I just moved into a new place, and amongst my boxes and boxes from storage, I came across a light blue satin bag, kept perfectly sealed at the top with a little white ribbon. I didn't remember this bag. So, I opened it.
It contains love letters, notes and pictures from the guys I would consider to be the two great loves of my life (up until my most recent relationship; I would consider him the 3rd). I had these great loves a long time ago; the last letter in there was dated around eight years ago. They spanned a wide space of time, as I was in a relationship with one of them for three years.
What I read from each man was beautiful. Wow, they had actually loved me! Over the years, I have honestly forgotten that they had. Yes, I acknowledge that I had these relationships and romances, but I really didn't remember that they had loved me once. One of these relationships in particular has encountered some very ugly times throughout the years since it's ending. The way this ex has acted and treated me since the break-up all that time ago had honestly ripped to shreds any memory of love that had been there. In fact, because of how things have gone down with him over the years, I had assumed that he never really loved me at all. It's nice to remember that he had.
While I had forgotten that they loved me, I've never forgotten how much I loved them. However, I do tend to write off earlier love in my life as not truly being "real," because as I have gotten older and more self-aware, I have come to realize that what I used to think was love was really me seeking validation and approval... it was codependency... it was based on sex and volatile passion. I didn't feel so great about myself then, so I tried to cling on to a guy or a relationship to fill that void and I called that love.Today, when looking back on relationships, I can often let my ego get the best of me, being all high and mighty, like "that girl did not understand what a true, spiritual, unconditional loving relationship was," so I look down my nose at her and those relationships, which devalues the great love that we shared.
Because what we shared, what was there, it was real at that time... In those letters and little notes, I felt real, pure, raw, honest love. I remembered why I have always thought of these two as the great loves of my life....
And then I panicked. Because "they" (whoever the heck "they" are) say everyone only gets two great loves in their life. Holy shit! Does that mean I'm done? I've already had two... plus, a bonus! I am so screwed...!
But then I calmed down. I wasn't upset anymore. Instead, I was grateful to have had those experiences. Many of us desire great love in our life. It's something we say we want desperately. But if we all stopped and took a look in our own little blue satin bag, we may find that we have, in fact, already had great love. And this doesn't mean we're supposed to be with these people, that we should try to get back together with them, or even that these were great relationships, because maybe they weren't. But it does show us that just because time passes and life happens and people move on, it doesn't mean the love didn't happen or that it wasn't there. Love is an energy and energy doesn't die; it just changes shape. So that great love, it's still around, we still have it... it's just in a different form.
Since opening my little blue satin bag, I've been thinking... what was it about the relationships with these three guys who I consider the great loves of my life? The answer, I realized, is that the common thread among them all was that my heart was completely open (at least at the beginning). I was able to jump in fearlessly and freely. My most recent love came after years and years of a string of relationships that were just "fine," with guys that I wasn't in love with, because my heart wasn't open. It had been broken years earlier by my great love before and so I had closed my heart, and as such, drew in men who also had closed hearts. Of course these relationships couldn't be great loves.
I finally reached a point where my heart simply couldn't take being shut anymore and it was crying out to be opened to both love and receive love, so I worked hard and consciously to pry it open so I could have great love again... and I did. And you know what? I'm going to continue to keep it open, no matter how scary that is... and because of it, I will have great love again.
So, no, I don't think we only have a certain amount of great loves of our life. I think that maybe we have a choice in the matter. If we have closed hearts and iron walls of protection that we've built around ourselves, there ain't no chance in hell we can have great love; it is not possible for it to come in. But if we are willing to take the risk and truly open our hearts, there is a huge probability that we can truly have many great loves throughout our lifetime (not all at the same time, of course!).