Thoughts on Love, Emotions, Desire

From a Forum I read this morning:

A little something I’ve learned about emotions in general. It is counterproductive to make them someone else’s fault and then react accordingly. Nobody makes you feel jealous but you, it’s nobody’s fault that you are angry. These are emotions that you have decided need to be surfaced and aired. Does that mean you can help what you are feeling? Absolutely not. No one can. It means that you can control your reactions to it. You can think deeper about where the emotion is coming from and you can do something to either make it grow into a monster or shrink into a minor little thing that if discussed (or fought about, it happens), will recede into nothing. There is also a sneaky little aspect to this that tends to be more trouble than owning your own emotions. It’s the fact that you are not responsible for your partner’s feelings. Yup, I said it. If both parties are committed to making the relationship work, and nothing is done to intentionally hurt the other, then the way they react to it is on them. In most working relationships, nobody gets up and thinks “I should take so-and-so to my life partner’s favorite restaurant. That’ll hurt her! Awesome!” Giving each other the benefit of the doubt before reacting is an amazing gift for everybody involved. If your partner does come to you and say “Taking so-and-so to my favorite restaurant kind of hurt my feelings.” your reaction should not be “What? Why would you get upset over that? They have great margaritas!” Instead, take a deep breath, listen to what they are saying, validate the feelings, and then reassure them. A more productive response would be, “I didn’t realize that would hurt your feelings. I’m sorry, and in the future I’ll go to another place.”

This sounds like common sense. Like it’s easy. Ha! We have been taught since birth that the way to react to emotions is to first find who’s to blame, then make sure they know they are to blame, then tap our foot and wait for them to fix it. Sometimes it’s more productive to simply fix it in-house before you even get to them. Overall, owning your own emotions gives you more choices in how they are dealt with. However, it takes practice, believe me. Let’s look at more specific emotions

We can learn to love, live to love, be in love, love the way you love, and even love our new car, but nobody seems to have a definitive answer about what it is.

The problem I see with love is that we are constantly trying to fit the people we love into our mold of it. The way I love you is never, ever, going to fit your vision completely. There is only one way around that. Love because you get joy from it, not because of what you’ll get back. If you quit worrying about how it should work, you will be surprised at how often it works anyway. Try opening your heart for no other reason than another heart opening to you.

Here’s a common concept that I simply love to hate. There are people that think that once you meet the person of your dreams you will both want the same thing out of life, love, and sex all the time from now on. If you mention to them that may not be the case, they will nod knowingly and say something along the lines of “We’ll discuss it and compromise and make it work.”

Finally, there is the idea that intimacy only implies sharing love. That’s true, but another big part is sharing what scares you. Intimacy is never more sublime than when you open yourself and become vulnerable and it is rewarded with understanding and acceptance.

With thanks and credit to Ms. Ann, of Fetlife. From whom I have posted this essay in the spirit of desire to spread ideas worth spreading. More time to her.