Thursday, February 17, 2005

American Idol

American Idol

It’s just a television show, you may suggest, but for me it is something so much more. American Idol became my deliberate choice for TV viewing and oh, how it has become a deep, rich message for me. In the first couple of seasons I chose to watch it for the development, the personal and professional growth of the participants compressed into a few short weeks right before my eyes. But this season, the opening weeks of this 2005 season, has deepened the meaningfulness of this program for me. Previously I did not attend the show until the final contestants were presented, for I refused to participate in the unkind destruction of unfortunate untalented contestants. This season, however, Simon has not been producing brutal or savage attacks on the unfortunate, and I have been with the program from the start. And my lesson this time has been on dealing with loss.

The envelope please…

Tonight was the night for final cuts and the final winning team of contestants was selected. As I watched the emotions endured by the performers, I could feel within myself an equal emotion. Life hangs in the balance. Everything you ever wanted is wrapped in this decision. Your entire future, your happiness, joy, creative expression, income, everything you have and want is determined by this one moment. How many times in my life have I stood before such a decision and believed my heart and my future were contained therein. A job interview? A contest (my previous speaking events)? A doctor’s diagnosis? A relationship?

The envelope please…

I saw tears run down their faces, heard curses escape their lips, watched fear in their eyes, and experienced with them my similar pain. I loved their music. I fell in love with them. I cried with them. I, too, have felt what they feel. And for the first time, I recognized the feeling has continued to be the same…I have only sometimes changed the myth surrounding it. Life hangs in the balance…

The envelope please…

I remember what I wrote here on February 9. Experience the loss… I had not made it a practice to experience loss… Many times publicly I have been resolute, stoic, strong, composed. Sometimes privately I have been distraught, devastated, damaged, destroyed. But in all of my ways of dealing with losing, I have avoided actually “feeling” my loss. I built in an automatic optimism of blowing off the loss and believing the win next time. I have dismissed the pain or buried it. But rarely if ever have I actually stepped into and truly fully experienced the loss.

Now I am called to experience my loss. Feel his absence. Feel what it feels to lose. Lose a job. Lose a hope. Lose a loved one. Lose a love. Lose… Just like each of these contestants who feels this one moment and this one loss holds the balance of his or her life.

The envelope please...

The teaching for the past few years (as a motivational speaker I have participated in this), the lesson has been in creative visualization. Envisioning your success. Feel what it feels to win. And now I feel called to go a different direction…my work is to feel what it feels like to lose…

The envelope please...

When I think about my current storyline, during the course of the past thirteen months, as the relationship moved and changed continually, it was only at those points that I “let go” and accepted loss and accepted his absence that he always returned, and quite dramatically so. Recognizably so. I never discussed it with him, but I wondered how it was that he always contacted me by phone or mail within 24 hours of my letting go. Is that a perception on his part or an act of my own Unconscious? Anyway, it cannot be manipulated. I am not able to “try” to let go to make him come back. It is only in the true moment of letting go of him and of the relationship that he returns. This is far more about me and my internal life than about my friendship with him.

This time, though, the story is different (or so it seems). This time he has not simply faded from view but has bid his farewell and wished me well. This has been goodbye. A voice in me says he is resolute and will never again welcome my friendship. His faith in me is gone. Another voice inside me says the end of the story is not written, that neither of us knows its final chapter. But whether he is no more to be friend in my life or will be again, I want to learn this lesson now. As long as I am unable to feel the loss of the masculine, unable to feel the absence of the masculine, I will need to re-create the experience of losing him until I am able to feel it. And I am ready to accept, receive, and merge with him (the masculine within me).

It is in the inability to feel his absence (inability to feel what I really feel in missing him) that causes the loss of him (the masculine). Once this experience is fully experienced and stepped into, I no longer need the loss. I will no longer create the scenario, and I will re-create the state of relationship in my life.

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