Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One True Love...

Once I gave up belief in a god after leaving the Jehovah's Witnesses, I was forced to reconsider the rest of my dearly held beliefs. Constantly asking myself "Is this true?" has lead me to let go of more than my belief in a true religion and a true god. I have also abandoned my previous beliefs in New Age woo, alternative medicine and anything having to do with the supernatural.

The last of my beliefs, the hardest one to face, was my belief in The ONE. Not unlike my belief in the One True God, I believed in the One True Love, the one person on the planet who I believed was for me, my soulmate. It took me some time to realize it but a belief in the One True Love is just another mystical belief system. It implies a sense of destiny and some kind of cosmic orientation of events to plant the two soulmates together in time and space so they may live in tender bliss. I really didn't want to admit to myself that believing in The ONE was no different than my previous beliefs in the One True God and the One True Religion. The One True Love was my last sacred cow. The last of my wishful thinking. I really wanted to hold onto this belief. I really did. But, like all the other beliefs I'd questioned, it just wasn't sustainable.

I've suffered from a lot of cognitive dissonance as a result of my belief in The ONE. When you become fixated on the idea that there's only one person who is the right person for you to spend the rest of your life with, you view relationships through a very narrow scope. In my case, men I would meet would be evaluated very quickly as to their "rightness". At the first sign of differences between us, I would write off the unsuspecting male. Nope, he's not The ONE. I have rejected many a decent man with this thinking.

And then, there was the opposite situation. Having met someone who I thought was The ONE, I became confused when circumstances prevailed that interfered with our being together. How could he be The ONE if we can't be together? And does that mean that I'm now destined to be alone for the rest of my life because we're not together? Talk about a mindfuck.

Believing in The ONE sets up the unsustainable, much like belief in a god does, because the criteria for the existence of The ONE is as elusive and complicated as that of the existence of a god. It's purely subjective, as love is in general, but believing in The ONE makes love even more clouded and hazy. It is an insatiable belief that requires many mental leaps and concessions to hold onto. Love is difficult enough. Why cloud it with fantastical beliefs that have no basis in reality?

Having now abandoned the idea of The ONE, I find myself open to loving so much more deeply. I can open to who is present with me, in my life now, without having to measure him against some unreachable ideal. I can love him as he is, where he is. Releasing my fairy tale notions of love has allowed me to sink deeper into the humanness of love, which sees both with eyes of reason and eyes of wonder. One need not believe in the untenable to enjoy the beauty of love. One can meet love as it finds it. Rational love brings great freedom. So glad I've found it.

tall penguin


Anthony said...

I believe that our "one" is the person we see in the mirror every morning.
If WE can't be happy with that person, then how can we expect anyone else to be?

tall penguin said...

Well said, Anthony. Yes, perhaps we are the one we've been waiting for all along.

CyberLizard said...

I've expanded on that and embraced polyamory. When I had a second child, my love for my first child didn't lessen. Why should it be different with lovers? Don't get me wrong, I love and adore my wife and we've built a life together that will last until we die, but there is room in our hearts for others. We've never been happier or enjoyed more open, honest communication with each other than we have since embracing polyamory.

Just to clarify, I'm not preaching or suggesting that it is an appropriate relationship paradigm for everyone. Each person has to make their own choice and monogamy is just as valid a choice. I was just sharing my experience in shedding the concept of the "one".

tall penguin said...

Hey CL. Great comment. I appreciate you sharing this.

Yes, it seems strange to me to only love one person. I've recently come to realize and accept just how polyamorous I am.

"We've never been happier or enjoyed more open, honest communication with each other than we have since embracing polyamory."

I understand this. When you can embrace what is rather than trying to fit your love into a little box, it really frees one to love, and live, more openly and honestly. Love feels much more inclusive than exclusive to me.

Jonathan Mendelsohn said...

Not long ago I learned that romantic love is a very new concept in human history, or at least it certainly is when it comes to marriage.

Remember also reading that romantic love is today what much of the religious and spiritual used to be. Love is our new God. Our new religion. Tread lightly.

tall penguin said...

Fascinating comments, Jonathan. I would be interested in the source of your last statement. Romantic love as the new God/religion? "Tread lightly" indeed.