LOVE STORY TWO
A man walked slowly into a bar, looking like "The Old Man of the Sea". His skin was weathered… his gray hair unruly and windblown… his wrinkled face showed years of knowledge and experience. He was somewhat unkempt, yet he had the demeanor of a gentleman… his eyes were soft and gentle, but without sparkle… they appeared somewhat sad, searching, and longing…
"Hey there, sailor… you look like you could use a friend. Can I buy you a drink?"
He gave a slight smile as he sat down beside her and began to talk. "I've been on the sea for many years going from port to port… I've enjoyed adventure and challenge… I've loved and been loved… I've raised a family… I've played and worked hard… I've made friends all over the world… I've shared my knowledge with integrity, innovation, and creativity… I've competed on many levels and did well… I've taken a multitude of courses to improve my mind and spirit… I've acknowledged the child in me…"
His voice became quieter and his eyes once again appeared sad. "I've struggled with denial and humility. I've struggled with distraction and withdrawal. I've struggled with commitment and personal long-term relationships. In my heart I have loved deeply, but I've experienced difficulty because of my need for change and new fresh challenges. I didn't learn how to create change in more constructive ways in the relationships, and the end result was that I found myself miles from nowhere and alone on many occasions. Many times the solitude was enjoyable and other times I longed for a close connection with family and friends… " He then became quiet.
She found herself looking deeply into his beautiful caring eyes and she was filled with compassion, trust, and a sense of love. She genuinely liked what she saw and felt. She was attracted and drawn to him because of his vulnerability, honesty, and wisdom.
"I've also learned a lot about myself through my life experiences," she said. "I've lived in many beautiful houses and established a sense of "home" in each… I, too, have enjoyed adventure and challenge… loved deeply and been deeply loved… raised a family… played and worked hard… and made friendships all over the world. I've participated in the game of life through discovery, creative, and celebration; and I've been recognized for my accomplishments. I've also taken many courses to improve my mind and spirit…"
As she became quiet, her mind drifted to a deeper place within her heart and tears began to well up. "I've hurt people that loved me, and have also struggled with commitment… I have loved deeply, but experienced difficulty because of my need to be right. I've attacked, rejected, and humiliated my best friend during times that should have been held as holy. Sometimes I've been in denial; and I've even sought revenge, which was very costly. I totally withdraw and shutdown when my feelings get hurt. I've struggled immensely with righteous indignation and low self- esteem. I've sabotaged myself a lot. I've always struggled with my need for recognition and have undermined some of my closest personal relationships because of that need. I've prayed so many times for a humble heart… yet constantly struggled because of my superior attitude. I searched over and over again for unconditional love and acceptance …
I'm sure there was more to say… but she also then became very quiet. Her mind searched for better understanding and deeper compassion. Without even thinking, she blurted out, "I believe that God sometimes works in mysterious ways... and that if we're truly on the path with a heart... then the people we encounter and surround ourselves with can be our greatest wisdom teachers. The path with heart is one that God blesses and leads us on for greater understanding. It has been said that true love is neither physical, nor romantic; but that it is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be. What do you say, sailor... shall we walk together on the path with a heart for a little while?" Stillness surrounded them again...
All of a sudden, a lightness and great sense of love filled the room. Knowingly, they both smiled and nodded their heads with a sense of understanding. With sparkling eyes and a wink he looked deeply into her eyes and extended his hand… "Care to join me for a walk?" he asked. Her response came quickly, "Sure, I'd love to…"
The night was cool, although she had not anticipated it before she got outside. "Cold? Here take my coat", he offered with the same caring and gentleness that she had experienced in the bar. She felt overwhelming warmth from the jacket as well as from the hand that had found its way into hers.
All of a sudden the night didn't feel as cold. They lingered and stopped for a short while. And there, under a starlit sky they kissed in the most beautiful way she had ever experienced and something inside told her it was OK… to trust herself… to trust that she knew… to trust her love... and to trust him…