Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Oh to be confident and content within!

I learned another lesson in relationships today.

Unexpectedly as usually is the way with these things.

It occurred to me as I swept the flour off the dough-break machine at the shop that part of the "problem" with most partnered relationships is that women...I am one you know, so I sort have an insiders view on this more or less...have this incredible drive for attachment to their chosen mate.

I had written some time ago about the difference between belonging and ownership in relationships and that I believe is still more or less true for me. There is this new dimension though that surfaced today that really struck me as to why we struggle so much in our relationship with our beloved partners.

I tend to believe that men are biologically not monogamous by nature. I think men (and perhaps some women too maybe although the reasons maybe slightly different) struggle with commitment and fidelity over the course of their lives, and particularly attachment because of a biological "need" to spread their genes as far and as widely as possible. This may sound like I reduce the male of our human species to a mere animal... I guess that might be true; it is a lot more complicated than that of course. It is rare to find the emotional/spiritual dimension in the animal world so there is that to add to this human mix too.

Men are quite capable of giving themselves completely and totally to a beloved partner! There is no question here that men can't be committed and compassionately dedicated life-long lovers of one partner. However, I do believe that this is entirely the result of cultural and social conditioning rather than anything anthropological. (gosh! I can hear all the christians screaming "Heretic!" from here! *shudder*).

Women, on the other hand, I believe, are very much wired to be deeply attached to their chosen mate. We do that for the survival of our young. A secure mother is a mother who is able to nurture her children freely without duress and hardship ensuring those children survive to adulthood.

The difficulties between these two primary forces is that women tend to learn strategies early to "trap" men into being attached to them in order to achieve that security. We learn to manipulate, connive, convince, persue and cajol our intended life-partners through usually emotional methods so they cohere to us, (and us alone). Consequently, we cannot trust these relationships. I think we tend not to trust love when it comes to us and feel a deep sense of personal insecurity in our relationships because we cannot believe we are loved for ourselves. We assume instinctively that the love shown toward us is not genuine - that it has been co-erced.

When love is co-erced it is a poor substitute for security and contentment in relationship. When a woman manipulates a man through her emotions and actions, how can she trust that he truly loves her? We cannot build a secure foundation of love when we build on the sandy soil of coercion.

Being committed to our partner does not mean that we demand love or commitment to be given to us! Instead, we offer love and commitment of our own free will to them. We must learn to love our beloved in a way that does not seek to entrap or ensnare them through manipulative means; we need a deep personal sense of CONTENTMENT within ourselves in order to love another exactly as they are IN THIS MOMENT.

This requires a concious choice to be content with ourselves first and foremost. When women learn to be content with themselves and accept their life, their body, their spirit, their intelligence, their worth and their situation as it is, they then will find the confidence to trust they are loved and lovable and do not NEED to find emotional security from any other source (God notwithstanding of course - but he's different to most blokes :)).

When we do not seek our innate need for emotional and physical security by manipulating men (or other women for that matter) to commit to us, we suddenly - and perhaps ironically, become more attractive to men and more likely to win their trust and commitment. In other words, when men do not feel smothered or trapped by a relationship with a woman; when they feel free - they tend to settle down and enjoy loving that woman for a good long time.

So now I'm on a very deeply personal journey of self-discovery. I'm learning how to be content within and that is harder to do than to write. It looks so simple on the screen but in actual fact it's hard for me - as a woman - to be content. I always want proof! I want more! I want to know! I want to believe but cannot, deep in my heart of hearts, that I am loved just as I am for me!

You see, I think I never really learned inner confidence from the beginning of my life, that I am lovable without having to use my physique or my emotional gaming skills. A lot of that is part my anthropological heritage, part my upbringing too.

However, a big part of it is also my spiritual longing to BELONG to someone and TRUST that they do actually love me.

To be totally confident that you can be loved completely, just as you are, is a treasure of immeasurable value.

I want that kind of confidence.

Monday, January 22, 2007

and for my birthday I got a comet...

I have just seen The McNaught Comet.

It's clearly visible in the SW corner of my darkening sky here.

The sun has set but the residual light is still glowing with a feeble blue in the west and just above that is a clear view of the comet with its long and pretty "tail".

It's not everyone who can boast of getting a comet on their birthday huh?

One of my more unique birthday presents I think :)

Happy Birthday to me!

January 22nd 1962 at approximately 11pm was an auspicious day!


You got me!

I just scraped in for the Chinese year of the Ox (but personally, I feel I'm more a tiger than an ox you know...)


so anyway...I share January 22nd with my Aunty Wendy... my Dad's sister who was 12 the day I was born.

I am also expecting a new cousin to be born today or tomorrow (of course I am hoping for today...the 22nd! :))

Francis Bacon, Lord Byron, and Jon Hurt also are January 22nd babies. As was the late Micheal Hutchence of INXS fame (or infamy if you like).

In fact I'm amazed at the plethora of fine actors and writers who share this date with me. Both skills are dear to my own heart.

I "might" have been an actor if I had have had the confidence and resources to become so. Back in the late 70's & 80's, my conservative family did not consider acting a career so it just wasn't on my radar. I was/am good at it though, when I get the practise :)

So writing it has been for most of my life! :) Which isn't so bad I guess.

Oh...and I don't really want to be famous you know! It's a nice thought in theory but the reality of fame/infamy is that you lose so much of your SELF to the mass market and I would soooo hate that! I am fiercely independant and will not be beholden to anyone if I choose not to be! That includes adoring fans...if I had any! hahahaha! *wink*

The best birthday presents are the ones you least expect from the people you love the most. I don't really "expect" any presents this year for my 45th birthday but each time a dear friend or relative acknowledges me with a card or breaks out into a "Happy Birthday" song....I'm gratified and that is enough :)

Hey!...I'm halfway to 90! Whoo hooo! Bring on the next 45!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

dream beyond boxes

Linear thinking is a common human strategy of applying a logical set of time-honoured principles in a certain way so as to get results we expect should meet our criteria for success.

Step A should precede step B before Step C in order to Achieve Goal Z etc. etc.

This strategy works. It has worked more or less effectively for many thousands of years of human endeavour.

I'm not so sure it will work very efficiently in the future though.

You see, the burgeoning amounts of data and information we human beings are being exposed to on a daily basis now far exceeds our evolutionary ability to keep up with it! We just have not adapted sufficiently and quickly enough to maintain the scope and detail of dealing with this information. Our choices are limited to our current evolved capacity to deal with information as we have done for hundreds - perhaps millions - of years!

Human beings are smart! There is no doubt about that! I think even Einstein, if he were alive today, would be blown away by what wee children are able to do with the tools created as a result of his theories :) We adapt very, very quickly to all manner of situations and circumstances! It's the killer app of the Human Being! Adaptability!

But the test is coming now as to how adaptable we can remain to the incredible pace of technology and scientific discovery.

I envisage two things happening which may or may not occur...but nevermind.. conjecture can be fun... so bear with me... :)

1) Human beings will shut down their circle of intimate contacts - both personal and material - to a very private and consolidated few in the real world. We will literally peel away as much of the extraneous contact we must have on a day to day basis, with the world at large, in order to protect ourselves from sheer sensory overload. Privacy will be an even greater issue for many RL activities.

2) Human beings will open up their circle of intimate contacts - both personal and material - to a somewhat private but imaginary and vast virtual landscape in the cyber world. We will literally change many of our habits and behaviours as we make contact on a day to day basis with the cyber world at large, in order to assert our individual identities and also find Tribes of like-minded identities with which we can freely engage.

The issues of Privacy online are quite different from those in RL. The interface of the computer screen affords a natural level of privacy in and of itself. This is why self-disclosure is so high on the internet, as there is no other way for people to get to know each other except through the process of textual (and sometimes voIP/webcam) conversation.

so okay.. what does this have to do with linear thinking!

The way we UNDERSTAND and DEAL with these new types of dichotomies within relationship will require fundamental changes in our thinking.

Moral ethics will need to be handled very very differently from the norms we have accepted for generations. A different kind of thinking is required beyond that of linear and strategic assumptions about events and motives.

The world we live in is both shrinking and growing but in dynamically different ways to how life has always passed us by. Quite simply we live in such a dynamic age of change, what we once held dear will now be sorely challenged in terms of moral code and ethical behaviours.

We CAN adapt and we will but there could well be quite a lot more polarity in opinions about everything! Be prepared for life (and people) to get VERY unpredictable! :)

So... where does this leave us?

We need to forgo our notions of separateness for one thing. Even though I just said there might be more polarity in things...which suggests the notion of separation of opinion and idea...what I am meaing is that we will need to learn to accept those polarised opinions as being no different from our own or anyone elses!

"Excuse me?" I hear you say! :)

We need to adapt to a mindset of singularity even when everything seems to be separate. It is not...not anymore! We've always seen two faces to the coin, I'm saying that now its time to just see the coin and not the faces at all!

Instead of just being adaptable we now need to be also efficiently ACCEPTING of much much more than we ever thought possible. We need to be more inclusive and less beligerant about viewpoints, opinions, linear thinking, beliefs and attitudes. We will need to think in terms of life as a circle rather than a line.

There will still need to be boundaries etc. There are some wrongs that will remain wrongs so far as I can tell... rape, murder, abuse etc. Protecting ourselves from these extreme forms of behaviour is still fundamental to our survival on this planet. Still... we won't be able to be as "picky" about people as we have been in the past.

We'll need to be more global in our approach to problems and less stiffly objective in expectations and procedures.

Basically we need to dream awake like the ancient tribal societies of the past used to do. We need a new type of awareness of our world like never before. Otherwise the old patterns of thinking linearly and precisely will just not help us adapt to the enormous changes we are facing as human beings in the generations to come.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What if there was no god...

of any kind?


My mind boggles at that concept!

I honestly can't seem to fully imagine a world where there is no form of Faith of any kind.

Steve Pavlina often suggests adopting a particular belief system for a month or so to "try it on for size" so to speak. Whilst this flexible approach to life is admirable and highly attractive, I find it extremely difficult to do.

My main reason is that I personally cannot see outside of my world view as determined by my own personal faith system. The faith that I have had since I was a child is as much a part of me as my skin. I literally live in my faith like I live in my skin.

So intrinsic to my sense of "self" is my faith system that imagining a "What if I didn't have it?" scenario is like trying to see the dark side of the moon! Mr Pavlina's construct for determining a personal belief system is entirely man-made. It requires a certain amount of skeptical indifference to be able to change beliefs like ones socks! For me, my Faith has been given TO me from beyond myself as a gift! And yes... this is entirely a subjective view despite my belief that my Faith comes from an objective source.

But okay...

What IF I didn't have my faith? What might I have been like as a woman now?

This is pure conjecture of course but here goes...

I would be obsessed about material stuff! I LOVE tech and gizmo's and other such glittery things! My CD collection would probably be quadruple what it is now. I am totally passionate about my music. CD's (even now) are my achilles heel when it comes to retail therapy.

I would probably be constantly poor due to excessive expenditure on gambling too. I have a weakness for gambling and I KNOW I could easily become addicted to it if I indulged in it often enough. Without the boundaries to this kind of thing that my faith gives me... I'd most likely get out of control.

I would be way more inflexible and non-conciliatory in my relationships. I am a "Do unto others" kind of woman. I like being treated kindly, fairly, compassionately and considerately. I currently try to treat other people this way even when its not reciprocated. I actually believe all people deserve that kind of respect regardless of what they present to the world. Without any kind of Faith construct, into which I can place relationships for that bigger picture perspective, I think I would be a whole lot more selfish and determined to have my way no matter the cost. I'd be more ruthless and manipulative, inconsiderate and judgemental perhaps.

Emotionally, I'd be a lot more unstable! And that's saying something! I come across to most people in RL as generally pretty cool, calm and collected! I shall now put the record straight and tell the world that I am a total mushy, romantic, and hyper-sensitive softy with the ability to laugh raucously one minute and then be sobbing on someones shoulder the next (If I know them well enough that is).

Without the gift of Prayer in my life I would have literally NOWHERE to "debrief" my often very intense and strong emotions and that could get really ugly for everyone quite frankly! I have been depressed before and I know the black depths one can go in that fractured night of the soul! But... I always had hope even then. If I had no faith of any kind... where would my hope have been in those dark days? I cannot begin to fathom how it is that people can feel so alone in the world they believe no-one will notice if they take themselves out of it. Even in the depths of unutterable despair and loathing of my lot, I still KNEW that I was LOVED by Someone (whom I call Christ!).

No belief system of any kind huh? Well... I don't think that is actually possible for human beings really! I mean... I'd be the sort of person who would CREATE a faith of some kind if there were none around. I'm actually very mystical and am intensely curious about the spiritual realm. I also have a penchant for wanting to KNOW everything, including what the future might hold.

Its this wanting to KNOW in advance that I think is the basic thrust behind all man-made Faith systems (I do include some versions of christianity in that "man-made" mix too). Human beings KNOW and want to know even more. Through the spiritual depths we've been endowed with, we have been given insight into realms outside of this temporal, physical one we appropriate through our senses every day. But we want more and we will have more if we can. Faith is as intrinsic to human endeavour as eating, breathing, sleeping and sex. Even those who claim to have no faith of "any" kind believe whole-heartedly in the truth of their beliefs! :)

Is God an external force of impossible magnitude? Is God an internal force of unfathomable human spirit and endeavour? Is God real or imagined? Is God really "that" important to human society?

The answer to all the above is YES!

He (or She if you are that way inclined) is as he is. Without him, the world is a very different place. With him it's also a very different place. The only diffence between those two positions is indifference.

Perhaps if we had no god, no religion, no spiritual practise of any kind, all we might be left with is mere Indifference.

Thank God it's not like that huh?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Assume nothing

It's nearly a week into 2007 and already my journey toward the Evolving Emancipation of Michelle is showing the tangled roots of enquiry along this goat-track of introspection!

Lately, I've been admonished for an over abundance of Assumption in my conversations with my nearest and dearest.

It almost got to a point where I felt like I couldn't say anything at all at the risk of being told off for inherent assumptions I hadn't realised were there in the first place!

But I digress....

This is not a whinge entitled "No one will listen to me!" :) This is a study for myself mostly, on the nature of assumptions.

To Assume is to take something a certain way as a matter of course.

An Assumption is to take that something without direct pre-established proof leading to its verification either way.

Assumptions are really beliefs. We all have them.

And there you have it!

A classic Assumption right there! :) "We all have them."

Do we? Do I really know that for certain?

Of course not! I do not know that all people everywhere have "Beliefs"! But, in the interests of proving my skill as a writer of this blog, I assumed that statement because it verifies my argument that Assumptions are basically Beliefs! Nor can I actually prove that statement so my underlying arrogance in assuming such a thing is clearly evident!

Do you see my point here?

The way that we say things to people can sometimes be filled with all manner of underlying beliefs and assumptions that we cannot and more importantly DO NOT prove the validity of before we open our mouths. It is a form of arrogance really.

When I am in a deep and intimate conversation with my loved one, I can take on the underlying belief that I know them well enough as to be able to assert certain behaviours, ideologies, impressions and beliefs about them that I can in no way truly validate by myself.

Thing is, now that I've been carefully listening to the conversations that go on around me, I've noticed that this tendency to Assume in conversation is strong in both the genders and age groups I've listened to.

The other thing I've noticed is that that Assumption thing apparently seems sometimes necessary to creating good dialogue between people. It seems that we can let most assumptions ride because when the conversationalists know each other very well, many of those assumptions can indeed be correct and validated. What does become a sticking point is when the un-validated assumption is made to be an Absolute by the assuming party. This is basically a form of labelling people and I don't think that is a really very pleasant thing myself.

It seems that I, in particular, need to learn how to add the wonderful maxim "I don't know" to the things I say in my conversations more often. Especially with the ones I love.

When I add qualifiers such as "I don't know" or "Perhaps" to my assumptions, it frees the other person from feeling labelled and taken for granted and creates a better foundation for harmonious conversation.

I don't know! :)