Love Lessons From Tiger Woodssam
By Karen Bentley
Before we get to that world class hound dog, Tiger Woods, and his shennanigans with not keeping Mr. Weenie in his pants, I ask you to indulge me for a brief moment to talk about dreaming and sleep. Trust me that sleeping, dreaming and Tiger Woods will all come together in a blaze of glory and understanding later in the article.
For now, though, imagine that you’re in the middle of a very deep, enjoyable sleep and you’re having the most wonderful, lucid dream. The dream is so good, so delicious and so filled with favored images and activities, you somehow realize that you never want the dream to end. Even stranger, you also realize you can keep the dream going as long as you want. All you have to do is stay asleep, and this is what you intend to do. Then wham! Someone screams in your ear, whacks you on the head, shakes your body and jumps wildly on your bed. You complain bitterly and try to stop it, but the person continues, relentlessly, until you finally begin the process of waking up from your mind-numbing dream.
Okay, okay. Having your sweet dreams interrupted is never a fun experience, and it’s not so great being rattled out of a sleep either. But here’s a thought. What if we stay stuck in Snoozeville forever if there’s no one around to bother us and force us to wake up? Enter Tiger Woods, golf champion extraordinaire and powerful magnet to beautiful babes. Woods bothered a lot of people with his extra marital exploits. Are you one of them? Being bothered can be your wake-up call if you want it to be. It can be the smack in the head that rattles your brain and gets you to change the way you see things. Perspective, baby, perspective.
Here’s how to make the switch from seeing Woods as bad boy devil to divinely inspired angel. The first but most unlikely idea to consider is that we’re having the dream of love rather than the actual experience of love. Love comes from your God-self within, is always available and can always be experienced. This subtle sacred love, however, is forgotten and is not valued as much as the exciting human attention and love that comes from another. Awake dreaming is the endless hypnotic fantasy about getting love from another. Our dominating thoughts are about finding special love, keeping special love, placating your special love’s feelings, wondering if special love is worth the effort, trying to force special love to be delivered exactly the way you want it, apologizing and feeling bad when the special love experience turns sour, and finally — lamenting special love when it’s missing. Sound familiar?
It seems like the dream of special love is real, but it’s not. It seems like you’re awake, but you’re not. Instead, you’re hard at dream work making sure someone else loves you. Making sure someone else thinks you’re special and worthy and important. Making sure someone else takes on the task of making you happy. Or conversely, maybe you’re having the reverse side the dream — the nightmare that no one loves you. No one thinks you’re special or important. It’s all the same.
Our special love behaviors are closely governed by our culture, our families, our religions and our government, and they all reinforce the same special love “deal.” You give your special love to someone and that person gives his or her special love back to you. Maybe your special love interest is a spouse. Maybe it’s a parent or a child. Maybe it’s a friend. The object of your special love can change over time, but the underlying contract and condition on love never changes: no one else can have your special love and no one else can have theirs. Love must be separated and cut off from others or it’s not special, is it?
Everyone buys in to the promise of fulfillment from special love. Everyone. Straight people have special love dreams. Gay people have special love dreams. Rich people have special love dreams. Poor people have special love dreams. Pretty people have special love dreams. Plain people have special love dreams. Young people have special love dreams. Old people have special love dreams. We’re all playing the same game. This is why we’re here on planet Earth instead of in heaven with God. God’s love is not special. You are not special. I am not special. And it’s specialness and distinction from others that we secretly crave, isn’t it? Does God Will us to make love special and exclusive or do we simply demand it of each other so we can stay asleep and keep the dream alive a little longer? This is the baseline question you have to ask yourself.
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren had special love on steroids. The beautiful blond Swede and the equally beautiful Blasian enriched their special love pact with the added ingredients of special fame, special money, special achievements, and special privileges. Through the magic of TV, internet and gossip magazines we saw gorgeous, wholesome, happy images of Woods and Nordegren together, and we loved these images.
Now we see another picture. Nordegren is probably divorcing Woods for smashing her dream of special love. Woods is rumored to be in sex rehab for breaking the rules about special love. Even Jamie Grubbes, the 24-year old former companion to Woods, got into the disillusionment act when she discovered she wasn’t his only special extra marital relationship. “Seeing that [he had other women] was devastating to me,” she claimed in a TV interview. “It hurts.” Everyone feels justified in being mad at Woods or at least disillusioned with him because he broke the special love rules.
Dis-illusion means no illusion. It’s seeing things clearly, as they are, rather than as we fantasize them to be. We are all trying, sometimes quite desperately, to feel good and to live the dream. The basic problem is that the dream, being an image, only provides brief moments of satisfaction. Like a broken clock, the dream of love is only “right” twice a day. The rest of the time, special love is problematic. Even though we conform, follow, imitate, obey and willingly play the game, there are always lots of reasons to be unhappy with the dream of love. The dream of love is never recognized or acknowledged as the culprit. Instead we scrutinize the players involved and lay our blame there.
Of course, you can change the people in your dream. We’ve all tried different variations of the same old special love routine many times, maybe even hundreds or thousands of lifetimes. No matter how smart we get, no matter how beautiful we make ourselves, no matter how rich we get, no matter how able or disabled we get, still the dream misfires. It’s enough to make you crazy or worse. Who wants to feel like this? Women are more apt to mask bad feelings and make themselves feel better using food. Like Woods, men are more apt to use sex. Other things work, too. Alcohol is an old standby. Drugs. Cigarettes. Worry. Anger. They all distract. They all provide a moment of pleasure or relief, but the time will come when you want more from life than oblivion.
Society judges some of these mistakes as worse than others. For example, being married and having a special relationship with several women, is judged worse than pigging out on food when you’re not hungry or drinking yourself into a light buzz. However, it’s worth considering the uncompromisingly spiritual notion that all mistakes are exactly the same. It’s not a sliding scale, and there are no degrees of okayness. You are either dissipating your energy in a purposeless way or you’re not. Since we all make these seemingly “little” mistakes every day, we cannot judge Woods as bad because it’s the same as judging self bad for all our tiny mistakes that we pretend don’t count.
Tiger Woods is asking you, wordlessly, to lift yourself up out of your tired and closed way of thinking and to be the love you seek. So what if he disillusioned you? The love that’s inside you is completely for free. It does not depend on any condition. It does not ask for a bargain. It does not care who is right or wrong. Go within to find your love and for one holy instant shine it on Woods. Then you can see for yourself if it fills the empty hole in your heart.
Karen Bentley specializes in writing about the mind-body-heart-spirit connection. She’s the author of The Book of Love, she’s America’s Spiritual Reviewer, the My Thin Lifestyle Reviewer, and the creator of The Sugar-Free MiracleTM Diet System. For more information, go to any of Bentley’s websites: