Transcending the transcendent

April 12, 2017

transcendentHave you ever had a moment out of time that was, well, transcendent... so transcendent that the you felt it was almost supernatural?  That it was so meaningful that it would last forever?

I was thinking about a time like that all those years ago when I met the man who was a balm for my recently-divorced soul. I’d thought I’d never be happy again, and then I met a man who loved me back to life. Just like a fairy tale, my handsome prince rode to my door and picked me up and spun me around in an exuberant embrace.  I felt the kind of joy and happiness I’d thought were gone forever.  That time and place still live for me in vivid color and I can put myself back there and feel exactly what it was like. Exactly.

Can’t pretend forever

But of course, no one can be anything but what they are and sometimes what they are isn’t what it looks like in that moment out of time. It’s not the image they wanted you to see, because what they wanted was YOU and they had to make themselves into an object of your desire to win you.  They weren’t being malicious at all. They just wanted what they wanted. Or rather he wanted me and thought he could be what he knew I wanted so that was the skin he slipped into.

It was a lousy fit, because he had to be himself.  Anyone can be anything for a few months, maybe six at the outset, but then they slip up and reality sets in.

So like many extraordinary experiences, this one had an end date. A date when the facts became inescapable and the illusion came crashing to the ground.

And then, it was over. It had to be.

It’s impossible to live in transcendence, no matter what the poets say. Life takes hard work, it does. And compromise. Compromise isn’t a subset of romance–romance depends on illusion.

History repeats itself

Many years later I had another transcendent romance and it, too, began as the stuff of fairy tales only to crash and burn.  I can remember those moments too, and those feelings. It burned bright like a comet and then, was gone.

But here’s the thing: as much as I love romance I’m not unhappy that those romances ended. They had their season and then, life moved on. It had to.  It doesn’t mean I didn’t love them any less. Or rather, I loved the person they were in that moment out of time.

Were they real? Of course. It was real. It just wasn’t meant to last.  And so, I moved on. Transcending the transcendence, perhaps.

All of this came to mind recently as I had the chance to see firsthand but at a distance what happened to my romance of all those years ago. How his life had continued to unfold in a narrow way and how his dark view of the world had evolved in some pretty nasty ways.  Although there had been some fleeting moments way back in the day when there was a chance he’d be different, I should have realized then that there was no way he could do anything but become the antithesis of what I’d wanted in a relationship. And while I fought to save the marriage, I’m so glad now that I didn’t, just as I’m glad I moved on from the second romance.

I’m not sure that any of this makes sense but I thought maybe some of you might have had a moment out of time that was gone in a flash, but that you still give its due, like I give those their due. Even though I moved on, long ago. And happily so.



20 comments on “Transcending the transcendent
  1. Robin rue says:

    It makes complete sense. I was just talking to my sister about this. We were looking at old photos and came across one of me and an old boyfriend. She wanted to get rid of it or crop him out, but he was still a part of my life – even though it was a bad time.

  2. Jessica Taylor says:

    I have had the same issues in the past. I feel like those issues will always be a part of me, and I don’t make an effort to erase them.

    We all learn from our mistakes, right?

  3. Amy says:

    This makes sense. Thank you for this amazing post. My old boyfriend is still a friend to this day. He came into my life when I wanted to die. He totally turned my life around. I truly believe he saved my life. His kindness and gentle manner were what I needed. He started out as a friend almost 40 years ago and I believe we always will be. He is a gem.

  4. Donna says:

    I believe everything works to our good. I have plenty of bad experiences that did eventually work to my good….but I wonder why did I have to do that at all?

  5. It for sure makes sense. A lot of times people are meant to be in our life for only a season, to help us grow and help them grow and then move past.

  6. Amber Myers says:

    I get it. I few past relationships as a learning tool. I realize what went wrong and set out to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  7. I guess this falls into the category ‘Everything happens for a reason’. It is pretty crazy how somethings work out though!!

  8. Amy says:

    This makes perfect sense. Although we may face many bad times in our life, or maybe just poor choices, they were still part of our lives and they helped shaped us into the people we are today.

  9. It definitely makes sense to me, too. Several years ago, I learned what it really mean to fall in love with your best friend. I fell in love with mine – he was beautiful and kind, humble and so utterly thoughtful that sometimes the deliciousness of his company was a little painful. It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to, for various reasons. And I could be bitter – I could be resentful of the reasons my “perfect” love didn’t work out. But I’m not; I’m just so thankful for what I learned from him about what it actually meant to be treated well by someone. He taught me what it meant to really feel valued.

  10. It can be a difficult situation. We all make mistakes and things happen but the most important thing is we learn from our mistakes and it makes us a better person.

  11. Bel says:

    Experiences are what make and shape you. I guess. You just have to appreciate them

  12. Megan says:

    This makes so much sense. Every experience is a stepping stone and lesson learned.. good, bad or indifferent. It molds and shapes us.

  13. Romance and passion are such fleeting things. I thought marriages were forever myself. And then I was in a marriage that was so toxic that the longer it went on the worse it got. I know that you cannot fight for what cannot be fought for. But I do believe we shouldn’t run at the first sign things aren’t going the way we hope. Things are never what we picture. We don’t love people for their perfection, or even what seems to make them perfect for us. We love people warts and all. That’s hard sometimes. But it’s also real.

  14. It does make complete sense to me. I have never been in love but I have always been in love with the idea of being love. There have been times where I have thought I was in love and then like seasons we moved on. Boom, over x

  15. Crystal says:

    It’s an important lesson to learn and makes perfect sense to me. Mistakes happen, but we learn from them and the past helped shape who we are today.

  16. stacey says:

    I am a firm believer that some people come into our lives for a reason or a season. They aren’t meant to stay for a lifetime. I also feel that they are just as important, if not more than the ones who do.

  17. Elizabeth O. says:

    There will be times like these in our lives. It would feel like the best feeling in the world, the only that you’ll ever need and then you’ll realize that it was just for that moment and that moment has passed. I can definitely relate to this one!

  18. Kim says:

    Very beautiful words! I strongly believe that experience is a big part of being on this Earth.

  19. I use to be all about trying to pretend the last didn’t happen. These days I’m all about embracing it. It is what made me who I am these days

  20. Vanessa says:

    I can totally relate. I recently crossed paths with someone who I was in a relationship with many years ago. I’m so glad I woke up and ended things, because he was exactly the same person 15 years later.

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