Tuesday, April 17, 2018

On Love

Snoquera Falls

I don't blame myself for missing signs or signals in past relationships gone wrong. It wouldn't matter. Love, lust, and intense devotion create blinders that go well beyond the scope of rational thinking. We need this defect to an extent, in order to put up with one another's inherent imperfections.

Something grew out of the mud of my worst break up, and others that came after. Today what I crave more than anything in my relationships is clarity. The only real currency is time, and as such, wasting it is tantamount to wasting the rarity of my existence.

Perhaps the most important skill we can develop (and gift we can give) as we trudge forward in our quest for gravity defying, soulmate love is to be as graceful as possible in letting go of what is not quite right for us. As Phil Cosineau wrote in the seminal book The Art of Pilgrimage, "Pass by whatever you do not love!"

So if I may offer the most humble of advice, take your pulse constantly when you first start dating someone new. Your questions and concerns are divine messengers. State them, face them, believe that what is for you will always be for you and doesn't take convincing.  Cultivate your ability to evade the censor inside you by practicing speaking your truth. That's what life is all about: cracking all the way open, saying all the real things. Recalling your stories vividly and owning your identity. Answering the mysteries of your life out loud. How else could anyone possibly fall in love with YOU as you are?

Often we are dazed by lust and just really want a chance to show someone we like how much they can like us too. We use mirroring and coy charisma to enchant them into the idea of loving us, rather than letting them discover us authentically. The ache to be loved and to belong can subconsciously cause us to alter ourselves in what seem like such small ways, so as to better fit someone else.

"Remember that sometimes, not getting what you want is a stroke of luck" -Dalai Lama

My dear friend Louis once gave me advice that sticks with me to this day: For the first six months of a relationship, you are dating someone's representative. As the clock ticks and facades peel away, prepare for what was hidden to slowly seep through.

And listen, if it's bad in there, at the heart of things: No settling. Just walk away with grace. The best thing a failed relationship can offer us is beautiful lucidity on what we do not want.

"If I ever loved you, I'll always love you, that's how I was raised." -Drake

I am not attracted to laziness and poor excuses. I am not enticed by promises of potential or pitiful scapegoating. I like a man who has a fire lit beneath him and a purpose that he rides for. I would have done well with a cowboy, or one of those ancient distance runners responsible for delivering news. I could love an architect or a builder of cabins in the wood. A farmer dedicated to rising with the sun to work his land, or a mechanic who revives old cars. I want to see him impassioned and enlivened, knee deep in a cause or project.

What I really want in a partner is someone who is raw, vulnerable, open, pure, authentic, and humble. Someone who takes their integrity as seriously as I do mine, perhaps even more so. That's what I am looking for.

Deschutes River
Capitol State Forest
Capitol State Forest

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