For one day, I had a very tough time when Yona & I were in Molokai. We had just spent several months apart, and he was about to make the decision to spend many more months – half a year or longer – in a remote village in Alaska.
My mind was in turmoil. What about me? I thought. I couldn’t bear the thought of spending 6 to 8 months apart and what that would do to our relationship.
Is this the beginning of the end? How will our relationship survive? Is this really the type of relationship I want? Is it worth it? Does he love me? These thoughts kept circulating in my mind over and over again, and I got caught up in this cycle of negative thoughts repeating themselves endlessly. I walled myself off and way unreachable, inconsolable.
At some point, I began to see this loop that I had allowed myself to get caught up in. I was a loop that was all about me, control, and what I wanted. I was so focused on the negative things that could happen, that I totally lost sight of all the positive things that could come out of this situation.
Is it possible for two people to support one another when they’re thousands of miles away from one another? Is it healthy or even necessary for couples to spend long stretches of time apart? Is intimacy possible over Skype, email, and text for long stretches of time? Can you learn more about a person when they’re in Alaska than when they’re sleeping next to you every night? Is the sacrifice worth it?
The answer to all of these questions is a resounding YES, but I didn’t know that at the time. I took a leap of faith, and decided to focus on all the things that could go right rather than all the things that could go wrong, and that made all the difference.
I’d brought a couple of necklaces to Molokai with me that I’d made while still in Denver. To be honest, they’re pretty corny. I’d picked up a couple of heart-shaped Rose Quartz crystals in a little Nepalese shop in Golden, then ran some cord through them and attached a clasp at each end. My original idea was that I’d give him one on Christmas and that would be that. Rose Quarts speaks directly to the Heart Chakra, is associated with compassion, peace, & letting go of fears, and allows one the capacity to give and receive love from others.
The turning point for me was when I came up with a ritual that used the qualities of the Rose Quartz to help me overcome the anxiety that I had about spending time apart.
It’s a simple ritual: every time we part, we exchange necklaces. But before we do, each of us ties a knot in the cord of the necklace. Each knot represents the strengthening of our relationship, and is a physical and visual reminder of how our love has grown stronger over time. Each time we exchange them, it’s a gentle reminder that we have survived the pain that initially arises and come out stronger on the other side – a cycle of contraction and expansion that is rooted in unconditional love and helping one another to grow even when we are separated by vast distances.