We all know and use this saying:
Actions speak louder than words.
It actually is biblical and comes from Matthew 7:16:
By their deeds you will know them. Does a man gather grapes from thorns or figs from briars?
We consider it common sense and even wisdom. I do too. But I think we even so will differ a lot, all of us, in when actions are loud enough for us to be ok with them. How many times do you need a certain deed as proof it really is okay? What about the deeds we cannot see or only feel? We in general feel better with what we call ‘hard proof’. Actions are considered hard proof. At least we like to think they are. The reason I blog on this saying has to do with how I took it wrong myself last year regularly with someone. Well, not just someone actually. The one I met about a year ago and fell in love with eventually. Resistance to that clearly was futile, since I still am in love and don’t feel any need anymore to fight that. The ‘who needs love in SL’ attitude and ‘It only causes issues’ beliefs were and still are strong. SL love often is a mess. Not going to repeat all the reasons why again, but you all know what I mean when you belong to the ones who had a bad experience with love in SL. It kind of teaches you to stay away from it, until it happens to you anyway. That’s the funny thing with love. We cannot really control it eventually or maybe do not want to deep down inside when it feels too good.
Like I said I met the one I love in SL about a year ago. I was not seeking or needing love in SL. Done with it and happy to be free of stress and obligations it always seems to create. But it happened or we let it happen. We both resisted as well however. Afraid to get hurt, afraid to lose independence, afraid to get claimed too much and lose the hassle free presence of no expectations none whatsoever. But fear is a tricky thing. It makes you seek safety. And in my case I started to seek proof of that in a not helpful way. Maybe it can be seen as a form of resistance, developing a quest for proof. But I think it actually shows lack of trust in myself and the other. There can be legitimate reasons for that of course and to a certain extent it is ok and normal to feel doubts when relating to someone intimately. But I consider myself wise enough to know trust is linked more with my own feeling not safe than with someone else delivering me hard proof. As if hard proof means you can lean back after that and take a love for granted. On the other hand we feel sweet with confirmations of love we consider to be genuine and long lasting. It always will be a bit of both probably, trust in love and confirmations as proof of that trust. But it has to stay balanced in how much confirmation you seek and need.
While time passed several things happened that made me feel not so safe. I think it is fair to say they really were challenges and not silly little things and of course they triggered my fears. It made me seek more reassurance like a good old fashioned fear is supposed to do. I should compliment my own fear on its excellent behaviour in that. Never too tired to trigger me. Also my own blogs on the subject of love could not really convince me I was into too much control and too little trust. I was having good reasons and then words won’t change my feelings. It started to bug me in an unpleasant way with too much worries and losing feeling relaxed. I was between two beliefs. Like the daisy ritual everyone knows: ‘He loves me, he loves me not’, taking off the petals and see what the last one tells you. I just grabbed another flower if it would be the ‘he loves me not’ as result, to convince myself it all was okay. It is a bit too personal to share all details on what was in the way, but I can share a few things on why love made me seek reassurances quite a lot.
A few reasons I think.
- First and foremost: Love is complex. Virtual love maybe even more because it exists in a virtual space that cannot be compared with how we share love with someone offline. I don’t mean that to be a negative aspect, on the contrary, it has a sweetness and attraction we maybe never will find elsewhere, but it is complex because it is so untouchable in many ways, not only in a physical way I mean. This can give the feeling to be into something futile. It never will materialise and there always will be a form of skin hunger and mind hunger. I know those also can exist in a RL relation of course, but in Second Life it is included automatically and can generate discomfort.
- My mind is complex and likes to analyse and understand all. And when I don’t understand something or get answers that to me are not so clear I will get confused and uncertain. It generates fear for losing someone. The classic rejection fears we all have probably and then start to influence our behaviour.
- The mind of the one I love is complex as well I think I am allowed to say. So also on his side these same feelings of not always being comfortable would surface, especially when my reassurance needs would be too strong.
- It maybe sounds cliché, but I really also belief in this Mars/ Venus difference as well. Men being men, women being women. To not get each other and to have and need different ways of coping with love matters. Women tend to want to talk more and seek togetherness, men tend to withdraw more in silence or nothingness when feeling not so relaxed on something or someone. That difference causes it’s own specific stress. To not understand why the other acts like he or she acts and feel it as proof there must be something wrong indeed. Women probably also worry more than men is what I think and then want to talk, causing men to feel like . . . aaargh, noooo not again please! Classic and in fact a bit funny when I look at it from a distance.
- The pandemic is easy to use as blame factor for all kinds of things and I do not mean to abuse it, but fact is it created a work overload more and more for the one I love. That can be called a choice as well maybe yes, to want to be always present for extra work, but I have to respect that and it is not my call to make. This however made SL become less of a priority. Impossible to maintain love in a regular way in Second Life. And because that was the place where we used to meet and feel in a pleasant way, it made me feel less safe when that decreased to a minimum (not totally. Like taking away the base where it all started. I had to adjust to that and that not being a rejection but a practicality of work needing full focus and also a heavy focus in the sense of draining the mind with a lot of problems to deal with. I have no right to interfere with that. And if I would be unable to deal with that I better walk away for my own and his sake.
This I just made for fun. Taking off flower petals on a song from Emma Bunton called ‘He loves me, he loves me not’.
We all know the feeling don’t we? Love can be confusing and disruptive.
If interested in the daisy you can get it here for just one Linden: Mano Design Second Life Marketplace.
It is a typer actually when speaking in local chat. But you also can activate it manually via the built-in animation, which is what I did for the movie.
So what about those actions?
Were they too little? Were they not enough? Were they not clear? Were they present at all? Well, there you go. That actually is where I went wrong myself. I focussed too much on regular actions needed as proof and it made me a bit (not totally) blind for the feelings that were expressed clearly when I asked for it. The always provided reassurances did not stick enough because also experiencing fears on what for me felt like the opposite of reassurance. It made my fears stick like superglue. And not expressing well enough what concerned me was not the best of my own (counter) actions. I chose to watch and wait more initially. That is a habit I find hard to change. I easily feel like being in the way, to be a pain in the ass when having to take time away from someone who is busy enough and I also have the idea that needing reassurance too much myself is a form of weakness I do not want to feel. Yet, at some point it happened I started to seek reassurances more and more and eventually too much after a while. It is interesting though, that of all people in Second Life, I was so much into reassurances on love. I never want something too much time and mind consuming with love in Second Life. I never want to feel suffocated and obligated. I want to stay independent as much as I can, etc etc. Yet when love happens with someone who actually is perfect for not being into all that kind of shit, I start to feel uncertain. Well done Yoon, really well done. A matter of words speaking louder than being able to act on it I would say of myself. Ouch .. . .
Oh Oh . . . . it went wrong?
No, we are good. Very good even. Yes, I have been on the edge of ‘Can I actually do this’ and ‘Do I want this’? Heavily doubting myself if I was not holding on to something that’s not there. To live in an illusion more than reality. But recent events have made things very clear for me, plus working on my own beliefs helped a lot too. Apart from that I also felt I was 100 percent sure to miss him when our contact would end. When I feel that I know it is something I need and should fight for. The most important thing to do was to stop fearing and worrying. To take reassurances for what they are. Solid and trusted. To not take silences as a rejection. To know it is part of how someone needs to be is something totally different than taking it as ignorance and indifference. To fear something bad will happen while all is ok, is creating imagined realities that only exist in a mind. Realising I could change it by making some adjustments was cool. It changed me back to feeling zen with our connection and makes me able to enjoy it again in how it was meant to be. I do not feel ashamed to have had doubts. I think they were valid considering the challenges and circumstances. But I am happy to have stopped them. If that will be forever. Pff, who can tell. Love stays beautiful but complex ; ) Maybe it needs this dynamic a bit as well? To not fall asleep and go too easy? To keep appreciating it? Anyway, this is what I changed. Not in one day of course, but over time and slowly processing all:
- I stopped seeking reassurances in the way I did. Instead I try to be as clear as I can on what I need to feel safe and share my own love.
- I stopped looking at silences (work or personal time needed) as a threat. It does not mean I don’t matter.
- I started to really believe that I am loved and needed instead of doubting it.
- I started to feel how virtual love also can exist without Second Life actions. Skype is our number one connection at this moment and has been for a long time already. I considered the Second Life connection to be a core, where it is not actually. Love goes beyond place and space. Love also goes beyond an amount of time. It just exists between two minds, no matter where those minds are and what they do.
- I started to see how safety and stability can exist by giving it trust more than doubts. And how that indeed creates a hassle free connection with space for being me.
So, considering the ‘Actions speaking louder than words’ I have a really shitty love relation one could say. That is if actions point at things like being present every day in Second Life. Or actions like partnering me and other visible ‘proofs’ like a pick or collar or whatever people like to use to present their love to the public. I would not mind or have any issue with it if those actions would happen if we would feel like that both. It would be super sweet even. But when I need such actions as leverage to feel safe and loved, I better start to walk away myself already, because it for sure will make the other walk away eventually. I have one pick in my profile myself, dedicated to the one I love. And with this blog counting as well I have written twice on how we met and love. Those are my actions speaking THROUGH words. Virtual love depends for a big deal on words. Feelings are expressed with them. The many we shared via Skype I also consider an action. With that in mind we have been very loud for almost over a year already. We just like and love each other a lot. Love is a matter of being true to yourself. It means I prefer to share a deeply felt ‘I love you’ once in a while, above a not so passionate habitual ‘I love you’ every day. But others maybe need the daily habit to feel better. See? Not every action means the same to everyone.
And they lived happily ever after
I think I can genuinely say to feel relieved with letting go of some of my behaviours and beliefs. To find a love that is worth to put effort in is really sweet, but to also act on it in a good way in virtual space was more tricky than I expected it to be. I think I am there now yes. Not safe for mistakes or confusions, but safe for making it too big or too complex. Just enjoying what we share when we have time and mood in whatever space.
And well, IF he walks away after all, I can always say to have tried my best to be at my best.
Maybe I should put a spell on him . . . to be sure.
Oh wait no, that’s a form of reassurance, the protection strategy.
Ok I should put a spell on myself then to be irresistible forever.
Oh wait no, that’s also a form of reassurance, the delusional one.
Delete all walkable spaces?
Lock all escapes routes?
Kill all other girls?
Offer insatiable sex?
Nah, I will trust us to be good, no matter what happens.
We will live and love happily ever after of course.
What else? ^^
Such a romantic I am yes.
But hey, it’s only words . . . no loud speaking actions . . . (yet).
If there is no ‘ever after’ I’d like to return to ‘never before’.
Never before they lived so happily.
But yes, this love now actually unnerves me and that feels bliss.
Will I never need or ask reassurances again?
Ask me again next year?
How can I know . . . but if so, it will have a good reason.
And nothing wrong with that if it happens.
Also can be sweet ; )
All depends on context.
*Whispers secret spells and says . . ‘I love you’ D/R/T :)