When I was younger, I always associated “love” with the feeling of sexual passion – the intense desire, the suffering in that desire, the longing…and the consummation of that longing and desire.
For a while, “love” was just my addiction to the chemical “squirt” in my body that I felt in moments of passion.
Now, love means much more to me. It isn’t an instantaneous thing, but a process. Love is still passion, still that desire/fire, but it is also the process of suffering the wound of separation…remaining within yourself, appreciating the other person’s path as their own, and not interfering…loving them from “so close, yet so far away.”
Or, updated a bit…
This recent article in Parade – A Connecting Flight – sums up part of this so well, I had to post it. Please read it, I think it’s worthwhile.
We often forget, in moments or relationships, in that wonderful gush of chemicals flooding our body, that there is another person, another individual, there with us. Or that we are an individual person, with our own history, issues, joys, and desires – that all are only, ultimately, experienced by us alone.
And what happens when that high wears off? When we become used to the presence of that cocktail in our system?
No one else feels what you feel. We agree on meanings of words, and approximate agreement on what we’re feeling inside by using those words…but it’s only ever an approximation.
No one ever feels what you feel. And you never feel what someone else feels.
To try to even get close requires so much space, so much observation, so much silence, and listening, that most of us never get there. But that’s what love really is…the attempt to get there. The attempt to give that much space, observation, silence, listening, care, facilitation, whatever you want to call it…
We’re so busy with our lives, with our own feelings, and our ideas of what the other person may be living or feeling, that we rarely clear space to see if we can really experience that connection.
In the article above, it often only hits us, as with so many things in life, too late. Or, if we’re lucky, when we meet someone who can wake us up to that.
Part of the goal of “physiology tracking” is knowing your own physiological responses to things, so you can see those in others. So you don’t have to rely on words – which are never good enough.
But to track, you have to be silent. You have to be careful. You have to clear your mind of opinions, and let the signs guide you.
Another goal of physiology tracking is to stay true to yourself. Only if you know yourself, your physiology, can you be aware enough to keep it in check when it threatens to overrun you, or allow it to overrun you when you most need or want it to.
Learn to be a tracker.
The rhythmic process of the rise and fall of desire/fire can be encouraged. And then it becomes a relationship with yourself, a new lens through which to see things, a new way to experience different dimensions of “reality.”
Part of love is respecting the other person’s path, their full path – the place where their desire ebbs and flows – as the thing that you loved, inseparable from the rest, and the thing that you love now.
Even if it’s the pair of slippers you trip over every day.
But to feel this, you have to agree to suffer the wound of love, the suffering (which is what “passion” really means, by the way) of the whole person of the other, of the realization that the other is complete, and you are too, and you embrace it all.