I feel like Billy Pilgrim, the lead character in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, the guy who comes unstuck in time. He wanders around time to various points in his life, living and reliving various moments from his past and future.
It’s not really that I have come unstuck in time, but as I look out across my life, I look at my lovers in a way that is not socially acceptable. I still love them.
Social forces want you to hate them, or at least ignore them as if they never existed. I have a hard time doing that. I like to think of each love relationship that I had as being a gift. Sometimes, and probably most of the time, it was a gift that emerged largely after painful circumstances exposed them.
In my current spiritual belief structure, I see each lover that I had as a teacher. I believe that in some other dimension of reality, we still gather outside of time and space. We shed our ego memories and exist in our spiritual universe. That’s where we know the big picture.
I see physical life as if it were a big movie. Outside of physical life, you are like the cast and crew of a movie. You sit around over coffee and pastries and discuss all the nuances of the movie you are in.
Thus, say that you are in the middle of a big row with the major love of your life. Maybe you’re in the midst of a betrayal or a disappointment or a bitter break-up. When you leave your bodies during the night, you gather together for a script conference, like actors discussing each character part in the movie. “Boy, you sure nailed that scene!”
“Thanks. I noticed by your reaction that you think I’m nuts!”
“It was a very believable performance!”
Having this philosophy is why I still think of long-lost lovers as an intimate part of my life even when they are not physically present in my life anymore. And most of them aren’t.
In my case, I am not unstuck in time, but I am unstuck from culture. As a creative personality, I continually play with tradition, mostly rearranging it to see if I can dream up something better. For the most part I am not too happy with how the planet is doing. I think there is vast room for improvement in how we are conducting our social affairs. I am unstuck because I don’t watch much cable TV. I don’t have any disposable income, so I can’t afford many customary distractions. The end result of that is a positive, in my opinion. I do a lot of creative thinking. That leads me to looking at many alternatives that people ensconced in normal culture don’t consider.
Holding grudges, for example. If you watch much TV, you come away with the impression that it is normal if not somehow righteous to hold grudges. Much of cable TV is all about fighting the good fight. Talk shows often pit one side against the other. It’s all great entertainment, isn’t it?
A juicy area for holding grudges is the arena of romance. If you were betrayed, cheated on, abandoned, raped (metaphorically or literally), shamed, belittled, used—you get the idea—it’s part of the ordinary consciousness of the times to get a lot of good juice out of it. Tell great stories at parties about how abused you were. Get some pity points or even suck up to another lover by spilling your guts about the miseries from your past.
The problem with all that is that spiritually—and this comes from different sources—many of the instances of abuse were scripted in advance, just like in a movie. For example, a common thread running through past-life regressions is how certain souls volunteer to play the heavy in a next life just like an actor elects to play a role of some creepy character. This is ostensibly done to teach and learn lessons in our cosmic journey.
Over the years, several of my lovers turned out to have been raped or otherwise sexually abused as children. They suffered for it greatly. A few of them had what appeared to be multiple personality disorder or borderline personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder. Ultimately, they could not sustain a relationship and did some pretty mean things to me as they unleashed torrents of anger from their emotional past. Yet before that phase, we had some delicious experiences.
I like to remember those delicious experiences the most.
From what I understand from reading spiritual books and listening to near-death experiencers, these women all signed up for their abusive childhood experiences. It’s not much different than Halle Berry signing up to endure a lifetime of angst in Monster’s Ball—except that they don’t get the fame and fortune for being a Hollywood star! Meanwhile, all the other actors signed up to play their roles in the experience, too. It’s one big happy tortured family.
If that’s true, it makes sense to me not to hold grudges against these women for what they did to me. And chances are very likely that as a soul I chose to be with them for a reason. The fact that I ran into so many of them even indicates to me that I needed the exposure to women severely damaged in childhood. It’s all part of the plan.
Sometimes when events evoke memories of the pain I have suffered in the past, I do find myself feeling anger or hurt or sadness. But as I become aware that I am just churning through old emotions, I switch channels and envision happier times with that person so I don’t stew in the bad feelings.
It often turns out that it was the incredible highs I felt with someone that eventually led to the lows. Had those highs not happened, there never would have been a relationship leading to the lows. There would have been nothing.
Feeling this way, I must confess, does lead me to missing former lovers. I want to share with them what I have learned. In my idealism bubble I think of them as equally open to sharing and forgiving and celebrating. I think of them as eager to step into the light with me and shine.
At times I want to write former lovers love letters. I want to share with them this bounty of good feelings. But I don’t. This world seems compelled to highlight the negative. If I sent a love letter, they’d wonder what I wanted from them. Or they would think I was needy for affection and choosing them to victimize with sentimentality over bygones.
If a past lover were hooked up with a new lover, she would see my love letters as an invasion into her new life. Or if he ever got hold of it, he would see it as a threat against his claim of his new relationship. I have experienced the flip side where former lovers have contacted me while I was in a new relationship, and the woman I was with threw jealousy tantrums, convinced (through her imagination) that the old lovers were attempting to steal me back.
So I don’t write letters that I send, but nothing stops me from going there in my imagination. Oh, baby…