My first relationship, like most young people experience, died with the melodrama of a Shakespearian play. The notes passed under the table at school, carvings of our initials on trees and that first sweet peck on the cheek were soon the only memories of what was, we thought, love forever.
Many such false starts happened after that. And by my 10th birthday it seemed like I would become a serial monogamist. Home was no Christmas party either. My step mother was the step mom from hell, alcoholic and violent. My poor Dad came home most nights to flying saucepans, cigarette burns on the new carpet and a totally burnt offering from the kitchen.
I, as most others do in such violent and unstable family environments that lack the warmth of love between parents, searched for role models to give me some hope that a warm heart, a soft touch and gentle words were not just a prelude to another beating or alcoholic stupor.
In those days TV was not what it is, but had it been, then my search would have been over early. I would have found Big Brother or some other reality TV show to give me access to someone that I could love, trust and devote my heart to, without backlash. Alas, there was no TV where we were. Books for a dyslexic kid provide little comfort, they take too long and the plot is always confusing. So, for me, reality was the solution.
I think I must have looked into the eyes of a thousand girls a day. Wondering if they were the one. Most laughed at this boyish silliness and went back to carving the names of their more senior boyfriend of the week or rock idol into the desktop. I played competitive sport trying to get my mind off the topic. That was a short lived diversion.
By 12 I met “the love of my life" and with a match head, carved her name into my forearm. We pashed allot, and talked about ever lasting love. And it did last for about 6 months before we grew tired of meeting after school, hiding under a willow tree and exchanging promises. Everyone else was pashing on or sneaking into one or the others unparented house for more serious petting. This “love of my life" started seeing another boy. I went back to football and stealing cars. Life’s like that. We adapt and, when peers make crying impossible we either take the rage out on someone else or ourselves. There are few other real options when home life lacks confidence and love between parents.
My Dad had lectured me on sex. And I feared it more than most other things in life. Even paraplegia seemed less dramatic and less punishable by that God the minister spoke of each compulsory Sunday morning Church service.
But it was at Church, while studying for my communion class that I met “farting Julie" she came from a wealthy home and mum and dad worked really hard so the house was a haven for after school meetings. Farting Julie was, sadly fat. And I guess to compensate or something, she was the “easy one" I got my first feel of that which encyclopedias, medical slides at scout education nights, a bit of *** handed down from senior classes and an accidental glimpse of my sister in the shower had thus far, done nothing to appease my total confusion.
Between the farts, the bad breath, and the confusion, I left with a not so rosy impression of what everyone else was so obsessed with getting more of. My football improved and my commitment to Dad, that I’d be a virgin until I married, became a sworn vow. I really didn’t see what I was missing out on anyway, after that.
However, some days after, in the midst of some fantasy dream I woke with a damp glue that cemented my pajamas to my never regions. One exploration I found a new sport and, like most my age, threw myself into this unabashed. The creativity in finding places where I would not be discovered was incredible and would have made Picasso proud. However, the toilet was the all time backup and in some ways matched the shame that was attached to the whole exercise.
With renewed enthusiasm the whole girl thing took on new meaning. Sometimes on meeting a girl, there was a shift in my trousers and this was to be taken as a sign she was right. There were of course many miss rights, and like a cat chasing its tail, the whole realm of boy – girl love, sex, self happiness and spiritual bliss took a turn. Religion interfered with this path so, like a good red blooded citizen of Australia, I went to church and spent most of the time thinking about who would be willing and who wouldn’t be willing at the next church social. “fat Julie “ of course was the fall back, but even in Church her very stinky and audible rear exhaust made that a last ditch option. (which I often waited in the queue for as a last ditch face saver)
Puppy love rolled on until, at 17 I met Julie. She and I were perfect, sadly her parents were not of the same mindset and so, our true love affair was spent after dark, sneaking out of the house and meeting on frozen grass for a kiss and play. We even created a circle of social friends and went to concerts and things together. WE were perfect together, and of course, as expected her parents up and moved cities. We pledged love and loyalty and on the surface, long telephone calls seemed to fill the space.
Trust is a funny animal. Jealousy, suspicion and self doubt merge to cause a sort of fear based paranoia. Questions about her loyalty, her faithfulness and our pledge of everlasting love got to me. I started to doubt and in that simple shift, gave myself permission to be and do everything I feared shed do to me. I started to mellow in my commitment (I just didn’t want to be hurt like I was in my first baby love) I didn’t want to be broken hearted like I was with “the love of my life" and sexually, I had no way to separate possessing someone and loving them, the thought of her being treated as I treated “fat Julie" was unbearable.
In self defense, I didn’t break the vow, but I did go to a party, and I did dance with a girl and I did hold her tight, and yes, ok, I did do the vertical mumbo with her on the dance floor and, well ok, we did kiss abit. But nothing else. In spite of my self proclaimed and unjustified innocence, Julie’s sister was at the party and reported back home every morsel of what transpired. Julie was shattered and I was excommunicated from her life.
There is a story of a dog with a bone in its mouth standing on a pier looking down into the water and seeing another dog (its reflection) in the water. The other dog has a bigger bone, so the dog drops the bone it has and leaps into the water to get the bigger bone. Of course, it ends with nothing but a wet coat and a long swim.
Over the next few years while at University, I tried, firstly to replace Julie in my life and secondly to find someone that wouldn’t, under their parents command, leave town. Allot of false starts, some beautiful people, but the bruises from the breakup with Julie hung like a cloud over every relationship that started. So, in a sense I went back to “fat Julie" dating girls who were available on some level, but not interested in “getting serious" (actually I think “fat Julie was interested in getting serious but gave up the lolly jar too quick)
Not long after I met my wife, and for the next years celebrated a great a loving relationship that ended, as it inevitably had to, in an acrimonious divorce.
History causes action. We react and respond to the past quite unconsciously in our daily life. WE plan the future based on our memories, wishing to avoid those things that hurt, wishing to embrace more of those things we loved. We develop a sort of personal religion, a moral code of who is worthy and who is not. What behavior we are willing to accept, and what behavior we will condemn and reject. We develop knowledge and experience and wisdom and with this bank of information, we approach love and relationship.
And here, with our own personal religion of acceptable and unacceptable we fall in love and in so doing, we create our own destiny. Thinking we know what is right, thinking that the fault lies in the other person, thinking that we are complete while others are faulted, thinking that we will find a lover who has none of the characteristics of our past loves we enter our future deluded, and hence, become another statistic on the path to marriage and divorce.
Blame. If you were to wipe one word, one experience, one intent from this earth that would cause you to celebrate love, real love for the whole of your life you would wipe the word blame from your heart. To say “you are at fault" is to imply that others in your life have caused your life. To imply that an alcoholic step mother, the death of my birth mother, the loss of my “first love" the “unfaithfulness" of my second and the ugly introduction to sexuality from “fat Julie" had anything to do with them is the great farce of life.
If you choose to live a farce, blame. If you choose to go into relationship half prepared, half in love, half committed then blame you past lovers for your experiences with them. If you choose to have break ups and heart breaks, hold tight to your “love religion" of who is worthy and who is not. But if you choose this path, please don’t call it permanent, sustainable, sacred or profound. Call it a marriage, call it a relationship but please don’t expect intimacy, sacredness or anything beyond.
Since the awakening I got from the breakdown of my marriage, I have spent every waking hour of my life, nearly 20 years exploring love, relationship and sacred truths. I have found therapies that condone victim hood, meditations that build personal religions, yoga classes run by Gurus who cannot love, I have found “happily married" plenum speakers who are internationally famous for their spiritual and self help teachings yet, whose sex life reads like a Hollywood movie script. It is not easy being you, and the teachings you’ll get are mostly corrupted by economics. People pay to hear what they want to hear, not what they need.
Five years work, 20 years of research, 30 years of lies and self delusion in relationship. Because of my own ignorance and lack of a real awareness of what a Sacred Relationship involves I have hurt alot of people, not the least of which is myself and if by making a few notes, reflecting on some learnings I can help someone else not cause what I caused, then my life will have achieved a great purpose.
If you would like to read this book, please link to http://www.sacredlovethebook.com
With Spirit and love,
Chris Walker is a world leading change agent, an environmentalist and author of more than 20 books. Born and bred in Australia, he consults to people and organisations throughout the world on improved relationships, health and lifestyle through the application of the Universal laws of Nature. The result he offers is that we stay balanced, share loving relationships, work with passion, enjoy success, and live our personal truth. To learn more about Chris’s work and journeys to Nepal, visit http://www.chriswalker.com.au