Philisophical Musings

of an agnostic polyamorous heterosexual artistic soul

A covenant for Relationship

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I wish I had understood this the first time around… If I have the chance to speak my love to the one I wish to love, then this would be my promise:

Our Covenant

By Deborah Koff-Chapin

I dedicate myself

to trust you, to be genuine with you
to be vulnerable with you, to reveal myself
with you
to be strong with you, to be gentle with you
to have faith in you, to love you

to allow you to change
to allow you to make mistakes, to fall –
as well as to succeed and to fly
to allow you the space to say no and to say yes

to be true to my own dance
to be a loving witness of your dance
to pursue the point of contact in our
dance together
to act from within the pulse, rather than
from impulse

to walk the edges with you
to be at home with you
to give you the freedom to explore
your edges
to give you the space in my heart to come home

to see our relationship as a mirror of my
own attunement
to see beyond the shell of outer appearances
to the seed of your essence
to be in the union beyond our differences
to remember always to give thanks

to assist your healing
to allow you to assist my healing
to assist our healing
to assist the healing of others and the earth

to harness our energies for consciousness
rather than to dissipate them
to resist becoming mesmerized by the habitual
patterns in life by the mechanics of relationship
and marriage
to see and use all the circumstances of our
life as fuel for our growth, soul work and
spiritual journey
to align our hearts, minds, bodies and
souls with the Will of God

to embrace the unknown together, allowing for
deeper knowings to emerge
to allow the necessary deaths that bring new life
to share with you all the days that life may give us
together, and
to create the most beautiful life that we can

and, I invite the same from you

One of the articles in (IC#)
Copyright (c)1985, 1997 by Context Institute

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Written by Philoman

January 21, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Loneliness – Where is the handbook?

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If you are human, you have known loneliness. Probably many times. As a child, being separated from your mother or father, for even a few minutes, can feel lonely. Going to a Prom Night without a date can feel lonely. Even the fact that you might be in a relationship with another person does not give you a free pass on loneliness.

There is a lot to be said about loneliness, and just trying to find your way out of it can present challenges which only seem to intensify the feelings. I am just becoming an expert in the realization that it is loneliness in my own life that I am fighting. I have a way to go before I could ever hope to shed any wisdom on dealing positively with loneliness. Right now, I am reaching out for any form of help which is within reach…mostly family and friends and what I read on Internet. I might choose to submit myself to more therapy in the near future, but only once I have cleared some of the cobwebs blocking my view.

 

Today, I came across an article, How to be alone, on Salon.com and I liked some of the ideas I read there. For example, Author Judy Ford says:

“We are born alone and die alone, and deep within our souls we live alone. No one else ever abides in our skin. If we haven’t yet come to terms with this ultimate truth, we are scared out of our minds to be alone.”

Further, she suggests some ways of battling loneliness: getting creative, push yourself to try new things, admit your loneliness to others and “getting cozy with the gaps”, those empty spaces between your plans. Ford suggests that “to experience wholeness, first we experience the void”

I have a brother, whom I love greatly, who has always been telling me the same thing: Get used to being alone. Allow yourself to simply “be there” by yourself. Only once you can be comfortable (happy?) alone, can you really be happy in relation to others.

Here is another little group of words which resonated with me: “You need to feel like you can get support and give support”. That comes from the book “The Happiness Project” written by Gretchen Rubin. Her take is a little different, in that she feels strong relationships are essential to happiness in life. Her emphasis isn’t on learning to be happy alone, but rather recognizing what level of social interaction makes you happiest — and it’s different for everyone: “Maybe you don’t have a sweetheart, but being around a lot of other people might make you feel happier even if you wish you had that. I think people sometimes aren’t very aware of how much they need to be around other people.”

It is clear that for me, being around people, or at least one other person, is very a very basic need I have in order to truly be happy, but, I am starting to realize the necessity of learning to also be alone, to accept quiet moments when you only have yourself to talk to. We won’t always have the option to be around other people 24/7…and maybe we don’t really want that. But often it seems this is the default with which many of us are raised; as soon as no one else is around to listen to us or pat us on the back, we freak out and get desperate.

In the last days, I have come to realize (or rather, have had my nose rubbed in the reality) that I am acting desperate. I am terribly lonely. I am stuck in my head. I only talk about myself to others. Poor poor me. And I try to force relationships which normally should grow on their own. It is not easy to come to the realization that you are lonely and that the only person who can get you out of that space is…yourself. But it will have to be done before I can move on to bigger and better things…or relationships.

 

Written by Philoman

January 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Pendulums and Fountains – Poly vs Mono

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I have spent the last year learning the hard way…the only way(?)…that people who are ‘wired’ for monogamy really do see love in a different light. In the last year, my Butterfly and I have tried to establish a relationship 4 times. Each time, our efforts, as hard as we tried, were frustrated by some difference in the way we envisioned that a loving relationship should be. Our expectations, which somehow are very deeply grounded within us, were simply too different. Today I was reading a discussion on one of my Yahoo lists, and I came across this description of the different approaches between Poly and Mono outlooks on love:

I think I made the “pendulum” analogy in another post, so I’ll just summarize it
here. For me, the amount of romantic love that I am able to give is limited.
Like a pendulum swinging, if I devote all I can give in one direction, it’s not
going in any other direction. If I try to balance that pendulum in multiple
directions, it moves more toward the center, never really becoming too close to
either direction.

This is what romantic love for me feels like – that I have to dilute it if I
want multiple partners.

We all see things through the filters of our own experience. For someone who
feels this way, it stands to reason that when you are seen dividing your
romantic attention among multiple partners, no partner is getting a high level
of devotion and intimacy.

I realize now that for Poly folks like my partner, he doesn’t have a pendulum,
he has a fountain. And just like I can’t take the amount of romantic love I have
available and “turn it up” to a level where I could share it with multiple
people, he can’t “turn it down” without feeling like someone’s thrown a bucket
on top of the fountain to try to turn it off.

I realize pendulums and fountains are apples and oranges, but that’s the point.
We love SO differently, that it’s not even the same type of animal, and that is
a very hard thing to come to understand. It means understanding that what you’ve
been taught about love your entire life isn’t always correct, which then means
that any assumptions you ever had about loving relationships get turned on their
heads. You have a road map in hand because that’s what “happens”. Except now,
for the person you’re with, it doesn’t. Now what? You’re in unfamiliar territory
with a map not worth a darn, and it’s frightening. It takes a lot of will to
grab that machete and make your own path forward, rather than turn around for
the comfort of the familiar.

Sometimes, I am not really completely sure if I love like a pendulum or a fountain. I would expect that I, in my most ideal state, would at least want to be a very large fountain. At this point, I can still often be a ‘selfish little fountain’. But then I just think of myself as the ‘selfish little fountain that could’…could become very large and selfless. Makes me think of the song by James Taylor: Shower the people you love with love.

Written by Philoman

October 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Primary & Secondary SO’s? Why?

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Reading through a message on the PolyMono Yahoo group, and this paragraph struck something in me. I know we are human, and we will always have jealousy…we will always compare ourselves to one another. But, being a person who tends to deal ‘well’ with jealousy, I wonder why it has to be so difficult. I am always trying to find the right words to use to explain the way I think, but I am new to this whole world of loving-more-than-one-person-at-the-same-time and I have not yet built up a large enough vocabulary for myself. I still rely a lot on what others have to say.

As far as your hurt in feeling that you are losing your primary status and becoming more equals with L, unfortunately, I can not be much help. I personally, prefer thinking of T as my equal in my Angel’s heart. I never want to be ‘primary’ and have an OSO be ‘secondary’. For me, that would be too painful. I would never want to feel that I am less than someone else. That would be heartbreaking to me. Because I would never want to feel that way, I never want another to feel that way either. I can accept and be content in knowing that my needs are important enough to my Angel that he will always consider them and to his best to fulfill them, just as he does with T. That way I know that he will always continue to do so. If he were to place me above her (who he has been with longer), then I would also know that the day could come when he might place another above me. For me, it is better to know that he will always try his best to make sure that all of his loves are as loved he as he is capable of loving them.

This is the kind of thinking I can appreciate. This is putting yourself in the other persons shoes, which, in relationships, can be a tough job. But it makes so much sense. And it goes for all of us…of course. If I feel I should be more important to my lover than someone else, that I should take some sort of priority over another, then I must also accept the possibility of ending up at the other end of the bargain…namely that the ‘other’ becomes a higher priority over me. And if I then say “well, then I don’t need to be with this person”, what does that say about the type of love you have for your lover? What it really comes down to then is a selfish love: I am not getting what I want out of this relationship.

It is OK to ask yourself if you are getting out of a relationship what you want out of it, and it is good to walk away from it if what you are getting is not enough. But then, you also need to really ask yourself “why was I in this relationship in the first place?”

Personally, I do not like the idea of Primary/Secondary SO’s. No one is above another, and no one is really more important. Certainly, a relationship should not balance on the answer to the question: “Am I as important as the other?” I long to be in relationships where I can assure my SO’s of my love for them, even though they might not, at every moment be sure of it. I wish for partners who choose to be in a relationship with me because…they like being with me.

Written by Philoman

September 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Thank goodness for sex

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Genuine sexuality is by nature fluid, complicated and sometimes confusing in its expression. It does not always align with what society labels “healthy” or “decent.”

This article deals with a subject I think most all of us struggle with in our lives. Our societies smother us from the very first day with so many rules and taboos. We are taught to feel a certain way about certain things, not because that is how we feel about those things, but because others feel that we should feel that way about those things. Religion and Politics have a large role in this  process. And the dangerous thing about it is that most of us don’t even realize it until we are well on our way to becoming adults and raising our own children…often teaching them the same debilitating ideas. Many will never realize it.

I have come to realize that just because the thoughts and ideas I have are not the same as everyone around me, does not mean that those thoughts are wrong or damaging. Just take masturbation…a hot topic for everyone at some point in their lives.  Masturbation is a natural process of self discovery. It plays a very important role in a persons life as far as learning to understand their own very personal needs sexually…what they like, what they don’t like, what they long for. Personally, I feel life would be a whole lot less interesting without such a tool of discovery. But, society generally teaches us a very different lesson concerning self-love. We are taught that masturbation is flawed because it is a ‘selfish’ love. We are made to feel that it degrades our sexuality. In years past, it was even taught that masturbation would cause horrible things to happen such as blindness. There is also the belief that masturbation will ultimately lead to a sexual addiction and possibly even sexually deviant actions.

I, being a normal male, struggled with many of these ideas and beliefs. Masturbation was a daily experience. It was a way to feel sexually connected in an environment where being too sexually connected was frowned upon. Without knowing it, masturbation provided me a way to calm my very intense desires to be the opposite sex. It gave me the feeling, even for a moment, that I was unable to achieve in real relationships due to fears I had. It was not until much later in life that I realized that all boys (and later, men) dealt with exactly the same issues. I thought I was the only one who needed a daily fix. I thought I was the only one who was so ‘perverted’, that he couldn’t resist the urge. And, on top of everything else, the heavy hand of religion in my childhood environment provided any feelings of guilt I hadn’t already aquired.

I am now in my forties. I still enjoy masturbation. Often. The difference now is that I enjoy it without any feelings a guilt, except when it is waisting valuable time. This change has been made possible by therapy. I have come to understand the need in my life for an expression of sexuality. I have learned to separate the act from everything society might say about it. I have been able to give it a respectable place in my life, even though those looking from the outside might have very little regard for my choice in that matter. I have learned that masturbation sometimes gets in my way, but that it often also provides a healthy outlet for pent up sexual frustrations, that it provides a very safe context wthin which I can satisfy (to some extent at least) my normal human desires.

This is not to say that masturbation (or any other form of sexual expression) can not be debilitating for someone. In that sense, it is little different from cigarettes and alchahol. They can be used in a healthy and beneficial way, but they can also be abused. When an expression of sexuality is used as a way to hide even bigger problems, then there is call for concern.

I am glad that I have been able to take a step in the direction of more acceptance and legitimacy of my sexuality. Somehow, as long as there are humans, I think they will continue to struggle with their sexuality. It will take a lot to create a society where sexuality, in all it’s many forms, can not only be accepted, but celebrated as the amzing and beautiful aspect of humanity that it is and for the gifts it bestows on our miriad relationships.

Sometimes, I am not sure that there is anything more important. Sex and sexuality go hand in hand. A world with no sex means a world with no ME! Thank goodness for sex.

Written by Philoman

August 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Triangle Theory of Love: Poly Style

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In my continuing search for the meaning behind words like ‘I love you’, I came across this article which I feel sheds some light on the meaning of love especially within Polyamorous relationships. To read the entire articel, which I would recommend, go here.

Here are some quotes out of the article which I like:

…unfortunately, we live in a society that over-values and over-idealizes the consummate love… or what I think people would classify as ‘true’ love. Anything else just is lacking and not worthwhile. I personally think that Consummate Love is rather rare, and likely not sustainable over the long term for most pairings. 

…Well.. of course, it’s not quite that easy…[ ]…Yes, indeed .. it can happen. But it can also cause envy in an existing companionate relationship to see you off having a fatuous, passion filled relationship with a new love. It takes a few extra tools than just understanding that these different types of relationships exist, and a lot of those tools come from having a lot of self-confidence in all parties involved, as well as good communication. 

 …I think there’s an innate drive in us… probably programmed in from society, that is always wanting to hold up our relationships to be complete and balanced. Even in polyamory

Written by Philoman

August 3, 2011 at 8:40 am

Polyamory is …

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“To me, being poly is not about having more than one lover, it’s about loving more
than one person. There’s a difference. I want more love in my life, and I
suspect that if this has happened twice for me, it will likely happen again. My
husband is not jealous… he knows that I love him deeply and will not leave
him. In the meantime, allowing life to proceed with enthusiasm and
anticipation, free to believe, free to create our own relationship structures as
individuals, couples, triads, and more, is very profound.”

– User, YahooGroup livingpolymono

Written by Philoman

March 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm