"blame the Truth for how dark it gets."
When I was 13, I developed a mental and physical disorder- anorexia- which I've talked about before on this blog. I was admitted into a hospital program when I was 15 to confront the psychological undercurrents of that illness. Shortly after I left the hospital program, I entered into a relationship with a boy. I was 16 when he and I started dating. Let's call him George*. George and I dated for almost two years. A week after George and I broke up, I had a date with another boy. Let's call him Jake*. Jake and I were together for about two months before I realized that I was still in love with George. George and I ended up secretly spending time together without actually taking the roles of a serious relationship. Then, once that had run its course, I was with Mike* for two weeks before I left for the west coast for college. One week into the first semester, I met Andrew*. Andrew and I were whatever we were for a little over two months before I set my eyes on Matt*. After a few months of courting, Matt and I spent about a year and a half together before deciding to take a "break," which has opened a space for exploration with Chris*.
* Every single name has been changed in respect for the privacy of my past partners.
So, I haven't been single since I was 15. And, if you think about it, for quite a while, my companion was my eating illness. So, really, I haven't spent any time alone with myself since I was 13. Seven years.
How can I claim to know much of anything about myself if I've never spent the time alone with myself to find out?
Well, I can vouch for the fact that in every relationship I engage in, be it sexual, friendly, professional or what-have-you, I learn something about myself. Sometimes that lesson is fixed within the context of that relationship. Usually, though, it extends into other areas of my life.
Let that not diminish the value of introspection. Ultimately, you are the only person you have.
When I frame my past relationships as being something akin to distractions from myself, that's not accurate, nor is it fair. My intention is more to change my own perspective of the loves I have had and currently have. The love I've had for George, for Jake, Mike, Andrew, Matt, and Chris are all different forms springing from one single source. As water flows from a spring and travels down the curves of a mountain into the sea, evaporates into the air and returns as rain and as snow, it is always water. It just evolves.
Perhaps the reason for heartache and heartbreak is that we tend to view separations or "break-ups" as a harsh and distinct, discrete ending of love as opposed to a shift in form of that single-source Love.
So the loves I have had for these lovers have not been clear-cut or distinct from one another in essence. In form and in detail, yes- they have been wildly different both in time and space, in sexual personality, and in relating characteristics. Each relationship has had its defining idiosyncrasies, its particular specificities of boundary and bonding- but ultimately, these relationships have been beads on the string of Love (which is not to diminish the immense capacity for transformation nor the beauty inherent and different within each love). Capital-l Love, like capital-t Truth is beyond the form it takes in our lives, beyond the words we use to describe it. Words like (lower-case-l) love and lover, boyfriend, girlfriend (etc.) are just arrows we use to point to the capital-l Love, capital-t Truth. I think more often than not, we get stuck looking at and holding onto the arrows and forget to look where it points.
I can't profess to know exactly where the arrows point. I presume that it is invariably different for each individual, but my best guess is that for each of us, the arrows point inwards. All else springs forth.