Today is the winter solstice. And it is a full moon. Phoenix is so overcast right now I can barely even see the glow – and desperately tried to stay up last night to catch the lunar eclipse – but clouds covered.
I used to jokingly subscribe to the idea of full moons driving people to appearingly unusual behavior, but today, I experienced it. Something so unforeseen and unimaginable happened to me tonight, as the moon slowly began rising from the horizon.
Is it the moon, the earth’s proximity from the sun, the timing of our planet’s rotation and tilt in the axis in orbit as we pass through the moon’s shadow? What is going on in my universe?
First, though, a little back story to set the scope for the significance of my event.
I got an email late last week from an old boyfriend, whom I broke up with over a year and a half ago, when he refused to support me, emotionally, at one of the biggest trials of my life, and in my family’s existence. He “wasn’t ‘that guy'” and “(didn’t) want to be ‘that guy'” who would be present when his girlfriend would need his experience, counsel, wisdom, and ear.
Devastated and abandoned, in the wake of sleeping (or actually not sleeping) in hospitals, trying to catch doctors on their rotations and get some answers on the suspected diagnosis and continuing tests they were running on my brother who was so stoned on anxiety and pain medication to understand what they were saying to him, I informed “I’m not that guy” he was not going to have the benefit of my relationship without accepting responsibility in the relationship, and I told the man I loved he would forever be out of my life for this abandonment.
He didn’t even bother to respond.
He was that emotionally shut down, and so, in his silence, I hung up the phone and expected that… was that.
I never expected (nor wanted) to hear from him. I certainly never expected to hear him ask me forgiveness and for friendship. That’s not him. I never expected to hear his voice recorded in a message on my voicemail, apologizing, and asking to talk with me. I never expected that I would receive two messages of appeal today.
I don’t want to be his friend, but I have already forgiven him, and I let him go with forgiveness and as much grace as I could a long time ago. I walked away from our relationship heartbroken, but also at peace with my role in our relationship, feeling good about what I gave him when we were together. I walked away from him aware of a fragility behind the hard facade, and knew, deep down, his actions were not directed toward me, but were indicative of a frailty and fear of his.
Today, I really understand the saying of forgiveness being a gift.
His voice was… different… than the last time we spoke, it was softer, human, slightly familiar and reminiscent of moments stolen from his guarded self when we were together. And I do know how incredibly hard it was for him to reach out to me, not once, but a total of five times since last week to atone for his actions.
Although I don’t desire to risk any friendship or relationship with him (and explained as much to him when I talked with him tonight, which he graciously accepted my position), I wished him peace, and happiness. And not because it’s Christmas – but because I believe he desperately wants to secure this healthier, better place where he is than he was before….
Because, I really do believe, regardless of who or what we may have been, it’s never too late to be who we might have been (thanks, George Eliot)… Most importantly, I really do believe we all crave and deserve happiness. God creates love and happiness, for us, however we subscribe to what we believe about God.
How many times has someone scorned another because of pride, and denied closure and peace, because of anger?
And, a secondary gift for me tonight? In a time of year when we are encouraged to believe, I haven’t had anything I care to believe in, I haven’t anything I care to invest in, I haven’t anything I care to be really excited about, and following a massive change in persona from Rugby Fellow when he realized he was not getting a fourth chance, I haven’t anyone I care to believe in….
Tonight, I do believe more in a person’s capacity for change. I trust myself more in my judgment of a person, and I believe in the foundation firming power of forgiveness.
As we spoke, I knew for sure I had no anger toward him. Because, as certain as I was when I explained I did not think it appropriate for him to be my friend, I affirmed to him that I had loved him. And, I was happy he was healing. When I spoke, I knew I was telling the truth.
Up to that moment of my truth, I hadn’t really known if I did release him with forgiveness — or simply been telling myself that (do I make any sense?). He wished me to find love in return, and he wished me to not be brought down by him or any other. He urged me to continue to find ways to trust and to not my ability to love be taken away from me, as had happened to him two decades ago.
My head is spinning and I’m trying to desperately wrap my head and my heart around those words I so desperately needed to hear someone say to me, for, I have felt in a sort of limbo, with my spirit held hostage by so much pain and disappointment in the utter brokenness of Rugby Fellow and the chaos brought into my life from that relationship.
How did this man, who worked so hard for so many years to be emotionally absent, know exactly what to say to my moribund heart?
It only took a lunar eclipse, a full moon, and a winter solstice to bring this together for me. Cosmic lessons and alignment…. For someone who doesn’t believe in astrology, there’s – at least for today – something in which to believe.