The Lovers is a deceivingly simple card. At first glance it’s fair to assume this card merely tells the story of two people coming together in harmony. While that interpretation stands some of the time, the energy of The Lovers runs much deeper. They stand face to face, stark naked and vulnerable, open and willing to be completely honest and raw with the other. Above them an angel gifts them their blessing, a reward for their openness, a promise of great things to come. The Lovers come to remind us to follow what we love, to make choices with the heart and be brave enough to let our whole selves be seen.
In the months leading up to meeting my first love I had made a lot of changes. I had let go of the notion that if I sat on my hands and twiddled my thumbs life would come to me and invite me to take part. I’d realised that if I wanted to live my best life, I had to take action. I had to be an active participant. I was figuring out who I really was and what my values were.
Before this I had some pretty unhealthy expectations when it came to love and dating. I had held fast for so long to the belief that another human would make me feel validated and worthy of love. I had imprisoned myself in a mental tower and was convinced if I was truly worth being loved then someone would come and save me from myself and fix everything I thought was wrong. But that’s a pretty heavy and bulky expectation to place on another human. To expect another person who themselves is likely just as damaged from the world we live in to completely fix and repair you?
Ain’t gonna happen sis.
So by taking life by the horns I was slowly revitalising myself and walking closer to who I was destined to be. Myself. My whole self.
Because of this I was able to start dating. People were drawn to me because I was no longer living as a deficit version of myself but actually inhabiting my body with force and spirit.
And look, the first person I dated after this transformation I’d experienced was not a good fit. We were turbulent and it was messy and at times mildly heart breaking. I have dubbed this person my “refresher” because at that time it had been a few years since I’d dipped my toe in the pool. She was a necessary reminder that yes in fact people could show romantic interest in me, so I could shake that sort of lame insecurity off before I met the first person I would ever truly love.
We met in a very romantic, very millennial fashion. She says we met online, I say we met on an app. Tinder. You decide. We spoke for about a month before we met in person. I would message her in between arguments and tears from the Refresher, who I was giving way too many chances at the time.
During this awkward in between time, Sam and I would be completely honest with each other. This was a stark contrast to the whimsical and lyrical excuses for bad behaviour the Refresher would spin. Sam told me exactly how she felt, the good and the bad and I had no reason to doubt her. In return I did the same. We began our digital romance with truth and vulnerability.
Finally came the day Sam and I would meet in person. No longer under the Refresher’s spell I could see fully the incredible woman I had the great privilege to be involved with.
We awkwardly sat face to face in a Thai restaurant, feeling the chemistry bubbling just beneath the surface and asking each other on brand first date questions.
“What music do you like?”
“Um, like indie I guess”
Below the small talk was a palpable sense of familiarity. It didn’t feel like a first date, but rather like coming back together after a long, long time of being away. I felt like I had come home.
Hours and hours passed while we became reacquainted. Each passing moment solidifying this strong feeling of cosmic destiny. It was during that first encounter we bared our souls and let each other see all the nooks and crannies. I told her all about my tumultuous time with the Refresher, she showed me letters from a past love trying to win her back. It was honest and it was the most vulnerable I’ve ever been with someone who was in most ways a stranger.
It was that night I had to give her the bad news. I told her that in just a few short weeks I would be moving three hours away to finish my uni degree. A few years prior I dropped out due to what I call my quarter life crisis, aka a complete mental breakdown. But I knew this was the time to get it finally done.
I told Sam about this move, understanding the weight of it. Understanding what an incredibly huge ask it was. Despite this, she agreed we had to give it a go. We stood face to face, as The Lovers, vulnerable and open and made the choice with our hearts. We were choosing love. We were choosing each other.
But it wasn’t that simple. The overarching choice was each other, but that also meant we quickly had to define our values and work out what was most important to us. It meant hours spent each night on Facetime, committing to fostering our relationship. It meant choosing not to take partake in the uni party life I’d embraced the first time I was there. It meant long drives and lost sleep. Those first few months of our fresh relationship were formative and foundational. Our relationship survived and thrived because we chose with our hearts and wholly committed to each other. It blossomed because even in those difficult moments we stood face to face and communicated bravely with each other. Laid ourselves bare. Our love was our rocket fuel.
This is what The Lovers asks of us. It asks “Are you willing to do what it takes for what you love?” Whether this is another person, a career, an idea or whatever it is that makes your heart sing. Are you willing to be exposed and vulnerable and make the choice to follow your heart?
Take some time this week to figure out what it is in life that really matters to you. What are you willing to lay it all on the line for? Once you know, fearlessly run toward it.
Til Next time Soul Fam,