A Note from Dallas Single Mom: The other day my mother asked me why someone as smart and successful as I was continued to choose the wrong men. She wondered why I would choose (and then have a child with) someone who never held a steady job for long? Then as that ex of mine subsequently ended up dating a doctor (and breaking up), my mother wondered why another successful woman was choosing a path of love with a high probability of failure. I had asked myself that question over and over again. Like Elaine in the post below I also consulted psychics and astrology where the answers were never clear to me until experience granted the clarity of what was said. In short, responsible and successful women like the doctor and I chose to stay with a man who was not on our level because we are responsible and take care of people we love. The virtue that is a character of our strength can also lead to our downfall when it comes to nurturing the wrong kind of man. I completely understand the journey that Elaine Taylor puts forth in her creative memoir that any single mom can relate to. Your karmic journey and looking for love. It reminds me of another book I read and reviewed called Soul Sessions, but this particular memoir is real and it’s Elaine’s story to tell. Rather than a book with quick steps to dating and finding love, this book puts a journey under a lens and teaches us how to be ourselves and fall in love with that spirit first. Never making excuses and accepting less than we should. Allowing our voice to rise with our wants and desires. Check out what Elaine has to say about that journey.
A Karmic Pact Fulfilled: I Got the Love I Gave
I met Jake Kingston for the first time in the lobby of the War Memorial Opera House on a foggy San Francisco night. I’d been told he was a Ferrari-driving doc with a hundred acre ranch in the wine country. Not your typical blind date; but maybe a good Valentine prospect? He was recently out of a failed relationship. One of many, as it turns out. In that regard, we were as compatible as a Brazilian wax and a can of whip cream.
Well-suited in other ways, too. We both liked opera and symphony and theater; fine dining and fine wine. My wish-list for a mate included smart, successful, sensual—which Jake definitely was. And he wasn’t intimidated by a strong, self-assured woman. Unlike with wimpy business colleagues and whiny ex-lovers, with Jake I never had to defend my brass balls.
You bet, baby! As much brass as a university marching band. Because fluffy girly women get mown down like tender spring grass in the path of a weed-whacker.
The first month we saw each other regularly. Within three, it was exclusive. Commitment on his part? Or the default of convenience?
In the delirium of lust and potential new love, I had to know. So I asked Allie B, an astrologer/psychic I had known for a couple of years, to crystal-ball our future.
Not long before I met Jake, Allie B had done her California woo-woo thing and said I was destined for the kind of love about which stories are written. “But,” she added, “not until you’re ready.” Which she defined as cleaning out the life-long accumulation of emo-crap she said I hauled into every relationship.
Emotional garbage? Me? Puh. She was wrong about that. But even if she might possibly be right—and she wasn’t—no way was I going to do that shrink-y tell me about your childhood thing. I was all for keeping the past where it belonged: far back in the rearview mirror, visible only with a halogen spotlight and telescope.
Most definitely I was ready for love. I just needed to meet the right man.
I was sure Allie B would confirm Jake was my long-awaited storybook lover.
Wrong. “Heartache in an Armani suit,” she said. “His houses of love and relationships are as barren as Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. You’ll have some laughs, see and be seen, catch up on doing-the-dirty … but don’t invest in rice futures because nobody’s ever going to stand outside a chapel pelting the two of you. However.” She paused dramatically. “You have come together to work out a sh*t-heavy karmic pact.”
Karmic schmarmic. I was in it for love. I would prove her right about the storybook love, wrong about Jake. With a happy smile, I trotted off to find bliss.
Jake and I tooled around in his red Ferraris (he had two), went Tahitian island hopping and cured my coitus hiatus. If I squinted at our relationship sideways it was as mystical and magical as Bali Ha’i. And just as mythical. Because in truth we rarely planned things together; mostly he just told me what he was going to do and invited me to tag along. We never had mushy, late-night conversations; there were no whispered, romantic endearments—although he did tell me often that he really liked me.
He also said we were soul mates. Like maybe we had been together in a previous life and were really good friends. That from a man of science? Wow.
In truth, the only Valentine’s intimacy we shared was the naked-between-the-sheets kind. That leaves a soul empty and aching for something more.
Fourteen months into it Jake broke my heart at about the same time my devoted four-legged companion of thirteen years departed for the Big Doghouse in the Sky. Add to that a big-oh birthday charging over the horizon like Tyrannosaurus Rex and the country in the throes of corporate downsizing. I was about to be set adrift in a sea of unemployment. “Young and cute” were far behind me—and I had just blown my last chance to find the love for which I yearned.
For the first time in my life my brass balls imploded. I was an emotional, girly mess, staring down two emotions I could not remember ever feeling: terror … and grief.
Allie B was compassionate but firm: “Demons from the past have come to be soothed, chickie-poo. Time to take a look at what you’re hiding behind that armadillo-hide-heart of yours. All your “don’t eff with me” toughness? It’s not strength; it’s fear of how vulnerable you really are—we all are. Time to peel back the layers of self-deception.”
So I went back to Julia, a therapist whose counsel I had previously sought. Over the next months on her couch I did the shrink-y tell me about your childhood thing. Because that’s where it all starts, isn’t it? Where the attitudes are congealed and an unseen path set before us? I discovered mine was paved with some fatal-to-relationships patterns:
- When it came to affections I was like an amateur poker player, arms protectively encircling my table stakes, all six senses weighing every imagined “tell” before I would risk a few chips.
- Always kept Mercury’s winged track shoes handy near the door so I could bail on my lover before he had a chance to bail on me;
- Instead of dealing with my emotions honestly I stuffed the painful ones in a vault I believed they could not escape. Ha!
At the end of my work with Julia, I made two vows to myself:
- I would strive to love and respect myself; because if I did not, why should anyone else?
- I would never again deny my emotions, no matter how much they might hurt or how vulnerable they might make me feel.
Not long after I made those commitments Allie B called. “Jake is coming back into your life.”
Goosebumps prickled my scalp. I had felt, even as we said our last farewell, that we were not done.
“Not because he’s your storybook lover,” she continued. “Because he needs something from you—something to do with the karmic pact.”
Sure enough, the next week I saw Jake at the Opera. Bald. Bent. Battling pancreatic cancer. Poised for the grand exit without ever knowing real love. So I stayed true to my new commitments to myself: I embraced the emotions that made me feel vulnerable.
I sat at Jake’s bedside for the last twenty days of his life. For the first time, but not the last, I loved with the most pure and powerful of loves. The kind I so yearned to receive. That’s what I did for Jake. What I did for myself.
Two years after his death Allie B called and said she’d been channeling Jake. Said he was sending someone to love me for the rest of my life. Love me the way I deserved to be loved. That Saturday Jake’s daughter called from Vermont. Her best friend’s father, a British investment banker, was moving to San Francisco. She asked if she could give him my number.
Fourteen blissful Valentine’s Days later coitus hiatus is as forgotten as a Neil Diamond love song; and an empty soul that longed for something more belongs to a woman I no longer am.
Elaine Taylor is the author of KARMA, DECEPTION and a Pair of Red FERRARIS: A Memoir, as well as FINAL BETRAYAL and FINAL PUNISHMENT. She is a former IT headhunter and Contingent Workforce Management consultant. She served on the Board of Raphael House in San Francisco. She can be found at www.KarmaDeception.com
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