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Archive for February 12th, 2009

Hopeless Emptiness

Plenty of people are onto the emptiness, but it takes real guts to see the hopelessness.”Revolutionary Road

I paid for 30 minutes with my imaginary therapist, Monique, recently. The topic: Hope.  Here’s a partial transcript from my “session…”

Monique: Talk about your last relationship and how you’re feeling about its…demise.

Me: I’ve got this history of making something out of nothing. Nothing is what I  ended up with when she pulled out of the relationship. No “Thanks  for everything.” No parting shots or wisdom – just a kick in the stomach and there’s the exit: “don’t darken my doorstep,” she said, “because that makes me uncomfortable,” i.e., I’m fine if  I never see you again. I pursued a relationship built on sand rather than concrete. Live and learn people. Live and learn.

lucy_postMonique: That’s the story, but how do you feel (Editor’s Note: It’s always about feeling, isn’t it?).

Me: It’s like Yao Ming vs. Spud Webb. Rejected. I feel I did my best to accommodate her needs, make her feel beautiful, show her sincerity, and allay her fears. Now she’s gone and I’ve lost a friend and more. She told me she was disingenuous with her feelings – as if that makes it easier.  So it’s my turn to be the floormat.

Monique: You mean doormat.

Me: I don’t own a doormat, but whatever. See these high heel shoe prints embedded in my forehead?

Monique: So the lesson in all this?

Me: Date women wearing flats.

Monique: And…

Me: Don’t get lost in the hopeless emptiness.

Monique: Elaborate.

Me: Those who believe in love – an enduring, romantic, I-got-your-back-no-matter-what-kind of love – we place ourselves at constant risk of getting lost in emptiness. The one-sided relationship.  It’s torture. So why do we do it?

Monique: Because your degree of risk is more than most. Life without risk is a life of pablum and water. Sure you can fill up on it, but that’s not living. Many women and men get burned. Some let it happen two or three times before they close up shop permanently. And once the door is locked, they’ll cower in the basement with the lights off when life throws a curve. They only come up for air because the alternative is suffocation. They are only capable of surfacy relationships in life. Which person would you rather be?

So what’s next?

Me: That’s my question.

Monique: You pull yourself up. You stay open to risk. You don’t allow someone’s insecurities or weaknesses to jade you. You’re smart. You’ll get this right with someone who wants to get it right with you.

To flourish, relationships must be a priority for both people involved. And the real ones – the true friendships without the back stabbing, the moments shared without words that turn to knives as they’re spoken, the kind built on more forward progress than retreat – these are the ones that make life colorful. You don’t need drama to have color. There’s enough bullshit happening around us. It’s pointless to create it on your own.

Me: That sounds well and good. But the hopeless emptiness chasm is deep. The hope within made the bullshit acceptable. I’d still be in it with a goofy smile if she’d let it continue.

Monique: Wrong. No one can live on hope alone – it’s funky like that. Your brain knew your efforts weren’t turning the tide, so you held on with hope because you were down a path and wanted her to follow. Refocus the hope on someone worthwhile. Don’t waste it…repurpose it. And keep it linked to instincts and what you know to be true.

Me: Recycle. Reuse. Repurpose. Hope sounds like a rather green initiative.

Monique: It’s a renewable resource as well. No matter how much risk you take, hope will be there. Just stay awake to the circumstance. Don’t talk yourself into something that isn’t something.

Me: I think my time’s up for today.

Monique: You can leave your co-pay on the desk.

Me: You’re a bit hopeful for an imaginary shrink.

-end-

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