If someone had told me that I would experience profound joy in the midst of my greatest heartbreak, I would never have believed it. I have been in mourning over the loss of my relationship and I continue the process of coming to terms with the gaping hole in my life and in my heart. It’s tempting to wallow in grief and self pity, and yet I have somehow been able to keep things in perspective and appreciate the beauty that has been illuminated over the past month and a half.
I got early on that I was being invited to love deeper and expand my own boundaries of how I saw and expressed love. I couldn’t have imagined that my heart could crack wide open and feel so free despite experiencing intense pain. Everywhere I look, I catch glimpses of what we had together. I see them in the grocery store, walking down the street, making coffee in the morning, and everything in between. At first, I avoided being in spaces that triggered the feelings of loss, yet when that loss is felt in the most private of spaces (at home), it’s next to impossible to avoid. As I took some good advice from a close friend and put one foot in front of the other each day, I began to accept the hard truth that my former partner was in a different place and needed to embark on their own journey without me. I desperately wanted to go with them and be a solid source of support, and that desire distorted my ability to see what they needed. In my research into trans relationships, I found an abundance of stories of people that stood by their partners throughout the process – through all the ups and downs – and I knew that’s what I wanted.
I never made room for the fact that it’s not what my partner wanted. I totally misjudged our relationship, and that’s on me. Now, back to experiencing joy. The connections I have made and the friendships that have blossomed since being in a relationship with a transgender person first became my reality have been some of the most beautiful of my life. And I now have the language to speak semi-intelligently on this topic and I’m in a much better place to be a true ally for transgender people. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here: having my partner come out as transgender was a wonderful gift, and I’ll always be grateful for that experience, regardless of how things have gone since then. A realization hit me earlier that I felt like sharing: transgender people may well be some of the most evolved and courageous among us. Given the level of discrimination and social pressures to conform to the established gender binary, when trans people know who they are and come out, they are showing us – all of us – what knowing one’s self really looks like.
They invite us to look inward and ask tough questions. “Do I really know myself or am I just acting out a script that was thrust upon me as a child?” Or “How confident am I in my own identity?” And my personal favorite: “If the person I love came out as transgender, how might our relationship dynamics evolve?” Having spent some good 1-on-1 time with a few transgender people in recent weeks, I can honestly say that I’m feeling much more open about my own identity and preferences. I can feel my edges softening a little bit and things I never imagined I would contemplate are now on the table. Spiritually speaking, it feels like I’m closer to alignment than I have been in a long time.
I don’t know what the future may bring, so I’m doing my best to remain present to what is being offered. If history is any guide, it could very well be better than anything I imagine now. I’m going to leave it there for now. Be good to each other out there.