A sane space is a safe space
This blog is a follow up on the previous one called Expectations are love killers.
It is about:
- the role of intuition and instinct in whom we connect with
- the difference between being exclusive and being unique
- emotional availability
I think you do but if not you will have to imagine it for me to be like this most of the time. This is what I mean: ‘When meeting new persons there can be this very distinct feeling in sensing it as a safe or unsafe contact’. It cannot be an assumption so easily. That would be very fast, even for an assumption. It cannot be proven either on the base of a perception, especially not when it concerns an avatar, but still, without really knowing that new person you just feel it is ok for you or not ok for you. That can and often will make the difference for me between yes please or no thank you when a friend request will follow sooner or later or it will make me offer it myself, which is actually very rare. Of course that can go wrong, it is not something we always blindly should trust. We can be mislead by many things after all, also by our own mind being in a jolly good mood with a preference to see all others as well as being a jolly good buddy. But I think there are many occasions in which you really just know it is ok and also happens to be ok after that. That does not mean it will stay okay by itself, every connection needs maintenance, but the elements to keep it safe are all present and therefore it only can become miserable by doing it wrong yourself.
Why would I do it wrong?
Yes silly huh . .
But such meets can also feel like too good to be true. It can result in starting to question your own feelings. Or because you are so used to brace yourself against possible fake safety risks you see yourself as the typical love hunter who is in denial of the actual reality. We can be fooled by many external factors as well, but our own internal complexity has a tendency to mess with trust solely based on instinct and intuition, since we like hard proof better and are raised with never taking anything for granted. It is a bit disturbing when that happens, seeking reassurance and confirmations, but hard to escape to go through that when a connection feels like . . . wow, this is special.
Special, unique, exclusive
We can have multiple great connections with a variety of people, but only some will mirror almost all in ourselves. This is why it is good to invest in more than one person as ways of meeting yourself. Different people stimulate different parts of us. They all have their own values and make you feel good.
But when meeting someone you would describe as the ultimate compatible once in a lifetime match, you need to become very careful I think. Not fearing it, but also not overrating it. When overrating it you can become like the one giving up all other meaningful connections just for this one ‘golden’ match. And before you know it you transform yourself into being codependent. By doing so, you actually destroy what was so good. The feeling safe becomes a being trapped into your own irrational dreams.
I quote Esther Perel:
“Today, we turn to one person to provide what an entire village once did: a sense of grounding, meaning, and continuity. At the same time, we expect our committed relationships to be romantic as well as emotionally and sexually fulfilling. Is it any wonder that so many relationships crumble under the weight of it all?”
― Esther Perel
“Until now monogamy has been the default setting, and it sits on the premise (however unrealistic) that if you truly love, you should no longer be attracted to others.”
― Esther Perel
“By turning our backs on other loves, we confirm the uniqueness of our “significant other.” “I have found The One. I can stop looking.” Miraculously, our desire for others is supposed to evaporate, vanquished by the power of this singular attraction.”
― Esther Perel
The quotes are clear enough I think. Don’t be a fool to think you only need ONE BIG LOVE to feel fulfilled and live happily every after. You need other loves as well. You can make a difference in how they relate to you. Special, unique, exclusive. The word exclusive however is a tricky one, though I get why it is something we like to say and believe in. Special is just special, but something you could do without fairly easy. Exclusive means in fact you will not tolerate any other mind to be as pervasive se as the one you call exclusive. That is a bit impossible when you also feel attracted to other kinds of love that can be pervasive in their own unique way without having to comprise the exclusivity of the one you commit most to. Being a unique contact is the most tolerant way of categorising a loving connection, because each connection we have with other persons is unique, also the not so special or platonic connections are. In that way I think it is safe and ok to say that also maintaining other loves in your life is understanding every love has its unique qualities that add to and reflect on parts of who you are. How can that be unwanted, dangerous or bad? Because when you keep the one and only you call exclusive, it refers to that person also being unique in a way the others never will be to you, but has a deeper level of attachment and dedication. They do not bite each other, the various love connections, they complete each other. Yes it needs common sense and not losing your head, but when truly appreciating a love you will do so and not destroy it with false promises or act like an idiot who thinks all is allowed because this is LOOOOOVE.
So I should never fall in love with anyone except the exclusive one?
Uhm, no, that is not what I am saying. Falling in love can happen as well. Just do not act on it in the wrong way when it puts your main love at stake. With act I mean making that person your main love. Make it free of needs that only will cause troubles. Depending how deep those needs are or have become, that needs some effort yes. It is different per situation as well because some partners cannot handle this well maybe and then you really are in trouble. Jealousy and distrust to be the number one demons. If you have to keep it secret because you feel it as your right to claim this space for you, who am I to judge that, but it will contaminate all with guilt, which will cause its own issues on the long term I think. No need to reveal every single detail of course, but to have consent for connecting with someone in an intimate way just is way more relaxed, also for the one at the other side of the screen.
And no, you are not bad or abnormal to fall in love, also not when partnered already in RL or SL, it is just that need for certain parts in you seeking connections that fit. It even only is natural I think to have this desire for a while to want to make that person the main love, the new exclusive dream replacing the existing exclusive one. But I also can have the desire to eat chocolate all day instead of vegetables that nourish me better, just taste less sweet. It is a choice as well, how you act. Don’t blame your feelings to be the cause. Yes, the being in love is a powerful thing that will beat all other feelings. The being in love will try to seduce you into unwise decisions, but we all know that being in love is being a bit insane, right? So step away a bit and watch yourself. This being in love will change to love without that burning feeling inside all the time. Take that as reality when making decisions. And even more important . . Take in mind what is free of violating yourself, free of violating the existing exclusive love and free of violating the one you also love. That should be the base for making choices. A few choices for me always will be these from now on:
- Being able to love without the suffocating concept of having to share every single second of time together.
- I keep my freedom to also connect with others in a meaningful loving way (with lower priorities/intensity to not make it an impossible mess )
- Dependency has to stay at a sane level. Codependent is a big NO. No dependency is best, but will be hard when too much into needing the other in an unhealthy way, the one that would guarantee your happiness. That is something you are responsible for yourself. Always.
- Talk and monitor regularly on what feels not ok (anymore) somehow and adjust when needed.
- Allow each other fears, insecurities and need for solitude or even allow each other to undo the way of connecting when it fails to make you happy.
Not like, bye bye I am out of course. Make it a sensible talk to not get hurt or hurt the other unnecessary hard.
Yup, this needs people who actually can control themselves to a high standard and who are able to communicate very well. Not with shouts and blame games, not with victim plays and suspicions, not with accusations and guilt bombs, but in a calm loving way, respecting that a loving dedication never may reach the level of obsession. If you sense that you better end it. It will become a drama and love will turn into something dark. And believe me I know the power of obsession. In another way than love, but still. It does not just leave . . . that can take years.
A sane space is a safe space
When wise choices are made and create no real issues you can enter the more sane space of being in love with someone ‘extra’. Let’s call it love stripped from obligations, obsessions, expectations and magic. Now you are safe again and in control. In this way a variety of connections can continue to shape your life and prevent you to get obsessed with guilt, fear, rejection or feeling abnormal. Each form of love has a dedication part, but they cannot be the same with each love connection. Imagine what would happen if you dedicate in the same way to all who you would describe as persons you love. That would mean you would do sex with your own family. Love is such a shallow word in fact for what it all can be and how it is presenting itself between 2 persons. The total love concept will be the one that goes all the way yes, the priority number one to keep safe, the exclusive love, but that does not mean other loves cannot blossom as well in you. No, not always easy when you feel like putting someone in your personal treasure box with only you having that key. But you only have to imagine what you are doing to that person when caging it and claiming it in a way that is not supposed to happen. You call that love? I call it abuse. Don’t do to them what you do not want to be done to yourself either. Give this extra love the same wings you use to roam for its own needs of connecting with people other than you and just enjoy that unique bond you have with him or her. A bond no one else will have.
Today is our wedding day in RL. We know each other 31 years, and are married 26 years. I remember very well the temperature of our wedding day, 37 degrees Celsius. We were hot one could say, very hot. We have met multiple challenges that could have ended in a break, but somehow we managed to overcome all of it. How and why exactly is hard to tell. But I think a main element was acceptance of how things were. And a willingness to work on what was hard but could be improved. All I can tell for sure is that each time we allowed ourselves to let it be and not fight over every stupid issue we could not change anyway, we felt stronger and more close than ever. And we still are very happy together, because we know we are ok as we are for each other. With many imperfections but those being embraced as part of being a loving partner who also just is human. That basic feeling facilitates a space where we can be insecure, grumpy, annoyed and impatience without being afraid it will ruin us. The funny thing is it makes us laugh most of the times at ourselves pretty fast because we see how futile it is when being a bit itchy over mostly silly things.
My RL and SL friends’ circle, the other variety of people I mentioned and also need, is small but big enough to feel myself valued in multiple ways, and I think/hope I add something back to their feeling valued and cherished. To navigate between the big love and all others I also love still means I will protect my big love and myself, but not with closed eyes and a closed heart. In fact most of those loves are not in any way comparable with the main love. They have no romantic element none whatsoever. But it is love for me. The rare occasion I meet someone that comes really close to a main love feeling , is the occasion I focussed on a bit more in this blog. God it would drive me crazy when I would have to consider all whom I love in the way like I described. I think my mind would not be able to do that. So for me one main love and one close to it is more than enough really. The rest will have to do with my non passionate love :)
The intensity and depth of a love connection is linked with the presence and level of emotional availability. Some indeed will choose to love one person only, which I see as a risk to become codependent and lonely. I suppose in some cases it will work, when also able to be happy when this one and only person would be lost. The ones able to do that must have a special mind. To be able to connect and let go of such a love in an equal way needs a lot of self esteem and a non codependent way of dedication, keeping their mind safe from feeling totally depressed and abandoned when alone again, like forever . . because no one else there anymore. To be emotional available to others is much more what I like, be it on different levels.
I quote some parts again of another very interesting read on Medium.com about emotional availability. It is written by Brooke Meredith. Mind you it does not always have to be present fully to be someone having it. It has its days off you know. ….. we stay human after all. You are allowed to shut down sometimes.
Intimacy (and emotional availability) is letting someone in closer than you let the rest of the world. It’s trusting that person with the fragile, messy, untamed parts of you — the parts that are often beautiful, sometimes baffling, and always okay with the person who loves you.
Emotional availability is about sharing yourself with someone over time, to develop that connection in an authentic way. Being emotionally available means being reachable. It’s both the ability to feel deeply, as well as to communicate those deep feelings to others.
Emotional availability means being open to, comfortable with, and courageous in the face of all human emotions and experiences (not just the easy, light, or positive ones). Being able to face both the beautiful, the light, and the good, as well as the painful, difficult and the dark. Ultimately, being emotionally available means allowing yourself to be fully known to another.
It means being able to be with someone who is in pain and not trying to fix it. Instead, just being a loving, brave, mindful presence with that person.
Emotional availability means being open to, comfortable with, and courageous in the face of all human emotions and experiences (not just the easy, light, or positive ones). Being able to face both the beautiful, the light, and the good, as well as the painful, difficult and the dark.
The issue with anxiety and emotional guarding in relationships is that generally, they create distance instead of bridging it.
They create walls and rifts, where instead there could be closeness and connection. Relationships require trust, tenderness, patience, and vulnerability. Anxious people often have these traits and offerings in abundance, but it takes bravery and internal work for them to move towards instead of away from these relational benchmarks.
Source and full article:
Fervent writer. Ravenous reader. Impassioned with words. Relationship researcher. Social Scientist. Social Justice Advocate. Author. www.brookeenglish.com
Once safe, forever safe?
Well no, I think that should be clear now. There is no lifetime guarantee. Every day is a different day. Things can change due to events happening. A change of possibilities to nourish and nurture it, your own mind getting to deal with sudden hickups, something disturbing needing your full attention or simply the other person not feeling it anymore as safe or valuable enough. Love always will have this thin or flexible line between feeling it and not feeling it, depending how deeply rooted it is and how long. Time does matter . . . It can increase and decrease love both. When not daring to risk it, you will be safe I suppose for very long yes. If that is fulfilling . . . well not for me to say. It can be I think. But it also is a bit like not knowing what you miss because never having allowed it to happen in the best possible way that does not hurt but make your life happier.
My own feeling safe is never totally stable I think. On one hand I feel extremely safe at this very moment in my life, but because also having experienced how fast such a feeling can be destroyed at very vulnerable moments, I always keep aware of its unpredictable quirkiness. To do so does not prevent unsafe feelings, but makes it easier to anticipate on them and act on them in a healthy way when it happens. Hide, run, talk, reflect, distract yourself . . all can be healthy, depending the situation. Nothing is a strict yes or no only. And yes that sometimes really sucks but imagine how boring life would be without your mind being challenged to grow into more resilience and if there were only a clear yes or no as answer to rely on. That would most certainly stress ME out. I do take the risks however, not often and not easy, but I do. Because I would regret to not allow what is beautiful, even if it maybe one day will be less beautiful. I had a few bad experiences in SL with this ‘concept’. It made me shout: ” NEVER AGAIN! NO ONE WILL HURT ME AGAIN!” And yes I believed it myself. That always passes again into a more mellow state of mind seeing I just needed some protection for a while to recover from hurts. But all those hurts were worth it :)
Esther Perel once more
Just because she is so wise in all of this and really helpful when struggling with things we all can meet sometimes.
“We don’t like to be intimate alone. Some couples take this one step further, confusing intimacy with control. What passes for care is actually convert surveillance. ..
When the impulse to share becomes obligatory, when personal boundaries are no longer respected, when only the shared space of togetherness is acknowledged and private space is denied, fusion replaces intimacy and possession co-opts love.”
– Esther Perel
“Love rests on two pillars: surrender and autonomy. Our need for togetherness exists alongside our need for separateness.”
― Esther Perel
“Trouble looms when monogamy is no longer a free expression of loyalty but a form of enforced compliance.”
― Esther Perel
More on Esther Perel on her website: estherperel.com
I want to thank all special, unique and exclusive people in my life for keeping me grounded in a good way. I maybe have to thank myself as well for putting effort in connecting with people that feel safe, super safe and sometimes not so safe even. All of these encounters sharpened my view on what I need to stay happy. If I am not happy with myself I also cannot make someone else happy. So it matters a big deal. And yes ty, I am happy ;)
Oh and just a reminder . . .
Ok laughs hard now, because hermits like me never really are social and easy in connecting .
But the pics are funny and have an element of truth in it when connections become meaningful :)
So, off you go now . . . make someone happy and share that feeling