The simple truth is that If you are a closed-off, fearful, unapproachable, reserved person, you will get hurt a few times in life. And even if you are the most open, brave, honest and loving person, you will still get hurt a few times in Life. So, as it seems, the fact that you’ll get hurt a number of times in your life is a given. But you can still choose what kind of a person to be.
This is something Stephen Kiernan told me recently that really stayed with me and that I turn to in moments of pain. I believe it has a soothing power.
I think it brings a great relief to just accept that getting hurt is a part of the game. It is not by default a punishment. You may get hurt and not have wronged in any way (think “collateral damage” or politics, being at the wrong place at the wrong time).
I’m now working on erasing the thought process that claims “I am a good person, so this shouldn’t be happening to me”. I am who I am because it’s impossible for me not to.
More than a century ago, Oscar Wilde stated what may seem an eternal truth. “Everything is about sex except for sex. Sex is about power,” he wrote. But what power could this be? As Marx posits, “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas” and “the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it” (Marx, 1845). A society ruled by capitalists will not only have its economic system shaped by capitalism. As a self-reproducing whole, capitalism becomes more than a tool for market organization— it spreads as a mindset and becomes an invisible guiding force in every aspect of the societal life, including the most intimate. Applying Marxist concepts such as commodification, the market economy and alienation, one can see how capitalist ideology profoundly influences our sexual practices, preferences and choices.
This is a sociology paper for my Society and the Individual Class taught by the great Jamie MacCallum :)
Durkheim and the reign of monogamy
I started practicing polyamory three years ago in an attempt to free myself of the unbearable attachment, dependency and conditionality that came with monogamous relationships. Needy, shattered and incapable to fulfill my deep need for love and intimacy with others, I longed for change. I first heard about the tempting concept of “love without attachment” at a meditation retreat in Thailand. Soon after starting to open myself to the possibility that relationships may be built on mutual respect, love and appreciation instead of fear of losing the other, desire to dominate or fit social expectations, I was ready to embrace polyamory. The freedom and happiness it brought me inspired me to celebrate it, share it, spread it. I knew it was meant to be challenging, because of the normalcy associated with monogamy in society, yet I thought the status-quo was reversible and people only needed to learn about polyamory to at least give it a try, if not adopt it.
It didn’t take long to figure I was wrong. While I remain optimistic for the sake of not losing my energy as an agent of change in society, I now see the invisible strings that control it. “The practice of having a single sexual partner during a period of time”, or otherwise monogamy, fits Emile Durkheim’s concept for a social fact, introduced in The Rules of Sociological Method. Social facts are ways of thinking, acting or being which are normalized, generalized throughout society, constraining and external to the individuals who perform them. Continue reading
Today and every day, choose love over fear until it becomes your habit. Wayne Dyer
Today I reminded myself of the time I was freer when I could Love without fear and find strength in vulnerability. In the past months I had grown fearful of hurting others and being hurt which naturally limited my ability to give my love without holding back and looking for reciprocity. It stopped me from being direct and honest to the degree I wanted to. (But if we are, indeed, destined to live our own separate realities, isn’t the only way to bridge the inherent gap between each other precisely direct, honest communication?!)
Ironically, I had put myself and others through a lot of pain simply by trying not to cause pain.
Back then when I lived life to its fullest intensity, I accepted pain as a normal part on the path of learning.
I have been hurt and I have, certainly, hurt others. But may be we shouldn’t villainize pain and strive to escape it.
One thing I had embraced before and forgotten recently is that pain and being hurt is a catalyst of change and transformation.
Being afraid of hurting others or being hurt petrifies us and leaves little space for the good stuff in life- like Love and Empathy. If we accept the possibility of occasionally getting hurt or hurting others (without it being intentional, of course!) as an inevitable part of life that we can nevertheless celebrate, we may find that in the end fear isn’t really worth it and that guardedness is much more dangerous than vulnerability.
Sofia in its Majesty Photo credit: Strahil Vasilev
(First day back home after 2 months in Palestine)
I don’t know if it’s because I was in the Middle East for the past two months, so my perception is distorted, but I saw disproportionally many people hugging and kissing or both in Sofia today.
Needless to say, I’m very hopefull about the future of my Country Bulgaria : )
Spread this LOVE. please : ) The world needs it. We all do.