Tips from a Gentleman: On Transcending Love Lost.

Via on Oct 9, 2012

 

Love-life Logic for the Humans on Earth

We’re doing things a little bit differently this week. Instead of the standard Q & A format, this is the extended paraphrasing of an exchange that occurred over the course of several weeks, presented with the benefit of hindsight as a stylized conversation. Follow?
We begin in the midst of things. My friend “Mila” recently saw her long-term relationship end, and not by her choosing, so we talked about it.

— Hope you’re doing well. Trust it’s all for the best.

Yeah. But it’s hard to trust in less love.

— Hmm maybe try to regard it as clearing away that which is a hindrance to experiencing more love?

I like that. Lately, I’ve been wasting a ridiculous amount of time feeling sad.

— We are emotional beings. Felt sense is never wasted. But why?

Obviously because I’ve been missing the person I lost, but also because I was feeling deprived of a future I wanted, a future I yearned for, a future I thought was attainable with patience.

— The future becomes present as ideas gain density until they are real enough to see, touch and feel. That is a slow and delicate process from our point of view, here in Earth-time, and distortions occur as our intentions blend into the reality soup we share with our fellow Earthlings. Indeed, it is unsafe to build one’s prospects for happiness on the unsure foundations of another person, whose ideas about future reality may differ drastically from yours.

The more devoid I felt, the angrier I became with said lost person—blaming them for the retraction of my happily ever after.

— For them to be lost, they must first have been possessed. I invite you to examine that premise. It’s terrifying but ultimately funny how others can play havoc, with apparent whimsy, on even our most powerful imaginings. I know sometimes it feels shockingly unfair. Like, WTF!? I had such pleasant plans for us… Howcouldyou…

Sad + Angry = Bad News Bears.

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— “Remember that stress, (including physical pain), does not come from the emotions themselves, but from the level of resistance we put up against feeling them.” — Christine DeLorey

I couldn’t get past the idea of ever loving anyone else the way I loved my lost person.

— But…

But what I failed to realize is that lost person rarely loved me the way I wanted/needed to be loved—let alone yearned for the same kind of future.

— And so the wheel turns. And so often everything is already in the process of turning out perfectly, except it’s not how we expected so we abandon our path at the last minute, try to make it right but are clumsy, then feel dumb for walking in circles. Luckily the universe loves us and will spin us around and round until we get it, get out of our own way and just enjoy the ride.

I was caught up on the amount of love I had for said person, the way it made me feel to love someone so deeply, and the future I thought I could support solely on that devotion.

Love is a selfish thing: it’s all about devotion to the One.

How very strange then, that it requires the duality of I loving You. You, me. Us, we. Therein, I guarantee, is the path of unity. Ha! Except enough of that all-oneness—this love is Mine and I’m going to hold it so so tight that I’d fight you, my love, to maintain it.

Weird. Know what I mean?

Except Love, like Light, gains focus when squeezed, is more powerful if focused, expands when shared. The struggle for love sets atingle an endless net of blind kindnesses. The act of seeking creates reverberations that ripple out and back in a closed loop, like a spherical trampoline.

I find a timeless source of spring in my step when I trust the meta-tramp to have this springboard effect. But you’ve got to be on your toes, so that the bounce you send out doesn’t flow right back and undermine your delicate balance.

It wasn’t until just yesterday that your statement finally made sense to me.

— How so? Wait, what’d I say?

To think of lost love as a way to let more love in.

— Right. Jai Shri Kali Ma.

A nearly-love can offer great comfort but is potentially quite addictive. The key (and this is extremely tricky) is to notice when a love is sub-optimal and be willing to kick that habit.

To do so is a powerful act of devotion to your own highest good, a courageous honoring of the true love you deserve which is, as we speak, still wending its way from subtler realms down to find us here, where we are, wandering deep in the confusion of physicality.

At first, I thought you just meant more lovers, more opportunities to love and be loved—which I could not comprehend.

— Bigger is often no better. Here is equally awful as There. The greenness of grass depends on how well you tend it. Most of all: more of not enough means even emptier.

But yesterday, I took it as: quality of love. “More love” = higher [quotient] of love; of life sought after.

— Yes! Of life sought after.

More love = the love I need, not just the love someone is willing to give.

— It is in no way “needy” to speak of Needs. Acknowledging your own needs is the first step to having them met.

In love, who wants a partner that has a line in the sand they refuse to cross? Not I.

— Nor I.

Loving thanks to “Mila” for allowing creative license in sharing our dialogue. Feedback is welcome for both the content and form of this iteration of “Tips,” as this is clearly a bit experimental.

Thanks for reading!

If you have a loving question, a sexy dilemma or are entangled in some adoring intrigue, write to elephantgentleman (at)gmail(dot)com and David will address the situation with both sides of his brain.

~

Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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About David McConaghay

David Telfer McConaghay was conceived in Toronto, born in North Carolina, and lived in Washington D.C. and Tokyo before arriving in Minneapolis at the age of 8. At 16 he moved to Connecticut, and has since inhabited D.C. for four more years, an island in Wisconsin, an ashram in Northern California, a national park in Maine, and taught English in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Bogota, Colombia before landing in Boulder, Colorado at the start of 2011. He loves all humans, but feels unique fondness for Jorge Luis Borges, Swami Sivananda, and Lionel Messi. David's personal website is www.masteringmetaphysics.com. He is an ambassador for GaiamTV.com/Dave and you are invited to email ElephantGentleman at gmail dot com or follow him on Twitter.

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19 Responses to “Tips from a Gentleman: On Transcending Love Lost.”

  1. Michael Diamond says:

    Good post, but I thought this blog was supposed to be about dongs. GET BACK TO THE DONG-TALK! "The tip of a gentleman"? my ass.

    • DaveTelf says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful suggestion. If you would like to offer a topic for conversation, please, email me and I'll compose a whole post about dongs, tips, your ass, and all things (if any) in between. : ) Thanks for reading!

  2. Rob Zimmerman says:

    Good analysis, Michael. Can we please get some details on how the lovely Mola and what seems like a perfectly serviceable dong came to call it quits?

    • DaveTelf says:

      Mr. Zimmerman I'm afraid that information is strictly confidential. As may be inferred from the article, the serviceability of the dong in question was not a critical element in this situation, although the loss of said dong was no doubt a contributing factor to the grief our dear Mila has been through. When she refers to "the future [she] yearned for" and "thought was attainable," that suggests to me that she desired the whole package, so to speak. Certain aspects of that package were perhaps more desired than others, but I don't dare speculate.

  3. DaveTelf says:

    Death by dong? Yikes. But, if you say so…

  4. j nicole says:

    honestly loved this dialogue .. quite succinct .. and quite meaningful – oh .. so many points to this article .. hard to summarize .. Here .. is .. directly .. what i like most ..

    …. quality of love. “More love” = higher [quotient] of love; of life sought after.

    — Yes! Of life sought after.

    More love = the love I need, not just the love someone is willing to give.

    — It is in no way “needy” to speak of Needs. Acknowledging your own needs is the first step to having them met.

    In love, who wants a partner that has a line in the sand they refuse to cross? Not I.

    — Nor I.

    • DaveTelf says:

      Thank you for reading/commenting. Glad to hear it struck a chord, and that your favorite part was the finale. This article was all about bringing things to a pleasing end.

  5. DaveTelf says:

    Inappropriate.

  6. Raj Shah says:

    Hi David – I am a doctor and Dr. Rod Munch is no Dr. Oz. Take it from a doctor. Me, the doctor. Doctor Love. I wrote this song just for occasions like this one:

    "One, two princes kneel before you
    That what I said now
    Princes, princes who adore you
    Just go ahead now."

    That's a direct quote from me, the doctor. My friends call me the Spin Doctor but they don't know what they're talking about. Just like Dr. Rod Munch.

    Hi Mom!

  7. freeflwrgrrrl says:

    David! I've been following your column for a few weeks, and I love love love the writing! You're so spot on with a lot of the observations. I especially liked:

    "How very strange then, that it requires the duality of I loving You. You, me. Us, we. Therein, I guarantee, is the path of unity. Ha! Except enough of that all-oneness—this love is Mine and I’m going to hold it so so tight that I’d fight you, my love, to maintain it.

    Weird. Know what I mean?

    Except Love, like Light, gains focus when squeezed, is more powerful if focused, expands when shared. The struggle for love sets atingle an endless net of blind kindnesses. The act of seeking creates reverberations that ripple out and back in a closed loop, like a spherical trampoline."

    It's kinda spacey, but I always thought love focused like a laser in when squeezed and can become a powerful force for sharing and unity in our backwards world. Maybe I'm just a little goofy, though. Can you tell me what you mean when you say:

    "Bigger is often no better. Here is equally awful as There. The greenness of grass depends on how well you tend it. Most of all: more of not enough means even emptier."

    Does that have to do with dong size?

    P.S. keep it up, but feel free to add a frank discussion of dongs and dong culture here and there!

    • DaveTelf says:

      Thanks flwrgrrrl! Happy to hear you're enjoying the column, it's been fun so far.

      In the quote you ask about, I was not in any way intending to allude to dongs. I was merely playing off some cultural cliche's — eg bigger is better, the grass is always greener etc — to get to the point that yes, of course Mila now has the opportunity to go out and find more lovers, but if she doesn't take to heart the lessons offered by her current discomfort, then she's going to end up right back in a similar situation and then be even more disheartened, feel even more devoid. Thus, "more of not enough means even emptier." Like adding a negative number, stumbling into more unfulfilling relationships would be counterproductive.

      I don't know who these dong-obsessed hooligans think they are, but they certainly leave a lot of comments. Thanks for reading and leaving a thoughtful one! Next installment of "Tips" will be out Tuesday, 10/23.

  8. March says:

    hi dave, how are you a "gentleman", and why do you use that term to describe yourself?

    and, i found this article very "air up there" and removed from the bleeding jagged raw edges of true loss and heartbreak. i saw words on the screen, heard the sound of your breath, but couldn't smell you. where is your animal? what have you done with him? why is he not at your side?

    • DaveTelf says:

      Hi March, excellent questions.

      On one level, I use the term gentleman as a marketing ploy. No one wants to read an advice column called "What a Douchebag Would Do." Or, on second thought, that's pretty catchy, but still not what I'm going for. So there is certainly an aspirational aspect to it.

      Also, I am genuinely a gentle man, with equal emphasis on both words. I was mostly raised by my mother, and rely on many powerful women as my very best friends and advisers. Without quite knowing how or why, I've found myself in this role of counselor to many people of both genders, friends and strangers, and I think (hope) have been able to offer useful perspective. This column is a chance to share that part of my character with a wider audience. I'm curious to hear how people feel about it so far…

      I agree with you about the removed, philosophical tone of this piece. It was something I was conscious of while writing it and did my best to tone down in places, but this was a tricky one. Some of the words are transcribed directly from real-life conversation, and others were composed and inserted long after the fact. It is painfully obvious to me which is which.

      This is evidence of my failings as a writer, but is also somewhat in keeping with the theme of the column, which is to offer a logical perspective on matters of the heart. It's a contradiction within itself, but it's a balance worth aiming to strike. What can you really say to someone whose heart is broken? In my experience, we are simply inconsolable, until we're not, at which point it's nice to feel heard and be offered some hope. As I say, this article arose from a real situation in which a friend of mine felt that I really had helped her through the process, and ultimately made her feel "understood, heard and helped," so the goal was to translate that into a coherent piece of writing. So, I hear you saying it didn't quite work, and I get that. I need help too sometimes.

      My animal — most often imagined as a tiger, or otherwise a deer — sleeps at my feet. Now and then he rolls over to have his belly scratched or gently wrestle, but otherwise remains obedient until it's time to go outside and play. Then I let him loose and he runs rampant, climbing trees and jumping fences, and when free time is over a fierce animal odor pervades in which I revel, but ultimately must shampoo away.

      See, you sparked me. Say more, say more!

  9. Steve W. says:

    Hello Dave – Great article! I specifically loved this quote and had some thoughts of my own to share:

    "But yesterday, I took it as: quality of love. “More love” = higher [quotient] of love; of life sought after."

    Honestly, if you think about it, there must be higher love. But where do you find it? Is it in the heart or in the stars above? It seems that if you don't have this higher love that life is wasted time. I think the heart is the place to start, and that's where I've been searching for mine.

    Where is this higher love that I'm thinking of? Do you think it's in the "dong"?

  10. DaveTelf says:

    Ah yes, thank you Steve. You've touched on a profound topic that is worth exploring.

    In my understanding, the higher love you're thinking of is the very basis of existence, the framework for all names and form, the background structure which supports space, time, planets, all forms of humanity etc etc. This is the infinite all-pervasive Godhead/Creator/Source/Brahman or whatever name we attach to it doesn't matter because it's beyond all name and form.

    It is within this structure of all-pervasive Love, then, that all the dualities of Love/Fear, Joy/Suffering, Pride/Shame, Avery/Coors exist and cause one another in the cycle of samsara. Bill Hicks referred to this as the roller coaster (within the stupifyingly tremendous amusement park which is Creation) and some people have a lot invested in the ride. This is fine, because the ride would be no fun if we weren't fully engaged with it, but ultimately it is just a ride.

    So the key is to hold space for your own knowing that you are indeed an integral piece of the framework created by the capital-L Love Source, while also enjoying the ride that swings us up and down within our miniscule spectrum of perception. Indeed, it is only when we forget that we are the Source that we become troubled by the apparently drastic actions the ride subjects us to.

    I think you're right though, that the place to seek the Source is indeed the heart-center. Did you know, the heart has it's own brain structure, except that it only has one hemisphere? Our big animal brain has two hemispheres, so we experience duality (which is super interesting!), but the heart only knows unity. So yes, yes, think with your heart! (and your dong will follow) : )

  11. CPie Mania says:

    Why isn't the lovee, boy-of-my-dreams' side of things represented here? If I were to guess I would say he dumped you for being clingy, possessive, weird, maybe pregnant, and definitely, offensively emotional.

    • DaveTelf says:

      Can you rephrase the first part of your question? I don't quite get what you mean.

      And as for your list of adjectives there, I will look past your mean/petty projections and address the deeper issue. Every relationship has a unique power dynamic. Ideally it is a fluid thing, with each partner taking charge at appropriate moments, but too often it becomes a battle, with each party attempting to claim as much power as they can.

      The position of greatest power is held by the person who cares less. That's why it's so scary to fall in love, because you're so vulnerable to that other person not caring and casually dismissing you as "clingy." I've been on both sides of this equation and neither is very comfortable. If you don't care, you know you're going to hurt this person terribly, but you can't betray your own senses just to appease them. And if you're head-over-heels, you can almost always see yourself acting foolish and "weird" around the person, but somehow you just can't help it and you go stumbling along.

      Have some compassion CutiePie. What offends you about Mila's emotions here?

  12. [...] underlying issue of inquiry here is clearly Dong Culture. Dongs have been vocal in the comments of this column, and their demand for recognition is [...]

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