I know this sounds alarmist, but when Trump was elected president of the USA, I thought, ‘Oh shit, I AM going to die alone’.
Not alone as in a few family members and a small handful of friends struggling with grief as they passed the tissues, not alone as in people I knew through work and other places who would likely send flowers if they heard of the service in time, but alone as in if I had the chance to think before death, I’d wonder if I truly loved. If I had been truly loved.
In November 2016, I would have said no, I was not truly loved by a romantic partner. Because I was focused on loss. I was focused on all the times I had tried to love and fallen flat on my face.
All the rejection, the humiliation, the arm’s-length, the scars.
I know now that if I die tomorrow, God would tell me I loved and was loved, because trying counts.
I tried. They tried. Pain is part of the human experience.
At the same time, God would tell me that I’d have to go back and try again.
I didn’t come here this time to come back again, so in this human incarnation, I see that outcome as failure.
The plan was to open my heart fully to another human who opened their heart fully to me in deep, spiritual-based romantic love.
But plans change, don’t they? And sometimes one step this way during an important juncture veers us onto another life path that also needs to be completed.
Sometimes it takes feeling absolutely hopeless about a thing that we desire to help us see how important that thing is.
And it can lead us to plead, pray, change, or work harder.
When that thing doesn’t come, no matter what we try, and we’ve gotten past the feeling of urgency, it starts to feel a little insane.
The doubts can’t be dammed anymore after a certain point of believing every possible step has been taken.
To ignore doubts after years of trying and not succeeding, after trying all different paths that come to mind, after feeling like all pride has been dropped and even huge obstacles like surrender in the midst of terror, in the outside of terror, and after terror has been forgotten, after feeling a sort of half-accomplishment, really feels crazy.
The doubts get louder and more vicious.
It starts to sound like this:
Really, you think it’s going to happen after all this time? Are you a fucking moron? You must be a fucking moron I don’t even know why I try to point things out to you anymore. But look at your wrinkles now. Look at your really bad hair cut. Look at your clothes, your body, your dimmed light. Nobody is out there, dummy. Give it up already you stubborn asshole. Haven’t you suffered enough?
I’ve faced death before. Actual death and the belief that I was going to die. I’ve surrendered to death. And I came out the other side somehow.
The fear at times was so intense that I couldn’t think straight. I didn’t have the luxury of wondering what life would have been like if I had done things differently.
Not at the time. But after, of course.
And these intense experiences have lead me to face deep fears of surrendering to love.
I still don’t know what that’s like. Because in my past, I’ve loved from arm’s length. I’ve loved from a seat of denial. I’ve loved with a closed heart.
I didn’t know it was closed until it opened.
I imagine, though, that if I could surrender to death, I might be able to surrender to open-hearted spiritual-based romantic love.
But death is quick and painless compared to romantic love. Isn’t it?
I mean, romantic love could last for, like, 30 years or something. That’s pretty big. To be consumed by something, someone for that long or longer, depending, seems somehow like more of a commitment than death.
I’m sure that sounds weird. But I believe in reincarnation.
I don’t want to die alone. I don’t want to live alone.
But each time I felt like I was facing my fears, nothing came of it, so I guess I either wasn’t actually facing the fears deeply enough, or idk something else I can’t imagine or understand.
There’s a point when disappointment becomes a thing loud enough to surrender to.
Maybe I was wrong about the specifics of my life purpose this time around.
Either way, the only thing kicking me back into another round in this hell would be that failure.
God knows every other area is going well. Other than, maybe, the laughter thing. I could always add more laughter. But at least I’m trying.