Posts Tagged ‘ooaklina’

learning what love is

learning what love is

Love feels unsafe.

To the little girl within me, love is unsafe.

To her, love means hurt.

Love means pain, trauma, inconsistency, insanity, and conditions.

Love was fucked up, twisted, and tied so deep into their self-hatred, that it came out wrapped in violence, rather than gentleness and warmth. Bitterness, rather than compassion and understanding. Jealousy and resentment, rather than supportive holding and cheerleading.

The love wasn’t hers, it was theirs—it had the potential to change any moment. And generally, it did. No matter how hard my inner girl or inner teen tried, things stayed the same.

Why—and how—would they be any different, now?

I remember the first time I got told about unconditional love, about years ago:

“You don’t have to do anything for someone to love you?”

I laughed, thinking it was a joke.

When I realized it wasn’t, I felt a sudden sorrow—a deep grief—for myself.

How did I not know this?

My relationship with love had been ‘wrong’ my whole life.

An innately wise part of myself always understood unconditional love existed—as a kid, I remember watching other parents and children, knowing somewhere deep inside that what I experienced at home wasn’t the only way. Somehow I knew, beneath my wounding and fear, that things wouldn’t always be this way.

What I was experiencing was only a chapter, or two, of my Love Story.

As I’ve begun healing my youth and early adulthood, my relationship with love—towards myself and others—is rapidly changing.

I’m learning what love actually is.

But I’m in the messy stage.

My defenses, fears, past hurts, and insecurities, feel more tender and in-my-face, than ever—I can’t step round, look past, or dive through my wounding, anymore.

My need to feel safe, feels more important than any other need I have, so it governs almost everything I do.

I struggle to trust people. To believe or trust the love and time they give me, and that they—or it—won’t disappear, feels terrifying, and almost impossible, even though part of me knows it isn’t, and it won’t.

I worry that love I receive will also disappear when the person really sees me and witnesses my imperfections, so I make sure I only share the imperfections I feel safe sharing. Even though I love others for, and with, theirs, and that mine just make me human.

I notice there’s always a desire to rip apart any love or support given, by finding reasons or supposed ‘proof’ that the love wasn’t really genuine—“they were just saying that…they probably felt like they had to”—even though this habit only brings hurt, and I know it’s generally not true. And even if it is, or they were, it’s not my place to take it on.

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I take risks, show myself, and share my needs or vulnerabilities—or my authentic rawness and openness—and then freak-out by reading into people’s every move or every word. I close up, building an imaginary “wall”, or disappear for a few days/weeks, convinced I was ‘too much’. Sometimes I find myself laughing, because the theories my inner critic comes up with in these moments are so well thought out, convincing, and hilarious. Other times I find myself unable to laugh or find solid ground beneath the fear and self-judgment, worrying that what I’m believing, is definitely true.

My fear of abandonment feel so great, and so sensitive, that I avoid situations in which there is potential for abandonment—I end up avoiding and declining a lot. Sometimes the fear, or potential risk, of not feeling safe, is one I want—or feel able to—work with and compassionately notice. Other times it isn’t. This part of my relationship with love and trust and people, breaks my heart the most.

I feel like I stranger to myself and my previous life. I almost constantly feel slightly, or completely, disconnected or alone. Even though I’m not.

I let a friend in, become close, and then freak-out with fear of the close connection, and fear that I will be really seen. Sometimes I stay but keep a certain distance, to ensure I feel safe. Other times, I’ve fled out of fear they wouldn’t love me if they continued to get to know me.

I don’t value my love enough—I don’t value that my love is a gift itself.
Every time someone still shows up despite me not having ‘done’ anything, or regardless of whether I believed I was loveable the last time we hung out, or whether I’d shown my imperfections, or how many other times they’ve showed up before, a little piece of my unconditional love puzzle is put into place.

As I continue to discover just how twisted my Love Story has been until now, I continue to notice how deeply this impacts the way I love myself—the way I parent myself.I’m almost constantly noticing or realizing something different, something new.

Couple months back it suddenly hit me that I was only loving myself when I was doing or achieving things. I hadn’t realized that that part of the relationship I have with being able to be loved by others, was also the relationship I have towards being able to love myself.

I wrote this note to myself and stuck it on the wall, with the desire to love myself regardless of whether I’m doing or not doing.

I can love myself just for being.

I’m trying to trust that as this new kind of love—unconditional love—, as well as the forgiveness and acceptance it brings, begins to ripple inside myself, it’ll begin to ripple through the beliefs I have about others love for me, too—that they can love me for just being, also.

And that the people around me have been loving me this way regardless of whether I’ve been able to see it and believe it, or not.

I often feel frustrated with my process—the way that my fear and wounding has such a strong hold, and it feels like it’s taking so fucking long to ease or shift—because I long to feel able to be connected and held, rather than scared and un-seen.

When I look closely, though, things are so far from where they once were. And in my heart, I know this messiness and my wounding being so vividly here, is the beginning of truly healing.

And that can’t help but excite me and leave my worry gently soothed.

love hug relationship

love hug relationship

In the depths of our souls we all yearn for love and connection with others.

That yearning reflects a basic, even biological, human need. Infants thrive physically only when they feel deeply loved and cherished. As adults, we experience wrenching, soul-level loneliness when we don’t have love and meaningful connection in our lives, yet all too frequently we don’t have these things.

Not with our parents or siblings, not with a mate, not even with a best friend.

We all intuitively know that the highest experience in life is the sharing of love. However, we often confuse the idea of sharing love with the idea of getting love.

We try to get love when we feel empty inside and can share love only when we learn to first fill ourselves with love. We cannot share that which we do not have within. The wounded part of us seeks constantly to get love and avoid pain, resulting in an inability to share love.

The Fears that Underlie the Fears of Intimacy and Commitment

Why are love, connection and intimacy so elusive?

We sit enraptured at movies that depict two people experiencing the delight of falling in love. We thrill at their discovery of each other, their laughter, their uninhibited joy.

We love to read stories about deep friendship, about people committed to truly caring about each other over the long haul.

And we yearn for these experiences in our own lives.

Yet when we have a chance to have love, the story is a little different.

This is because, as much as we want love, we often want to avoid that which we fear even more. We don’t feel safe enough in ourselves to risk loving another.

Two major fears get in our way and undermine our wonderful new connection with someone, or even prevent that connection from ever occurring:

• Fear of rejection: the loss of another’s love through anger, emotional withdrawal, physical withdrawal or death.

• Fear of engulfment: the loss of self through being controlled, consumed, invaded, suffocated, dominated and swallowed up by another.

These fears stem from childhood experiences and from defining our worth externally through others’ approval, rather than internally through spiritual eyes of truth.

We will be unable to share our love to the fullest extent until we heal these fears of loss of others and of loss of self. We will be unable to create the safe relationship space in which to share love and a safe world in which to live until we learn how to create safety within.

Until these fears are healed, we will react defensively whenever they are triggered.

What do you do when your fears of rejection are activated? Do you withdraw, comply, get angry, mean or sarcastic? Do you defend, explain or teach?

Most of us have learned many controlling behaviors to protect ourselves from experiencing our fears. However when we react in our different defensive ways, the result will be the same—our reactive behavior will trigger our partner’s own fears of rejection or engulfment.

Now both of us are acting out of fear.

Together we have created an unsafe relationship space where love and intimacy will gradually erode. And that is why in my opinion so many unhappily married, or later divorced people.

The Unsafe Relationship Space

What do I mean by the term “relationship space”? How is a “relationship space” different from a “relationship”?

A relationship space is the environment in which the relationship is occurring. It is the energy created by the two people involved.

I think of this environment, this relationship space, as an actual entity that both people are responsible for creating.

It can be a safe relationship space, which is open, warm and inviting, or it can be an unsafe relationship space, which is hard, dark, unforgiving and full of fear.

The kind of environment in which our relationship takes place is crucial to its success—or failure.

Many of us have spent much time in unsafe relationship spaces. In fact, some of us have never experienced a safe relationship space because many, if not most of us, have not learned to stay open when our fears of being rejected or controlled are triggered.

If, when these fears are activated, we focus on who is at fault or who started it, we perpetuate an unsafe relationship space. Blaming another for our fears (and for our own reactive, unloving behavior) makes the relationship space more unsafe than ever.

Both people in the relationship end up feeling badly, each of us believing that our pain is the result of the other person’s behavior.

We feel victimized, helpless, stuck and disconnected from our partner. We desperately want the other person to see what they are doing that (we think) is causing our pain.

We think that if the other person only understands this, they will change—and we exhaust ourselves trying to figure out how to make them understand.

Over time, being in an unsafe relationship space creates distance between the people involved. When we have not created a safe space in which to speak our complete, heartfelt truth about ourselves, the joy between us gradually dies.

And the more we hold back our innermost feelings and experiences, the shallower our connection becomes.

Our intimacy crumbles.

In friendships, marriages and work relationships, our joy, aliveness and creativity get lost as we each give up parts of ourselves in an attempt to feel safe.

In romantic relationships, passion dries up. Superficiality, boredom, fighting and apathy take its place.

We try valiantly to figure out what went wrong. But too often we ask, “What am I doing wrong?” or “What are you doing wrong?” rather than inquiring into the health of the relationship space itself.

Only when we look at the relationship space will we see what we are each doing to create the unsafe space. The dual fears of losing the other through rejection and losing ourselves through being swallowed up by the other are the underlying cause of our unloving, reactive behavior.

These fears are deeply rooted. They cannot be healed or overcome by getting someone else’s love.

Creating a Safe Relationship Space

The way out of the unsafe relationship system is for each person to develop a strong loving adult self, capable of handling the fears of rejection and engulfment without protecting. This means learning to not take rejection personally and learning to set loving limits.

The key to doing this is learning how to create a safe inner space where we can work with and overcome our fears of rejection and engulfment. This is a process, not an event—a compassionate process of learning to love ourselves rather than abandon ourselves.

Only when you have achieved inner safety can you create a safe relationship space.

You can gradually learned to stop attacking or withdrawing and take loving care of yourself whenever your fears surface. You can learn to create inner safety when you feel threatened, rather than trying to get others to make you feel safe from your fears.

Any two people who are willing to learn to create their own inner sense of safety can also learn to create a safe relationship space where their intimacy and passion will flourish and their love will endure ❤

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“ I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not happy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. to share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.

We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.

For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.” (James Kavanaugh)

What do we want in life? Really and honestly, mostly honestly answering this question from the heart, and not lying to ourselves. I was sitting in a shower today, crying, and thinking about my life. I had a wonderful day today, i spent it on a beach, having lunch at french Cafe, walking through the waves, feeling sand between my toes and enjoying a nice breeze… I felt happy and sad at the same time. When i came home i could not stop tears from coming down. So, what makes me sad? What do i want? I believe i don’t know, or am i just lying to myself that i don’t know…

Do all people know what they want in life, do they know it from childhood, or do they figure it out in the course of their lives?

Reading the above quote by James Kavanaugh made me think about my life. Actually all past year i have been working on the realization of what i want to achieve in my life, what makes me happy and who i want to share my sadness and happiness with.

I believe that through pain and tears, through happy moments, through people we meet on our path, with all our scars we become stronger and realizes what we want and who we are. The pain we carry so deep in our hearts, that never goes away, we can just dull it a little, this pain makes us the amazing human beings that we are. If everybody lived in a happy and naive world, would there be so much incredible art, poetry, scientific discoveries?.. I don’t think so. Reading all the philosophers, modern and from history, looking at the art, reading biographies of great people, i noticed that they all carried a certain amount of pain that motivated them to create, to pursue what they believed was worthy and turned out it was. None of them had pleasurable and completely happy life. So, why does pain motivates us more then happiness?

Sometimes i feel envious of people that have no conscious, that nothing in their mind and heart pushes them to a place that is so unsettling and brings pain.  Sacrifices that we make in life for the sake of others, or “greater good” are they worth it? What is better to be in peace with your conscious and be not completely happy, or be happy but you conscious beating you because of your decision to be happy?

So far, i have more questions than answers, but life is a journey, and someday i hope to find answers to as many questions as i can.

A week ago, i had a very interesting conversation with a friend, and he mentioned theory about biological aspect of the beauty. I have thought about Plato “golden proportion” theory but to hear it from male’s perspective was quite interesting.

Over thousands of years philosophers devoted a great deal of time to prove or invalidate the biological side of beauty.

In ancient Greece, Helen of Troy, the instigator of the Trojan War, was the paragon of beauty, exuding a physical brilliance that would put Cindy Crawford to shame. Indeed, she was the toast of Athens, celebrated not for her kindness or her intellect, but for her physical perfection. But why did the Greek men find Helen, and other beautiful women, so intoxicating? 

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Guido Reni 1635, situated in Louvre Museum, Paris

Maybe i am wrong, but i think, one of the first philosophers that considered biological and mathematical aspect of beauty was Plato. Plato wrote of so-called “golden proportions,” in which, amongst other things, the width of an ideal face would be two-thirds its length, while a nose would be no longer than the distance between the eyes. Plato’s golden proportions, however, haven’t quite held up to the rigors of modern psychological and biological research — though there is credence in the ancient Greeks’ attempts to determine a fundamental symmetry that humans find attractive.

6:9 :: 8:12

In which 9 is the arithmetic mean, and 8 the harmonic mean between the extremes 6 and 12.

Plato’s writings on beauty are based on his doctrine of ideas. He explained that what we know from everyday experience is not knowledge but only belief or assumption (Gk. doxa) and we should try to find behind it the permanent real knowledge (Gk. episteme) which consists of “ideas”. One of the ideas is “beauty” (Gk. to kalon), or the permanent property which belongs to all beautiful objects. This property remains the same irrespective of whether somebody admires the object or not.

“That which is apprehended by intelligence and reason is always in the same state; but that which is conceived by opinion with the help of sensation and without reason, is always in a process of becoming and perishing and never really is.” (Plato: Timaeus, trans. Benjamin Jowett).

“That which is always the same” or the constant essence of beauty might consist of e.g. proportions of the dimensions. This idea is attributed to Pythagoras (ca. 532 BC) who is said to have discovered the fact that certain arithmetical proportions in musical instruments, e.g. the lengths of strings, produce harmony of tones (on the right, an illustration from Gafurio’s Theorica Musice, 1492). On the basis of these musical harmonies the Greek tried to explain also the beauty in the proportions of the human body, of architecture and other objects.

Vitruve (I:III:2) said that a building is beautiful when the appearance of the work is pleasing and in good taste, and when its members are in due proportion according to correct principles of “symmetry” (where “symmetry” means “a proper agreement between the members of the work itself, and relation between the different parts and the whole general scheme, in accordance with a certain part selected as standard. — The definition of symmetry is found in I:II:4).

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Carle Vanloo, Elizabeth Petrovna 1760

On the other hand, it seems senseless to say that beauty has no connection to subjective response or that it is entirely objective. That would seem to entail, for example, that a world with no perceivers could be beautiful or ugly, or perhaps that beauty could be detected by scientific instruments. Even if it could be, beauty would seem to be connected to subjective response, and though we may argue about whether something is beautiful, the idea that one’s experiences of beauty might be disqualified as simply inaccurate or false might arouse puzzlement as well as hostility. We often regard other people’s taste, even when it differs from our own, as provisionally entitled to some respect, as we may not, for example, in cases of moral, political, or factual opinions. All plausible accounts of beauty connect it to a pleasurable or profound or loving response, even if they do not locate beauty purely in the eye of the beholder.

Nevertheless, eighteenth-century philosophers such as Hume and Kant (my personal favorite) perceived that something important was lost when beauty was treated merely as a subjective state. They saw, for example, that controversies often arise about the beauty of particular things, such as works of art and literature, and that in such controversies, reasons can sometimes be given and will sometimes be found convincing. They saw, as well, that if beauty is completely relative to individual experiencers, it ceases to be a paramount value, or even recognizable as a value at all across persons or societies.

Hume’s “Of the Standard of Taste” and Kant’s Critique Of Judgment attempt to find ways through what has been termed ‘the antinomy of taste.’ Taste is proverbially subjective: de gustibus non disputandum est (about taste there is no disputing). On the other hand, we do frequently dispute about matters of taste, and some persons are held up as exemplars of good taste or of tastelessness. Some people’s tastes appear vulgar or ostentatious, for example. Some people’s taste is too exquisitely refined, while that of others is crude, naive, or non-existent. Taste, that is, appears to be both subjective and objective: that is the antinomy.

Both Hume and Kant,  begin by acknowledging that taste or the ability to detect or experience beauty is fundamentally subjective, that there is no standard of taste in the sense that the Canon was held to be, that if people did not experience certain kinds of pleasure, there would be no beauty. Both acknowledge that reasons can count, however, and that some tastes are better than others. In different ways, they both treat judgments of beauty neither precisely as purely subjective nor precisely as objective but as inter-subjective or as having a social and cultural aspect, or as conceptually entailing an inter-subjective claim to validity.

There is social aspect, for example every country has its own criteria that counts as “attractive”. For example, Chinese men prefer women with small feet. In Shakespearean England, ankles were the rage. In some African tribal cultures, men like women who insert large discs in their lips.Aside from symmetry, males in Western cultures generally prefer females with a small jaw, a small nose, large eyes, and defined cheekbones – features often described as “baby faced”, that resemble an infant’s. Females, however, i read a study, have a preference for males who look more mature — generally heart-shaped, small-chinned faces with full lips and fair skin. But during menstruation, females prefer a soft-featured male to a masculine one. Indeed, researchers found that female perceptions of beauty actually change throughout the month.

 

In my humble opinion, i think real beauty of the woman is in her qualities, her actions, spark in her eyes, her smile, her grace and kindness, her confidence and her knowledge…. There are so many aspects that makes a woman beautiful in my opinion… that we cannot objectively say someone is beautiful or not until we actually  get to know a person. Yes, inner world is so cliche, and human beings are such a visual creatures, but i still believe that the beautiful “shell” of the woman is only one third of the actual beauty of any woman, or even less… Symmetrical and proportionate face is great, 90-60-90 body is fantastic, but physical attributes can be accomplished in this world quite easy, gym and possibly if necessary minor cosmetics, but what is inside cannot be hided or changed. You can look like a proportionate Barbie, and the moment you open your mouth – well guess. Yes, most males attracted to such type, because as i said we are visual creatures, but normal, self sufficient and smart male would never go with such woman beyond just “play”, so i positively encourage young generation of women to not be lazy and rely on their nature given gifts but pursue something more substantial.

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I feel paralyzed…. I cannot feel my hands…my body… It is pulling me! I try to hold on, trying to grab any branch of logic and pull myself out. It is swirling and pulling me… Telling me let go and not fight it…. Just let go and feel… Limbo…But I am scared, no, I am more than scared I am terrified!  This is nothing like falling down the hole as Alice in wonderland, it is dark, magnetic, paralyzing abyss… I cannot breathe, it makes my body feel so light, like feather and I feel my fall, I feel with every cell of my body I feel this vacuum swirling hole puling me…. I put an incredible effort, it is painful, it takes almost unreal force and energy… To open my eyes and pull myself out of this dream…

I am scared beyond any logic, I am shaking… I am not cold…. I am terrified! I hold my knees, I try to become a ball and feel my body again! My eyes wide open and I remember this dream. I haven’t  had it in years, but I know I had it before. The first time I remember this dream when I was 3. I woke up screaming and could not explain to my parents what scared me. I remember I could not breathe then and was paralyzed with fear, that my mother took me to the bathroom and shoved me under cold water until I could feel and started shivering and crying. Since that time I had this dream couple of times and I have been able to pull back and not tell anyone that it haunts me.

But then for over 15 years now I did not see it again… I thought it was gone forever. Actually I stopped having dreams at all, or if I had a dream of any kind, I knew that in couple years it will happen and I call it a déjàvu. But not with this abyss. It is overpowering and takes you all… It is a big, dark, circling swirl and it sucks you in fast and with incredible force….

Maybe I should stop fighting it. Why am I so scared of it? Maybe I should let it consume me all and dive into it?.. It is illogical and does not make any sense, but does life makes sense sometimes? Does our beating hearts make sense? Does our incredible brain makes logical sense? Does us as human beings, that created so incredibly smart… Can logic explain it? No… But we exist and no scientist could create anything remotely close to what we are… We don’t make sense but we exist. Maybe I need to take a leap of faith and just let it take me. Why I fear it so much? Why I fear being taken and belong to something… Someone…. Why I have to hold on to my logic and not just listen to my heart and stop trying to  understand everything… It is not possible anyway… Something our brain cannot explain and knowing bible as well as I do I understand why, but it does not make it easier to just believe.

Why i cannot trust… why i cannot just believe and have faith in life?

Recently in my life i had too many dejavu and too many coincidences that puzzles me and makes me feel like this abyss becomes rather a reality not just a dream. For the past weeks my mind slowly being consumed by it… About 3 weeks ago i walked in my home, and my mother looked at me and said that i look like i have been “taken”… i asked what she meant, and she could not accurately describe it, she just said it is in my eyes… i giggled and said it was nonsense…. but is it? now i think about it all morning, for hours now… and every word, every action, every dejavu falls into a puzzle – picture… but do i want to see what will come out? do i want to feel it? i am afraid, i am afraid to see, to try to feel it, i want to… but it is like going inside abyss for me… terrifying! I am afraid i will give all and it will consume me completely… and will i be strong enough to pull out in time?…