happiness

Continual Love Led Me on My True Path.

 

My nephew’s due date was October 14th, but he didn’t arrive until 10 days later.

My sister pushed through a tough labor, and the night before he was born every single one of my family members prayed. I remember my prayer. It had been raining relentlessly and I couldn’t sleep. I prayed that everything would be all right and I did what so many of us do in times of need — I prayed expressing that for the rest of my life I would remember this miracle and want for nothing.

I fell asleep in the middle of these whispers, and woke up while it was still dark with intuitive urgency to check my phone. As soon as the screen lit up with news from my brother-in-law that an eight-pound baby boy had been born, a loud and rare clap of Los Angeles thunder roared outside.

It was a sign.

That was the night I began to believe in miracles. That thunder felt like the response to my prayers and it was telling me, “I heard you.” An innate understanding awoke in my soul in that moment, rekindling a knowledge of something I had felt existed but I had never personally experienced. Perhaps it was coincidence, but my mentality shifted into a brighter realm of possibility.

My nephew was doing amazingly well, and the next day we were all shedding happy tears. That experience changed me. An optimism and elation filled me with confidence — the kind that reconnects with that childlike joy of inner peace.

Throughout his first year, I watched my nephew, with his outrageously infectious smile, gaze at the world through an immaculate lens. He gazed without distortion or misunderstanding because he had yet to interpret it all. He stared with pure wonder.

And with my newly acquired inner joy I wondered if, like my nephew, I could reinstate my own wonder; if I could decide that all my experiences had yet to be fully interpreted by me. In particular, my past romantic experiences. After all, I couldn’t see the long-term effects of everything, so I decided to put myself out there again. I was going to re-enter the world of online dating.

I wanted to be mindful this time and not let past tutorials from broken relationships prevent me from embracing love, but I had also dated before with too much of an open heart, accepting everything that came my way because of the ubiquitous advice that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I had wanted to embrace love without following the red flags of my intuition.

The new love in my heart brought clarity to how I had been dating in the past. I realized I had blended “having an open heart” and “following one’s heart” into one definition, but they were uncannily different. I needed to embrace love while following my heart’s intuition, which felt much louder and demanding this time around.

I had also lost all guilt for following my intuition. Before I had thought I wasn’t giving love a chance with someone so I’d throw my intuition under the bus in order to avoid feeling romantically incorrect guilt and then I would still suffer the consequences of failure afterward. Now, I knew that by following my intuition in the first place I’d avoid hurting both the person I was dating and myself.

It was the smarter and more loving choice, obviously, but sometimes we need a mind-shift in order to see the obvious.

With an anchor of love inside, I could let go of each past love story with optimism that I was just that much closer to finding a love that was meant to stay. My nephew reinforced that notion of borderless love, all I had to do was keep loving and to have faith that this continual love was leading me on my true path.

Of course, I didn’t forget my prayer for my nephew that night in October. I knew I had said I wouldn’t want for anything else and I had meant it. I was still happy. I still felt love in the deepest part of me. I’d be all right if I walked this earth alone for the rest of my days. I wouldn’t be judgmental over my own personal journey — that only engrains negativity. I would instead rejoice in every part of it.

I decided judgment in this life, in any category, was the only thing that took away from my happiness. I would analyze my life with love and continue.

One night I swiped left on every online dating profile that didn’t quite gel with my gut feeling. I wanted someone attractive, but I knew my love was not someone with abundant professional headshots. My love wasn’t someone with an amazing number of travel stories or someone who wrote in a way that matched a competitive vibe. That could be for someone else, but it wasn’t for me.

I stopped feeling guilty that I wasn’t giving everyone a chance. There was only one person out there for me and I just knew my heart would recognize him.

Then I came across a profile that caught my attention. “I like that Pasadena has a mountain backdrop that always tells me which way is north.” Me too. “I like paintings of trees and people with quick smiles.” I looked around my bedroom with a painted canvas of the woods and my wall of personal photography: portraits of trees from cities around the world.

The rest of his profile enchanted me with our seemingly insignificant yet pivotal commonalities, and I did something I hadn’t done for anyone: I poked him.

Consistent emails of warmth and intrigue began, and I met him in real life two weeks later after he asked me out on a date. It was an unassuming ‪Saturday night when I met who would become someone so important to me underneath warm October skies. The transition from online stranger to best friend and boyfriend was seamless. After the first month, we both couldn’t hold back our “I love you’s” any longer.

He spent Thanksgiving with me and my family, meeting my baby nephew who gave him admiring stares. He invited me to his home for Christmas, but our two-month romance made it impossible to change work schedules last minute. Our reunion after a 10-day separation made us realize we didn’t want to be away from each other for that long again and by March we moved in together.

In the early stages of our relationship, he had received interest from an out-of-state company to apply to be on their team. After dating four months, he brought it to my attention that there would be a possibility he’d be accepted for a career change in a year. He followed that up with the fact that he was more in love with me than any job, and if I didn’t go with him he’d stay.

These confessions overwhelmed me with happiness. Someone who I felt was so precious to me felt the same in return.

Meeting him was uncanny to say the least. My profile was quite sparse when I poked him and there’s no reason he should have talked to me, but he did. I only looked through our dating site one single night after a little too much wine when I signed up for a month (to my chagrin the next day). He was also just about to delete his account, but then I had poked him.

He’s not from California, and in less than a year he would’ve taken a job far away from me.

He proposed to me a year after our first date: on October 14th. He took me to the Griffith Observatory to watch the sunrise. He had pre-made mimosas and he brought a warmer jacket for me because he knew I would get cold.

It wasn’t until I called my sister about our engagement that it struck me how beautiful this day truly was. My nephew’s due date had been October 14th. Our first date had been October 14th. Now he was proposing on October 14th. I got the chills immediately. It was like a sign. A sign to say that many miracles could happen in one’s life in many forms, one just needs to continually love.

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Lauren Eash lives in the thriving and bustling city of Pittsburgh with her husband and mischievous orange tabby. She has been previously published in the LA Times, Ruminate Magazine, and East by Northeast Literary Magazine.

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