Stay present

I’m 32, but I fell in love with a 22-year-old. I don’t usually date guys this young, but our relationship was wonderful. I gave more than I ever have, and he was good to me.

Overnight it changed. After he dumped me, I found out he was messing with another girl. He said he wants to patch things up with me, but we see each other rarely. He has joined the Marines and will be shipped off to basic training soon.

I know I love him because I can’t get over him. I tried dating other men, but I miss him. I forgave him for the infidelity, but my intuition says there is more to the situation. And he doesn’t love me the way I love him (he checks out other girls in front of me now). We used to sit and tell each other how special we were to one another, share our dreams and talk about our futures together. Now he treats me differently. I want things to go back to the way they were and would like your advice.

My advice? Stop living in the past. Every time you wish your relationship would return to the way it was, you are criticizing your life as it is. That is painful. Denying your intuition also contributes to your suffering. Let me ask you a simple question and insist on only a yes or no response: Is the man you know now someone that is worthy of your heart? The only man that exists is the one you experience now. When you admit this truth to yourself, you will be clear about the next step to take with your heart.

I am concerned about this thought: “I know I love him because I can’t get over him.” Your process of grieving and healing may need more time, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t get over a man. It means you are not willing to bring closure to the relationship yet. To believe that you can’t get past this relationship is to impose a prison on your heart.

There are other ways to interpret your experience with this man. You said that you were more giving with him than others. Perhaps the higher purpose of this relationship was to help you develop the courage to be genuine. The problem is you believe that giving of yourself should guarantee a man’s permanence in your life. What if the purpose of this experience was to liberate your ability to open to a man? Just because it didn’t result in a “happily ever after” with him is no reason to invalidate how good and right it felt to be your open, loving self.

My daughter has decided to have a sexual reassignment surgery to become a man. I have known for years that she was a lesbian but was shocked to learn that she wants to switch genders. I am not certain how to handle this. Her father (we’re divorced) was fine with her sexual orientation but has confided that he now thinks she’s a freak. I am not comfortable with my daughter’s choice, but I love her and want the best for her. What should I do?

Keep loving her. Then support her in choosing the most honest life for herself. In reality, your daughter’s choice is none of your business. Unless she asks for your vote, I suggest that you keep your opinion to yourself. Her father’s opinion is none of your business either. So don’t collude with him, don’t encourage him and don’t try to teach him anything. Just keep focused on your own life and the invitation to be a witness to your daughter’s metamorphosis.

Meditation of the Week

My friend Bill and I had cocktails in Opal, the hip Eurasian restaurant at the new MontBleu resort in Lake Tahoe. Above the bar, a monitor continuously plays <i>Ashes and Snow</i>, Gregory Colbert’s mesmerizing video that demands a new spirituality. Are you willing to open your eyes?