When I told a friend that I was in break-up recovery, she didn’t hand me the name of her therapist, she lent me her “Sex and the City” Collector’s Gift Set. I had caught reruns of the show on the few nights I watched television outside of “60 Minutes” and “Frontline,” and while I loved the show for Samantha’s bawdy comments and Carrie’s commitment issues, every time I caught a rerun I learned the lesson that I needed. It became my modern-day version of the After-School Special, and I was hooked. So a month ago, between tears, I sat down with a glass of red Zinfandel, some dark chocolate, and started on all six seasons of its high-heeled wisdom.By the time I had moved through four seasons, there was one quote from the character of Charlotte that resonated with me.
“Maybe we could be each other’s soul mates. And men could be these great, nice guys to have fun with.” I thought she had something.
Most of my women friends have been my soul mates, because when we speak of our joys and sorrows, we speak from the depths of our souls. Meeting for tea or a walk on the street, I’ve learned that not all relationships are perfect. I’ve also reacquainted myself with my soul mates, which I’ve realized is an important tool in healing from a break-up.
I had lost one of my soul mates long before I lost my relationship. This happens to women when they begin to get knee-deep in a relationship, and it happens again when the relationship starts to go south. As much as soul mates like to confide in one another when things are going good, and analyze when things are going bad; when the intimate relationship dives into an abyss that women aren’t sure they can climb out of, it can be hard to come clean to your soul mates. I believe this is when soul mates lose each other; it has to do with pride. It’s what happened to one soul mate and me.
Nayomi and I met at a weekly group meditation and learned that we both loved to write. From then on, we met once a week to meditate and write. It was the launch of important work, spiritually and literally. Nayomi then got married and I had a long-distance boyfriend who moved to San Francisco and then moved in with me. We were both in love and time ticked through life. When I sent an email looking for somewhere to land after my break-up a few months ago, she sent an email back. We hadn’t spoken in over a year, and we were both single.
We decided to meet for a literary event at a bar. As we listened to a wonderful poet speak his line, “Every fool carries a twin heart,” we both wrote it down in our journals. We traded our war stories from our hearts and learned that we had had the same experiences over the last year. In that moment, I think we felt like the fools with the twin hearts, except ours had been hurting and we kept them hidden.
I told her about yoga, tea dates, and support groups, Nayomi said she moved into a house with two women. One was the “pick yourself up and dust yourself off” kind, the one who spoke of girl power and bad-talked the guy. The other was the nurturer, who would sit and talk with Nayomi over tea. Since she had grown up as a tomboy, Nayomi never had close women friends. Now women were in her life providing a sanctuary for healing.
We moved from the bar to join the nurturer for a Christmas party, who wanted to nurture us back into a social scene. Nayomi and I ran into the living room-turned-coat room instead, and carried on with our conversation. Women walked in with heels like Carrie from “Sex and the City,” and we paid them compliments to be polite.
Nayomi said she had found something in her new relationships with women. “It blew me out of my moment,” she sat touching the ornaments on the Christmas tree. “My friends were empathizing with me. They would cry and feel my emotions.”
For the first time in her thirty-three years, Nayomi got herself a therapist. Being South Asian, this didn’t come naturally, since therapy for South Asians is not what it is for New Yorkers. She realized the importance of exercise and went back to belly dancing. “If I don’t exercise, I get into a funk. Plus, my body is in better shape than it ever was.” She supplements the belly dancing with yoga and weight training, but the weight training is not isolated, she does it with other women. “My friend has a personal trainer, so to perfect what she’s learned she turns around and teaches it to five friends.”
Nayomi and I were healing full-circle. Our hurt was still there, but we were touching upon some secrets for a soul mates’ success. It had to include exercise, talks, and creative expression, as well as going out to have fun while dancing. So we made our next date for a week later, and went out dancing until 3 a.m.
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