Truetalk has been writing since he was a teen, and only in the last five or so years has he taken himself seriously as a writer. He lives in the Vancouver area of BC, Canada, where he has lived for most of his life. He finished his degree in psychology at Simon Fraser University in ’95 when he started his counseling practice for individuals and couples. He recently completed his PhD in psychology and philosophy at University of Life in Black Rock City. His counseling practice though broad in a practical sense, is specialized in alternative relationships, including the various forms of polyamoury, polyfidelity, or what ever other poly-like relationship you may be working on. He has studied the human psyche for almost his entire life, and has a thorough understanding of consciousness, human psychology, and our current social structure and how we as individuals or groups function and dysfunction within our culture and general social milieu. He would love to hear any feedback from the readers of this community, answer questions or even take requests or topics to write about.
Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.
Let love be love
I am finding it harder and harder to write to you all about relationships. This does not mean that I do not want to continue to write for you all, what it means is that the direction and focus of these papers is harder for me to adhere to. I want to write about love, but the added flavor of relationships is getting harder and harder, these entities of togetherness, bubbles of connection and eddies of emotional movement are becoming less tangible to me. They are indeed becoming in my experience more spurious and useless, like a sneeze, short, physical and sometimes a bother to have, or embarrassing, and then they are gone, just a memory of an experience. Thus I want to talk about relationships on a deeper level, and not wanting to sound elitist, but not finding any other pertinent words to describe my intentions, a spiritual perspective. Love still being the foundation of these relationships, or what we label as love, thinking that we are in love with someone, and wanting to have this long-term (or not) relationship with the person whom we love.
You can probably already sense in my tone a kind of cynicism, a bias that is tainted with hurt or some negative experiences. Sure I have had my share of heart ache, but who has not. I do not see myself in any kind of special place in the world of love and relationships. What I do have that others may or may not, and which I am sharing in this moment, is a perception of love that is, not so ego based and selfish. The relationships that I am to write about, though evolved in that it is not monogamous, is till just individual needs of the ego being expressed, and desires and drives of the body being played out in relationships that have a deeper understanding, in that there is not the restriction of the typical relationships that demand we love one at a time. In poly we are free, encouraged and promoting the freedom of loving more than one partner at a time, and this is indeed, in my opinion an improvement on relationships for the fuller expression of love.
As I walk and work through my day, I see people who are in various modes of relationships. I see people in various states of want and need, and then some are in a state of new love full of passion and joy, and a whole continuum of vital expressions into the deeper and more stable states of comfort and stability of the enduring relationships. Some people even seem content to be alone, or they are merely alone at that moment, taking some time away from their partner, finding that joy and much desired need to also be alone, which being a natural and healthy part of any good relationship. I also meet people and listen to people talking about their feelings in and around love and their needs for (a) connection(s). I am an active listener, and people seem to know that they can talk to me, and I will actually listen to what they are saying. It is hard to sum up into a general sense what people say, but mostly I hear that people are confused by their feelings, that the whole process of creating a connection and then a relationship is a difficult process, one that fills them with fear, uncertainty, disappointment, and often unwanted emotional questions. There is also this sentimental tone out there that love is supposed to be this ‘other’ way, full of joy and bliss and satisfaction, that love is to fulfill our needs and desires, and when you find someone to love (and they love you back) then your life is made complete, this is how love is supposed to be, and is the power that moves artists to sing, and is the inspiration of beautiful poetry and great pieces of art.
Thus a kind of confusion is generated or created in people’s minds when they start to enter into the relationship, or when they feel love and it is not returned. These are two distinct feelings, but I group them together knowing that their roots are similar. This sense of discomfort is founded upon the completely insatiable desire of the vital energy in our beings, which is what all relationships are based upon, as far as I can see. This vital energy comes from our lower consciousness, or from our bodily drives and psychological needs. They are never satisfied, they can never be quenched, yet they can and are satisfied for a time, at that moment and experience where the demands of the body and mind are met, and there is gratification of sexual desires and psychological needs. This temporary fulfillment is what confuses us, because we think erroneously, that now these drives and unidentifiable forces that push us towards each other, to make these connections and form the relationships that we have, are now answered in this person. We believe that this person, whom we have fallen in love with, is the solution to the constant almost nauseating feeling of emptiness that we so dearly want to fill. Then as time passes, we find that these drives are not ended and we react in a number of different ways. Usually, people react by looking again for someone else to fill this emptiness in our being, and for poly oriented people that is translated into a more healthy process of not ending one love to find another, but just in finding (an)other(s). “More healthy”, because at least they are not going through the unnecessary pain of ending one love so that they can be culturally free to find another person whom will do a better job at filling in the space or inner longing that seems always to be in want. There is a continuous search for love and connection to fulfill this driving force in our being. Some do find that they are satisfied, or they are able to find fulfillment in the temporary but stable satisfaction of their drives and needs for gratification. Again, there are two reactions to this, one is the happy long term relationship, which we read about in fairly tales and see in an older generation of long lasting marriages. The other is that the person we are with becomes less important, they are taken for granted in our own happiness.
In conclusion, what I see is a constant chasing after the wind. We are trying to satisfy an urge that is never really fulfilled, and this chasing will produce various reactions and experiences, as seen above. I do not equate that to love; to me this wanting and creating of connections and relationships, is a bodily and psychological thing, something that we are driven to do, that represents a very instinctual drive, and has very little to do with love. Though we call it love, in that these connections can be founded on these feelings that seem like love, but I am not sure anymore if that is the truth of it. For instance, at one time relationships were basically not a thing of chance and/or attraction, but of a family plan, or even political nature. Marriage, the foundation of all of these relationships that we are discussing here, is traditionally an arranged institution, something that is given to you for security, stability, and prosperity. Love was a secondary phenomenon of our being human, and we having a very natural inclination towards love. If you were lucky you were given a partner who was not cruel, who was themselves able to love, and then love between two people would blossom. I believe that it is a mistake to say that we are seeking love when we are really seeking the fulfillment of body and psychological needs. Love exists on a much deeper and simultaneously higher plain of existence.
Now that, I have metaphorically speaking, weeded out the weeds from love, lets see if we can not now talk about love in its pure form. The first thing that I notice in relation to love is that it is the solution and foundation to all things human. I have noticed recently, when talking about my daily life, that the reason I do anything and all things is love. I love my work, I love the kids I work with, I love the places I work, I love the people I work with, I love the food I eat, the things I do, I love my friends and family, and the people I connect with, and if for some reasons I find myself somewhere that I do not love, it is for my growth, and I love that too. When a problem presents itself to me, whether it is one of my own, or someone who is confiding in me, after stripping away all the ego related aspects, then all the mind’s clutter and thinking, and then the personal perceptions and biases towards the situation, I find that love is the solution. That sounds overly simple, but that is because we tend to think too much anyways. We are a reasoning culture, one that believes all things are reasonable, and any problem can be thought through with logic and understanding. This belief tends to create a highly thoughtful and thinking culture and individuals, which in itself is not bad, but the mind has such power and influence that we sometimes do not hear what the heart has to say, not in words, but in feelings, nor what the body might say, also not in words, but with various intuitions. In all that love permeates each zone of our existence: the body, mind and will.
Love is an integral part of our being, it is not something that we need to search for, and on the contrary, it is actually something that we have learned to hide from. Love is a natural part of our being , but also such a powerful force in our existence, that we have taught ourselves how to block those feelings, how to hide love and from love. It is now a part of our culture to control love; to make sure that it is not always in our face, and hindering our thought processes by blocking it, and denying it, and resisting it. As though love is something to be feared we keep it at bay, and as though love is something that we need to control and tame, we force ourselves to love under strict rules and conditions, all culturally taught.
I so am immersed in this culture that fears love and teaches our children that love is special, something that runs between only certain people. These teachings are half truths, because though love is special, is does not need to flow only between specific people, and in fact I suspect that a great deal of society’s difficulties and pains would dissolve into meaninglessness if we were to allow love to be an intricate part of our daily life. I want to run an experiment in letting go of these controls that we all have on love, and freeing love in my life, but my membership in the culture hinders this experience. My question is how do I do this? How do I open up to love without getting stomped upon, how do I be open to love and still maintain some kind of protection from pain? The solution or answer is to just let be. Love is, and as we let be, love will flow and the pain that I fear that is connected with love is an illusion based upon the strivings we have for desires and needs on a physical and emotional level. The pain we feel in relationships is not about love, it is about not getting what we want. Our egos are bruised when we are rejected, or our mind is confused when we are refused what seems naturally good. Love heals, and love empowers, it does not hurt or cause pain, those things are a result of our strivings and failings in those desires to have. Thus, let love be: love is a natural force that moves humanity and has since the beginning of time, now is the time to free love once again, and let love move humanity once again. This will start with us: the individuals who can and will allow love to be free, who can separate their bodily and psychological drives from the love that exists all around. Let the light of love flow in and through each of us so that it may move us towards a more healthy and natural existence.
Truetalk is a contributing writer as well as a member of this online Community. He can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.
Truetalk ; August 16, 2007
folks have read this article.