Brad and Cynthia met the summer of 2007 in Los Angeles. But they just missed a potential meeting five years earlier in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Cynthia had moved to Santa Fe from Kansas to study hypnotherapy, and the month she finished her training, Brad moved to Santa Fe from Texas to study film at college. It would be another five years before they would meet in Los Angeles when Brad would come to see her for hypnotherapy.
Brad spent the summer of 2007 in Los Angeles as an intern at a production office. He didn’t really want to be in LA and was feeling frustrated, so he decided he wanted to “talk” to someone. His father, who was living in Alabama, sent Brad a list of ten alternative therapists he found on the Internet. Cynthia’s name was on the list. Brad chose her. For one reason: A Course in Miracles. Cynthia’s website spoke about A Course in Miracles being her longtime spiritual path, and Brad had just become very interested in the Course the summer before. He had read The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard, a book largely based on A Course in Miracles. After reading the book Brad was intrigued. Those who know A Course in Miracles know it’s not an easy book to understand. As soon as Brad saw that Cynthia was a student and teacher of A Course in Miracles, he felt she was the one.
Brad came in for a session with Cynthia and they hit it off immediately—not romantically, but professionally and personally. Brad was in a relationship at the time, and Cynthia was happily single and dating. So there were no romantic feelings from either side, rather just a simple, refreshing warmth of meeting a kindred spirit. They were both passionate about music and film and metaphysics, but most importantly they both looked at the world through the lens of A Course in Miracles.
Oh, I suppose there was another factor as to why the romantic sparks didn’t fly—an 18 year age difference. Although they felt a wonderful connection, neither entertained the idea of anything else. Their age difference, and the therapist/client relationship curbed those thoughts from emerging.
Cynthia’s clients usually know exactly why they are coming in to see her. They have specific issues to resolve. Brad wasn’t sure why he was there. At one point, after Brad explained what was going on, Cynthia said, “Wait. Why are you here?” She was confused. He didn’t fit the mold of a typical client. Neither she nor Brad were clear on what brought him to her.
Instead of doing hypnotherapy, which is the norm for Cynthia’s clients, they ended up just talking through one entire session. That too was a first for Cynthia.
They saw each other for six sessions that summer and when it came time for Brad to go back to Santa Fe, Cynthia, thinking she would never see Brad again, suggested that before he leave LA, he should attend a lecture of Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, the foremost scholar of A Course in Miracles, and who is frequently mentioned in The Disappearance of the Universe. With their sessions behind them, Cynthia offered to take Brad to the lecture and personally introduce him to Dr. Wapnick.
And that was that. Brad went back to Santa Fe and Cynthia continued her life in LA. With very little contact between them for three years, Brad came back to Los Angeles to screen a movie he produced called BEST WORST MOVIE. He invited his friends, including Cynthia. Cynthia brought along a friend, and after her friend met Brad she said to Cynthia, “He likes you.” Cynthia responded, “We do like each other in a friend way.” And her friend said, “No, he likes you likes you. He really likes you.” From that moment, Cynthia began to think of Brad differently. Years had passed, could he possibly have developed feelings for her? ...Could they be more than friends? ... The two-year statute of therapist/client relationship had well run out … Did their age difference matter? ... Cynthia had never dated an ex-client before.
The next night they had dinner at Cynthia's favorite vegan restaurant. She had been a vegan for years and Brad had just become vegan after watching the movie Earthlings. Catching up, getting so lost in conversation, they closed down the restaurant. Brad was now single. Feelings were developing, but concerned about their age difference and that she had been his therapist, albeit a nontraditional one, Cynthia once again brushed those feelings aside. Brad was concerned as well, figuring those same issues would stop Cynthia from developing feelings for him. They talked about how Brad was back in the dating world, and as they were saying good-bye, Cynthia told him what an amazing guy he was and that any girl would be lucky to have him. As she turned away, she lightheartedly said, “If only I were 20 years younger.” Without missing a beat, Brad truthfully responded in a hushed voice, “But I feel 20 years older.” Stunned by what she heard, Cynthia looked at him, they both smiled, and went their separate ways.
Having had no contact for a few months, Cynthia received a dozen red roses anonymously on Christmas morning. Still single and dating, she had no idea who sent them and even asked three other men if they had sent her flowers (embarrassingly “no”) before asking Brad. “Maybe” was his playful response. They would see each other a couple of weeks later for another afternoon Kenneth Wapnick lecture while Brad was in town. (No one dared to mention the roses and what that might mean.) Again Brad would leave with little contact between them. Then four months later, on May 19th 2010, everything changed.
Brad came back to Los Angeles for business yet again. But he had also purchased tickets to a Broken Bells concert and asked Cynthia to go. She eagerly said yes. After a wonderful night of music, amongst hoards of people ushering out of the theater, Brad, walking in front of Cynthia, reached back for Cynthia’s hand. It’s as if time stood still for Cynthia, she looked at his hand, knowing exactly what that gesture meant, she hesitated for a moment, and reached out. They’ve been holding hands ever since.
Side note: Synchronously, Elysia Skye, the wonderful officiant Cynthia and Brad found over the Internet, is good friends with Gary Renard, the author of The Disappearance of the Universe. Not knowing that it was that book that brought Brad to Cynthia, Elysia asked Gary for his suggestions for quotes from A Course in Miracles for their wedding ceremony. A wonderful full circle.