Relationships are Illusions
(Adapted from a previous essay I wrote on 5/1/02)
What is the purpose of my romantic relationships?
I told somebody today that I thought marriage was a shared fantasy of the future designed to make us feel better about the present ...
Because one of the Buddhist teachings that is banging my head very powerfully right now is the concept of now ... that all we have is now ... that all we have is our current perceptions ... me sitting in my rocking chair typing on my computer ...
My primary boyfriend isn't here. None of my fuckbuddies are here. Nobody is here but me. I'm all alone. But that doesn't bother me, because inside my head I have this memory/fantasy/expectation that I have relationships with other people.
As though this idea that I have relationships is a security blanket ... I'm not really alone (though I am) because I have relationships with other people (who aren't here). I expect to see those other people again.
When I broke up with KWC after 7+ monogamous years together, I hurt like I'd never hurt before. But KWC didn't disappear. Actually, we continued living together as roomies for several months. Today we are good friends.
So what was it that hurt so bad? We "broke up". What exactly broke? Other than the sex, which is only a small part of a live-together relationship.
Aren't these things we call "relationships" just our imaginations? As we hang out with people whose observable behaviors allow us to imagine that we have the type of relationship(s) we think we want ...
I was talking with a woman the other day about my father being in a nursing home, after suffering several strokes and other ailments.
This woman told me about one of her relatives who was also in a nursing home, and about how her relative would make up stories to explain her surroundings ... Mrs. Y didn't think she was in a nursing home, she thought she was resting after cleaning up after all the people who lived down the hall ...
That got me to thinking about how we all tell our little stories ... stories that explain why we do what we do ... stories that help us believe we are good people, stories that help us believe we are in "relationships", stories that help us believe there are reasons for the events in our lives.
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