Taken by Mr. Ellen DeGeneres in Bolinas on a magical night…as if they make non-magical nights in Bo.
Tinder lit me on fire the other day. In a failed attempt to buy bulk cumin at Whole Foods, I discovered that I’m STILL not in a trusting mood four years removed from the discovery of my former spouse’s affair.
This won’t shock you: Somehow, even though they were out of the one item I wanted to purchase, I managed to spend $35.00 in ten minutes at Whole Foods. I could have carried my purchases home on my pinkie. One day I will walk through every aisle and not drop a dime. Just look and leave.
And maybe one day I will be just fine spending all my emotional currency on another human being knowing that I may walk away empty handed-hearted.
While staring lustily at the bins of granola, despite having all the ingredients at home to make my own for one-eighth the cost, I heard a familiar voice – my friend B who I haven’t seen in over a month despite our children attending the same school. She makes me laugh, we’ve bared our souls to each other, and we both are healing from watching our marriages go up in flames. B is a bundle of love.
As The Dudes tried to sneak morsels from the bulk bins she mouthed to me, Are you still seeing Mr. Ellen DeGeneres?
Affirmative, my sweet. Things are great.
I’ve been looking at this relationship from all sides, consciously checking in to see how it feels. I’m trying to change my ways, as you all know. Out with the shiny and in with the substance. No more desires to be The World’s Most Interesting Woman. I’m meant to bond, to share this life with a partner. Despite the comfort and safety I could have as an old crone trolling the beaches of Bolinas for sea glass to place in mosaics I build while counting down time, I press on.
I’m identifying the important attributes that create a healthy relationship – loyalty, emotional maturity, intelligence, humor, physical chemistry. No more rushing to bond, but content as delicate threads weave two together. Each thread representing a small moment in time when something just clicked. When I spotted his soul and he didn’t try to hide it. When I didn’t try to hide me.
I’ve gotten comfortable with the idea that fireworks might be fun to feel and see but flame out and descend to earth as ashes. Quiet love may be the better horse to ride if I want to reach the sunset as part of a team, a couple. I’ve gotten comfortable with my imperfections, and his. I’ve stopped talking myself out of this relationship.
And then she said this: I saw him on Tinder.
Are you sure?
You know how I feel about monogamy. It should occur naturally. Putting it on the table as law makes me feel penned in. So when Mr. Ellen DeGeneres told me he took down his OK Cupid profile I just smiled. Mine remained, although I didn’t engage with it. Until one day, a few months ago, when I deleted it because I wanted to, not because I was asked to.
I remember that day. Evening actually. I sat under a jet black sky wiping rain drops off the screen of my iPhone as I deactivated my account. I wanted to send into the Universe the energy of a woman willing to invest in another human being. To engage in a relationship that would for sure raise challenging issues that would need to be worked through with emotional maturity. Issues that aren’t raised when you go to bed with your cat instead of a man.
I felt that Mr. Ellen DeGeneres was heaven sent by my Mom, who has been busting her tail in the afterlife, sending all sorts of miracles to my siblings. I felt she had sent him to me as a guardian, handpicking him because he would never betray me.
The time I have on this planet is limited, although I am going to live to be 97. On the night I went dark on OK Cupid my mind went back to New Year’s Eve, 2000. Nearly fifteen years prior.
It went by like a hummingbird headed for a sugar fix.
Sure, in that time lots happened. Including the births of The Dudes, and the death of my marriage. My first experience with infidelity and the one that broke me open, destroying any hope for a friendship with my former spouse, yet gifting me the opportunity to fall in love with myself. And to find all of you. In those fifteen yeears I moved west and stood still as my Mom floated to the sky. It’s been a furiously fast and incredibly full fifteen years.
As I brought my online dating experience to a close, completing the Summer of Fun Love challenge, I felt safe embracing the desire to be in a partnership for these next fifteen years. I don’t want to experience this time in my life without a partner. It doesn’t have to look like what society expects – no traditional marriage for me. But, for the first time since The Pocket Call, I could see myself cohabitating. THAT was a huge shift. And I felt like Mr. Ellen DeGeneres could be the guy that guides me as I back up the moving truck. At some point in the future.
Based on past experience you SO know I am not rushing this along.
So, while at first I was simply surprised that he was still on Tinder (and surprised that he was even on Tinder to begin with – something I did not know), that surprise morphed into:
This is why I am NOT going to partner up with anyone. Ever. Screw it.
During the drive over the hill to Bolinas I set the table and let my feelings dine. Where did they come from? What did they look like? Why did I create this situation? Do I feel wounded? Is my Ego talking or my heart? I kept checking and observing and watching and centering myself.
And this is what I discovered via Tinder-gate:
I trust myself. And I am the singularly most important person on the planet I need to trust. I HAVE to be able to trust my intuition, my feelings, and my commitments to myself.
This entire journey, every mountain and open water swim included, has been about developing trust in myself. I have succeeded. And that is to be celebrated.
I have two extremely important projects to focus on in the next several months – HGM and Mina’s story – with the manuscript due June 1st. And then I will leave for a week to study with Eckhart Tolle, a magic dream manifested. I cannot be distracted. Every moment counts. I need to spend more time alone, focused on my writing and my spiritual practice.
I am not partner material yet. I don’t thrive in that space yet. But I know one day I will. And I’ll have my sense of humor intact if on that day I find myself alone in a tiny house on a ridge bathed in fog, my six quart slow-cooker traded in for the three quart model.
It’s fascinating that he didn’t delete until B could discover it. That’s a prod from the Universe for sure. Mr. Ellen DeGeneres is a good guy. And so apologetic for his thoughtlessness – his word – at putting me in a position where I would be standing amidst bins of granola hearing that the man I’m dating, who has professed his desire to be monogamous, has a Tinder profile.
I’m not going to flee. Nor am I going to PRESS PAUSE.
But I am shifting gears into neutral. It’s the right position to be in at this time. I’m so grateful that I can trust the words I hear and know that it’s not my Ego spouting fear, but my heart knowing that I’m not ready to be a partner. Instead of feeling sad, I feel grounded and happy knowing that I am able to observe my emotions, not be devoured by them, see the link between an event and what it conjures up inside, and then make a good choice. I love knowing that I am enough. No matter what happens I have me. And I love me.
An event that in the past would have me spouting off about how I can’t trust anyone reminds me that I am on an individual journey on this planet and trust is something I need to have for myself. It’s the gift I give to me that makes everything else in my life possible.
Love yourself, trust yourself,
PS: Finishing touches are always time consuming. The Yoga for your Emotional Body call series is happening! Just working out the tech-ish kinks so we have no kink. Mere days…