I think that for centuries we have been enraptured and completely enamored of the idea of “impossible love”, “unrequited love.” Blame it on courtly love and the poetry-spouting trabadours. Blame it on red hot Mame-don’t get me started on Rita Hayworth’s love life! There seems to be a whole business built around the “making & breaking” of Hollywood marriages and the rest of the US doesn’t seem to stray far behind…
Its “Tristan & Iseult”, “Titanic”, “The Bridges of Madison County” and the greatest story ever told (over & over again), it’s all about the “Fever” and Romeo and Juliet. Sadly, though in all these tales…the fever comes to an end.
Many seek their other “half,” their “twin flame.” You can count me in on that sentimental bunch. This other being will fulfill all that we’ve ever dreamed of and more, we will touch the heavens, become Gods if only for those moments that we are engaged with our Beloved. We will taste the sweetest nectar of beauty and truth. The dramatic profound sensation that this other being is the “one and only,” or “the one that got away.”
Who am I to mettle with people’s dreams and secret fantasies…I can only discuss my own experiences and my own thoughts based on experience and observation. Here goes, I’m disrobing and can only hope you’ll respect me in the morning…
The sweet pain, the delicious ache and the passionate yearning to be with that person…ah! Nothing else has ever quite felt like this before! Of course you realize that the very status of “greatness” that is conferred upon that ideal relationship and/or person relies completely and exclusively on the fact that the relationship cannot be or the person is not
(fill in the blanks with your favorite word…I mean excuse)
or plain…”just too scared”…to follow through. In order for this relationship/person to be the special one there must be an ingredient of immaturity or non-commitment. So we the enraptured romantics hold on for this “special” person who takes on magnetic even mythic characteristics within our tortured hearts and beleaguered psyches.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to be with these “soul mates” nor do we free our hearts to love another because after all…how can the sleep encrusted eyes of someone who gets up to throw out the trash and changes your kid’s diapers ever compare to the moist desirous eyes of the lover who just couldn’t get it together enough to love you completely? Hmmmm…THINK about it.
Well, I’m here to call your bluff. Yes, all you unrequited lovers hear me out.
You have plunged into one night stands and drunken fests as you thought only of HER lips or grimaced through date after boring date because “no one can make you laugh like HIM.” Or you’ve been celibate for about 5 years and ready to create your own religion as HER/HIS picture sits on your altar till this day!
I’m here to say… you’ve played it safe. You’ve hidden behind the weak. You bet on the wrong horse BECAUSE YOU KNEW HE/SHE WOULD LOSE! Yes, my beloved romantic colleagues you…YOU…are the cowardly ones! Don’t hate me, I’m one of you and I didn’t do it consciously I swear.
You have picked someone who would ultimately let you down….so you could be this unfulfilled romantic. Basically so you wouldn’t really have to deal with the realities of love. I guess it’s so much nicer to fantasize huh? It’s so much nicer to go without, to ache, to miss one who will never be yours? NOT.
Okay, so before you stop reading and delete me with disgust. Read on. How many of us seekers would be able to step up if the love of our lives showed up? RIGHT NOW. HERE . In your face? Would you even be able to recognize them? Would you want to? Ummmm…I hear “well I need some time, I need to think about it…I need to…I need to…”
I need to get a GRIP. Yes, I get you and I understand. You’ve been hurt, you’ve been lied to, they’ve done a brazilian samba on the pieces of your shattered heart, you may have been cheated on and maybe even just plain left…from one day to the next without explanation.
You may have had to do the leaving. You may have gone through so much you’re afraid to expect too much. Basically, at this point, if life is like a box of chocolates…you just hope the filling will taste good. Even if only for today. You may just be willing to live for a momentary satisfaction… can I blame you?
If living in the moment and choosing temporary connections are really what you want-congrats! Kudos! on knowing what you want, and living your truth. If not, why settle? Living in the moment, enjoying your single life AND getting the love you want are not mutually exclusive. All I’m saying is look deeper at the “whys” of your life and the “hows.” Figure out the “what (what you truly TRULY want if you could but dream alittle dream)” and set your intentions.
When we love we place another’s needs/wants at the same level as ours…and often we place them above ourselves. At the heart of it, is self-love.
Loving ourselves enough to know what is serving us and what is not. Loving ourselves enough to understand that perhaps it’s better to be alone than in draining or disappearing company. Loving ourselves enough that we face that love doesn’t have to be THAT HARD. We don’t have to run the romantic obstacle course so often. We have to acknowledge that we deserve the best: honesty, kindness, fun, laughs, commitment and mutual caring.
Listen, we the unrecovered romantics often have this psychological need to save someone, need to prove that we are the chivalrous few that are still brave enough to love forever even in the face of insurmountable odds ie…their fears, their religions, their ex’s, their kids, their parents, their childhood traumas, their issues…someone stop me I could go on forever.
Is something wrong with this picture? It’s all about THEM. Why is that? Why do we sacrifice our time, our love and our dedication? Will the pay-off, if it ever arrives be good enough? Or is the pay-off the actual sacrifices we make? Are we “getting off” on NOT getting what we want?
If someone showed up who had all their own baggage as we humans tend to but was willing to deal with it and with yours and live and love you fully? Could you do it? Take a moment.
Could you do it?
Or would you sabotage it? Would you compare, dismember and disregard them? Would you turn away every time their eyes mirrored some unacceptable reality that doesn’t fulfill your romantic ideals? Would you pick them apart until there was nothing left? Would you take them for granted because they are so “available?” Until you met the next, “unavailable/inappropriate” one that would snare your unsuspecting frightened heart?
Scary, isn’t it? To come in and just BE. NO saving, no over-giving…yeah…no FIXING. Yes to fun, evolving, sharing and growth. Yes to being fully, sensually and passionately alive. Just showing up and being in love with yourself enough to confidently open your heart to an unfolding situation. NO control, NO upper hand, no…”I have to keep it together” worldview. Releasing the romantic myths: I have to be strong…women are crazy or in need of saving. I have to be the caretaker…men are weak or poor thing! he doesn’t know what love is!
I’ve left some of the men I’ve loved. It was deeply painful at the time. We cried under witnessing full moons, held each other into dusky dawns…our last moments together or until the next time we would rush into each other’s arms and swear eternal love. While emotionally there was a promise of a future, in the morning I walked away with a heavy heart but with easy breath.
I was free, tortured but free.
There would never be in-laws to meet, babies to name, joint laundry to wash or even bills to share. We were young, ardent and mesmerized. I had reasons, and they were valid ones, “19 is too young to marry, I want to find out who I am before marriage & commitment,” etc. As time marched on, I figured out more or less who I was and who I was becoming. I grew less afraid and was willing to engage in more serious relationships but guess what? They were non-committal types…and the angst ensued. Of course I didn’t completely know that at the time but err….there were hints. Was I forever to leave my Beloved or struggle to hang in there until they were ready? I really was living a no-win situation.
I’m a risk-taker by nature. I’d rather do, than not. To think of never loving again is akin to death and who wants to rush the unavoidable? Loving is life at its best yet I’ve realized now through two decades of infatuations, true love and sacrifice that perhaps I’ve had a part in my own pain.
We can’t knock the roads we’ve taken because all roads lead to ourselves, our true path if we are brave enough to look. I am thankful for all I have lived and pray for the wisdom to create and accept a better love and thus a better life.
My biggest heartache took me for surprise several years ago. Yes, I knew his history and his patterns but I thought we were different, I thought our love was so great it could conquer all. Amor Vincit Ominia. As I found myself calling off my wedding two months prior due to an infidelity, I realized that I had hit bottom. Some said I was brave and strong for suspending the nuptials after 6 and a half years of a tumultuous relationship. I felt I had no choice.
Humiliating, insulting, disappointing, words cannot describe the immense pain and chaos I felt descended upon me. But in this earthly laboratory called LIFE, I had a spiritual alchemical reaction.
It went something like this,” Do you know who you are? Do you know what you deserve?”
Yes… was my tearful answer. “Good, so cut the bullshit.” I can’t say that my spiritual guides are always the understanding sort but you get my point. In that very moment where everything I thought I had and would have disappeared…a clear picture of myself arose. I realized that I loved myself and that my primary responsibility was to honor myself, my ideals and my dreams.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that full moons, rainy nights, candlit talks till dawn and “I love you’s” in the quiet of the night aren’t hot. They are. Very. It makes life juicy.
Now that I’m recovering I want romance in everyday life, I want counseling so Romeo lives, I want to marry him and write him poetry even in our eighties. I don’t want to talk in hushed tones with my girlfriends about “the one that got away.”
I want the glow in my skin and the ease in my walk to speak for me and the peace I feel with the man I love. Yes, peace. Peace, entwined with passion and an understanding that we are individual’s choosing to share a joint journey. I don’t want to feel heroic because once-upon-a-time I loved someone to pieces.
No, I want to meet the challenges of keeping love alive each day. I want to be the everyday Hero of love that is not judged for one grand moment but for moments strung together to create the masterpiece of a lifetime. A lifetime, Yes…commitment-phobes I feel you quivering. Read on.
Choosing to love the same person…playfully, freely, courageously, joyously and passionately.
Of course, nothing is perfect and the rough times will come but knowing that we will get through them and keep loving is what I am seeking. I want in-laws to meet, I want babies to name, laundry for more than one and bills to share.
At the end of the fairytale where the Prince wins the Princess there is a subtitle that reads, “and they lived happily ever after.” Now wouldn’t that be a very grand story to tell?
That’s hot. That’s what I’m talking about.