It’s not blowing away the pain

Joey Garcia

This past weekend, I hired an escort out of desperation and stupid curiosity. I just left a bad relationship and gave in to temptation. I feel guilty, like my morals are tainted. I am also concerned for my health. I used protection, and even though it was only oral, I was nervous because I put myself at risk and made a bad investment. I freaked out and went to the doctor. Before hiring the escort, I met a woman about 10 years older than me who liked me but said it was a stretch. I understand where she was coming from. Ironically, I didn’t want to hook up because we were drunk. Then I went out and did something worse. I’m still trying to figure out if true love exists for me, and why I hired an escort.

Actually, you know why you hired a hooker. You were desperate (your word). You probably hoped a blow job would blow away the pain of your last relationship. I bet that you and your ex had the ride of your lives, climbing to dizzying emotional heights before slamming into an abyss, over and again. That’s right, you were buckled in, front row center, on the infatuation roller coaster.

How do I know? Well, when a relationship rooted in real love ends, both people feel richer having spent time together. But you felt ripped off and acted that out by soliciting an escort. The bottom line: You realized that hiring a prostitute was an emotional and financial rip-off. But the resulting self-hate ignited an adrenaline rush just like the ones sparked by the drama in your last relationship.

Uh huh, you used a trick to deceive yourself into scoring an adrenaline hit.

It’s easier to quit a drama addiction cold turkey if you stop confusing sex (your biology) and love (your spirituality). Our bodies drive us into sexual activity for pleasure, procreation, curiosity, joy or stress release. But love is a conscious choice to selflessly extend oneself to benefit another person. Love means that both the brain and the body are in sync. Sex is a delicious way to express love already present in a committed relationship, but casual sex is not love. The very definition of love does not include using another person as an object in service of our own needs.

So does true love exist for you? Of course! Although your question reflects your longing for a partner, consider the expressions of love surrounding you in this moment: friends, family, nature, pets, poetry and art. Soak in the love that surrounds you daily. Nurture self-love by finding new ways to appreciate yourself. Reveal self-love by making small changes daily that chip away at obstacles that distract you from loving. Be the love you wish to have in the world.

What do you do when you see a homeless person stealing? I was in a Grocery Outlet store, and this woman came in who, obviously from her smell and appearance, lived on the streets. She shoplifted a few items right in front of me, and I was so startled I didn’t say anything. She left immediately and, as I was thinking about it, I started justifying her action because of the crazy social-service system we have. What do you think?

If it happens again, it’s unlikely that you will be as surprised. So try this: Admit to the person, if it feels safe to do so, that you observed the act of stealing. Offer to buy the item as a gift if she (or he) puts it back on the shelf. Then, after the person exits, alert the store manager. After all, if you owned or managed the store, wouldn’t you want to know?

Meditation of the week
“I need a high level of intellectual engagement to be happy. I’m always thinking about how I can keep growing and learning and challenging myself,” says e-commerce entrepreneur Miriam Naficy. What keeps you alert and interesting?

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