Seth Godin in his book “Icarus Deception” writes that we all have to learn to write in public – and this mini-series is, along with many of the previous posts and experiments, one of my exercises in that. With this mini-series, I dare to go in and explore an area of my life which is both love and pain. And I hope that on this journey we can find some lessons, and eventually reach some conclusions for my present and future as well.
The word “love” is actually so big that it is really hard to communicate using it. “I love you” means one thing to the person who says it and very, very likely quite a different thing to the person who receives it. The concept is so huge that it is confusing.
In communication, we often try to “spice up” love with extra specifiers like “unconditional”, “brotherly”, “romantic”, in an attempt to pin down our intended meanings, but the listener’s task always includes a high degree of guessing. Humans cannot express in words what we cannot grasp with our minds. And love, as any non-human-made, and especially non-material phenomenon, has a chaotic essence. Of all things in nature, our minds are able to grasp and understand only their clear and rationalized subparts – and very often these are just tiny parts of the whole.
Love is so big that I even already have a post about love in LikzLife, written a year ago :) . However, that time I wrote about unconditional love to people, things, the world and the life itself, about fundamental love to the essence of everything. That kind of love that I describe there is pure and free, with no strings attached. Thus, there is also no pain in it.
When I feel the pain in connection with love, it is linked into the “feelings” part of my experiences with some attractive girls, young ladies, women – into what I would call passionate/romantic love. In these circumstances, it is usually evident that I don’t know those ladies enough to be able to love them unconditionally (note: we never learn another person perfectly – alive people are chaotic and full of surprises). The pure, unconditional kind of love needs time to get to the surface. Or, better to say, the pure love can’t shine on to someone through other means than deep trust, and profound trust can take quite some time to build.
And because unconditional love initially stays behind the interpersonal boundaries, hidden behind the walls of safety and carefulness, the key element that colors and shades these relationships is attraction. Attraction plays the role of the foundation, the core and the actual condition (NB!) of such relationships.
Attraction pushes me forward, creates a tension to force things to happen a bit faster than seems to be natural from the perspective of the evolution of long-term trust. Why? It might be a natural guidance. When things take too long to develop, it leaves very little chance to result in mutual attraction. When trust takes over the relationship, it has a chance to stay non-sexual.
“Why?”, you would ask again. I would say that sexuality happens when we are balancing on the edge of discomfort, that sexuality is about opening up and letting another person just a bit more than feels comfortable and safe (keyword: vulnerability), and doing it time and time again.
Not to leave things hanging: it is not about doing anything against your will. When you open up but the response hurts you, it is your full right (and almost an obligation to yourself) to turn your back to that person and walk away, unless they genuinely ask to forgive them. Because in this life, we are on the search for excitement and joy with compatible people, not for grinding experiences with people who aren’t good fits for us.
To circle things up… Attraction, in contrast to trust, appears fast and easy. Psychologists say that after first eight seconds of meeting someone we already have formed an opinion and predisposition towards or against that person. I would say that in these eight seconds we can get a taste of the energy field. “Can get”, because it requires us to listen to and trust in our intuition, our little quiet stream of feelings.
Paying attention to our feelings when meeting a new person is a good way of understanding the interpersonal compatibility. Because while we can meet someone in different moods and have very different kinds of conversation, their overall energy field has a very stable background which mirrors the essence of their present life. While the bright precise details dance according to daily events and mood swings, the background changes dramatically only in the most happiest or most challenging moments (with quite rare exceptions).
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