As a drizzling November rain brings a hush over my quiet First Life, my day begins as usual, with silent meditation. Then, as every day, I go to meet my love on Second Life.
I work from home, where I live alone. My social life centers on an intimate group of dear friends. We have known each other forever. We share the same passions, activities, and opinions. We smile together about a favorite quote: “I don’t know if I need a lover. I think I would settle for five good friends.”
Most of us look for such good friends, with whom we share much in common. We like to bond with “people like us.” Social media tools make it even easier to filter our friendships, associating only with those who reflect the views and tastes we already have.
Seeking relationships, we make lists of desirable attributes ranging from the superficial, such as appearance, to the provocative, such as politics or religion. We look for personality or character traits, or mutual interests and ambitions. We envision what we want, and we find a partner who fits into our predefined vision.
But this can be very limiting. Envisioning a certain outcome can blind us to glorious surprises. We may miss out on wonderful gifts because we were expecting something else. Focusing on our goals, potentially beautiful friendships with lovely people slip past us, unnoticed.
At first, I didn’t think I needed a lover in Second Life. It caught me totally by surprise. Walter was a surprise. Outwardly, in RL, he is very different from me. Had I stuck to my preconceived notion of what I was looking for, I might easily have missed the gift of knowing, loving and being loved by this beautiful soul. No one could have foreseen his impact on my life. No one could have predicted who I’d turn out to be: that I, the rebellious, independent loner, would willingly and happily surrender my freedom, opening my heart to the surprise and delight of unexpected pleasure.
So I advise that you let go of expectations. Have goals, but don’t be enslaved to them. Something better might happen. Don’t assume you know what the best outcome is. Be open to the possibility that you will be surprised by someone completely different from what you expected. Leave a crack in your armor, so that grace can leak in.