4.8 Editor's Pick
December 22, 2018

“When we fall in Love, we fall into Reality, too.”

“When we fall in love, we fall into reality, too.” A discussion about love & commitment & children between two men.

A friend of mine has fallen in love with a 41-year-old mother of two. She doesn’t want to have more children. My friend, a few years younger, does. But he’s willing, he thinks, to sacrifice what he thought he wanted, all his life, for what is.

And there’s the rub. There’s the question. Love is not what we imagine. Love is what is. And yet, our desire to have children of our own, or our desire for any one of a 1,000 things we may not get in any relationship, is important and worth respecting, too.

A peek into our discussion, with private details excised:

My friend:

“Yes, she is inspiring to watch. Juggles so much responsibility. I just need to be sure i’m okay without kids of my own.

…ive been thinking about it a lot, it’s a tough call, but one “I think” I’m okay with. We shall see.”

Me:

“You know best. Admire your willingness to lean into what comes up instead of our ideas.”

He said:

“So true. That’s how i’m looking at it. But also fearful that i’m using that as a convenient excuse to avoid what would be harder… Waiting for another. G’ah. Sometimes you just need to make a choice and commit. This one really seems like someone I can communicate with and partner with.”

My reply:

“In the Buddhist tradition you’d explore whether this is being present with genuine something or whether this is “poverty mentality [good read here],” ie not being willing to wait out of fear of not finding a partner. Only you know best.

read Trungpa in Training the Mind: Only Trust the Principle One.

I’ve written about the balance, in searching for a lover we can work and play with through this precious life, between fantasy and reality, between heaven and the earth, below. You can read more in Things I would like to do with You:

“If you and I spend our seasons together we would find that our dreams and fantasies of happily-ever-after-love have holes in them through which the wind of karma blows: our yellow flag shakes. And I would like you to look ahead and see what I know: the wind will replace our pretty ideas with something brighter: life.” 

“I am a lover of love and I am a lover of words, and the two together spin visions of airy castles, but also may pierce the heart of hope. And so I remind you that I am a fool, a poet, and what matters is reality, not lovely words. Words are full of promise, yet empty of matter.” 

“You are not my dream girl.

You are this earth. You are not a fantasy: you are my love. And love is friendship lit by a wooden match with a white tip on its red tip. I am your match, and you are mine.” 

“Relationships—love—is not fantasy, it is bricks and mortar. It is earth. But it is fantasy, too. It is heaven: dreams and hormones and the pleasure in biology and sudden laughter.

It is the rub between the two that creates sparks: earth, heaven.”

“I don’t want my idea of you. That’s too easy, and it isn’t real. I want you, faults and all. And I want you to want me, faults and all, not any ideas you have about love.”
Waylon H. Lewis, Things I Would Like To Do With You

 

A talk with another best buddy (not the one above):

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Katey Foor Dec 23, 2018 8:05pm

I absolutely love the excerpts from Waylon’s book. I never read or heard anything more real and beautiful and alive about love and relationships. I hope everything turns out for the best with his friend. If my advice was requested I would tell him, “If it feels right in your heart and you can’t imagine your life without her, she’s the one. That’s all that matters.”

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.