Monthly Archives: September 2011

Relating Without Labels?

What does it mean when I say, “This is my girlfriend?”

Does it mean:

  • Great! Now I have found a way to have sex whenever I want for FREE
  • Great! Now I don’t have to do laundry or clean anymore!
  • Great! Now the cooking is going to be done for me!

What else might it mean?

  • What? There is this moody person living in my house?!?
  • What? I am going to be late for everything now?
  • What? The bathroom is always occupied?

What does it mean to say, “This is my boyfriend?”

  • Great! Now I don’t have to justify myself in front of my father anymore.
  • Great! Now I can cuddle anytime I want!
  • Great! Now there is someone to tell me how beautiful I am!

What else might it mean?

  • What? The toilet seat is up for no reason?
  • What? The toilet seat is wet for no reason?
  • What? This thing is farting in bed with me!?
  • It snores, too?!?
  • Aaarrrghhh!!

Generally, we attach a specific set of needs and responsibilities to a relationship, such as we attach to employment…

Like such: I expect to receive $Sum of Money in return for X hours of labor.

Employment, however, is a fairly simple form of human relationship and is usually governed by a contract that provides some level of security for both sides.

Seldom do we enter relationships with these kinds of contracts. And, even if we do, we will have assumed so much that we don’t even realize we are assuming (see the statements above, for example) that conflict about our needs is inevitable.

At first, we might overlook some of our needs being met partially or not met at all, however, the longer these needs go without being met, (or even the feelings belonging to them being expressed),  the more pressure will build up within a relationship.

Why are there such misunderstandings? Why do we seldom have these issues with strangers? Partially because we are not moving into the relationship with labels that include who each person is and what we expect them to do with/for us.

So, instead of asking someone, “Will you be my girlfriend?” or, even worse, it simply happening, what would it be like to say, “When I am with you, I feel happy because the following needs are being met: 1,2,3,4,x… I would like it if you could do 5,6,7,8,x to meet more of my needs. Could you do that?” and then the other person doing the same.

If we did this, instead of entering the relationship with labels, what would happen?

Starting to Change your Life

So, something is not right with your life. You want to change something. You may not even realize what that is exactly at the moment. How do you start?

Well, you start by sitting with your back upright and brining your attention to your breathing. Close your eyes for one minute in this position. Maybe you are like me and your back starts hurting. For me, that was anger, for example. Bring your attention to every feeling and sensation, whether comfortable or uncomfortable.

Congratulations. You have started.

Now, what happens when you risk “quiet” (or ‘stillness’ as the Buddhists call it) is that things can manifest to you which you are usually not listening to.

Feelings. Pain. Stuff you usually don’t have time for when you are busy ‘living life’. The funny thing? The stuff that starts showing itself is life. But it’s the part of life you haven’t had time and space for until you start listening. To yourself.

According to some people, this is all you need to do. Just sit and be aware. Everything will come up. You can look at it. Make conscious decisions. You are done.

What if that doesn’t work fast enough?

Well, you might start looking for someone to help you. Who do you go to?

It doesn’t matter at first. Just go to someone who seems adequately strange. A ‘healer’, ‘energy worker’, ‘fortune teller’…anyone who can give you a new (though not necessarily ‘true’) view on things.

Listen to how this person thinks about problems and issues. Compare it with how you tend to think about problems and issues.

This is the start.

Relationships as Exchange

Once I was in negotiations for a major business transaction. Compared to most relationships, I was amazed at how simple and straightforward the process was.

had something the other wanted. They had something that I wanted. We agreed on that major thing first.

Later, we started to go through all the minor details of the purchase.

Never did the guy on the other side of the table say, “I really love you. I want what is best for you.”

No, he was handling in naked self-interest. Yet, he was offering to give me something that I valued in return for something that I didn’t value as much.

I wonder does our society, our educational systems sometimes convince us that what we have to offer others isn’t ‘valuable‘?

So, he was fulfilling my needs. He was helping me out. And he was happy to do it. How is this?

All too often in our personal or intimate relationships, we accuse the other, “You don’t love me! Otherwise you would (or wouldn’t) a,b,c x,y,z.”

But what if personal relationships are just like this negotiation of business sale? What if we came saying, “Well, I am looking for somebody to cuddle me and night and kiss me three times a day and make meals at least 3 times per week.”

And what if the Other could say, “Well, I want my laundry done and I want to go to the opera every month.” etc

And now what if we started with those two long lists of expectations that we wanted our Prospective Significant Other to fulfill and worked on from there–just like in business?

As templates we would probably use the lists of things we watched with our parents, supplemented with those things that we have found out we want and need.

And what if we then wrote up a contract and signed it? Would that create happier relationships?

How women keep THE MAN for them Away

“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

Allow me to paraphrase that for single women:

You will get all you want from men in your life if you help enough men to get what they want.

So many women are waiting, waiting, waiting for the perfect guy to show up and give them what they want. I see women who go out on dates waiting for some guy to ‘impress them’ enough to qualify for their real gifts.

Does this work?

During this time, the woman is:

  • Withholding her true beauty
  • Withholding her natural ability to comfort
  • Withholding her natural ability to inspire
  • Withholding her natural ability to nurture
  • Blocking her natural ability to provide other viewpoints and insights
  • Limiting a large amount of her intrapersonal contributions that she could be making to the world

Like a miser hoarding his gold, she sits atop her gifts waiting to find the man who deserves this all.

Like Jesus said, if you don’t use your talents, you lose them! Through disuse, all of the support, love and contribution she could be giving slowly atrophies—no wonder no noble knight comes along to slay the dragons guarding her heart for this treasure!

So, what can she do instead?

Cultivate and practice:

  • Gracing the world with her natural internal and external beauty
  • Her ability to comfort
  • Her ability to inspire
  • Her ability to nurture
  • Sharing her energy and viewpoints and insights

With guys who don’t deserve it. With men who could never qualify for all of those gifts.

Women hold fantastic abilities to transform the world, if they will use them. In the next article, I will talk about some ways a woman can do this without compromising herself, her boundaries, or her ideals.

The Splitting of the Female Archetype

Ever notice how a woman in our society is allowed to be sexy or intelligent, but not both?

Beautiful models are only allowed to be seen, not to speak. They don’t participate in issues. They don’t go to debates.

Intelligent women are not allowed to act overtly sexy (on company time).

And mothers are not really allowed to be either—they raise children and are not really welcome to participate in the active structuring of corporations, governments, or other organizations—not if they are going to be seen as ‘good mothers’.

Why is this?

Because an integrated woman possesses incredible power which is absolutely terrifying for everyone else—men and women.

Remember the story of the crabs?

If you put one crab in a bucket, he will crawl out. But if you have two crabs in a bucket, just as the first one is making some headway, the second one will put the first down and back in.

This is how we work in society. We want people to be like us. At the moment where they express unusually more power, initiative, competence, or whatever than we have, we become jealous.

If we see them as too inferior, weak, incompetent, we become judge – mental. In either case, we distance ourselves from them inside.

The combination of these two elements is what is referred to as the sin of pride (sin denoting a false way of seeing).

This fundamental split in the energies that a woman is allowed to possess and express has been termed the “Lilith Complex” by German psychologist Hans-Jürgen Maaz.

Lilith was Adam’s first wife, according to Jewish mythology. She was a powerful, sexual woman who wasn’t interested in children. More importantly, she saw herself as Adam’s equal. Rather than put up with the competition, Adam asked God to take her away and provide another—which was done. Eve was docile, obedient, and loved motherhood and children. Now Adam could relax.

Lilith was forever banned into the wilderness.

And that is where she has stayed until this day. She remains there as our concept of “a good mother” is colored into someone who doesn’t overtly display her sexuality (much less do anything ‘kinky’ or ‘wild’), who is peaceful, and gentle and loving and…motherly! The positive qualities are as clear to us as they are cliché. If our mother wasn’t like that (if she was out in discos persuing pleasure instead of at home taking care of us), we wish she would have been. If she is like that, she is honored and revered by society (you know about Mother’s day. You have never heard of Maiden Day, Slut Day, Crone/Witch (wise woman) day…) A good mother puts others first and does not complain about the burdens placed upon her.

But if she is never allowed to be overtly sexual or powerfully shape society, it is easy to understand the frustration (perhaps indicated by the quantity of antidepressants women and especially mothers take in our society) she feels at the lack of expression she has (self-expression being one of the needs from Maslow’s famous hierarchy).

As long as one or more of the key parts of being a woman is denied to almost all women in our society, each woman individually will suffer from the lack of balance of her expression and society suffers from its inability to receive the gifts that are available from a woman who is integrated and comfortable with every portion of her self.

Healing the Split

So, how do we fix this?

How do women:

  • Reclaim their inner power as a sexual being (often derogatorily labeled as “slut” or “whore”)
  • Manifest their powers of wisdom openly in society (without unnerving or losing the interest of males)

…while retaining the ability to also express the nurturing and “mothering” which is also a key part of the female psyche?