Something’s different now.
Just a matter of months ago, I was happy. Or at least content. Or perhaps I just wasn’t sure what happiness looked like, since it’s very possible I’d never experienced it before.
I hadn’t dated in over a year. By choice. My head wasn’t in it. I didn’t enjoy myself. And here I was, sitting with girls who were very serious. They were interested in moving along with their lives, and I was just busy working, parenting, and growing.
A relationship simply didn’t fit anywhere in the mix.
Until it did.
Devorah Levine walked into my life and everything was and will always be different.
A full year of hardening my heart, and instantly (sort of) it just melted to the floor with ease.
If I may, I’d like to share some things I’ve learned over these last several months:
Only in Darkness Can You See the Stars
I host meals for a program called Shabbat of a Lifetime. Unfortunately, because of the dynamics of tourism, last-minute cancellations sometimes happen. I was contacted and told my group was no longer coming and thus my plans got turned upside down. And I was quite upset about it. I had turned down multiple invitations, and now I was sitting there, not knowing what I was going to do with myself.
I quickly dusted myself off, called a friend, and put new plans together.
*And it was at that new meal that I met Devorah.*
How often in life do we punch a wall in the face of minor disturbances, only to look back and wonder how immeasurably different things would be if it weren’t for the “inconveniences” that crept their ways into our lives?
Life is like a series of mishaps leading to a buried treasure.
Thank God, I found mine. (Well… if I’m going to be honest, she found me.)
And everything’s different now.
Everything’s better now.
Would we ever become agitated if we knew what the future had in store for us? Would we ever fret knowing that perhaps our bumps and bruises were just necessary hiccups on a path to something unimaginably wonderful?
We would walk through life smiling, knowing blessings can be hiding around every corner.
We All Need to be Healed, and the Time is Now
There are levels to being “fixed”.
No one sets out to get divorced. No one hopes they find themselves in situations like mine, broke, broken, with their kids an ocean away.
But it happened. And my choices were to either fall to pieces and crumble under all the pain. Or I could get myself back up, push my shoulders back, and fight to put myself back together again.
And that’s what I did.
And I thought it was working. Only to realize that the pain in my heart was still real and very present.
I thought I was OK, and that I had patched myself up. Finding love brought back to my heart an abundance of pain, and made me recognize that all those who’d been pushing me to get help were right all along.
It’s not easy to look that deeply into oneself. But the stakes are too high not to. We all need a whole lot of healing, and we owe it to ourselves and those we care about the most to do what needs to be done. And without hesitation.
How Well Do I Really Know Myself?
My life resume is jam-packed. I have two degrees, and certifications ranging from personal training to bartending. I have had a ton of different jobs, been married, have four beautiful children, hosted over 130 couch surfers, lived in two countries, served in the IDF, and I’ve had a million experiences and met a million fascinating people.
My life has been active and fulfilling… but sometimes it takes something to shake your life up just enough to realize it’s not nearly as fulfilling as you think it is.
It occurred to me at one point that among many of the reasons I enjoy hosting couch surfers so much is because of the overwhelming amount of love in my heart I have to give.
In my mind, the many people who passed through my home were like perfect mini marriages. I got to be there for them, help them out and make them feel warm, comfortable, and safe.
But then they’d go. We would part with big smiles, so happy for the time we had together. All would end before there was a chance for things to go sour. And thus I was inherently saved from what I considered to be inevitable hardship.
But I wasn’t built for temporary love.
I wasn’t born to give to someone for a moment, and then walk away forever.
Just a matter of months ago I saw the pleasure of putting a smile (and what a smile it is!) on Devorah’s face, and now making her smile is my single favorite thing to do.
I feel honored and privileged that I found someone so perfect, so special, someone for whom I have no doubt that I can give my whole heart to day in and day out for the rest of my life. And when all the smoke clears and it feels like I have nothing left to give, I will dig in deeper to find a way to give more. Because there’s nothing I want to do more.
What is Love?
Finally, I’ve been thinking so much about the concept of love. Why do I love Devorah? How do I know I do? Is it something about her?
And the answers are so complicated and so simple at the same time.
If I wanted to list things I love about Devorah, I could go on endlessly. With ease. And I find new dimensions all the time.
However, that’s not what’s happening here. I didn’t fall for character traits. I fell for a whole person. Someone unique and special and unbelievably remarkable. Remove anything from the theoretical list, and you still have that person left behind. And I’m beyond in love with her.
I am so overwhelmingly blessed to have Devorah Levine in my life.
It should be a life of never-ending joy and fulfillment for us both!
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