My life has changed. I’m now turning down a path I didn’t see coming. But I guess that’s what they mean when they say life is a winding road – we really cannot see that far ahead. We can never know what choices we will make. There are no guarantees even when we are the ones (seemingly) in control.
I’m no longer actively polyamorous. And at this point I am not afraid to ask, “Was I ever, truly??” Let me explain.
I met someone recently who has changed my life in a short period of time. And I do not believe it a coincidence that I simultaneously starting reading the book “The Power of NOW”. Both of these have changed my outlook on life drastically. Never have I experienced such synchronicity. It may be the most radical internal change I’ve ever felt – more affective than my divorce.
I’ve slowly become more spiritual over the last few months but I have felt the biggest jolt in the last few weeks. I cannot begin to describe what it feels like, for I imagine it is different for everyone who experiences such a transmutation of the soul. Anyone who read my last post may have a better understanding of my experience.
So, what makes me now question and reconsider everything that I’ve done in the last 8-10 months?
Loving two people at the same time.
Up until last month, I had only one relationship – as I define it, a connection with someone I love dearly and with whom I can see a future. I loved only one person. All the others were interests that came and went at varying times, anywhere from two to ten dates. So, looking back, I realize now that in my long distance relationship, I found that I believed wholeheartedly in the freedom of polyamory but I never actually lived it. It was more of an open relationship with some cursory dating on the side.
Believing in something does not mean you can live by it. Believing in something does not make it true.
And I still believe in the core tenants and the philosophical mindset of polyamory. I see at the core of it lies acceptance – the all-encompassing realization that we are all imperfect and we all have insecurities about those imperfections. That jealousy rises out of the deep-seated feeling of unworthiness, not out of true malicious intent. And, most importantly, that we cannot give or offer to others that which we refuse to offer ourselves (love, compassion, forgiveness, the list goes on).
These are all valuable lessons for everyone no matter their relationship status or philosophy. Everything that I learned through various books on polyamory and discussions – especially how to manage emotions, not by denying them or feeling guilty for them, but acknowledging them – I will continue to use.
I will carry it with me on whatever path I may find myself. And because of this, I won’t claim to be monogamous or polyamorous. I am only the person I am in this moment. Why do we suffer the need to define everything anyway? Since I’m living in the NOW, I’m making my decisions for NOW, rather than basing them in the futile attempt to manipulate my surroundings and force them to coincide with my ideal future desires.
My recent decision was clear but still difficult. It was the toughest decision I’ve ever made – to end a relationship with someone I love and will always love dearly. For I still love both people. But the stream of questions I asked myself pointed me in the right direction without even conjuring answers. The fact that I was asking these questions was the only answer I needed.
How can I live in the NOW with this long-distance relationship – remain present in every moment and shun the pain of the past and the future – when all my thoughts, our thoughts, are focused on the future – the future when we’re together, when we can co-exist, when we can actually share and blend our lives?
How can I remain present and give of myself completely and wholeheartedly if even a portion of me is stuck in the non-existent future?
Essentially, I’m not throwing out my musings on polyamory. I do not question that we can love infinitely. I do love more than one person. But what I have yet to discover for myself is whether both loves can be equally sustained. I confess that I find it difficult to give of myself in pieces. I seek to love with every fiber of my being. And even if I believe I love each person wholeheartedly, my feelings do not reconcile. I cannot split my heart in two. I don’t feel that it’s fair – to myself or to others.
And the devil in me also wants to argue that polyamory provides a hiding place for those who are afraid to give completely of themselves. For some give a part of their heart to each and every one they connect with, making them perpetually less than a whole. I don’t believe this to be true for all polys or even the majority but it’s a danger to recognize and steer clear from.
And I started to feel my propensity to sustain in this manner, should I continue down the path of focusing on two loves – one long distance. And my heart just cannot feel joy when less than whole. When I love, I want to be deeply in love. Right now, I cannot see the emotional capacity within myself to do so twofold. As my heart perceives it, to split my affections means living partial truths within partial lives.
Not to mention that in discovering stillness in the moment, my soul yearns for more in all aspects. And within dedicated focus on one other soul, it comes more easily.
While we have the capacity to love more than one, our desire to seek out others is often out of lack. Something is missing so we hope to find it elsewhere, in abundance. But what we need to realize is that the sense of lack will never be filled through external resources.
That for which we search incessantly can be found only within ourselves.
And maybe, just maybe, the catalyst for this sudden change in direction was the surprising stillness, wholeness, I’ve found within myself. I can now embrace the effortless quality of simply being, rather than perpetually trying so hard or stubbornly holding on to that which eludes me. Once we uncover the sensation of effortlessness, it’s beyond comprehension to embrace anything else. What I’ve uncovered internally is essentially the ability to surrender and accept my own true essence.
Even as I feel the incredible sensation of discovering a secret I never thought I would uncover, I’m in pain. Because with every new beginning also comes an end. I love him. I always will. And it breaks my heart that our paths – at one time so intertwined – are now no longer headed in the same direction. It confounds me how quickly our life paths can take an unexpected turn. As much as I wish I could stay on his path, I must follow my inner voice. And all I can do is hope he finds the peace and stillness that offer him the answers that he seeks.