Thursday, May 24, 2007

Falling in love verses being loving

(Great comments on this one from zuzu to read, see below!)

This a.m. while reading Scott M. Peck, of whom I have been a fan for years, I thought a lot about what I want and who I am and how I would like to choose to love. And choice is a key word for me I've found.

This is my titration of what's going on in me. I think I still have a disconnect and need to use BOTH/AND statements to string together what feels slightly contradictory.
  • I experience myself as not as embodied as I would like to be, which is why I wasn't able to lean further into the intelligence of my body in my recent interactions with "y" and why my head judged instead of letting my heart and body feel and grieve... (epiphany thanks to zuzu).
  • AND I also find falling in love, and anything erotically embodied, to be fluid, feeling based, and often temporary verses "loving" which is more will based than body based.
  • AND currently growth for me involves taking some embodied risk to date, kiss, feel which is more in the falling in love category...
  • AND my body is not the part of me I choose to let decide things. Lots of people who are erotically in love are not loving. The two for me are different. This all reminds me of the book I read in bible college "Love is a feeling to be learned."
  • AND love for me is similar to Peck's definition: It is a choice, willing to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth.
  • AND my first dating experience was about the erotic, falling in love. It was good learning about embodiment and any intelligence there. BUT I am not really sure it was loving.
  • AND these are two puzzle pieces I am trying to put together my will/choice for the spiritual and otherwise growth of others and self AND the seemingly sometimes selfishness of erotic embodiment.
In other news tomorrow I leave town to spend the weekend with my parents. I may need to blog to cope. Because that was what drove me to blog in the first place.


Zuzu said...

I was thinking of Scott Peck too... but I've been thinking about "People of the Lie" in reference to some of the confusion you've been experiencing with regard to "Y." Just a thought.

I have to admit, I don't really understand much of what you're saying in this post.

In other thoughts, I once had a really amazing therapist. I wish I could remember her last name. I bet she's written a book and I know I'd savor every word. Be that as it may. She taught me about intimacy.

Intimacy, she said, is being viscerally honest, without expectation. A pre-requisite, she said, for a capacity for deep intimacy, is being fiercely independent. The only way to truly act and speak without expectation is to cultivate a fierce independence. She contends it's healthy for us to be intimate with as many people as possible and another person's capacity for intimacy is irrelevant, this is about our "being known" and living close to the bone and being alive and real and expanding our capacity for joy. She's not talking physical intimacy, per se, which we might conscript our own sets of rules for. But it flows from emotional and intellectual intimacy, sometimes, certainly.

Here's an example.... you tell your parents that you believe that you are a lesbian. That's the viscerally honest part. You do so without expectation of them accepting or rejecting you, embracing or condemning you. The "purpose" of telling them is intimacy. You are known for who you are, your truths of yourself. Perhaps it is obvious with this example why to be this intimate "requires" a fierce independence. You have to have a deep enough sense of self and independence about your core self so that if they judge, condemn, accept, embrace, reject, or celebrate you - you're okay with the reaction. Because the "goal" is not about their reaction, the "goal" is about being intimate.

My therapist would contend that when you are honest WITH expectation, that is not intimacy, it's more often manipulation.

That's an obvious or "big" example. The more subtle examples might be some of your recent conversations with "Y" - you can ask yourself in retrospect, "was my goal to be intimate or was my goal to elicit some specific reaction? Did I say the things I said so that my feelings and me would be known, or was I motivated to influence her feelings and/or reactions... was I intimate or was I being manipulative?"

Sometimes when I tell Ed that garbage is starting to stink... I have a specific manipulative goal - that is that he should take out the trash. I have expectation.. heh. When he doesn't pick up on my manipulative tactic.. I can just come right out and say it. "Hey, will you take out the trash?" There's nothing intimate about it.. and that's fine.

Not everything is so straight forward, however. If we're dating and you are sleeping with other people, I might say to you, "I don't like it that you are having sex with other women, it leaves me feeling jealous, insecure and fragile." There are so many responses you could give to that statement. You could say, "I'm sorry." You could say, "tough." You could say, "get over it." You could say, "I'll stop seeing other people, I want to be with you and you alone." If I'm being truly intimate, however you respond, I might feel, think or say, "I'm not asking you to stop sleeping with other woman, I'm simply telling you how I feel." Maybe I have or haven't decided on a course of action based on how I feel.. so maybe I say, "I don't like feeling this way so I'd like to change our relationship and just be friends (or not be friends, or not be anything or whatever)" or "I don't want you to change who you are. I want you to be exactly who you are. I'm just saying how I feel and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with those feelings - I'm simply putting them out there."

Sometimes, young people, when they are "falling in love" are very manipulative.. because they have expectations.. they really want the other person to like them as much as they like the other person. But people who are seasoned at having relationships come to realize, sometimes, that the real road to falling in love is intimacy. The sooner you can shuffle off expectation and move toward real intimacy, the sooner, indeed, you can commence the real process of getting to know someone, revealing yourself to another and finding if whether or not was is beneath the wonderful infatuation of first blushes is love.

There was a great line from this movie the accidental tourist. "It not about whether or not I love you... it's how I feel about myself when I'm with you that matters." I've met so many people who contend that they're deeply "in love" with someone and yet whenever they're with that person they feel insecure, on edge, under appreciated and under valued. It's time to move on, eh? SO much easier said than done.

I don't think love is so tricky. I don't think falling in love and being in love are so totally different. I believe that I'm falling in love when I get to know people's real self and as they reveal themselves to me I find them more and more attractive. Falling in love is revealing my real self, as intimately as possible, and letting it be known.. opening it up to the possibility of being loved (and the possibility of being rejected and shunned). I can't be loved (by ANYONE) if I'm not known. (This is why "they" say you need to love yourself first... so you're firm in that fiercely independent part....) Being in love is what happens after you've fallen in love and it just seems to me that it's practicing being intimate. It's being willing to understand that not everyone is able to be intimate back at the same time, at the same moment, and that's okay.. because you can be intimate all the time even if someone else can't. If you "expect" the capacity of intimacy.. then you've ceased being intimate.

I'm way digressing.. and way going on and on and on.. but I hope there's some gem in here that comforts you during your weekend at home and as you tumble through these thoughts of Sex in the City... - Zu

just me said...

Wow! Thanks. I think that I was thinking about both "People of the lie" and "Road less traveled". Also
The analogy of telling my folks is about where I've been thinking. Emailed my brother and sister in law this week, asked for prayer. They responded with all this stuff about how they love me and don't judge me etc. It felt like a first step towards telling them. Pluse "e" in her vibrant cheerleading of me had been telling me stories of people who feared telling their families for years and then told them and it wasn't a thing. Your intimacy thoughts are a helpful stream of thought in this conversation! More later I'm sure... :)

Zuzu said...

If you tell them, simply hold on to the "without expectation" part. They may have one reaction today and another once they've had time to digest it. You are loved - no matter their reaction, you a deeply loved. - Zuzu