July 7, 2016

I Like the Picture of You in my Mind, but will I Love the Real You?


Whenever I write an article I think of the person or people who will be reading it.

What lives are they living? What do they want? And more specifically, how can I make a connection using my words that will result in a transformation?

I don’t know you. I don’t know how you take your coffee or how you breathe at night. But, I believe in this thing called “oneness.” So, my knowing is predicated upon how I experience the world and the supposition that it isn’t so different from you.

This is how we go about living our lives. We assume that people feel how we feel, or at least, they should. I’m not a black woman raising two kids on her own—so I don’t know. I’m not a white male politician whose decisions have far reaching impacts—so I don’t know. And I’m not the man who will fall in love with me. I’m only the woman who can choose to give her heart—but I don’t yet know to whom.

The thing is that life is made up of the stories we tell ourselves—some of them are fairytales and others are rational diatribes. Now, I’m not going to lecture you about your points of view. I don’t want you to change a thing. Rather, if I may just have a moment of time to tell you my story, then maybe we can find this thing called oneness together.

I’m one of those relationship counselors that has had the privilege of experiencing passionate sex, wild love, wanton romance, and devastating heart break. I’ve had to pick up the pieces and get back out there. I’m currently between relationships right now in that no man has stepped up to ravish me lately. So, I’ve gone on the hunt.

I, like many, have utilized apps such as Tinder, OkCupid, and Bumble to date. I’ve met a handful of people, but no one remarkable. Unless the remark was, “Stop texting and calling me.” “Lose my number!” But, one day, it happened. I connected with someone. Then, and I hate to admit it, I carried on a two week texting relationship. He was in another state for his job. I was up at two in the morning writing blocks of sexual poetry and then sending it to him.

I feel it important to own that the things we previously find ridiculous, such as texting relationships, somehow become relevant mile markers in the learning curve that is life. I know I was all judgmental about herpes until last year when it sent me to the hospital—but that is another article entirely. The point is, I’m better as a human for exploring my shadow and knowing my fears. I’m an expert counselor because I don’t judge my clients choices (because chances are, I’ve been there).

So, after two weeks of “intense” texting—just go ahead and laugh—I finally talked with this mystery man. As fate would have it, we were unable to meet up because he had to go out of town once again for holiday.

Then a curious thing started to happen—a story began to form.

Could this person really be as passionate as he came across? Then my mind started to spin the story of monsters and men. My desire to be tamed and set free in the same breath rose in me like a fire dowsed with gasoline. Nothing but space filled my reality. There was no man. He was not showing up. Texts like bread crumbs trickled in. Everything became makeshift. And the story remains to be continued.

We all wonder what possibilities lie ahead. What frailties must I overcome to realize my desires and to quench my lust?

There is no special formula. But, there is one simple answer: Never berate your imagination—no matter how far from rationality it takes you. Befriend it because it is trying to show you what is possible. No man or woman will ever live up to the potential you see in them. The potential you see is for you to live up to.

Be the person you want to be with. Get busy living your life by testing your limits, surrendering your judgments, and challenging your edge by making connections in likely and unlikely places. The facts are always there for you to observe and to respond to.

So find your Tao—your middle way. Balance the potential with the actual. Life is always unfolding its mystery in a way that keeps each of us guessing. So, go ahead and imagine the person as you wish them to be—just enough like you to feel safe and just different enough to feel exciting. Then love both versions—the real and the imagined. But, never compare the two for both are teachers on this journey we are all taking together towards one love.



Author: Rebekah McClaskey

Images: Main Image—author’s own, Featured Image: Imgur

Editors: Travis May; Catherine Monkman



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