Updated: Jul 20, 2020
If you're a fan of Rilke, I couldn't recommend listening more (link here). I felt like I was one person before listening and a whole new person after. I've since listened to it several times.
Many people ask me why I'm single, why I've never married. Here's the answer. From 15 to 39 years old, I was in a handful of long term relationships. All of which carried with them the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. And they all taught me different things about myself, my partners, and the nature of romantic relationships in general. And I've never been a person who dreamt about marriage and kids. Doesn't mean I'm against either. I find both beautiful and have tremendous respect for each. Just wasn't on my radar. Exploring outer and inner worlds was.
In recent years, I've dated, but have only fallen in love with nature, and have found true love within myself. What this love affair with nature has shown me is that the person I've been looking for all this time is myself.
I strongly suspect the 'main reason' none of my past relationships stood the test of time was because I didn't love myself first. Loving myself in the past felt weird, unnatural, selfish, and untrue because I knew my flaws more than anyone else and gave too much of my attention to these flaws. I was a professional beater-upper of self, striving for perfection, not understanding there's no such thing.
Back to nature, who so eloquently, and sometimes fiercely, reminds me daily of imperfect perfection: The beauty of a fallen decayed leaf, a naked, crooked tree, a withered flower, a frozen shivering lake. We're all broken, then fixed, then broken, and so on, and so on. Such is the way of evolution.
So my love, nature herself, has taught me to trust the process; to love myself in all seasons. I know I'll eventually find everlasting, unconditional romantic love with another on Earth. In the meantime, I'll keep playing with and learning from nature.
Photo Cover here: The cove where I began writing this.
p.s. - I was indeed in love at 16 years old, and he's still one of my dear friends today, and I adore his wife.
July 2020 Addition: I wrote the above in July of 2019 (Facebook reminded me of my memories today). Felt inclined to add here, because this time has taught me even more about the power of solitude. Solitude/Aloneness can be espeically beautiful when the pain of it teaches you how to love more. I have also fallen in love with Franklin Bowie. He has my heart altogether.