How I Found True Love in Guatemala 

Guatemala City, April 7th, 2021 



After over 3 months, my time is San Marcos La Laguna has come to an end. For those of you who don’t know this, San Marcos is a very small Mayan village where many “gringos” come to heal, surrounded by the beauty of Lago Atitlan and its majestic volcanoes. Throughout the years, it has become home to many hippies and certain unconventional and lovely characters who felt they needed to start anew somewhere peaceful. Although there have been many unpeaceful events during my stay in this remote community (also known for its machete-armed robberies if we’re being honest), I have come to understand why many outsiders return over and over again. 

When I first got to San Marcos, I did not think I needed to heal. I had already done much work on myself through reading, therapy, sound healing, meditation and Buddhism discussion groups. I had only two things in mind: Complete the training I had already paid for pre-covid at The Yoga Forest, and escape a bit of the Canadian winter and pandemic depression. 

What I found there was much deeper.  

I won’t go through the narration of my entire journey, but I’d like to focus on the most important part, which is: 

How I wound up finding true love. 

With the exception of one or two short ship flings (working aboard cruise ships), I have been single for the past 4 years.  

I wanted to be single at first, knowing that I needed to heal my heart from a very painful breakup. Eventually I just became more and more difficult about who I wanted to let into my world and then I kind of really enjoyed my alone time… In the past year, I’ve come to realize that I was somewhat subconsciously making the choice to be single because I felt like I was a caterpillar transitioning into a butterfly and didn’t want to meet someone while I still had part of my wings stuck in the cocoon, makes sense? 

And so no one of interest for my desires came along. 

Then, on my 36th birthday, in the middle of San Marcos, something incredible happened. I fell in love.  

I fell deeply in love, you know, that unconditional and pure love, the type you don’t meet often. I fell in love…. With myself. 

About. Damn. Time!!!! 

I climbed to the top of a mountain, borrowed a beautiful sacred Mayan altar and made myself a ceremony to start off my new year in gratitude. On my own, I spent an hour chanting, praying, giving thanks and journaling to set my intention for this new year to come. The power of ceremony is something I would have laughed at over a year ago, but something about being introduced to it on this special land has made me open my heart to the teachings and embrace these ancient practices. And so as I sat there in the sun, I realized that for the first time in my life, I truly, deeply loved myself. It was the best gift I could offer myself. That life-altering decision of becoming my own best friend, of becoming my cheerleader and of taking time for me, whenever I feel like it. I had worked on it for years, but the ceremony helped me realize that I was there. In love. With me. 

During my time in Lake Atitlan, I learned to set boundaries. I learned to say no. I learned that I do not have to buy into other people’s projections and that I do not have to care about what they think of me. I learned that I can hold compassion and still say no. I discovered absolute freedom.  

Okay I also learned that I speak before I think in situations where I feel uncomfortable or guilty and that I take way too much time before setting boundaries, but instead of beating myself up for my shortcomings, I accepted the consequences of my actions, forgave myself, learned the lesson and moved on, with an intact degree of self-love. 

My friend, self-love is amazing. Whatever is holding you back from it, I urge you to find out in order to attain it faster. All the love and joy that you think a partner can bring you is actually multiplied within yourself. No one can make you happy, you must make yourself happy first. You are no one elses’s responsibility but your own. This is YOUR life, so take that power and create it the way you want to live it. I am telling you, you are the love you have been waiting for.  

Who wants to be someone’s other half anyway? I want to be complete on my own. I want to find a partner who is also complete on his own when the time is right. I want a love that is worthy of my time and energy, and believe me, it’s coming, cause once you open your heart valves, they will overflow to find and submerge that special person who is willing and ready to take it all in. Be that someone first. 

Love yourself. 

Karine xx


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