexican people are warm and inviting. They are always willing to help with directions. There were so many vacationers already here, although, thankfully they are on the furthest end of the beach away from my condo. There are a great number of Americans and Canadian living here and most of the Mexicans I encounter speak very good English. I found my way to a lovely little taco place, which is right next to a cafe that sells real hot chocolate! Yes, you heard me, REAL. It’s actually melted dark chocolate in milk…OH MY YUMMY!!
I felt so happy to be here and yet the feelings were still bittersweet. I sat down next to a table of students who happened to be getting their yoga teacher training from one of the schools that I had looked into just a few short months ago. It reminded me of just how short of a time I had been here and it also reminded me of my broken heart.
In July I met and quickly fell in love with a wonderful man that would later become one of the great loves of my life. He was unexpected and refreshing; however, he was not what I had imagined. He had requested my friendship via Facebook. Right from the first day, I felt a familiar and comfortable with him. A spark of electricity surged through me as our arms lightly brushed against the other while walking down the street. It felt like a lighting bolt. That night as a I drove home I felt a very peculiar feeling that I had never experienced with a main. That feeling was gratitude. I felt so grateful for having met him and yet I didn’t “know” him at all. After our next day together it was clear that there was something deeper at work here. Never before had I met a man so open with his affections and love. He was so willing to be in love. He was a man with a great passion for living life just like my own. He shared himself and his dreams almost immediately and I was pleasantly surprised to find that those dreams were matched with my own. I felt so safe expressing myself with him, and he was bringing out the best in me. I felt alive again for the first time in a long time. He appreciated my passion and marvelled at me in a away that a man never had before. Our passions developed into a great friendship where we laughed together, ate and cooked together, and taught each other so much. I loved the way he was thirsty for knowledge and how he loved learning new things just like me. I had found a true kindred spirit. He was also awake on his spiritual journey and wanted more for himself, and his life, which made for wonderful deep conversations. We were everything that I had ever wanted. One day, he told me that he hadn’t been in love like this since his ex. She had deeply broken his heart. There it was. Then came by fear settling in.
After almost 2 months of what was a beautiful love affair, and the deepest spiritual and energetic connection I had ever felt with a man, he slowly began to close his heart. Little by little, as each passing week went by, I plunged into a deep insecurity and fear within myself. Was this too good to be true as I had told my friend early on? Was he going to break my heart? He said he was afraid of hurting again the way he had. He was afraid of caring too much and being apart, and afraid of losing himself the way he had in the past. We had many conversations about his feelings and he was deeply torn between what he felt for me and his need to pursue his dreams, which he had put on hold for his ex. He continued to struggle with his heart becoming closed off and I can see now how hard he was trying to hang on to me as I was to him. When you meet your match this often happens. I can see in the aftermath of this relationship how precisely we mirrored each other in so many wonderful ways, but also in our wounding. A good friend and mentor of mine told me that we were both trying to heal the same wounds, but that we were using each other to do it instead of healing and starting anew. This makes more sense to me now.
Without going into more personal details I will tell you that we went through a very difficult and challenging situation in October and that nothing would be the same after that. I had already planned on going away to Mexico and my intended departure was to be early November, but this situation had delayed me. Originally i had decided to go away at the end of September after a weekend away together. That weekend I was hit with a realization which I didn’t fully understand until a few days after. I was feeling “off” all weekend and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Was it the weather changing, or something else? Then it hit me, I was getting that all to familiar feeling of “settling.” That uninspired and unfulfilled sense of nothingness. Ladies if you’ve done it, and let’s face it most of us have, then you know the feeling I’m talking about. I became so mad at myself. Had I not already gone down this path for 7 years in my last relationship? Hadn’t I learned anything? As much as I loved him I was settling for only parts of him instead of the whole package. I convinced myself that I need to be more compassionate and patient because of his difficult life situation. I was trying to be, but what about me? I could feel myself slipping away again like I had in my previous relationship. I decided that I needed to do something for me and risk that this relationship might end or it might make it stronger. I had to choose me, so I did. He had been encouraging me since the day I met him to pursue my dream of going to live somewhere else. He wanted me to have that “me” time and jump into my fears. He was my biggest champion that way and I could feel the authenticity of his true love and caring for me. Despite this, he was shocked when I told him my decision. He said that he couldn’t help but wonder if he wasn’t so “wishy-washy” and could commit his heart to me that I wouldn’t have made this decision. Well, he was right. If he had committed to me then I would have never left him. I would have followed him anywhere and we would be making this trip together some day.
WOW WHAT A BLESSING that he couldn’t commit!
Why would I say that you ask? Because I can see now that his fear of committing to me was exactly the push I needed to take back my power and put myself first. I can see the beautiful divine order and plan in all of it now and I feel so blessed to have had him in my life, however short the time was. I am so happy to be here alone and to have this soul-searching and soul-feeding experience for myself. It is only when we can connect to our own light that we can help others to shine. I needed to get my shine back. I still feel the deep connection to him, which makes it difficult on some days. Especially here in Mexico, a place that we both love so much and a place that he brought back into my consciousness. My sense of home and peace here is palpable, but there are reminders of him everywhere and I can’t help but see us walking the street together. I wonder whether this is my own wishful thinking or if it is a sign of our still strong connection to each other. He shows up in the strangest ways; a beautiful peacock printed book presenting my bill at a restaurant yesterday (his animal totem), a store named “Zingara” (a pet name he had for me), or just looking up at the moon.
Our goodbye was tearful and loving. There was no anger. There was only love and regret. We both knew that we needed to apart for both of our sakes, so we may continue our personal growth. It had become unhealthy for both of us and we needed to be apart. My heart was broken wide open like it had not been in a very long time. The depth of grief and sadness flooded me like a tsunami and I thought that I would never recover. I struggled for awhile trying to understand where the love had gone and why such a seemingly perfect union could not sustain our past injuries. All I can say now is that it was meant to happen exactly as it did. We were meant to be in each other’s lives and to force each other to heal. This is what all great loves are supposed to do. They are supposed to make you a better you and to push you to remember your own light. He did that for me and I hope that I did the same for him. Although it has been almost 1 month since I last embraced him all I have to do is close my eyes and I can still feel his presence. I think I will always carry a piece of him with me.
They say that each time your heart breaks it rebuilds stronger and bigger, so until we meet again.