Self portrait taken by The Walls, Southampton, UK
Written by Sara Thelwell
This tale of twin flames begins just over six months ago. They say that love comes when you least expect it, but I think it comes when you step aside and just allow it. Let us go back to the beginning…
I’m sitting on the floor in a conference room in a posh hotel in London on a Saturday afternoon in April. A sea of people behind me, all I see is Teal on stage, talking to participants at one of her synchronisation workshops. Every time someone leaves the stage, I raise my hand and wait for her to see me energetically light up, so I can have my turn to hear the answers to the questions that whirl constantly in my mind, partly so they won’t be forgotten, partly because they cannot be forgotten. I am willing Teal to choose me this time, surely my questions are significant; they’re the type many would be afraid to ask. Her eyes sweep across the audience and she points to a slim girl with a shock of white blonde hair sat several rows behind me. I’m crestfallen again, and then I feel the bubbles of resentment form deep inside me. Why am I being ignored? They converse and then Teal leads the girl into a visualisation to reconnect with her inner child and heal her heart. I decide to follow along with the exercise and instantly I see myself standing in the playground as a child. Alone. I surrender to the process, and as Teal directs the girl, she simultaneously guides me on my first steps to healing the void inside me, the black hole of abandonment that has filled me for years. When it’s over, the girl thanks Teal, her heart has been transformed from black to white and I know I have experienced a major shift too, but the intensity is all too much to really comprehend fully in the moments that follow.
A few days later, after I have had time to reflect on the workshop and the floundering relationship I am in, I decide to post in the Facebook page that those who resonate with Teal’s spiritual teachings use to connect. In that safe space, where like-minded people gather, I recount my experience and ask for guidance, which comes in many forms.
While I was revisiting my past that Saturday afternoon, a guy on the other side of the Atlantic was doing the same. He, too, would go onto post about his experience, though I didn’t see it at the time. However, he did see mine, and, seeing some similarities, he decides to reach out to me. It’s a number one day in numerology, a day of creation. It’s a day when pioneering projects begin, a day for those who seek adventure, for those who turn dreams into reality, and unbeknownst to me, it’s the first day of my relationship with the man I will choose to spend the rest of my days with.
“Hello, I’m Kevin. I read your post and it seems we’re experiencing something similar”
He tags me in it and after reading it we begin to talk.
“I am an open book. Ask me anything you want”
So, I do. I open up too. Two weeks pass, ten thousand messages on Facebook later, I feel a deep connection has been established between us. Or was it there already? And as each day passes, the sparks crackle into flames. Each day we pore over the pages of each other’s lives, speaking the words of our histories, our dreams, our thoughts and our feelings, voraciously devouring chapters. Typed words on computer screens and phones become spoken face to face on Skype and within another week I have bought my ticket to New York so that I can touch the man that’s touched my heart and stirred my soul. It is as clear as sunshine in a bright blue sky that this fire burns from the combined light of twin flames.
The countdown begins to our first meeting, but we’re already talking about the chapter where we are living together. We flit between the two; making plans for my visit and tentatively exploring how we can make that later chapter a reality. Phone calls and emails to solicitors are made and written, websites and forums are skimmed and scanned and we realise that, though our options are few, a union will stitch our books into one.
Aware that our hearts are taking us down an unbeaten path, we continue to make plans that we reveal to just our closest friends. Hotels are booked, I choose my dress, and, turning to numerology, we select an auspicious day. Those that choose to enter into a marriage on a number seven day will aid in the spiritual expansion of the other.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon in June, nearly two months after we first started messaging, we share our first kiss in the arrival hall. Having connected spiritually, mentally and emotionally, there’s only one more connection left to make. The next day we announce our plan to marry on the same page where we met. One of the members expresses a desire to be a witness and we arrange to meet for the first time a couple of days later, the day we’ll marry.
When that day arrives, we wake up in the heart of the city and walk down to Central Park, stopping to pick up breakfast on the way. Neither of us says much, both in our heads, preparing for the big event of the day. Despite our unconventional approach to the day, I get upset that I don’t have any flowers, and so we stop at a florist on the walk back to the hotel. With no idea of what I want, as soon as I step through the door, I am drawn to these luscious powder pink peonies. The man attending us wraps them into a bouquet with ivory ribbon. On the way back to the hotel, the reality of what is about to happen comes to me, I realise each step I take, is taking me closer to the moment I will say ‘I do’. Stroking the silky ribbon I am present in my body, I feel the fear in me. I have a choice to make. Am I brave enough to step onto this path of expansion, to follow my heart? Allowing my feelings to have a voice quells them, the heart does not care to live at the mercy of fear, and in that moment I mentally, and consciously, make the first commitment of the day.
Back at the hotel, Kevin gets ready and then I send him downstairs to wait for me. I take my time to prepare myself, and worried that I may have changed my mind, or run off without him noticing me cross the lobby, he comes up to check. Shortly after we leave, making our way down to City Hall. My figure hugging white dress, stamped with roses, makes it hard for me climb the stairs in the subway. I am mildly amused that I am on my way to get married, clutching my bouquet; while around us thousands of New Yorkers go about their business on a Tuesday afternoon. Our witness, a fellow “Tealer”, is waiting for us camera in hand. The couple becomes a trio. We exchange pleasantries; all of this feels completely alien. I squeeze Kevin’s hand, looking for reassurance. I welcome the flurry of questions and observations, which distract me from the fluttering in my stomach, focusing me instead on the unfamiliar face in front of me, this unfamiliar setting, this unfamiliar situation I find myself in. Everything about this day is unorthodox.
We enter the building and queue up to receive a ticket. The continuous, flowing, soft stream of chatter from our friend carries me into unchartered waters, as we move further down the hall to wait for our number to be called. In each moment I see the blankness of the page laid out in front of me, each movement, every spoken word, each thought, every feeling imprints itself on to the fabric of my experience. Soon, Kevin and I are called and we take our seats. Across the desk from us sits a professional, young woman. She hands us several papers; documents are signed and stamped. I think we’re now officially married, aren’t we? Is the next bit just for show or is that the official part? We are directed to the chapel back down the hall. As we walk the short distance, I look up at Kevin. He stares straight ahead; I sense he is feeling as out of place as me. There is little seating and so we stand and wait for the two couple in front of us to tie the knot. Five minutes later, it’s our turn to enter. The room seems unnecessarily big for our party of three. An Angel marries us. The ceremony is short. We do not have rings, but instead exchange charms – metal cut-outs of the Chinese character for double happiness, the traditional, auspicious symbol worn by newly-weds, which we tie around one another’s wrists with the long red suede cord attached. Everything about this is unrehearsed, improvised, a million miles from what I’d always imagined. I’m beaming. As we leave the chapel, I see two violet orbs glide across my husband’s chest.
After the ceremony, there’s more paperwork to be done. As we complete the last formality at the Court, I feel the soles of my shoes slipping away. We make our way outside into the sticky sunshine towards Chinatown. My shoes are disintegrating beneath me and it’s becoming impossible to continue walking. I stop, and throw them into the nearest bin, stepping barefoot into the next chapter of my life. I feel everything; the gritty pavement, the hot, textured tarmac, fragments of glass, smooth stone slabs, while my husband goes off in search of some replacement footwear and our new friend and I head to the restaurant I have spontaneously selected to eat at. After lunch we emerge to find it has begun to rain, symbolising good fortune, fertility and a fresh start. We stop to purchase an umbrella from one of the many shops that stocks cheaply manufactured items imported from china, so ubiquitous, particularly in this part of the city. A passer-by also stops to shelter from the shower. She comments my flowers and we mention we have just married. Delighted, she buys us an umbrella and joins us in a photo to mark the moment. Now the adrenaline is subsiding, I am finding it harder to deal with the heaviness of the humidity; I need respite from the overwhelming feelings. I want peace and quiet, not the claustrophobic, bustling streets of the city. We say goodbye to our friend and ride the subway back to the hotel, where a dozen or so floors up from the pedestrians and traffic, we can finally relax.
That evening, we go and eat in my favourite raw food restaurant. We celebrate with cocktails, and toast to our sparkling future with glasses of Prosecco.
The next day I begin to understand just how Kevin will be the biggest mirror reflecting back to me the areas I need to work on in order to expand, although this takes a few days for me to really accept this and the path I have chosen to tread. And then it’s my last day with him for… well, who knows how long. I fly back to England and, high on a wave of excitement, I break the news to all those I’d kept in the dark.
We live the next few months in limbo, waiting for Kevin’s new passport to be delivered to him, since, in another unconventional move, he has chosen to take my surname rather than vice versa. Impatient, I insist that he asks Teal what is holding up the process when he gets the opportunity to meet her in August. I don’t get the answer I wanted. The belief sown during my childhood after my parents divorced, the belief that had become ingrained in every cell in my body, the belief that relationships don’t last has to change if we are to be reunited. So, I get to work, dismantling that mind-set, dissolving the emotions around it that have solidified over the years, the evidence. Days later, the passport arrives and we begin the visa process, which I resign myself will be a lengthy process. A couple of weeks later, I look down at my phone to see another Viber notification from Kevin, I open it and there it is, a photo of the visa pasted into his passport. I am in a state of shock; we are finally going to be together. That evening, he books his one-way flight to England and the countdown begins.
It’s been just over a fortnight since my husband joined me. It has been a period of adjusting, exploring, reflecting and learning. It has not been easy, it has not been a romantic whirlwind of perfect moments, it has been intense and a steep learning curve; each experience is a thread that weaves us together.
Yesterday, I was talking to a friend who, despite being several years younger than me, has ten happy years of marriage under her belt. She has counselled me through the difficult moments and revelled in the joy of our happy times since the birth of my relationship with Kevin. She shared a beautiful analogy with me:
When you begin a relationship, the two individuals are like stones. Rough, opaque, hard, dense and angular. Over time, as these two pebbles rub up against each other, they start to smooth out their partner’s edges. Years pass and the angles have eroded; the surfaces are becoming increasingly more polished. Hold them up to the light, and you can almost see the light shine through the beautiful gleaming minerals that a lifetime in the river of shared experience has created.