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I have loved, and I have lost, but life is in the giving, and not in the cost.

dsc00612Love, I mean real, passionate, make you speed down the road to see her, run up to the door, heart-pounding love…I’ve had it. One of the beautiful things about my heart, is that there is no room for regret in it. It keeps a little bit of everyone I ever loved in it. That also makes it unique.

All my foibles and triggers are all rolled up in to one heart, and sometimes it takes me a long time to realize some of my weaknesses. But, that’s not you, right? I mean, you probably know yourself pretty good, why would this post interest you? Well, maybe, just maybe, you can learn a little from my past mistakes, or simply have a laugh or two as I recount a bit of my past.

I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people I know. I have loved several people throughout my life. I recall my very first girlfriend. At one point we were neighbours in townhouses: it was surreal as a teenager to have your girlfriend right next door! I know we broke up and got back together several times in those adrenaline and hormone driven times; That’s high school for ya.

My next love was as a senior in high school. My friends used to say I was always running on MT (empty), as if I was out of gas, but always thinking of her. They were right, I was in love. We must of broken up at least five times. Well, I guess that’s that’s adolescence for ya.

There was another girl that ran with the pack of us crazy 20 year olds. We were on top of the world, and we had so much fun together. Even though we broke up a few times, I knew we were destined to be together because one of the very best things in my life happened with her: my son. He is my realized Hero. He is his own person, and I know that if I learned anything from my life and was able to come back as another person, it would be him. That’s young love for ya.

Then, I met a woman that I would soon marry. I loved her as well, and she would be a person that I knew I could be with to the very end of my life. I had the capacity to love her if she was fat or sick or lost her mind. I would care for her forever. That forever lasted 1.5 years until it fell apart. Even after we were divorced, we tried it again. Why do we do that? That’s blind love for ya.

Life was…learning to live with myself for the next 10-15 years, until I met the most magical woman of them all. She was as beautiful as she was smart; so smart in fact that she blew my mind at the things she brought in to my consciousness. I grew so much with her, but that growth alone would not sustain us. We broke up at least four times. Each time we grew so much, and, as we called it, we healed broken parts of our heart from past loves. We knew we were better for it as people, but not for each other. That was truly conscious love.

Now, as I reflect on the patterns of behaviour around love and relationships, I see a startling fact. With each significant relationship in my life, we broke up several times. I’ve been brewing about this, and in doing so asked myself some questions. Was it different circumstances that dictated this? Was I just constantly learning  over and over again with each person? No, that’s not me. Once I learn something I rarely duplicate it. Funny then, I must not be learning a much needed lesson, because I keep repeating the same pattern over and over again.

I think, however, I have an idea about what it is. Interestingly, it comes from a movie I saw; which will be no surprise for anyone that knows me. Have you seen Hancock? Will Smith plays a being with super-powers, much like Superman, but when he gets physically closer to the woman of his dreams, he becomes physically weaker. He loves her, but he can’t live with her.

This strikes a chord with me. When I live my life, I am strong, certain, and live life with verve and action. Then when I get involved with anyone I fall for, I become a lesser version of that. I look to them, I care for them, they become somewhat more important to me, than me.

That’s a hard thing to admit, that I stop feeding my own soul to offer what I always thought was my love to another person, but it seems that what I was doing was creating some kind of co-dependant relationship with them. The relationship centres around caring for someone else as if I was a caretaker and protector. I think I was caring for the relationship, not the person, perhaps out of fear. Sure the stereotypical male role models are a little like that, protectors and financial care takers, but that’s an old outdated model.

As soon as I start living my own life, I start shifting my awareness back to me. I depend less on what someone else thinks and I simply do. I live the perfect solitary life and I feed my self everything I can give it. I can’t give it everything it needs because the affection of another person is desired, but I can feed it the love and attention it deserves from myself. There is a balance to be struck between the ‘relationship’ George  and the ‘independent’ George, as related in Seinfeld.

I have learned that it’s okay to move on from a relationship that isn’t working. Here’s what it wasn’t: a high school thing, a young love thing, an adolescent fling, or a circumstance of being blinded by love: it was me. When there’s a pattern, odds are that issue is you.

Let’s be real about our selves for a moment: we have been brainwashed by school and society and advertising for over 40 years, and even if we spend several years working hard trying to become the idyllic version of our self that we hold in our mind’s eye, we may not make it there in the time frame we want. There is too much to overcome, and that’s why the journey to self realization is what’s important, not that destination as Eckart Tolle suggests. In that way, we can continue to live in the moment, and not look to the future as some goal.

Although I was striving to always hold the relationship together, perhaps because I bore witness to my parent’s failed marriage when I was very young, I became unable to end it for my own sake. That is also a part of that co-dependancy thing I’m sure. I become the relationship, not my self. I haven’t done any research on the topic, but I am thinking I seem to be a pretty good candidate for a change.

So, how do we know what’s good in life?

How would you know if you didn’t know pain, defeat, anguish, loss, or death? It is because our lives are full of stress, and drama, and fear, and pain that we seek refuge in a safe, loving harbour. It is because we are human, with reactions and passions that over-rule our mental capacities at times, that makes life interesting! for the Matrix believers out there, recall the versions that didn’t work, when life was perfect?

‘To err is human’. In fact, it defines us.

Not only are we reckless at times, we all have different versions of reality in our minds, and we all take things differently, and we all have different tolerances, and triggers, and passions that weigh in on us. We each have beliefs, lessons, behaviours, and traits that are uniquely our own, and it’s that crazy uniqueness that binds as as one human population. I have a theory that if you let Chaos run wild, eventually you get a homogenous mix of everything; that’s us: chaotically similar.

What’s the take-away? I always ask that of others, so this time I’ll ask my self that question.

“To Thine Own Self Be True”

For those that finally ended the relationships with me: thank-you for being strong enough to do what was necessary for your own self. I have learned that lesson.

From all hurt: a lesson.

So, life without loss would be a live never really lived, a humanity that never thrived, a heart with no scars to define us. Talk about a boring life. Not for me, thanks. I want it to keep pounding, keep driving me to the edges of my sanity and locking my eyes on the love of my life, but I will keep one foot firmly planted in the haven of my world, and one hand tenderly around my own heart. This way I won’t loose myself in another, and I will always be aware of my own needs. I will keep giving it plenty of ‘me’ time, but paying more attention to its solitary driven needs of the individual.

I do love one more person, and that person has been with me through everything, thick and thin, sometimes hanging on for dear life, sometimes dozing out of weariness: me. I love the fact that my humour has stayed intact through all the bat shit crazy times, and the lonely crappy times. I’ve been a better friend to myself lately and I think that’s a good starting point for anyone.

Do I regret anything? No. I loved every minute of every person I have ever loved. I love each and every one of them even now, and they fill my heart when I feel alone. My life is passionate for all of them, and now I’ll  put that passion to good use in my own pursuits.

What is heroic about all of this? Knowing who you are is one of the hardest things to accomplish in life, so when we are able to see, for the first time: who we are, what we are doing, how we are operating, as a broad picture, we start to become more aware of that which eludes us during 95% of the time: our self. When we understand our self better, we can consciously shift our life’s patterns to match that which we understand to be our essential true path.

I hope there is a takeaway here for you as well. Not everyone shares stories about love, yet it is an essential part of life. What I hope to have illuminated was the fact that sometimes patterns we initially think are circumstantial can actually be caused from within. We can be the problem. The good news about that is that we are also the solution. Find the lesson, learn it, and move on.

Every day is another episode of life; don’t miss out!