Thursday, April 16, 2009

Get Your Mind (and relationship) Outta The Box

"You know, if there was an argument to be made for monogamy, not having to schlep an inordinate amount of stuff between 2 houses would be it."--Twitter post from Mistress Matisse 4 hours ago.

A recent dream:

I was driving a BIG car. It was a really long, older Cadillac or something like that. At first, some passengers were in the car with me, I think they were Jerry and Ren. But then they got out of the car and were walking behind as I was driving slowly into a lot to park. We were all going inside a store to shop. But the brakes wouldn't work and I couldn't stop the car. I was driving through the lot trying to steer carefully so I didn't hit anyone. There were a couple of small children that I was worried about as I drove pass them too close and too fast. I drove out of the parking lot and into an alley, pumping the brakes to no avail. I knew that soon I would have no choice but to crash the car to stop it and was contemplating the best choice of objects to collide with. There was a brick house directly in front of me, another house off to the right, and a wooden fence. But all of a sudden from out of nowhere, I noticed a fairly wide turnaround spot that I was actually able to maneuver the car around and stop it, only running over a few flowers in the process. I was relieved, got of the car and left it there.

Interpretation of my dream--just a few thoughts off the top of my head:

My car=my body. It also represents by journey in life--taking me where I want to go. I'm afraid because I'm not in control-- it's more like I'm along for the ride. I leave the two people that I love and are my close traveling companions, behind with no explanation (I'm not really leaving them but I have no way of communicating, explaining to them what's happening.) I don't know how to stop the vehicle I'm traveling and I fear the obvious impending accident. And yet it turns out that I handle everything just find...I don't crash and burn. I am saved by grace. All is good.

What's been up for me? I'm bleeding again. And I was PMSing. But just for one day. Monday evening I was sitting in the hot tub with Lover Who Is My Lover and another friend when the north wind starting blowing. The wind, the sky, the energy in the atmosphere felt magical to me. But by Tuesday it was a full on wind storm that blew some crazies my way. I had a knot in my solar plexus and felt exceedingly vulnerable all day. I knew that power and control (my lack of) issues were up for me so I just breathed and concentrated on feeling my stuff. By late Tuesday night the small of my back was really hurting and I had a painful kink in my neck. Jerry gave me an intense massage and I fell asleep. On Wednesday morning I woke up to pee and I found that I had started my period. I bled all day and night and then all day again and now I'm here in bed next to my sleeping husband. He gave me another massage before he put his face mask on and left me to my blogging.

I've been thinking about polyamory and the different relationship styles people create to express their love. I've been thinking about how controlling we tend to be, how we try to manipulate everything, keeping ourselves and others in neatly organized boxes. But the nature of life is messy! It's chaotic and free and not so easily contained.

I have a friend who is contemplating a change to the structure of her relationship. Her partner is resisting this change. She's afraid he will leave her if she insists. They have created a sweet little life together that has been safe, comforting and enjoyable. But she also wants something different that their relationship isn't providing for her. All things change. Everything evolves. What is the risk when we refuse to adapt to the changes that life (or our partner) demand? Will we listen to the music and deal the the actualities that are placed before us? What happens when our ideas and preconceived concepts, our grand schemes and neatly designed roles, just don't fit anymore but we refuse to switch gears and go with a more natural flow--the organic unfolding of our life?

I'm reminded of a three way love affair I was involved in back when. It was a rare and special opportunity. It was sweet and juicy and alive. But we were all inexperienced and fairly clueless as to how to handle the actualities that were before us. On one hand I adored and truly appreciated the relationship and what it offered me. The love and sexual energy in my life was up big! I accepted what was transpiring as a huge blessing. On the other hand, it wasn't the exact type of relationship I thought I was looking for. It wasn't the perfect match to my preconceived dream. I've written before about how people have the tendency to create the perfect relationships in their minds but then they get involved and fall in love with real people who don't go along with their exact plans. At least they don't go along easily, sometimes kicking and screaming all the way. People have ideas and dreams of their own before they hook up with a new partner. They don't come into a relationship as a blank slate saying, "Mold me to thy will. Your will is my command!" The attraction is there and the love may grow--the love is growing and the juice is flowing but all the "ideas, preconceived concepts, grand schemes, and neatly designed roles start getting in the way of dealing with the actualities of the real relationship they are living. Here is a real, warm, flesh and blood, person standing in front of me, sleeping in my bed, sharing my bodily fluids and by golly getting in the way of my actual dream coming true! Damn I hate that--can't you just go away so I can have my fantasy back?! Ha. But not funny.

So the question is...Are we going to keep our heart open to this person and continue loving them as their authenticity reveals itself to us? Will we adjust our preconceived ideas of who they are (and who we think they should be) and what our relationship with them should look like to match the reality of the real person? Are we willing to love unconditionally as the relationship grows and unfolds differently than how we originally thought it would? Can we let go of our minds and our fears and be with what is? Can we give ourselves to love?

I've noticed people struggle with their controlling nature within new monogamous relationships. They are yearning for a relationship and then meet someone they really like and start dating. Then, even though they are enjoying getting to know this person on many levels, they have all these preconceived ideas about who and what their perfect, one and only, "fantasy" partner will be and because this "real" person doesn't match the long list of required qualities, they break off the relationship. Of course it's fine to want what we want but it also seems very limiting when someone insists on pre-picking a mate from a list preconceived attributes that they believe will somehow magically make them a suitable partner. So what if this person doesn't match up to our ideas of the perfect mate? If we love them, or even just like them a, um, friends are good to have. And if the sex is good, even better.

Polyamorous people do this all the time too. Couples look for a specific gender when they want to add another partner--rather than simply being open to fall in love with another who might actually make a great fit with them in a committed triad--they are looking specifically for a man and a woman just won't do. Or vise versa. A woman is looking for a secondary partner because she already has a primary. A man is looking for a primary partner because he has a secondary and even though in his heart of hearts he would prefer being a primary to her, she already has a primary so that spot is filled. Egads! I mean, I get why we do this stuff but it limits love.

One of the reasons we get on this creatively controlling track is because not only do we want what we want, but also because although there may be no limit to the amount of love a person may have to share, there is still only so much time and energy to spare and if you already have a primary partner it makes logical sense to carefully assess your life and come up with the notion for instance-- that a secondary partner would fit in, just perfectly, right here, into these little available slots! But while this preplanning may be valuable to some extent, the bottom line is that love is not logical or practical. It doesn't always make it easy. It likes to have it's way with us and enjoys throwing curve balls when we least expect them. The more particulars we demand of love, the more limited the access it has in our lives.

So while there is something to be said for the practicality of trying to create relationships that fit into neatly organized little boxes--love springs forth out of freedom and it's fit to be tied when one tries to structure it in some unnatural way. Love will show you the way it wants to grow and express itself and practical or not, these are the actualites of our love lives that must be dealt with as they arise.

Love and relationships need the freedom to take on a life on their own, separate from what your ego thinks it needs. Let love come to you and reveal itself. You might desperately want a primary relationship in your life but if you try to force an otherwise healthy secondary relationship into a primary position, you'll be asking for trouble. Likewise, if the fact that you already have a primary partner encourages you to contain a relationship into a secondary role that is more naturally trying to grow into a primary role, you'll be asking for trouble. Sometimes love wants us to be alone. Sometimes it wants us to have two primary partners, or two secondary partners with no primary. Finding peace and balance between the practicalities and actualities of a relationship are challenging but one should not be sacrificed for the other.

Where there is love, there is a way. But we must be willing to stop stuffing the person we love into a predetermined role and the relationship with that person into a preconceived box.


cindy said...

As always, thanks so much for the wise and well pondered advice

Adrienne Parker said...

You bettcha cindy. How kind of you to say. Thank you!

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