Renewal Fifty-Eight : May Honest Feelings Bring Great Peace

The feelings of yesterday, and especially last evening, carried over into my dreams and into today’s morning.

I’m looking afresh at my role and my perspective in the events of my life, which is part of what the object of this journey was to begin with. Regarding women, it would be too easy to just climb on board the male bandwagon about them. I watched part of a program last night in which an actor was asked how he felt about working with another, highly regarded actor in an upcoming movie they both were starring in. His reply was along the lines that you could put two completely different men in the same room, mention how baffling and unpredictable women are, and a brotherhood would form. It is clear that this would be the case with women talking about men as well.

As I previously said, perhaps women are a mystery because they are a mystery to themselves, not just because men can’t figure them out. In my three cases, at least from my perspective, the women did not know who they were. This feeling can lead to a cognitive sense of loss which feeds back to feelings and heightens the emotion of loneliness.

This is a common pattern. After developing an interest in me for whatever reason (As I’ve said, I believe it was because they saw me as one who could, and would, help them to find themselves), they opted to try and be what they thought I wanted. This thought created feelings, those feelings then became love, and that love then became an archetype with which to measure my responses.

Then I became the problem because I wasn’t living up to some ideal. Of course the problem with archetypes is that when one gets close to being or having that archetype, it changes into a different archetype. The bottom line is that old adage: when you get what you need, you don’t need it anymore, which means the likely creation of another need.

Ever-changing ideals can be a good way to keep from being happy.

This mess is not a mess because of women per se, it is a mess because people don’t understand the relationship, nor the distinction, between thoughts and feelings. Instead of the feeling/emotional side of the relationship archetype from a female perspective, the leading archetype in relationships from the male side might be defined as things that need to be kept up with, to be polished and maintained. This could be about justice and achievement and logic, decidedly cognitive enterprises on the surface of it.

But I maintain that the underlying motivation for this approach is an effort to manage feelings by dealing with things. I think men are very sensitive, I suspect that they may be more so than women, to the point that it is more than can be dealt with (like an Empath who cannot shut down or block out the onslaught of another’s feelings and thoughts). After all, the default biological configuration is female. A male develops only after many more biological steps. In our culture at least, it is as though females have more certainty and less uncertainty to deal with in finding a natural niche, whereas males have more uncertainty and less certainty to deal with in finding their niche. From this perspective, women may be freer to deal with feelings which they can then think about. Men are not so free to do that, so they switch to the thinking modality which provides sufficient space from uncertainty so they can selectively approach feelings.

Okay, send your cards and letters. I know that there are many exceptions. Keep in mind that normal distributions, a bell-shaped curve, includes about 68% of the population when plotting general characteristics. When speaking about a particular individual, the rule is to toss the general characteristics. And I know that our culture is and has been changing and women are struggling in many cases to find their niche in the midst of those changes. Furthermore, I’m aware of crossovers in gender characteristics during middle age. The point is that male machismo may be a cover up for male sensitivity amidst the backdrop of being the protector of the realm and manager of things. An additional point is that this is an explanation (even a stereotypical one), a truth and not the truth.

Will the approach help us at all (this is the third truth test, the pragmatic approach)?

Perhaps, especially if we are careful to not get stuck on one side of the coin, which may be how we developed relationship problems to begin with.

In case you missed it, this has been a cognitive approach to what started out as deeply felt emotions. We all have a preferred modality, sort of like handedness. A particular modality is like an alpha wolf. The problem may lie in the notion that to switch modalities is to overthrow the alpha leader. This is clearly a hierarchical approach–somebody or something is on top or it isn’t.

A more holistic approach is to realize that nothing is lost, nothing or no one is just an underling or a leader. Within this concept, feelings and/or ideas are like tides or seasons, they all have their time. This is the way with relationships. Part of our problems may stem from not being comfortable with the universal rhythms.

Okay, now back to feelings. Has the strength of me helped?

I wonder, given my deep feelings of loss. Yet, given my deep feelings that I could not have done anymore, I do feel that the strength of me helped. And there is strength in feeling such deep loss–it is hard to ignore, which helps anchor one in the moment.

This is a good thing, even if my now is only somewhat assuaged. Whatever cogitating or feelings I engage in, there is no woman in my life and I can’t bring my mother back.

Learning will not bring my mother back, but it may help me deal with interpersonal relationships on a different level.

Does the hope of a new way to deal with interpersonal relationships mean that I’m predicating my happiness on having a woman?

Obviously not, or I would not have left three relationships.

Okay, does it mean that I’m predicating my happiness on having a particular kind of woman and a particular kind of relationship?

It doesn’t feel like it, I don’t think so. Holistically speaking, all parts of the universe are in the micro and the macro. However, the more pixels (each contain all of the universe) that are accessed, the clearer the picture of the whole. Plus, it seems that when we have counterpoints, we have more power in what we do.

For instance, one theory of seeing color suggests that the opposite of what we see is activated as well, letting us know that it is not only what we see, but what we do not see (see red, not green; see white, not black; and, more complicated, see blue, not yellow). This increases the vividness of the color we are seeing.

Opposing and contrasting motions also help us in balancing our bodies and in developing power. Punching with one hand while the other is in our pocket is not as powerful as drawing one arm back while the other is shooting forward. Two eyes provide for better depth perception, two ears for easier echo-location, etc., etc.

All right, I launched back into cogitating. The point is that while I’m not unfulfilled without a woman, as a male human, I’m not enhanced. And this is not good for me. It has not been good for me, it will never be good for me. And while I know that if I’d have let things go further with each of the three women I was involved with, the outcome would not have changed (one can be unenhanced with another as well as without), I am deeply troubled about knowing where the line is. I realize that it is a dynamic line, but I think/feel that in a truly complimentary relationship that line has relatively predictable ranges. And those ranges, even when they might be on the verge of being reset, are the products of creation, of intent. We might discover the outcome of our intent, like it was there all along, or we might notice it come into being, but it is still a creative endeavor. We might do nothing, yet that could become like a default intent, or we might use deliberate intent, but, at one time or the other, it is creative.

It hurts to see creations collide. It hurts to see relationships apparently diverge. It hurts to feel the tearing of the emotional fabric that has connected the two. It hurts to be left apparently with little option but to hurt. I cannot reach back and make it right, that is something for the two and not just the one. It hurts to know that the aspects I deeply loved in each woman are not for me to embrace with them in a married relationship. It hurts to know that we cannot heal together, to grow together, to challenge the lines together, to overcome together. So much promise, real and imagined, lost to our need to learn about ourselves and our path more deeply than we knew it or would know it together.

Okay, I know I’ve gone back and forth about loving these women. But, I’m going with love. It feels better to me than to not love. Besides, I intend to go with the good. Furthermore, it is interesting to me that something like love or the good, that just is (like an immutable constant), still has to be learned.

In any case, as mad as I can get about it, as hurt as I can get about it, as lonely as I can get about it, as judgmental as I can get about it, as uncertain as I can get about it, as certain as I can feel, as much as I can feel, as much as I can think, I am truly saddened. I know, despite my anger, despite my wondering how I could have ever been so involved, despite my defense mechanisms, that I learned about love, and that I loved, and love, all three. I am left to say so here (though I’ve said it to all three even after we had left on our own paths) what I cannot say to them intimately in person anymore. I feel me feeling these things. They are not borne of wishes or illusions or desires, there is nothing in it for me, except allowing my heart to be cleansed. It is simply what it is–a feeling, deeply felt, passionately learned, pervasive in its scope, of love and good will.

Now I don’t want to launch into the same construct in terms of the manner in which we die, or our relationship with our health care system, or the environment in which we work, or where we live, or how we interact with our siblings, our children, our parents, our co-workers, or neighbors (next door or in the next country), but we can insert these or any relationships into the scenario listed above, perhaps with some modicum of alteration, and come up with the same idea and the same feelings.

Perhaps if we take a deeper look, a little deeper feel, a little less acquiescing to the norm of our existence, we’ll get a little more learning and depth in our life. And we might also get a little more intent about the level of our caring, on all fronts–regardless of the nature of the relationship.

I send that out. May the life of it bring great peace.

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