After loss, the last thing we think is possible is that we will find love again. In fact, it is possibly the last thing we are thinking of as we are mourning, and even when that passes, the thought of loving and losing again is too impossible to fathom. It is easy to assume that what we lost is all we are meant to have, and accept our current situation as our future.

How will I find someone again? How will we meet? Who would want someone at my age, in my circumstances? The list goes on and on with excuses, doubts and fears.

And what you will find is that you will be very selective with whom you choose to open your heart to again. You have changed. You are stronger, and wiser. You have been tested more than most people you know. Loss has changed your perspective and priorities on life. You are more connected with what matters to you, and crave deeper intimacy and have less patience for superficiality and pretense. You have grown, expanded beyond what you ever imagined…as of course you never imagined this.

You will wonder – Who can be with my loss? Can they handle who I am now and am becoming? Will they have the strength to really be with me? Will they get me – this new me that I am trying to understand?

You will want someone who can say yes to your need to grieve when you need to – and to see you as someone more than your loss – who sees you as whole again – sees the real you – at your core.

When I was grieving, a spiritual teacher of mine said to me that someday I would be ready to open my heart and love again. She said she knew this because she had lived with a closed heart for a long time, and one day she was finally ready to open her heart again. The words she shared with me gave her courage, and helped me find mine too.

These words I shared with my new love, and he not only accepted this ‘invitation,’ but he had lived these words too. In him I found my soul mate.

Here was someone who could understand that life was messy and not perfect, and loved it, and me, anyway. Someone who knew the depths of despair and so could appreciate the brilliance in the ordinary. Someone who was forced to face their biggest fears and broke open instead of apart, and grew in spite of it. Someone who loves life as much as I do because they understand how delicate and fleeting it is. Someone who can trust me enough to be completely vulnerable in my presence, encouraging me to be the same. Someone whose strength and commitment inspires me to be my best and dream once again.

Now I share these words to invite you to let love back in with an open heart.

“The Invitation” – by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.