“I want you to know the girl turned the car around. She’s returning to the boy to hug him.”

“Really?!?!” His voice cracked with emotion. “The boy will happily hug the girl!”

He laughed. I laughed.

“I’m so grateful we are having this conversation. I’m eager to hear what the girl experienced during the break.”

“Oh, Sweet Love! I see a full brilliant rainbow! What a glorious sign! Yes. There’s much to share!”

I touched the red bar on the vehicle monitor. Josh Groban sang “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” I turned my vehicle onto our steep mountainside lane. I spotted a hummingbird. Embraced, once again, by lush nature, I felt my heart overflow with hope.

At 11:30 am I drove away for a 30-day hiatus. I had asked my Love to find another place to live. I wanted to live alone at The House of Joy which became shrouded by unspoken preferences, an angry outburst.

Like many people, we had been living and working at home for over a year during a global pandemic. This caused persistent work stress for him. I missed in-person contact with people, uninterrupted solitude. I felt overwhelmed by too many interactions with him.

A rupturing interaction took place after we created “Laura Time.” His frustrations had begun to simmer soon after I bravely voiced my need for solitude after I returned from an 18-day trip to Ohio. He thought I experienced alone time.

Old fears showed up. We noticed misinterpretations persisted in texts, emails. We realized these cleared during in-person interactions in the aftermath of the upsetting interaction.

Yet, we agreed to take a break. My Love stayed nights at a hotel, worked days at the library. When he returned, I stayed with a friend. Then I sent him an email and left town to stay with a different friend.

My email contained these opening words:

I want to thrive. I want you to thrive. I want Love to flourish everywhere that it can. Love always finds a way to love. What I know at this moment is that the journey to discovering ways to love does not come from an imprisoned, scared, victimhood, or self-protection. The adventure of loving oneself and loving another intimately remains a courageous dance with one’s heart and soul-expanding in trust, faith, and surrender.  

I request you find another place to live. I plan to live alone in the house. 

I heard my phone ping. I pulled off the road.

I read his text.

“Love will find a way to help both of us. Thank you for your kindness. Is it alright that I share my house hunting journey with you as a friend?”

I wanted to stay connected to my Love. I knew he accepts me more than any man I had ever known romantically. I texted back.

Then I read his quick reply: “Sad to not share the house-hunting journey as a friend. I honor that. Hope your journey goes smoothly. Devasted. 100 ways of letting go. Thank you for taking care of yourself.”

WTF?!?! I thought I texted I wanted him to share his journey of house-hunting with me! I even appreciated him for teaching me about the power of relinquishing, one of many gifts he’d given me!

I called to speak live.

“I want to know about your journey as a friend! I love you. If you died tomorrow, you’d be with me. You are with me always in my heart. I have not ever stopped loving you! What did you read in my text?!?!”

“Woah. Wait. What? Okay. You need to reread your text. I’m so grateful to hear your voice, to know you want to stay connected with me as a friend, that you still love me. My anger betrayed your trust. You needed to self-protect. I understand. I apologize and have gone to work on what’s underneath my anger, my fears. You are not like anyone I have ever known.”

“I forgive you. I have experienced both sides of anger. I’m grateful we keep returning to center in love.”

“Would you consider returning to the house while I look for a separate place to live?”

“Oh. Uh. Yes. I will consider this.”

“I love you.”

I looked at my text. Indeed, I had mistyped significant words.

I pulled into a rest stop. A message from God poured through me as goosebumps formed, eyes teared.

“Go home. To one person you are the world. Your Sweet Love means the world to you. To know one individual breathed easier because you lived is to have succeeded. Both of you get to find a way to breathe easier. Love always finds a way. Go home, Laura.”

Laura Staley is the founder of Cherish Your World and the author of her inspirational book Live Inspired.