There's a secret to finding true love.
I was on a quest to find my soul mate in my 20s and early 30s. And I just wouldn’t settle for less. And I didn’t. I did meet my soul mate, and we have been married for almost five years. His name is Lior.
You may be taken aback that I call Lior 'my soul mate'. Not everyone believes that there is a special someone destined for one other person. I have always believed in some form of soul mates long before I met him. Then when I did finally meet him, I knew it was true, at least for me. It was a simple feeling, a very strong one actually, that I had only felt with him. I now call it intuition.
The path to finding him wasn’t an easy one though. When you’re like me and the millions of us out there who have diabetes, finding that special someone, a soul mate, a person to spend your life with, a partner, can be quite a stressful experience. I know that finding the love of your life is stressful for many people with or without diabetes. It isn’t easy to find the needle in the haystack that fits you just right. In my case, as a diabetic, I went into the search with a lot of baggage; some even see it as a stigma.
I often pondered: When do I tell a guy I’m dating that life with me will come with restrictions? With added expenses, continuous trips to doctors, and finger pricks? When do I tell him about diabetic complications? When do I tell him that life with me will require a lot of him?
So, I hid. I didn’t want to scare off potential suitors before we even had a chance to get to know each other. I still went on dates, but I found other ways to keep my secret. I avoided wearing an insulin pump for years. I would choose the times for meetings carefully. Sometimes hiding the diabetes would get ugly. I remember one guy told me I was rude because I didn't want to join him for dinner at 8 or 9 pm. I didn't feel like explaining before I was ready. He clearly wasn't the right guy for me, but it still didn't feel good.
Then one day, actually January 13, 2002, I met this guy, an Israeli soldier who had seen the world and then some. His worldliness and confidence won me over immediately. He had been through a lot as a soldier and citizen of a war-torn nation, and so in my mind, I assumed that a little diabetes wasn’t so scary in comparison with bombs and missiles. He had seen poverty in his travels, and experienced life and death situations more than once. I believe he had already learned how to value living, being in the moment, before I had gotten there myself.
We were already dating for about three months when we decided to go away together for a weekend to Puerto Rico. We were walking along the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan when I began to feel a bit funny. My sugar was going low. Lior had already known that I had diabetes at that point, but thus far, it hadn’t really been an issue or topic of conversation. The diabetes hadn’t impeded our dates. It had been a simple ‘for your information’. Now, the diabetes came to the forefront. It was going to sidetrack our fun for a little while. How was he going to react?
I had to stop. I couldn’t push past it or keep it hidden from him, and so I let him know, “I think my sugar is going low.”
“So what should we do?” he asked.
“I need to sit and check my sugar.”
Lior searched for a seat, and he led me to a table with a couple of chairs outside on the sidewalk to check my blood sugar. The glucometer showed that my sugar was in fact low; it was around 57, a scary number. I didn’t have sugar with me, or I couldn’t find it in my purse.
He must have noticed that I was freaking out, getting all tense and nervous, because he asked, “Do you need anything?”
“Can you get me some orange juice?”
“There’s a kiosk over there. I’ll be right back.” He went, bought the OJ, and returned within seconds. Then he sat with me until my sugar returned to normal, “Are you okay?”
“I’ll be fine in 15 or 20 minutes.” His only concern was for me.
As I sat there checking and waiting for my sugar to climb back to normal, I observed him as well. And after I finished beating myself up for not bringing sugar with me, I noticed that he didn’t run away! Not that he had much choice at that moment, but he didn’t fly off or jump in the sea.
So wait a minute here, I was totally diabetic. You can’t get more diabetic than a low blood sugar, and he didn’t run away? It probably took me a few days to digest: I was able to be myself, and it turned out more than okay. I didn’t have to hide or pretend to be something or someone that I’m not.
The secret to finding true love is to simply be me.
I’m sure that there are many who bring baggage to many tables, just as I have. My belief: Get rid of whatever is holding you back, de-clutter, and turn self-created fears into love. Self-love.
When you live authentically, accepting and loving yourself for you who you are, all the parts and pieces whether perceived as good or bad, showing the world the real you, true love prevails. And that's a secret worth sharing.