If it's true that every woman gets the exact love life she asks for, what does that mean for me? And for you? I, for example, am surely a "hot mess." Temperamental, moody, a little frightened, a whole lot fearless, smart, funny, neurotic, needy at times, an isolate at others, a great listener, an obsessive talker, angry, explosive, patient, calm, giving. The list goes on and on. How would you define yourself in a free-write riff? Probably a little of this, a little of that? My guess is if you were being completely honest and fully human, you too are a hot mess.
So why, then, have I (and maybe you who are reading this) not had any serious love in my life for over two years? Is this the prayer I have made to the heavens and therefore exactly what I'm receiving? Am I at a rest stop before I make my next step into something not yet visible to me, not yet having appeared? Or is this it? Just me and my dog 'til the end? 'Til death do us part? Yikes.
And you. Maybe you're in your 50's heading towards the big 60. Maybe a guy? Maybe a once virile, sexy, beat-them-off-with-a-stick kind of guy. Perhaps on the verge of the big time? Maybe your own HBO special once? But now you look at that six-foot-two frame in the mirror of your expensive Beverly Hills condo bedroom and your gut is paunchy, your cheekbones sag, your eyes are not quite as blue, your teeth are a little yellow and you find yourself spending too much time on Facebook checking out hot 20 somethings, most likely Asian, and sneaking off late at night when you can't sleep to the massage joints in Koreatown?
Or you. Maybe a 50-something woman? A few divorces in the past. Kids about to leave the nest. Posting Photoshopped images of yourself on Twitter, raking in the compliments from "fans" who fantasize they are you (if a woman) and are having sex with you (if a man), running around in a constant frenzy of making ends meet, hoping for the big break when everyone will recognize your brilliant gift as an actor despite the fact you haven't done anything substantial in the last 30 years except promote yourself? Hmmm. Are you alone in bed at night like me? I wonder.
A friend, a good male friend, and I were chatting the other night about how we end up with what we end up with. He's a decade plus younger than I am but still and all, has lived in some ways more than I have, longer and more fully. He has yet to be married, own a home, have a long term sense of employment but his emotional flexibility is in many ways superior to mine. He's smarter and better with people than I am. But still, admittedly, messed up. Any way our conversing took place over several days and we both confessed at different moments that we are in the place we are in... single, struggling, seeking... because of the lacks in the earlier part of our lives. And the excesses in the later parts of our lives. The gaping holes, the regrets, the pain left to fester, the issues left unresolved... and here we are.
These revelations could so easily truly depress me. But they don't. Because if it is true, we get the life we not only create but believe we deserve on some deep primal level, I am filled with optimism. I deserve an abundance of love considering the crap I have gone through and put myself through. I deserve an abundance of love because in ways almost no one can see, I am beautiful beyond belief. I deserve lots of sexy, warm, cuddly nights in a big king sized bed or a teepee or in a hotel room in Venice or or or... because my life screams out for it. My soul hungers for it. My story, my life story, says, "It's the only thing that matters -- the connecting, the loving, the GIVING."
Once you realize that, I guess anything is possible. For me and for you, too. This is the trick, isn't it? Knowing that despite the heartache, the disappointments, the abuse, the betrayals, the loss, the gut wrenching, kill your spirit, break you in half emptiness that is part of being alive... that is part of being human... that getting the love you want, no, DESERVE today is all about that flip of the mind, that turning of the switch, that ever so brave STEP of proclaiming loud and clear from the rooftops, at the top of the cliff, on Mount Everest, in the rose garden that "I am worthy of love. I embrace it all. Bring it on. I am sexy, filled up, a BIG spirit. And you will love me. You are richer, wiser, smarter for loving me exactly as I am right now." And believing it even when you don't. So here's to my hot mess and yours. You really do get the life you make, the life you genuinely believe you deserve. You are exactly where you need to be. And someone loves you right there in that spot. I guarantee it. What's your love life like and why? Share. Give.
Photo by Stephen Burr (copyright 2014)