Love and... well, ya... that stuff

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Kol Drake created the topic: Love and... well, ya... that stuff

NORMALLY, I would be hauling out the old soapbox with the first signs of Spring... since the trees would be greening and all the woodland creatures would be scampering about and all you Jedi will be getting 'Spring Fever'.... BUT... it's the beginning of Winter and I'm gonna get a jump start on it so you are prepared BEFORE the the first bright days of Spring.

And remember 'kids'... in my super suit, I am Captain Obvious... so don't grouse if I state lots of 'duh' things...



Love is not about sex, but sex is certainly about love… or at least, it should be.

When you are in a relationship, and really want to create a powerful connection between you and your love, it is important to recognize what the relationship is about, and why you are together in the first place. If it is an intimate or sexual relationship, sometimes 'we' often have a habit of making things all about sex… we do not know any other way to do it since all the movies and tv shows and popular books seem to emphasize the sex more than the 'deeper commitments'.

True, it is in that sexual space that the “intimacy” happens. The lust, the romance -- all of that jazz -- and then afterward it is usually followed by a great distance between each other in between the times when we are intimate. heh... the whole... what did you do before falling in love? Chop wood; carry water. And AFTER you fell in love? Chop wood; carry water. The spikes of sexual euphoria have short and long bouts of comfort and conflict.
:P

For some reason, it is like the intimacy ONLY really happens in that sexual or intimate space. Maybe we are losing the 'ability' with all the Internet 'distancing' of people... preferring to tweet, text, and cellphone rather then BE with a person, face to face/shoulder to shoulder -- to really experience the energy changes, emotional rollercoaster-ness and 'just' learning how to live with someone else up close and personal.

Personally, I have had a couple of friends who certainly broke oh too many relationships through high school and college and the military because they pushed on the sex button first, thinking that was the right thing to do, rather than exploring the true nature of intimacy and connection between the those they were with.

Why did they act that way? Play musical beds and partners? I think part of the reason is because... well, that was/is the way everyone thought it was supposed to be. The way people talked about relationships in school was “Well, are you f*#king?”. As if that is all there was to a relationship… Being older then the dinosaurs, maybe it was the left over mentality of the Flower Power/Free Love Generational influence but... heck, even some of the 'young bucks' still act that way... and the dinosaurs are pretty much gone from influencing them. For many, it is a long, long road of experiences before they realize that there was a lot more to relationships than just that.

I mean… have you ever sat down and asked the question “What even IS intimacy?”
I checked the online dictionary: “close familiarity or friendship; closeness.”
gee.. where is the sex part?

~ ~ ~

I am no expert. If you count all the dates I had, almost girlfriends and a wife for a while, I have 'been' in like 3 'relationships' and one marriage and 2? 'just sex' fleeting partnerships, so I'm waaaay behind most... unlike my military roommate who juggled dating/bedding 5 girls at the same time in his high school days and 3 during his military time before getting married and divorced a few times and FINALLY finding 'the One' he has settled down with. Still, for all that, one does tend to learn some lessons... better late then never.

Love is/should be about the connection between those who love each other, and sex is simply one representation of what that connection can look like. It is absolutely beautiful, yet if the connection is not there… Or rather, if the ONLY connection that is nurtured is sex, then the rest of the relationship tends to feel empty. In fact.. that’s not a bad analogy.. the relationship becomes an empty shell, an egg that went un-nurtured, or a seed that is all alone without any egg to merge with… It simply falls apart, or dies, and nothing new can manifest.

When the relationship is nurtured, loved and supported, and everyone comes from a space of exploration and discovery, well, magic can happen. You both become a support structure for each other, you are both safe, and free to express who you really are (as an individual AND a couple) and do what you really want to do (again, as an individual AND a couple), it opens up a whole new world of possibility, freedom and potential. Not to mention, but you both get the opportunity to grow from each other, being a constant reflection of your most intimate self.

imo, this is why most marriages do not work out right, because many relationships are made to be about sex up until the point when it is forced to change. It has no choice but to grow or break apart. Once the marriage is set in stone and the ceremony happens, the meaning changes to be about creating a life together… nobody knows what to do. If neither of those involved know how to create a life together, or support each other and love each other through all things 'thick and thin', it simply becomes a jumble, and everything falls away.

Love is the awareness of the infinite connection between you and everyone around you, and it is especially strong between those that you are exploring an intimate space with.

Sex is a representation of that love, and how pleasureful and wonderful it can be when it’s nurtured.

Relationships are everything :)

Everything “relates” to everything else in one way or another. Hey, just like the Force!

So, no.. no lecture on the birds and bees.
Maybe closer to actual Spring.
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Maybe a soapbox about the importance of COMMUNICATION in relationships...

But, for now, here is hoping you can take time during the coming holidays and meditate a little on how your relationships are / or hope to have your future relationships 'be'. Make certain the proper 'motivations' are there... and not make it just about hot Jedi sex.
:rofl
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Love and... well, ya... that stuff

2 weeks without a comment -- either everyone is stunned or think the topic is one no self respecting Jedi would touch with a ten foot lightsaber...

The definition of true love is a mystery that prods us on emotionally, spiritually — and creatively. A four-letter word which sparks wonder and debate. A condition of soulmates.
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“Love is a verb.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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I have an old 'self published' booklet from 1977 which came out not long after the very first Star Wars movie. In less then 20 pages, it touched on the Force; it's similarities to the Tao; using meditation to better 'connect with the Force'; and a final page declaration that the Force is Love. Not unlike those who equate the Universal 'God Energy' as Love.

Since I have a whacked sense of humor and a love of irony, I have to admit, any time I hear or think the word 'love', I hear the part of the movie from Princess Bride where the holy dude starts the wedding speech -- Wuve. Twue Wuve. I am a sick Jedi puppy at times.

Anyway, back on track...
When we refer to ‘soulmate’ it is always a noun. Not so with love. If you want to get sticky about it, love can be both a noun and a verb (or is that a participle?). Phonics aside, the most general (and better -- not best... until I find something better) definition of true love is "the ever expanding experience we manifest on earth in relationship to All" (you could replace All with God Force, THE Force, or well... dealer's choice).


So, what is Twue Wuve... er, True Love?
When our heart opens, it is an indescribable feeling, like we have ripped open the veil of our earthly reality to get a glimpse of pure universal life force. Music can help connect us with this otherworldly energy — which is why skinny, pale undernourished guys with guitars become so hot when they get on stage! Ditto with all kinds of artists and art forms. (( okay, a bit of VERY general stereotyping but... you know, it's not far off imo. ))

Of course, certain people also carry the vibrational key to our hearts. Yet when our heart bursts open in ways we have never felt before, does this fit the definition true love? I do not think so. I do think that this euphoria may be a catalyst of sorts or a mirror which shows us more of who we are.
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“Love is letting go of fear.” – Gerald Jampolsky

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This above mentioned euphoria permeates our being. Problems arise, when we credit or blame the people and things outside ourselves for the feeling, in a game of cause and effect. That is when the definition of true love gets blurred, and where many of us walk a fine line. After all, for most, they can not separate the person from the emotions 'felt' and therefore, do not 'see' the person as a person but as a goal, a 'thing which will complete' their life/soul/existence, etc. As with the Tao, one must learn to let go of all the labels, conditions, and modifiers which are imposed and let the person BE their best self... and relate to them in that manner instead.

Of course, we ARE human and emotions, desires, wants and all that does tend to rear it's ugly head even in the best of situations. Some sticky examples... :

Supportive turns to martyrdom;
Protective turns to possessive;
Kind becomes weak;
Forgiving turns to doormat;
Compassion turns to gullibility;
Passion becomes obsession;
Empathy becomes codependence;

And!
If by definition true love is unselfish, where do our own needs fit?

So! What is true love?

In The Princess Bride, Westley is driven by one goal — to return to the love of his life, Buttercup. Westley does whatever it takes for his one "true love." He scales mountains, fights giants, goes through extreme torture, and even dies -- or at least he becomes half-dead. In one scene in the movie, there is this exchange that best shows his "true love" for Buttercup:
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Westley: I told you, "I would always come for you." Why didn’t you wait for me?
Buttercup: Well ... you were dead.
Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.
Buttercup: I will never doubt again.
Westley: There will never be a need.

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Maybe an even simpler example? (( and because I am that sick puppy... ))
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“True love is like a pair of socks: you gotta have two and they’ve gotta match.”

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Jax replied the topic: Re:Love and... well, ya... that stuff

This is one of those topics that will resonate with people at different times I think. ;-)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - Please forgive typos
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re:Love and... well, ya... that stuff

Twue...er, true.

Plus, it is mid Winter doldrums. The first hint of Spring and all the younglings (and some not so younglings) will be feeling the stirrings of Nature. THEN, the 'view count' should go through the roof.
:silly:
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Chip replied the topic: Love and... well, ya... that stuff

Aristotle had a couple of interesting things to say on this topic in his four definitions of the different kinds of friendship. And there is a small book on this by a modern philosopher, whose name escapes me at the moment, but one of his other books, On Bullshit, is one of the few philosophy books to ever make it one the best seller list. Aristotle says that the most pure form of friendship (love) is when the "friends" care about the welfare of the other without any instinct for reciprocation of any sort. There's a whole lot more in his paler on this of course. Philosophers can't summarize, because they have to go into every little nuance and detail, but there it is.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Love and... well, ya... that stuff

Yepper, the Ancient Greeks identified four forms of love: kinship or familiarity (in Greek, storge), friendship (philia), sexual and/or romantic desire (eros), and self-emptying or divine love (agape).

Too bad modern English has trimmed itself down to the single word, love, and left the meaning so 'hanging out there' for interpretation in relationships. (( or that modern books and movies tend to only show eros rather then characters which can depict those other three types and still be 'strong characters'. ))
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Jax replied the topic: Love and... well, ya... that stuff

Especially since the use of the word love, and what society tends to define as love is so screwy! It would certainly help to have a few more words for it. Even with more words, I'm sure plenty of people would try to make love what it isn't though. lol
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Love and... well, ya... that stuff

from Psychology Today Online, December 2012 by Kendra Campbell, Ph.D. and John Thoburn, Ph.D., ABPP and with snarky snippets by moi

Working on making a lasting relationship

When two lovers first get together the relationship is largely a chemical hootenanny; "romance" flows freely (as well as all those bio chemicals and maybe even legal alcoholic flowing...) and whatever disagreements or differences are largely ignored, overlooked, or spun in a positive light. Over time, the hand wavy dismal i.e. "ignorant bliss", gives way as the two live together and chemistry subsides or changes entirely -- they tend to find that proximity creates friction and experience leads to disappointments at best and sometimes outright disillusionment by the things they see and experience from their partner that they just plain do not like. The romantic 'honeymoon' is definitely over.

Research suggests that there are fundamentally five ways to deal with disappointment and disillusionment in a romantic partner, each with varying degrees of effectiveness:

1. Tolerate. Being put out by but choosing to put up with the other person. To tolerate another is sort of like living with a trick knee – his or her foibles give you fits, but you just accept a lower quality of life. Though foibles may be irritating, annoying, or sometimes embarrassing or even painful. ( This also 'allows' the sufferer to feel noble in their suffering... )

2. Retaliate. Retaliation may take one of two turns – leave the other person in the lurch and good riddance, or gird one’s loins for battle. Like the couple in the War of the Roses film, some couples find, when love feelings have died, a continued way of relating through conflict. The divorce rate in America is over 50% so we know what a large number of people do when face with disillusionment – run for the hills. Running away (( re: The Runaway Bride )) is sooooo much easier then actually ungirding the loins and having to face up to each other's seeming 'foibles' and come to some bit of compromise... through communication!

3. Manipulate. Human beings are master of getting others to do what we want. We use guilt (Alright, I’m just your mother – the one who suffered through childbirth to give you life…), shame (You disappoint me…), fear (if you don’t change I’ll leave…) and anger (You haven’t seen me angry yet!). We also cajole, criticize, snipe, stonewall, nag, and oh yes, model the ‘good’ behavior we want from our partner. Whether the manipulation has a positive or negative slant, it’s rarely pleasant for the one being manipulated.

A “there’s something wrong, fix it” mentality is a difficult foundation for a relationship -- but most guys are born? / trained to have that 'if it's broke; fix it' mentality anyway... so it's almost knee jerk. ( or in extreme cases -- it's so broke I can't imagine how to even start to fix it so toss it out... (it being the relation -- just like any other 'too busted to fix' tool/item. ))

4. Negotiate. Ah, now we are getting into the purview of psychology. Therapists love to get two people into a room and mediate which is a fancy way of saying -- each person gives a little, compromises, so each can claim a win.

I am reminded of the story of the bear and the hunter who met at a stream where the bear was fishing for lunch. When the hunter drew a bead on the bear he held up his paw and said, “wait a minute – let’s talk. What is it you want?” “I want me a bear coat,” sneered the hunter. “And I want lunch – perhaps we can come to some compromise if you’ll just put down your gun.” A half hour later the bear, lolling on the grass and burping murmured, “well he got his coat and I got my lunch!”

Negotiation leads as often to 'no' as it does 'yes', and rarely do two people leave feeling like they got an even exchange.

5. Relate. Relating is simply about acceptance of the other and commitment to that person above all else, including what we want. Acceptance is recognizing the other person for who he or she is and being attentive to the circumstances of the relationship moment by moment. Commitment is a state in which one’s romantic partner knows she or he is embraced by you fully, even when there are disagreements.

Commitment leaves no room for disappointment or disillusionment, only acceptance. Acceptance and commitment means that there is no hidden agenda for changing one’s partner or for leaving. Acceptance and commitment eschews the quid pro quo nature of a contractual arrangement between partners – “if you love me then I’ll love you.” Relating from a position of acceptance and commitment is more a covenant relationship; a one-way commitment – “I choose to love you irrespective of what you do or do not do for me.”

It provides a foundation for trust and security between couples, which in turn provides a platform from which a partner can choose to make changes for the sake of the other, not because he or she has to, but because she or he wants to. Then when there is friction it will be like iron sharpening iron, two people whose living together causes the rough edges to smooth out over time, leading to maturity.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Love and... well, ya... that stuff

Sooooo.... how do we move from tolerating, retaliating, manipulating, and negotiating to relating?

As noted in the previous post, the key is acceptance.

Love your partner because, not in spite, of those quirks and traits that make each one of us unique.

Remember that no one is perfect, and no two people will be perfectly aligned on every issue.

Disagreement in relationships is bound to arise, and is normal.
In fact, disagreement in and of itself is not even necessarily harmful to your relationship; research has demonstrated that what matters most in relationship satisfaction is not how often you experience conflict, but rather the ratio of negative interaction to positive interaction. Specifically, couples who experience 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction tend to feel more satisfied in their relationship. All that being said, solving differences can be helped immensely when partners feel accepted by one another.

Acceptance of others, of course, tends to be much easier than acceptance of ourselves. However, accepting ourselves for those quirks and traits that make each one of us unique can facilitate our ability to accept our partners. Often we criticize traits in others that reflect disliked traits in ourselves. Practicing self-compassion can ultimately enhance our relationships with others, especially our romantic partners.

And that last paragraph is right out of the IJRS Course of Study -- learning ABOUT yourself; learning to LIKE (if not Love) yourself and who you ARE (not who you wish you were or 'could be') and by getting comfortable with yourself -- being able to be 'that' comfortable when you are relating to another!

Easy Peasy, right?
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Johannes (Yoshio) replied the topic: Love and... well, ya... that stuff

This is a very good topic and I feel deeply thankful to You, Kol Drake, for presenting all this material and your thoughts on it here.

I don’t know if I’m the best to contribute to this but anyway, I would like to share the little what I think I have learned and understood so far belonging to this topic.
First of all, a couple of years back, there had been one thing my traditional healer told me. She said, for a long/everlasting love it is crucial to have something you share with your partner which is bigger and deeper then the self. She said in older times this often had been the church – given you live in a Christian country, but I guess it is also valid for other believes!? – but as its importance diminished over time many people/couple now do have this problem that there is now higher goal in their lives both are striving for to achieve. She said, in my case, following the Path of a Warrior (Budo) might work as a supplemental for the Church and taking this, I feel it is also valid to say that the Jedi Path would to the “job” as well. As far as I understood her, it has to be something which helps you to understand yourself and your purpose better and makes you grow, but needs to be shared, maybe not necessarily the same, with your partner so that both can grow and learn to understand each other better.

Then, what I feel is also true and necessary; the “chosen” partner has to be someone with whom you can truly and fully be you. As a partner and a lover, we have to be able to accept our counterpart in her natural way. So, when you feel that you can open up to someone and be accepted as you are, then this is a first step to have a true love.

I guess, in those two paragraphs, what I wanted to say or describe is, more or less, exactly what can be read in your post, Kol Drake, under number 5 “Relate”.

Then I would like to go on with a Chinese proverb I once read which says something like that: “In love we have to keep in mind that we are only guests living in the same house.” I don’t know if this is correctly depicted or even the whole proverb but anyway this is what stuck in my head and what I took from it is, that in a relationship we never ever shall take anything as granted. We have to constantly work on ourselves as well as on our relationship with our partner. Only when we keep things lively we will be able to hold this relationship dear.

Finally there is something my brother said lately to me. He said it is very important in a relationship that you share the same kind of humour and are able to laugh about the same things.
Without shared joy and happiness no relationship can last long, I feel.

And again thanks for the last post, just before mine; this is exactly how I now approach my current relationship. By using the tools and the knowledge I had learned and keep on learning here at the IJRS and elsewhere, to be able to understand, accept and love me and through doing so being able to do the same for my partner.
Here, communication might be the key to success!?

Qui-Gon Jinn: "We cannot control our emotions, but we can decide how we go along with them."
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