If I Loved You Once, I’ll Love You Forever

As coaches, we’re trained to

talk about closure and completion.

Something about this always

feels not right to me.

Closing off past relationships

is to deny the undeniable parts

of us that are still entwined.

The rest of our stories

together and apart.

Yes, of course, do what you

need to do to complete what’s now,

but then consider leaving the door open

just enough

to breathe what’s next into the room.

When you are ready.

Today, I’m trying not to have to know


all at once.

To let the emotional air circulate

and not be so de-fi-nite

about what I think I know.

If I loved you once,

I’ll love you forever.

Though not in the same way, perhaps.

I’ll think of you often –

more often than you’ll know –

because I’ve left space for you.

Which is why my completions

nearly always include the promise:

you’re in my life forever now.

A man in my life used to say

I’m right here

even when he wasn’t.

Which was strangely comforting

then and still.

We’re all right here.

Able to open the door a crack

at any time

or swing it wide open

and let ourselves breathe in again.

There’s No I in Narcissist

In Praise of Personal Retreats