It's Not Exactly a World-Class Team

My daughter and I were having a heart to heart about love and life and old flames and new. I wanted to convey to her that every relationship she has in life is a part of her.  There aren't failures and successes, only stepping stones to where we are supposed to end up.

I pulled out an old journal {diary at the time} of mine and read the following passage to her. These are not my original words - I found them in a magazine back when I was in my early twenties and deeply wish I could find the author to give her credit. I've tried searching the internet to no avail, so if anyone ever finds out, please let me know.  I would like to thank her. These words meant a lot to me when I was 22, so much so that I carefully wrote them in my journal and have referred to them over and over again through the decades.

2 December '82 - Thurs Night

"The photograph doesn't exist and never will, except in a far corner of my mind: all of my old loves, gathered for a group portrait like a team in a yearbook picture, arranged in rows with the first sitting up front, facing forward, smiling into the camera.  They number a dozen or so, though when it comes down to it, only two--possibly three--really mattered.

About the only thing the men in my photograph have in common is that, at one time or another and in varying degrees, I cared for each of them.  Some were tall, others short; some fair, others dark; some brainy, others no so swift.  Most were sweet and kind and thoughtful, but at least one was not. No threads join them; I seem to be their only connection.

It's not exactly a world-class team, but it's mine. Its members have provided some of the most intense moments of my life, and, in an abstruse and intimate way, they define my past.

Old loves always do. Mine taught me an exquisite lesson:  how it feels to be adored by someone outside of the family. With them I discovered the wonderful, heightened sense of awareness that's the essence of being in love.  And, inevitably, they taught me emotional pain as well.

There is a tendency to think of old loves as failures because they did not last. But, when examined from the vantage of time, its usually clear that most of them could not have lasted, were not meant to last.

By exploring the parts they played in our lives, we can discover something about ourselves.  If a woman is lucky, she learned something from each love; if she is lucky and wise as well, her loves have been a progression, moving steadily toward the one that could last . . . "   --Unknown

Share this with some young woman who is struggling with heartache tonight.  It helped me heal, and my daughter liked it well enough to say, "Can I have a copy of that?"