Where the F are you?

Hey Soulmate,

I gave a TEDx talk a week ago in Phoenix! It is a super vulnerable, rock bottom to recovery kind of talk about addiction to work and external validation. It is also about the time I was hijacked by my soul and rerouted toward a sense of inner fulfillment. The internet will soon be the judge. When I got home I felt a little high and speedy and then I started a swift and humbling descent. Something was brewing. I started to feel agitated, hungry, and horny. I found myself back on Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid, judging and swiping away. I ate a giant Cinnabon. I don’t eat Cinnabons. Three days later I went to see my therapist and surprised myself by bursting into tears talking about you.

A new waving of longing was moving through. Longing for you. The return of this longing made me realize that I have been without it for the first time in my entire life these past six months. I was floating in a space of fulfillment and faith that I would find you. I was free.  So when the wave of longing came through I judged it. “Oh no, not again, no more longing.” I thought I beat it. It became clear that the particles making up this wave of longing are all the rad, life moments spent without you. I’m sitting Shiva for all the memories we could have shared. For example, I would have liked for you to have been there in the audience when I gave my TEDx talk reminding me that if I peed myself and burst into tears your love would remain same-same. I grieve every missed New Year’s Eve, my best friends’ weddings, and waking up with you in the middle of the Serengeti on a crazy, awesome Safari in Tanzania. I grieve all the moments I could have been touched by you. I grieve all the “yous” you have been as you stretched into manhood. And the weddings of your best friends’ and siblings and possibly their first born. Most of all, I grieve the relationship you would have had with my father. He would have breathed a deep sigh of relief to see me loved by you. I grieve the marriage he will never witness and the speech he will never give.

This longing is sweet and animal and only knows longing. I know it well and in all its forms. Right now it is about you but it is just the aching, empty space that follows any desire. I think, next to death, it a universal human experience. I can’t beat it when the wave comes through and instead of distracting myself with real or virtual sugar and judging it, I want to harness it. According to Einstein, “Feeling and longing are the motive behavior behind all human endeavor and human creations.” So even though I can’t wait for us to project things each other and realize it and make-up and have tons of sex, I’ll lean into this longing and see where it takes me.

Miss you.

Bristol

quote-plato-human-behavior-flows-from-three-main-sources-105169

Where the F are you?

I’m Sorry

Hey Soulmate,

I just wanted to say I’m sorry. I have probably met you a few hundred times and just wasn’t ready to see you yet. I confess I likely judged the shit out of you. My bad. It wasn’t always conscious. I felt “nice” and “open” and you would have felt that too but underneath there was something else. A few years ago during my first few months studying Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica I stood up in front of 250 people and sheepishly said, “People are crying and feeling all these emotions and talking about their unworthiness and I feel the exact opposite. Well, I kind of feel better than…everybody.” (Insert Teeth gritting emoji) My teachers, in their infinite and loving wisdom, smiled knowingly, “‘Better than’ is just a protection, it is the other side of the same unworthiness coin.” Of course I felt disconnected and lonely, I was actively separating myself from everyone. Here I thought I was super skilled because I could choose to feel my feelings or not feel them. I now know this is called “spiritual bypass”. It works great in the film business where everyone is superior and no one takes time to feel anything (except in the movie theater, oh, the irony). I was productive and in business productivity is next to godliness. And then 7-10 years in people start burning out, getting depressed, and having existential crisis that show up as fatigue syndromes.  So I now know that whenever I feel unworthy or insecure I immediately overcompensate by judging others and making them less than or wrong. I see how it is just my ego’s Pavlovian response to preserve the myth of itself.

So, I apologize. My expectations have been titanic and mostly unfair. I haven’t taken responsibility for it until now. I have been looking for a soulmate to meet what felt like a bottomless longing. I set a trap for you. My theory is that this deep longing/needing/desire comes from the binary nature of the ego (this or that, black or white). Beyond duality, in my soul or whatever you want to call it, I am everything. In duality, I become the battle between good and evil tethered by the aching memory of being one with the universe. Soulmate, you can’t be the universe. Well, you can’t be my universe. No person or thing can ever satisfy the dual mind, at least not for long. Phew. Are you relieved? I know I am.

I apologize that I have blamed you for the current state of the world; ie. patriarchy and the biological underpinnings that often make communication and emotional expression a challenge for your gender. I see how hungry you are to be understood. I also see how counterproductive blame is. I am sorry I was too afraid to get vulnerable and tell you the truth of what I wanted or what I thought. I am sorry I played accomplice in propping up ridiculous male archetypes (See Force Majeure & Channing Tatum). I am sorry that in my fear and longing I chose pseudo overconfidence and righteousness instead of truth. What I meant to say was…

  • I love learning about you. I can ask you questions all night. Please feel free to ask me questions on a first date or in general. Curiosity is my favorite trait. When you talk non-stop about yourself I feel frustrated and confused and judge you as a narcissist.
  • I should have told you from the very beginning what felt good to my body. How could you have known? Our entire bodies are erogenous zones and when you go straight for the genitals I find myself trying to perform being turned on instead of actually being turned on. Foreplay isn’t optional (unless discussed ahead of time and preceded by naughty conversation or texts). Oh, and please never say, “flick the bean,” the clitoris deserves your utmost respect.
  • You’re vulnerability sometimes scares the shit out of me but please keep it coming no matter what. It is the greatest gift you can give to yourself, me, or anyone.
  • Opening doors, walking on the right, and paying for first dates is always optional but please know these acts make me feel soft and taken care of and deeply grateful to both you and your parents.
  • I love when you take charge and plan things from time to time. I have a tendency to take control so any opportunity to surrender and rest in my feminine is such a refreshing and sigh-worthy experience.
  • I can feel how sensitive you are and I know sometimes I can trigger you. I will do my best to get clear on what is going on inside of me. Are you willing to do the same? I’m here to support you.
  • Are you willing to hold for all of me? Being emotional doesn’t always have to be work. Let’s play with it! Ham up a whacky king to my cold blooded queen.

I’m sorry for all the mixed signals. Tie me up! Don’t tie me up! Gag me, but lovingly. The truth is I am just figuring out what I want. I’ve never really be honest enough with myself or valued myself enough to really inquire within. I think I was waiting for your permission. I’ve been inside the matrix of conditioning for 34 years and I am just starting to find my way out. I hope you can be patient with me.

Love, Me

I’m Sorry

A Mini Battle

Hey Soul Mate,

I just witnessed a kid find his sand castle of yesterday in a mooshy mess. The circumference of the moat was four times the size of him so it must have protected a truly impressive piece of sand design. He seemed to be going through all the stages of grief. When his Mom first discovered it she waved him over and the toe-head, five-ish-year-old moved slowly toward it shaking his head in disbelief. “No, this can’t be it.” “I think it is love bug,” said his visor wearing mother with barely veiled amusement. “No! It’s destroyed!” A few tears started to fall down his pristine face as he investigated the aftermath of a night of battle on Venice Beach. His castle had been sacked, flattened, stomped on, leaving only a mere mound of multilevel sand, a glorious ruin. He flopped his body down on top of the mound, his head resting in the crook of his left arm, and played with a tiny stick on what must have been the remains of the highest turret.

http://antonvandort.deviantart.com/art/Sand-Castle-137796775

“Are you sad about your castle love bug?” His mother cooed.  It was as if the Brits had just destroyed his battle tested, centuries old, fort in the Highlands, raping, and pillaging the hundreds of people under his command, and his Mother wondered if he had lost his Lego. “Want to go see a movie? I’m sorry you are sad about your castle sweet pea. Don’t be a pill.” The more she tried to smooth over the atrocities the more he buried his body deeper, the more his squeals of pain reached a higher pitch. The tantrum was happening and there was no amount of adult negotiation that would stop it. Grandpa tried to step in, “Hey come on Cooper, we will make another sand castle, let’s not get stuck here, let’s go see a movie, let’s…”

Cooper flopped his little body onto his back looking up at the infinite blue sky, searching for a reason, any reason, why? Like an ancient Viking slain in battle, Cooper lay prone on top of his castle turned funeral pyre and burned.

Mom and Grandpa walked a few hundred feet away toward the parking lot calling his name, the old “we don’t want to leave you behind tactic”, but Cooper didn’t care. He didn’t care about the random lady sitting only a few feet away paying quiet homage to his service or that he might be abandoned on that beach. He was in it. In the shit of it. His mini-battle for the day.

Soul Mate, I felt like I should have said something, something different from his parents, something to show that I respected his work and his loss, but I didn’t. He would have thought I was a weirdo. I wonder if we will have kids someday. I’m not sure I want them to be totally honest but maybe when I meet you I will. If we do, let’s make a deal that we will allow our kids to have tantrums sometimes and we will roll around in the remains of their mooshy sand castles and cry and scream with them; the rest of the beach be damned. Let’s not negotiate them out of their pain. Let’s do it different. Unless we have a really good movie to catch, then let’s bribe them. – Bristol Baughan

A Mini Battle