"Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands..."

Yesterday was pretty special. It was a spectacular full moon. It was also the Spring equinox, the beginning of the astrological new year. It also marked 22 years of being with my Hun.

We were both working, however, and didn’t make plans to do anything particularly special, so it felt like it was going to be an ordinary day. Joey texted me while I was at work to greet me and said that we celebrate being together everyday anyways. I agreed, noting that we celebrate extra hard between the hours of 11pm-3am. 😉 Little did I know he was planning to throw a surprise at me that night.

Now before we continue, let me rewind back to 7 months ago when we went on a family trip to Kauai…


At one of our stops around the island we ended up at a shopping center and browsed inside a jewelry store. There was a pendant that caught my eye and I asked to look at it. The sales lady took it out and let me look at it and try it on. It was beautiful. It was a circle with opal in the shape of a cresting wave and it had stones around it and on the tip of the wave. When I asked about the price, it was waaay more expensive than I’d think of paying for it and I might’ve jokingly asked Joey to buy it for me, knowing he’d say no and save me from feeling bad about not buying it. When we left, he said HE felt bad for not being able to afford to buy it for me. I told him that was waaay too much to spend on it and I didn’t expect him to buy it. It just looked pretty cool and the wave held special meaning for me.


Later we ended up shopping for pasalubong for family at a small mom and pop shop and with all the stuff I bought, the lady started tossing in freebies and ended up asking me to pick a free ring from the selection she had on display. I picked a ring that was very similar to the pendant I was looking at earlier with the same opal I was drawn to. Even though it wasn’t made of gold like the pendant at the jewelry store, I was SOOO happy with it and how it came to me. I joked with Joey that I didn’t need him to give me what I wanted after all. I’ve been wearing the ring everyday ever since.

Fast forward to the present- Joey surprised me with a gift last night. He nonchalantly handed me a gift bag as he headed out to work. When I opened it, it was the pendant I wanted from Kauai.

He listened.

He remembered.

And he cared enough to get it for me. <heart cracking open>

But I also listened. And I also remembered. And I also cared enough to ask him why he got it. I texted him to tell him how much I LOVED his gift and to thank him for remembering and caring. I also told him that I remembered how he felt when we were at the jewelry store and I wanted to make sure that he didn’t get it just to prove anything to me. He said he DID feel bad at the time but that wasn’t why he bought it for me. He got it simply because he knew I liked it and I was so grateful for his loving gesture. 


However, as I held it in my hand, admiring it, it felt TOO precious. As cool and super pretty as it was, I couldn’t see myself wearing it everyday because I’d be too scared to lose the diamond that freely dangled from the tip of the wave. That beautiful thing would spend most of its time hidden away in its box to keep it safe. As beautiful as it looked, sparkling as I held it in my hand, it was no longer what I needed. I already got what I wanted and needed 7 months ago. I knew I had to let it go- not because I didn’t think I was worth it or that it was too extravagant, but because in letting it go, it could turn into something bigger. The monetary energy and love and care he put into giving me that gift multiplied by the love and abundant flow it opened up within me could be put towards something bigger... and most importantly, something that we both wanted at this point in our lives, not 7 months ago- peace of mind and to invest in the Home that our love made possible.

Addressing our past brought our attention to the needs of our present. We gon’ get a new roof, baby! LoL.


This made me appreciate the lesson that being in relationship with Joey keeps spiraling back to- I don’t need him nor anybody else’s permission nor approval for my own sense of worth, fulfillment and happiness. At the same time, I don’t need him to express and embody the feelings that I don’t feel comfortable with. That is purely my creative responsibility and perfectly within my capability to process and express, so I get to learn to own my power and wholeness as a gift of our relationship. His true gift lies in adding color to my life. His catalyzing touch that adds depth, intensity and contrast heightens my experience and helps me unlock more levels of myself. He’s the bonus I couldn’t fully appreciate and surrender to until now as I loosen my grip on who I thought he and I were supposed to be to open up to the fullness of who we are in the moment. I appreciate the gift of him now that I can surrender to ALL of him because I’ve surrendered to ALL of me.

Charmaine Illenberger