By Melanie Bates
I need your guts.
I need your gut instincts, your intuition, your introspection on a subject that keeps coming up for me.
Soul mates? Fact or fiction?
You see, I met a guy about ten years ago. I had no interest in dating at the time. I had just left a ten year marriage and was sewing my wild grains with a top o’ the line industrial sewing machine, threads of sinew and my liver. But I felt inexorably, inexplicably drawn to this person. We went our separate ways after our first meeting but we kept running into each other. Over and over and over. It was like “moth to a flame” sh*t. I would think about this Dude. Every. Single. Day. And… according to him, his words, his experience was the same. It made no sense to either of us. When I looked into Dude’s eyes I was lost in some time-space continuum of I don’t know where or when. But our relationship was rocky, dysfunctional, messy, overwrought, too much. It was like Disney on an icy glacier after a couple bowls of meth.
During one of our last meetings we were trying to sever and separate and, looking into each other’s eyes, the pain was unbearable. He walked away, his black leather jacket reflecting lights. He turned around and came back. He said he couldn’t handle the look in my eyes anymore. He left. We saw each other a few years later. He had moved out of state and was back in town. He carried pictures of us. He spoke the words again, “I think about you every day.” We cuddled on a random couch, spooning, sleeping fitfully. He left the next morning. For good.
Fast forward a few years.
I’d been reading the work of Dr. Brian Weiss, specifically “Many Lives, Many Masters” and decided to do a past life regression. It sounded fascinating and as I got deeper and deeper into the meditation I began to lose control of my body. Tears streamed down my face, my arms and legs twitched, my chest convulsed throughout. During the regression I saw a series of flashes. I was a young man, my hands and were HUGE (Kudos, to me, eh? You know what big hands mean.) I was sitting on a wooden dock, fishing.
I was in a house made of light gray and tan rocks with dirt floors. My wife was standing in front of me. Beautiful. And I loved her so much it was hard to breathe. When I looked into her eyes I saw Dude. (As in, thee Dude from this life.) I don’t know how to explain it but I just knew it was him. In her. His soul. We had a small son. Maybe two or three years old. My son, when I looked in his eyes, was my Grandpa in this life. Again, I just knew. It was a feeling. It was the eyes.
Our son drowned in the lake where I fished. And this changed the whole course of my life with my wife. Our love died. We never really looked into each other’s eyes again.
We sat at the kitchen table, our eyes dead, our hearts broken, our love gone.
We sat at the same table. Our eyes still dead, hearts still broken, love still gone.
At the end of the regression my Grandfather came to me in his form of this current life and royally bitched me out. We’re talking screaming, cussing, hand gestures, all telling me how I had thrown away this great love because he (as a toddler) had chosen to leave the world. It was “HIS CHOICE,” he screamed. “HE DECIDED for f**k’s sake!”
I learned two valuable lessons in that regression. One was in how I view death. It has nothing to do with me. It’s not about me. Each of us have our own paths, or own choices to make in this life. And. . . we decide when it’s our time to go. It’s fine to grieve, it’s fine to miss that person who has chosen to go, but it’s still that person’s choice and the fact that I threw away one of the greatest loves of all of my lives was a sad testimony to that. Secondly, that I had known Dude in the past and shared a love so strong that it made it difficult to cope. And apparently that has carried over into this life.
So, my conundrum is this. Is it all bullsh*t? Was he “just not that into me?” Was my ego telling the most entertaining story ever of princesses and princes and “twu wuv?”
I don’t know and my ego and soul battle it out like a bad episode of Iron Chef with secret ingredient: Heart. And it’s made even more difficult by the guys I know who scoff at this. Who say things like, “if he had wanted to be with you, he would have been.” It’s so cut and dried and logical. But my girlfriends all commiserate and say “he just couldn’t handle the feelings he had for you.” And the guys laugh at that. “Whatever. Dude just wasn’t that into you.’” And I sit here.
Like why do I still think of Dude. Every. Single. Day? Why do I have dreams about him? Life-like real-feeling dreams where I wake up in physical angst? Some where he’s been a total train wreck. Some where he’s content and comfortable, yet longing. For something. Anything. I can’t deny the past life regression. Unless I’m just the best story-teller in the land. But I also can’t deny the fact that we’re not in each other’s lives; that the sad semblance of relationship we had was just completely f**ked up and straight-jacket crazy.
Here’s the thing. It’s not like I’m crazy-obsessed-longing every day. He just pops up. In my thoughts. In my dreams. Out of the blue. Out of nowhere. I think of him with kindness. I hope that he’s happy. I hope that he’s blissfully married with a passel of dark-haired Catholic children. I’ve had/will have fulfilling, loving relationships with other men.
But what I really want to know is this:
Was it all a dream?
Am I the best storyteller in the land?
Am I continuing to tell these fantastic stories because, as a species, we thrive on stories; because stories are our air? And… if that’s the case shouldn’t we be able to write our own ending?
. . . He lived happily ever after with an adoring wife, 2.5 children and a dog named Buck and never thought of her again.
. . . She lived happily ever after traveling the globe, writing in coffee shops, and died at 93 from drinking too much tea and never had another thought or dream of him again.
Was he just “not that into me?”
Is my ego wreaking holy havoc trying to deprive me of restful sleep and contentment in general?
I need to know, ladies and gentlemen. I need your guts.