For a long time now I’ve been trying to recall my dreams the minute I wake up. Most of the time, even a vivid experience during sleep vanishes as fast as my conscious mind tries to grab for it. But this morning was different. Not only did I have a complete memory of what I’d dreamed, but I was also aware of a message direct from my subconscious. Last night’s dream was all about my relationship with Love. How that relationship has changed. As my comfort with Who I Really Am has grown. When we understand and accept ourselves, our experience of Love deepens. Both luminous, and harsh experiences reveal what the word truly means.
Being in Love is uniquely personal. I can’t, and wouldn’t try to describe it for anyone else. First Love (which was what my dream-memory recalled) was an absolute free-fall and deep-dive into the other person, without any fear or hesitation. I often had the sense that we were in sync at a cellular level: at times seeing, breathing, thinking as One. Everything that I thought I was, and everything I wanted to be, was intertwined with this feeling. Love was authentic and trustworthy. Love was a kind of protective insulation from the world; a special way of feeling, and being, that sprinkled fairy dust on anything we wanted to conjure together (even the mundane, like our first apartment).
My first love lasted almost 9 years. Even then, the love didn’t ever wane, but our radically-different ideas about ‘stability’ became impossible to ignore. We were a cliché of the times: the ambitious professional, constantly – and becoming bored with — propping up the starving-artist who wanted to play music and do little else. Still, over the years that First Love remained imprinted on my entire being; it was my metric for how I knew a relationship could feel. But as I continued to date, even falling in love two more times, I began to change, and my lovers did too.
If we stay ‘single’ or get divorced, at a certain point, — or maybe it’s a certain age — men and women start to feel and act on the belief that Love is just not going to happen naturally. It’s over. Done. The time has passed.That’s when the small lapses start; the little half-truths or fully-baked lies.When I’ve had occasion to give a man the heave-ho because he’s grossly misrepresented himself (I once had guy tell me he was in a college nursing program; he was actually a gardener with no academic aspirations), I’ve always asked, Why? Why lie? A shrug of the shoulders is a common response. As if.
If I had time and space here, I’d share with you some similar, truly laughable, and even bizarre, online dating experiences I’ve had. (which is why I stopped taking that avenue!) Men have lied about their faces and bodies (of course, right?), but also their careers, interests, habits (smoking, vs. non-) and marital status (“married, but (not) in the divorce process”). Again: Why do this? It’s not like the Truth will never be exposed; but it’s a gamble that it won’t, so there’s the answer.
My male friends (not dating prospects, so they’re willing to be candid) back me up on this, telling me that I just don’t understand how hard it is for men to be “on their own”. They seem to think that women have the upper-hand, when it comes to coping with a solitary life; so, women are less-likely “cave” to deception and outright lying.
I don’t know about that. But what I do know is that it can feel increasingly difficult to remember Love, before the heart became jaded and wary; and, at the same time, easier to want to hide in seclusion, amidst the after effects of consecutive disappointments with Love. My dream last night, I’m convinced, arrived as a gentle reminder of the Power of Love, Trusting in Love, being Patient with Love, and the courage needed to take care of my Self until I cross paths with Love again. There’s really no point in trying to look for it; it knows where I am.