Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Thar Be Dragons Here!

Forest Dragon (c) Kayar Silkenvoice
Click here for audio/podcast.

I've been giving some thought to my relationships and the people in my life, organizing my thoughts on why monogamy and monofidelity feel unnatural to me, and why polyamory and similar 'alternative' love-styles make sense to me, particularly in the context of the human dilemma of loneliness and isolation.

I've thought about how easy it is for us to spend our lives looking for that elusive something, always holding out for what we don't quite know, and how many of us do it, day in and day out, without recognizing that we are looking for ourselves.

Yes. The search for the perfect other is always a search for what we sense we lack. And the reason that we never find them is because the search goes on as long as we feel inadequate to ourselves, to our own needs.

Another 'yes'. There it is. Too many people hope to get from others what can only be provided by themselves. What a terrible thing this hope is. Such a great source of unhappiness.

For in our conviction that there is one special someone out there who will meet all our needs, all the time, we are transformed into needy, demanding children rather than healthy adults with resources enough for ourselves and for others who might need us.

What a terrible thing is the hope that keeps us living our lives as though we are but half of a whole, either constantly waiting for the other half, or making do with what is out there.

And what a moment of clarity it is to realize that we are each one person complete and total in ourselves, with multiple sources of supply and many people to love, and that we have only to be love, rather than to seek love, so that love grows from us and and flows from us as something to be shared, rather than consumed, or hoarded like a dragon's treasure.

I think that Life, love, relationships--these are a wires in which the current runs back and forth and around, from each to each, returning via different paths and with varying amplitudes, so that each exchange, each cycle, enhances and supplies energy to all parties involved.

And this thought leads to another realization, that when we limit ourselves to one or two others outside ourselves, to one mate, to one friend, to one mentor, we form closed circuits that isolate us from others. And the fewer intimate others in our lives, the more isolate we become.

Instead of forming relationships that close us off, instead of closing ourselves off in our disappointment, we humans need to form relationships that open us to ourselves, relationships that help us reach outside ourselves and become more than we are.

And we need more than one person in our lives. We need intimate friends, because they are the windows through which we see the world and peer into in order to see ourselves. They are the social mirror through which we determine the worth and purpose of our lives, and if we don't have friends, we see and understand much less about ourselves and the world than we otherwise would.

It is incomplete, this thought-process, but there it is. Not bad for a weekend's contemplation. And at the close of the weekend I have pondered what I am grateful for, and of course, I am most thankful for my friends and lovers. They enrich my life. They provide me with so many sources of love, with so many reasons to continue living and learning and growing.

I can only hope that I do the same for them.

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