Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Complicated.

When I started so purkh-ing over a year ago, I did it with the intention of blessing and elevating my dad and brother, and resolving any lingering emotion in relationships past. The prayer can be applied for the purpose of calling in one's Beloved, but all I really needed at the time was a clean break. I wasn't in the market for a lifelong partner.

Similarly, when I set up my online dating profile I was still not looking for a mate. I just wanted to date in a normal, Hollywood movie way and get a better understanding of dudes. It's been a real mixed bag of an experiment. One guy got so upset when I wasn't comfortable coming over to his house after the first date ("I thought I did a good job proving that I'm not crazy." Ahem.) that he determined that we could never be together. Another fella smiled and flirted and smiled, sent me links to his music and never called again. And then there was the guy in rainbow cheetah print leggings. We won't get into that one.

And then! Then this man who I am supposedly only 41% compatible with found me. We started writing each other and quickly found that we had more in common than anyone else I had met this way. After dozens of messages, he took me out for beets and conversation and we immediately clicked. He seemed to possess everything I had ever asked for, silently and aloud, that I never would've thought could exist in one person. At the end of our first date I was literally dazzled, drunk although I had no drinks, practically levitating my way home.

The four days that stretched between that evening and the next when I saw him again felt endless. I grew more giddy and also more apprehensive- something wasn't right, or rather, something had to be wrong. Hoping that I was just leaning into old patterns of thinking, I met my new friend again. Open and receptive, I watched and listened, waiting.

A week after our first otherworldly meeting, the other shoe dropped. Cozy and cuddled on a couch in my favorite cafe, he tentatively unloaded his baggage- the pregnant pause in between his words that I had intuited. As surprised as I was that someone so young could've already amassed so many interesting intricacies, I had to admire the man- it was an intimate moment and his trepidation was palpable (he must really like me!). His timing was good and his honesty appreciated. I took it all in and thanked him for being forthright.

Then began the processing and questions: How devilish, how big of a deal are these details? How much do I care, and in what ways? And, most importantly, does this change how I feel about him? I observed the way in which I had built him up in my mind, how I had decided so many things about him based on what it means to me to be a "yogi" and a "spiritual person"...and how if I felt at all disappointed by his reality, that is my fault. The assumptions we make about people do not become true because we've assumed them. Our assumptive power cannot bring non-realities to life.

So here he is. This "perfect" yogi, potential Beloved partner is a human man with baggage. It stings a bit to realize his reality and then I look at my own baggage and it stings a bit more and I wonder if I have any right to lift an eyebrow at him. He and I are hauling around totally different overstuffed knapsacks, but we're both weighed down. We have junk, we have crazy, we have dysfunction. The determining factor is whether or not we can love each other not in spite of but because of all that we are- suitcases and backpacks and duffel bags included. Can I allow this imperfect person to be imperfect and not punish him for it?

Of course, this is an important question for all our relationships. Can we love each other unconditionally? Can we love like Jesus and the Buddha loved? Like Amma mama loves? Can we love each other on our worst days when we are in absolute disgrace? Can we love each other even when we've hurt one another? Can we love each other for the whole sum, the whole reality, of who we are?

It's complicated. Challenging. Heart stretching. But impossible? No. Just really hard sometimes. Practice on yourself. That's a good place to start. Softening ever softer to our own foibles so we can love each other better.

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