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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Dating Buddha

"If we live by truth, we may have pain, but we will always rest securely within ourselves"
- Charlotte Kasl, if the Buddha dated

The end of my relationship last year has been emotionally harder than anything I have ever dealt with. That statement surprises even me. After all, I've survived a gay childhood, adolescent hell, and I even escaped from a cult. But, I've never known anything like the crushing blows of the last several months. As I've mentioned before, climbing out of this hole takes a lot of hard work and determination, but I'm reading a book that is helping me tremendously as I work to resolve the confusion, bitterness and anger in my heart. I would heartily recommend it to anybody who is trying to understand how to seek, and, hopefully, find, a deep and spiritual love.

I haven't yet finished the book, if the Buddha dated, which was recommended to me by my therapist, but I have already had a wonderful epiphany. I realize now that I just need to date Buddha.

No, I guess that is too lofty a goal. I guess I need to just live truthfully and seek a relationship with a truthful man. I understand now what I am really looking for in a partner, and I jotted down a couple of the thoughts that really hit home for me.

"We create our suffering through our attachments and demands that things be different than they are."

That really is what is causing my suffering. Everyone gets hurt, but we don't have to suffer the way we do if we can learn to let go. I've been through other breakups, but I haven't understood why this one has caused such intense suffering. Now I am beginning to understand that I have not accepted the truth that my love was not who he pretended to be. I am not able to accept that he was the kind of person who would deceive me. I could never have believed he would hide things from me. I never hid things from him and just assumed everything he told me about himself and about our future was absolutely truthful. Well, until I accept this person and this situation without wanting things to be different, I will continue to suffer.

"While we have preferences, the minute we start insisting that people and situations be different, we create inner turmoil, anger, hostility, sadness, and so on."

I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, and he told me he wanted the same. Now I am beginning to understand that this was a path of sensual pleasures and romantic fantasy. At the end of the path was a door that promised beautiful moments and a fantastic future on the other side. But when I opened the door, there was a dark void. The door actually led to nothingness, and my eyes could not believe my dream wasn't on the other side. My heart sank when I saw the empty canyon before me.

I turned questioningly to my lover. He would reassure me as always. He would tell me about our house and our kids and our dogs and how much happiness we would share. But, suddenly, he was no longer there by my side. He had vanished. I began to scream that this was not happening. There was no way this could happen. He promised to be there and said that he'd prove to the world that he was sticking by me when he and I danced at our wedding.

But now, he is gone. I am alone.

No, that is where I have been wrong. For so many years I have loved my partners fearfully because of this false notion that I am completely alone. As I work to grow and heal, I'm learning that somewhere in my heart I have believed that I'm destined to end up alone. I've never really understood, until recently, how much this story I've told myself has informed my life.

I am no more alone than any other soul on this earth. We share so much. Every person on this earth has had to live every day of their lives, with all the ups and downs and in betweens, just like I have. Nearly everyone around me has at one time felt sorrow at being deceived. They have felt the excitement of a first kiss or experienced butterflies when touching someone beautiful.

I've never really told the story of what happened. It is so painful for me to think about, let alone write about, and I know it would cause him pain too. So I have to just accept what happened, let it go, and move forward. That is what he really wanted for me all along, I think. I know that I loved authentically and wholeheartedly. Every word from my lips was truthful, and my heart was absolutely devoted to him. What more can I ask for? I did the right thing. I can rest securely in myself.

"When you say goodbye to someone or decide not to see them again, remember you are a moment in their story. Make it a story that doesn't leave a scar."
- Charlotte Kasl, if the Buddha dated

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