Disaster averted

It's over. As quickly as it started, it's over.

Day before yesterday, something happened that made me worried sick about him, and no message from him at all for 24 hours. When we finally met, I gave him my phone number to call in case of an emergency.

He refused to give me his. That raised a red flag.

When I confronted him about it, he tried to turn the tables around. I was asking legitimate questions; he was avoiding answering them.

I commented that Googling for his real name only returns one item -- the Twitter account he created for me. His reply: "I'm slightly startled by this new side of you."

I reminded him that I revealed more about myself than he did about himself. His reply: "Now i'm intrigued, maybe i should learn more about you"

He asked if he needs to be a public person like me. I said no, but if he had to hide from me, if he didn't trust me enough, why did he ask me to marry him?

I accused him of playing me.

He accused me of not being into "this" at all.

I said, "There is no "this", is there?"

I told him that I wanted the truth. And I reminded him that he promised me brutal honesty.

He stood there for eight minutes without a word. Then he logged off.

He replied to my tweet about allowing myself to be gullible and said that I'm a victim of my own imagination. When I logged into SL, he still would not explain and started the argument again. He said that, if I was hoping for an amiable parting, I wasn't going to get it from him. He dissolved the friendship, and that was that.


I respect people's privacy. I respect people's need to be anonymous. I don't mind if people hide their information from me, but I won't tolerate lies and I won't risk my personal safety.

Everyday, people all over the world exchange contact information all the time. Phone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses. We give this information to strangers all the time. I would have been fine if he never gave me any personal information, except he wanted me to marry him in real life! And we were talking about him spending a month with me so we could be sure it was what we both wanted. That meant, I was inviting a stranger into my home. *That* is risking my personal safety. Yet, he could not give me something as benign as his phone number. Any normal person would seriously wonder why not. *I* panicked.

Rocky is the only current lover whose real-life identity I do not know, and I inadvertently found out why. But he had given me enough information about himself for me to comfortably risk meeting him in a public place someday. Besides I had witnessed how he behaves; I even teased him by calling him Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes. And, ... he didn't ask me to marry him.


6969 said "no secrets". When he said that, I gave him the names of all my alts; not even my RL sister knows all those names. And I gave him the website with all the links to all my online presences and personas, both virtual and real. Full disclosure. Now, I realize that, when he said "no secrets," he really meant I wasn't allowed to hide secrets from him, but he's allowed to hide his basic information from me. [sarcasm]Silly me. How could I have missed that?[/sarcasm]

The last thing he said today was "thank god this didnt go any further." I agree. Disaster averted.

Choices

For someone who is not religious, I have a lot of beliefs, most of which are not particularly mainstream either.

And two of them come into play these days....

1.
Many years ago, my youngest sister recommended the book "Journey of Souls" by Michael Newton. I don't remember why she did. It was the only new age book she ever recommended to me.

The theory of the book is that our souls belong to soul groups or soul families that keep reincarnating together. (Of course, this assumes that one believes in souls and reincarnation.) The roles and gender may change, but the connection remains. Before we come back to earth for a new life, we make mutual contracts with other souls in our soul group to help us learn whatever lesson we choose to learn in that lifetime. And there would be something, maybe even seemingly innocuous, that would help our soul recognize that other soul. When the contract is fulfilled, we then part ways until the next lifetime.

If that theory is true, I've come up with a corollary to it.

I believe that, when we are attracted to someone, it's because our soul is recognizing one of those souls that we have a contract with. And when we fall in love, we aren't falling in love with that person for the first time. We have loved them from eternity, and we will continue to love them till eternity. Falling in love is just a remembering of that eternal love.


2.
I also believe in synchronicity, in fate, in predetermination. We *perceive* free will only at a certain level. It's just like how we perceive solids to be impenetrable, when we know that there are huge spaces between the atomic particles. Or just like how we perceive our individuality, our separation from each other. I would even argue that the choices we think we're making in the name of free will is predetermined. It's just another effect after a long string of causes. Or maybe a web of causes.

Some of those causes may be psychological because of some past experience; some may be contextual because of the current situation. Sometimes, we might not even be aware of what those causes are. But, ultimately, fate narrows our choices to one, long before we have to make the decision.


Many people could not grasp the idea that I could honestly and deeply love more than one man at a time. Actually, it was a man who questioned it. The idea of monogamy -- or, more specifically, serial monogamy -- has been so ingrained in our culture. People understand having multiple sexual partners, but they cannot understand multiple romantic relationships.

How can you love just one child if you have several, I asked him. He said, this was different; this was a romantic relationship.

But, in some cases, it isn't just a romantic relationship. Or a romantic-and-sexual relationship. In some cases, it's a spiritual relationship, manifesting as a romantic relationship in this lifetime and expressed as a sexual relationship.

And I don't love them as a group, as a celebrity would love their fans as a group. I deeply love each of them individually and differently. Because each of them is different. And the dynamic of each relationship is different.

Loving one child does not diminish our love for another child. Love for one parent does not diminish our love for another parent. Love for one sibling does not diminish our love for another sibling. Love for one friend does not diminish our love for another friend.

Love as an emotion is not a zero-sum game. However, a lifetime is. And so we prioritize and make choices. And the mores of this society demand that we commit to only one mate at a time.


Most of my lovers are married in real life. There was no way the relationship was going outside of Second Life, although I tried once. One unmarried lover admitted he didn't really love the real me.

So I was left with one choice. We had so much synchronicity in our real lives that I thought he would be it. There were so many near-misses -- opportunities where we could have met, but we didn't. And synchronously, we met after his divorce, when we were both free. But his work took him away so often that I rarely heard from him. But the times when I did were so sweet.

The door was only slightly ajar, just enough for me to peek in, but not enough to let me through, though I've tried to push my way in. I had hoped that one day synchronicity would fully open it for me. After all, synchronicity brought us this far, so I figured it was just a matter of time.

Then I met 6969, and another door opened. And it opened wide. The intensity of his emotions created a vortex that was very hard to resist. Even with all my BUT's. It wasn't the future I imagined I would have. After all, I had given up the dreams of my youth. But there it was. He had answers to all my objections.

Fate narrows our choices to one.


But I am also aware that fate is fickle.


6969 wants forever. From this earthly perspective, there is no forever. But, from a higher perspective, he already has that. From a higher perspective, I love him from eternity until eternity.

The good news is that, from this earthly perspective, there is exclusivity and I give him that. From a higher perspective, there is none. I have met many soulmates in this lifetime before I met him, and I love each of them from eternity until eternity.

And from an even higher perspective, there is no concept of exclusivity at all. Because, from that perspective, there is no "other" to be exclusive with.

Reluctant bride

"Whirlwind" is a serious understatement.

I met him on August 3rd, just three weeks ago. It started becoming intense around the middle of the month. Heck, a week ago, I still didn't think anything would come of it.

But the man is persistent. He had already decided he wanted me to be his wife, both in SL and RL. I said I wanted him to live with me irl for at least a month before making any decisions. From his perspective, I'm the only one who's not sure.

We argued about it. We argued for days. Today, he won the argument.

I was planning a party for my fifth rez day anniversary on August 31. Now, it'll also be an SL wedding and an RL engagement.

*sigh*

PS: I *do* love him dearly. I've brought up a lot of concerns the past few days and he had assurances and solutions for each of them. Maybe it's just my issues with commitments that make me very nervous. Particularly the real-life commitment. *sighs again*

How Opal got her groove back

I didn't take him seriously. I still don't know if I can take him seriously.

He met Alt #11 at Frank's. He was one of three who IM'd me at about the same time, but he was the first to ask me to dance.

He wasn't even wearing a tux. When he finally changed (while we were dancing, btw), he still had sneakers on.

He thought Alt #11's name was "imaginative and beautiful". His 1st Life tab had pretty much everything about him, succinct but complete -- his RL first name, what he does, where he lives, his philosophy about SL ("RL = SL"), and the picture of a very good-looking and charming young man with a mischievous smile a la Hugh Grant. He's two whole decades my junior.

He taught me how to cuss in German. I teased him about his naughty name. (He explained the very innocent origin of the name, however. The numbers were his post code.)

"So, what brought you to SL?" I asked.

"well, I was interested in using it in the classroom initially, but now I've moved on to sex... ;-)" was his reply.

We joked, we laughed. He talked as though he were certain that we were going to have a relationship. I tried to convince him that he wouldn't want a relationship with me. And his responses were very insightful and very caring that they surprised me pleasantly. Many times I wondered if he was giving me lines I just hadn't heard before. Before the night ended, I talked to him on Skype, which showed his full real life name.

We weren't on Skype long before he suddenly logged off. He didn't come back and no communication for days. I got nervous. The most logical scenario that came to mind was that he was actually underage and he was caught by his sister having virtual sex, so he was grounded and not allowed on the computer for days. This was based on a couple of things he said about his house-sharing arrangement.

When he logged back in, he explained that they had a three-hour power outage and he just couldn't log back in since. I told him what I assumed happened and explained why. We were on Skype and, as he was trying to explain that what he had said was the truth, I heard something in his voice. I heard pain -- the pain of a child being falsely accused.

It was very brief. I don't think my conscious mind even picked it up; only my intuition. And I wasn't expecting that impression. I was too pissed and too nervous about the possibility that I almost had sex with someone who's underage. But there it was. And it came with a sense of certainty that he was, in fact, telling me the truth.

The next time we met, he crashed. Another time, he was interrupted and had to go. We saw each other maybe once or twice a week. I didn't think the affair would go anywhere.

But when he said he was falling for me, I figured I'd reveal my RL and "nip it in the bud." He laughed when I said that, but he was very kind when he saw my RL. So I figured we'd just be friends with privileges.

Then I went to Oakland, California to attend SLCC. My mind was occupied by the workshop I was giving at SLCC, but I had also emailed Rocky to see if I could meet him there. During the first few days, I had a strong sense of someone aching for me. I thought it was Rocky but I also sensed this new lover. So when he said that he missed me badly since I left, I believed him.

Early on, he asked if I had been partnered and I explained Alt #9's partnership. I added that I take partnerships seriously and that Opal will only be partnered if I'm engaged irl. The previous night, he talked about wanting to get me pregnant. Last night, he half-joked about preserving my honor by partnering with me first. I gave him Alt #23 for privacy, but he wants Opal, because he wants to be my lover publicly.

He said that I bewitched him, that I drive him mad. I don't know what I did to incite such passion. But it wasn't the first time either, which is why I worry. I broke a young man's heart before, and I worry that I'd have to do it again.

Until last night, I didn't think this affair would go anywhere. So I figured there was no point writing about him. But if the conversation is already going into partnerships, I'm sitting up and paying attention. But he agreed we have a lot to talk about first, before we even decide on partnering.

/me ponders whether to change her display name to "Demi".

(No, Liebling, your nickname won't be "sexgod" ... yet.)

Impromptu pilgrimage

I was looking for solace yesterday. "I" was Alt #11. I had a bad experience with a would-be lover which brought up issues that have their roots in my childhood.

First, I went to the Basilica Cardinale. It didn't feel right. Then, I thought of going to the Kannonji Zen Center, so I looked for it in Search. But as I did, I found another place called the "Kundalini Awakening Information Center" and I decided to go there instead to see what it was like.

I landed at the foot of a mountain by the water. I noticed another dot on the minimap, so I moved to the opposite end of the beach. There were many objects that gave information when touched, and I was looking at them when he said "Hello" in public chat.

He was a very pale-skinned young man with long blonde hair that went down to his waist. He wore a black leather jacket that was open in the front and matching black pants. He mentioned a school of Buddhism that he was "drawn to" but he looked more like a goth vampire with blonde hair than a Buddhist monk.

We had only been chatting for ten minutes when someone else teleported in. The newcomer was just as pale as the blonde, but with dark messy hair. He's less than a month old and we had to help him turn off his typing animation.

Their avatars had the same feel to them, and I initially thought that they could be alts of the same person. But they couldn't be more different.

As I as camming around the sim earlier, I found a sacred labyrinth at the top of the mountain and I noticed a path spiraling up the side of the mountain. I decided I would walk up mountainside path and walk the labyrinth. After all, the sacred labyrinth was supposed to be walked as a form of meditation.

The blonde told us about the jetskis which could be rezzed from a billboard by the dock, before he himself took off in a jetski wearing his "church clothes". I invited the dark-haired one to join me on my trek. He was worried that he would be bumping against objects along the way, but I told him he could use the trek to practice walking, so he tagged along. The blonde got tired of the jetski quickly and decided to join us anyway.

So, up the mountain path we went, with me in the lead, sashaying in my ultra-high heels and white haute couture knee-length dress, which would have been more appropriate on a catwalk than a mountain path.

The mountain wasn't bare. There were places to sit and meditate along the way. A tree with a pillow at the base and more meditation pillows higher up. A series of yoga mats. A few altars. An office. A tea house. A wall to bang your head against.

At each one, we stopped and tried the pillows and the poses and I learned more about the two men. The blonde lives in the southeast US, claims to be "nocturnal" (it was almost 3am his time), and is a performer (singer and dancer). The dark-haired one is Irish, hadn't slept all night, and ought to be a comedian.

Our conversation went from the sublime(chakras) to the mundane (knickers).

"Look, I'm levitating! I'm a boddhisatva!" said the Irishman, sitting on one of the meditation cushions on a branch, after climbing the tree with a radioactive-green bottle of absinthe in his hand. Only ten minutes earlier, he said, "Oh, believe me, absinthe can be a very spiritual thing when used properly." :D

The Irishman complimented me almost as often as he took a friendly jab at the blonde. And the blonde held his own with his dry wit.

It was at the tea house when I realized that we were actually on a pilgrimage of sorts. Three people who had absolutely nothing in common, except we were all "spiritual seekers" in a virtual world, who happened to come to the same place at the same time. Had we chosen to teleport directly to the labyrinth or to fly up the mountain, we wouldn't have had the experience we had. We would have missed enjoying each other's company. As the Irishman said, "It's all in the journey."

When we reached the top of the mountain, the two men were still batting back and forth about knickers, so I told them we would have to walk the labyrinth in silence. I declared that it was the most spiritual part of the pilgrimage. They agreed.

Then we walked into the labyrinth. All the way to the center, then all the way out.

Somehow, when we came out, the air had changed. *We* had changed. The men resumed their bantering, but, this time, it felt friendlier and less competitive. Some experiences change us inside; this one subtly did. I cannot yet define how, but I am certain that it did.

Had I gone up the mountain alone, it would have been a different experience. Had I gone up with only one of the men, it would have been another experience. But all three of us going up created a synergistic energy with its own unique imprint.

We started out as three strangers at the foot of the mountain and ended up as friends at the top.

Shared experiences. Shared accomplishments. These are what bind strangers together. These are what virtual worlds are about.