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Confusing warm fuzzy feelings with love II!
December 22, 1999
9:07 pm
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Kitten and VRJ.

Just got back and read all your recent postings. From my perspective, emotions are powerful driving forces for ensuring ………. and very good signposts to what is going on in our psyches. However in a ‘civilised’ society, for me, emotions are very poor ‘masters’. I would like to clearly differentiate between intuition and emotion. Giving over control to my emotions generally lead me a merry chase, disrupting the lives of all around me including my own.

It seems to me that emotional power struggles between people of the opposite sex are about futile attempts to attain the unattainable. The emotional game is an unthinking push-pull seesaw in which it is the balance point that seems unattainable. However, it is ‘real’ love, not the sick Hollywood variety, that facilitates the balance by ‘chocking up’ both sides of the seesaw to form a stable horizontal support platform for both partners. The correct use of the intellect, when turned inwards by each partner, is the basis in forming those individual ‘chocks’ of love.

"See-saw Margorie Daw, Jack will have a new master……" I have forgotten the rest of this oh, so appropriate nursery rhyme written by a very insightful author.

The most pertinent questions are:
What is it that I am trying to achieve from my relationship? What is the unattainable? What is the most fundamental emotional need in myself that I am trying to satisfy? Why can I never seem to permanently satisfy this need? What is that dull craving, that desire to fill that inner emptiness about? Where is the ‘pain’ coming from? Why can’t I get my bf or gf to meet that need? Whether physically or emotionally, why do they run from me all the time? Why do I drive my partner away at times? Why is it me that always makes the first move? Or why do I always wait for him to make the first move? Why does the push-pull cycle happen at all? What has all this to do with love? When I say that my bf or gf loves me what does that really mean for me? When I say that I love him or her what do I really mean?

Kitten, you said, "Even tho' I am emotional I need some concrete lesson plan to follow. Any suggestions?"

Well… my concrete answer (for me only - I’m not sure about you other humans) was and is to more deeply understand my inner self. I have found partial answers for all the above questions and more. The answers grow over time at an ever increasing depths that seems to move from the physical to the spiritual domain as time passes.

For me one turning point was the realisation that I have a set of positive and negative emotional memories that are located in the ‘primitive’ (old) brain and set in concrete.

Emotional memories are very different from memories of emotional experiences. For example animals have emotional memories. I recently had seven new ducklings who were hatched by a very nervous sterky mother duck. When they were first hatched, in the absence of the mother we were able to fondle and cuddle them. Then the mother discovered us doing this and began to panic. During that event the ducklings had laid down an emotional memory of fear arousal. That emotional memory was ‘paired’ with a ‘stimulus’ which was the sight of us. Ever since they panic when we approach. They have never outgrown that response. They have only moderated it.

Some of us humans have also laid down negative emotional memories which are based on fears of abandonment, fears of being overwhelmed and controlled by our mothers and fathers, etc. In relationships, transferences, from our parents to our partners, cause the re-triggering of these emotional arousal states of yearning, craving, anger, depression etc.

Since our partners are totally oblivious to this transference and are also triggered by our actions, they react inappropriately and exacerbate our emotional response. It is a catch 22.

For me the answer has been to meet the needs of this emotionally needy self by self-nurturing; by giving myself the reassurances, compassion, love and care that I crave. That way I and my partner are both freed from the tyranny of my demanding emotional self.

One possible "lesson plan" aim, objective and implementation strategy:

Aim:
To learn to really love myself and others.

Objective:
After a lifetime of experiences involving self-education, self-discovery and extensive self-monitoring in my interactions with others, I will be able to demonstrate my control over my emotions by firstly recognising what it is that I am feeling and why I am feeling that way; secondly, by being able to meet my negative emotional needs in a way that is mutually fulfilling to all involved including myself; thirdly by self-triggering positive emotional memories using cognitive processes involving positive thoughts of self-nurture and gratitude.

Implementation Strategy:
I will live neither in the past nor in the future; only in the ‘now’………..

Merry Christmas to you all and a very smooth transition to the Y2K.

January 2, 2000
1:27 pm
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DD
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Seems that logic could be more useful at times perhaps I mean emotional logic. It's odd, you seem start out in your questions with the very process that you need to follow in order to have the right answers but defeat yourself by getting off your thinking track and going to far with the process of asking questions - you may be better served understanding how you know you have the answers.

Going back to your process, it is simply incomplete,, thats all - a small adjustment may give you a bigger answer than you think - the real question is whether you are really ready for the answer? That will promp some change and growth - if that's your goal, good.

So, the process? You've already started asking the right questions in your pargraph, "The most pertinent questions are . . ."

I would be interested to know what you feel your unobtainable goals are. Step 2? I'll just rephrase your second question, "What is the least acceptable I will allow? (The least I will accept)

Many people simply haven't used the reasearch capability we have today - unbelievable in what has been dicovered, and continues to be uncovered about the mind. For instance, they now understand there are only 4 real emotional states - afraid, alone,loney, relieved. All are important to survive and grow.

So now you can fill in the gaps yourself. You know the peramiters of what you can't do and what least you will accept for yourself - now what is it you will plan to do and how will you measure the results as you go along.

I haven't heard much about that iin the conversations I've read so far and that is a very interesting part I am intrigues with exploring.

So let me know what you think and Happy New Year.

January 2, 2000
4:55 pm
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DD.
You asked, "I would be interested to know what you feel your unobtainable goals are."

An unattainable goal, eh!

Answer: To feel totally secure at all times.

Happy Y2K all.

January 2, 2000
9:39 pm
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To feel totally secure at all times. Very good. Very, very good. But I have another question.

When you say that, what do you mean? Or perhaps I want to ask how would you recognize it if it was present?

January 2, 2000
10:53 pm
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Tez,

I felt this a better forum to address your concern.
Thank you, first off. You have been a good teacher. My heart is in shreds and I need to regroup. I almost made a fatal mistake...no man is worth that. My children would have been the ones to suffer(life would continue for him). So, now I need to find clarity. I must seek answers on my own. No therapists, girlfriends, or well meaning "big brothers" will do that for me. I plan on taking a week(not that it is really enough time, but I must also be concerned with the business of living). During that week I want to fast and meditate. No outside influence. Only my higher soul and me. If indeed, I am part of the collective unconscious...the answer is waiting in that sleeping part of my brain.Experience from tha past and past lives will show me the way! It is me that has to tell me what is best! For now, I will toss aside my lover, mother, and friend hats and merely wear my own little beret.

But, Tez, I will be back--after all I am a Scorpio. We rise out of the burning ashes like a phoenix and soar once again....

January 3, 2000
4:10 pm
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Kitten

You said, "the answer is waiting in that sleeping part of my brain.Experience from tha past and past lives will show me the way! It is me that has to tell me what is best!" I totally agree with this statement.

In my own life, I have found that I have had to find 'my' answers. Second hand answers from others were of little lasting help. Meditation and quiet contemplation has never failed me; especially where the emotions were concerned.

I wish you the very best in your 'dark night of the soul'.

January 3, 2000
4:14 pm
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DD.

Talking about an unattainable goal of total security, you asked, " I want to ask how would you recognize it if it was present?" By constant 'feelings' of well being.

January 3, 2000
5:42 pm
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Yes. I like that very much; "constant feelings of wellbeing". I was reading an article that focused on emotional energy and where it comes from and how to curb it etc, really fascinating but I'm afraid I've forgotten where I saw it. Too long ago. But tell me, in pursuit of this "feeling totally secure at all times", what would be the very least you would be willing to accept, the very, very least, in it's place. What would that be?

January 4, 2000
5:42 pm
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DD.

The very least that I accept is finding meaning in and good scientificaly sound reasons for not having constant feelings of well being.

January 9, 2000
10:57 am
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ok Tez, where were we? Ah yes, the meaning of love, etc. Is love a learned thing or is it automatic? Do you have to have it modeled to you to be able to do it or is it just there waiting to get out? Do you have to recieve love back or can you just give it expecting nothing (unconditional)? Or, do you always receive it back (my belief) even though you may not recognize it or it may be from a different source?

The meaning of life - to live, to love, and to learn.

January 9, 2000
5:09 pm
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VRJ.

You said, "Do you have to have it modeled to you to be able to do it or is it just there waiting to get out?"

A good question! The answer here depends on how you define love. I see that love can have both an emotional and a cognitive component.

I think that the cognitive component can be learned through reflection and contemplation.

Whereas the emotional component is learned as an emotional memory through experiencing love. That experience may be either through receiving it or observing it being received by others. A person, who as a child has been the recipient of much love in the form of one-on-one unconditional positive regard, is 'naturally' loving . Empathy, compassion, sympathy etc come easily to such a person. Like language, it is much easier to learn to love emotionally as a child than as an adult. It is as a child that we acquire our emotional world view. As a child, we learn that it is either a safe, loving world or a dangerous, fearful place. From the former world view it is easier to love the unloveable.

You said, "Do you have to recieve love back or can you just give it expecting nothing (unconditional)?" If it exists at all, I suspect that unconditional love is a vary rare commodity amongst humans.

You said, "Or, do you always receive it back (my belief) even though you may not recognize it or it may be from a different source?" I think, perhaps you are right. "So as ye sow so shall ye reap" stuff. The laws of karma and the bible certainly would confirm your belief. I think that we create our world in the terms of our own world view. If we see the world as a hostile place, we react out of fear and thus evoke fearful behaviour in others. By and large, we get back what we give. A dishonest person sees dishonesty everywhere. A fearful person see threats everywhere. A loving person see love all around them.

My meaning in life. - on a cognitive, objective level, to experience both emotionally and cognitively with as much awareness as possible the full extent of the human experiential spectrum. However on a very subjective and emotional level, I would like to only experience that which feels good :-).

We have awareness in order to experience. In my opinion learning has only one real value; to change the nature of our experiences (process modification).

I think that love is an ongoing dynamic process , not a static outcome. What do you think?

January 10, 2000
8:10 am
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Love is what you do, warm fuzzies are what you sense has been done by others, and which was aimed toward, to or at you or that you sensed is being done for your benefit. The difference is the sender/recipient aspcect of it.

January 10, 2000
10:06 pm
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Hi Tez

It seems to me that you are saying both of your love components must be learned (emotional and cognitive). You said cognitive can be learned through reflection and contemplation and emotional is learned as an emotional memory through experiencing love. So I gather you don't think that there is any love that is just in us, just there, waiting to be given or awakened? So, If you never experience love being given to you or see it modeled then you would be incapable of giving love? Or, perhaps, upon reflection, you could come to a conclusion to love? How would you explain why we 'fall' in love with one person and not another? Does it have to do with the emotional memories, someone reminds us by what they do or say or how they look of someone we loved or who loved us which provides the emotional response and then our cognitive process takes over from there?
Is the cognitive aspect love or a validation of the emotional response?

You said it is easier to learn to love emotionally as a child. Yes, it is easier to learn when you are open to the unknown and don't have preconceived ideas of how things should be. And I assume you think it is easier to learn to love cognitively as an adult because you have the background knowledge and experiences to learn from. That sounds reasonable but how do you explain the love of a long lost relative who suddenly comes into your life and you immediately feel love for? An emotional response to conditioning received as a child? I.e., this is my brother = I love him. Perhaps an immediate emotional response of unconditional (semiunconditional?) love followed by a cognitive reasoning process that validates or invalidates the initial response.
And, as a child you probably have not yet experienced rejection or heartbreak so don't have the fear that might stop the emotional response of love.

You said a child finds it easier to love the unlovable. I agree. Children do not naturally judge someone as either lovable or unlovable until a basis for such a judgment is provided through experience, experience that can drastically alter whether or not we even give someone a chance to show us that they are lovable. It probably happens more often that we judge someone lovable only to find out that we don't want to love them than it is we judge someone unlovable only to find out that they are very lovable indeed. That probably is a partial reason for why Jesus said we must be as children.

I agree with what you are saying but I do have a feeling that there is something missing with a view of love as two parts, cognitive and emotional. It doesn't seem complete. Perhaps it is a spiritual aspect or perhaps it is an intrinsic ability. I'll have to think about it.

You said " I think that we create our world in the terms of our own world view. If we see the world as a hostile place, we react out of fear and thus evoke fearful behaviour in others. By and large, we get back what we give. A dishonest person sees dishonesty everywhere. A fearful person see threats everywhere. A loving person see love all around them". Yes, we must look for what we want rather than for what we fear. And for truth. An example I have is about my jeep. It really is a pile of sh**. I bought it 3 years ago on a recommendation from my brother that it would be good for me to have in the snow so I would never get stuck and that it was a good deal and I could probably sell it in a year for the same price. I bought it with very little reasoning on my part. Since I bought it I have put over two thousand dollars into it, it leaks oil from somewhere still quite badly and obviously it has been in a prior accident (the driver door is loose and there is a bad paint job peeling off). But I don't get stuck! Funny but I don't remember getting stuck before though. Anyway, my bf is a car guy, through and through. Every time the subject of the jeep comes up he gets real pissed off and makes all kind of sarcastic comments like yeah why don't you take it back and tell them to give you the same money you paid for it or yeah that's a real good deal, etc. I used to get very defensive because I had made the decision to buy it and felt he was putting me down. But now that I've thought it through I've realized that what do I know about cars anyway and my brother really isn't a car guy either and his brother in law that I bought it from is a bit of a con man I think. So why should I be defensive. And then, looking at his comments from a different perspective, I see that he seems angry because he is a car guy and could have stopped me from this trouble if he had known me and he hates to see someone he loves with some trouble he could have prevented (his caregiving). So now when it happens I smile because I see the care rather than a put down. So, you must learn to look for good. And if you believe someone loves you, why would you look for anything else? That's a lesson I'm slowly learning. I think I was conditioned from a line of jerks (whom I allowed in my life) to expect the worst. Or, maybe they were only jerks because that's what I expected? That's something to think about. But you are right in that you usually get what you give. Behaviour modification of someone else can happen by changing yourself and not them at all. It's all in how you look at it. But also, I observe that their behaviour really does change as well when you quit needing it to change and start accepting. Everyone wants to be accepted for who they are and when they are accepted become much more open to seeing what they can do to create harmony.

You said, "We have awareness in order to experience. In my opinion learning has only one real value; to change the nature of our experiences (process modification). " That sound valid but you are sooo much more analytical than I so I have nothing to add right now. I am getting better at it though aren't I?

You said, " I think that love is an ongoing dynamic process , not a static outcome. What do you think?" Yes, and a lot of work. But I do think that it can progress to a calmer, more peaceful interraction. You can't just say, "I love you" without providing actions to back that up and you have to work at keeping it alive as well. You can't just expect it to survive without nurturing. It should be used as a verb.

January 10, 2000
10:07 pm
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DD,
So you say love is something you yourself do but you don't receive it? You only sense the results of someone loving you? So all love is really within ourselves. We just display actions to try to convey how we feel to whom we feel it about?

January 10, 2000
10:35 pm
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Hey Y'all,

But what makes us love the people we love? Other than the obvious reason of finding the person who represents the shadow self? I mean...I think about this one man from my past, soon after the death of my husband. A good man, good looking, intelligent, hard working...all the important qualities I value. And, he was my friend. He had a lot of the same issues that others in my life have had (family stuff). Yet, try as I might, I could not love him. Not in the intimate, forever after sort of way. Even when he kissed me, I felt nothing. However,
he would have been the perfect husband
Why couldn't I love him? To this day I don't understand. In many ways he was just like the fool I'm dealing with now, only taller! Is this where karma steps in and says "wait a minute
the man for you is coming"? Is love really a matter of putting all the puzzle pieces together? You work at it until you figure it all out? It has nothing to do with the actual person, but more with the timing? That must be a big part of it. Cause I know if I met my husband today, I'd never go out with him, but when we first met I fell for him (even tho' he was NOT my type)! Is that what they mean when they say..."timing is everything"?

ps the nightmare is not quite over, but almost. I had to lie in the darkness, letting it wash over me, before I could appreciate the freedom of the light...

January 11, 2000
4:19 pm
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VRJ. A great response.

You posed the question, "How would you explain why we 'fall' in love with one person and not another?" I agree with your answer. I believe that when we 'fall in love' we have positive emotional memories triggered by a 'psychological template' of one/other/both of our parents. At an unconscious emotional level we have found mom, dad, or both after a long time as an 'orphan'. To the degree that we felt abandoned as a child, we will experience ecstatic infatuation. As we learn that the other person is not mom/dad we then 'fall out of love' and into affection (if the compatiability level is there).

"Is the cognitive aspect love or a validation of the emotional response? " If the loved one is cognitively assessed as likely to be a suitable partner in a mutually benificial relationship, validation of the emotional response is a cognitive component of love. But more so, it is choosing to think about what is in the best interests of another and consciously deciding to make the effort to implement the process that will hopefully bring about that loving, mutually beneficial outcome. The result of the process is really irrelevant; the intention of the lover is not.

You said, "...something missing with a view of love as two parts, cognitive and emotional. It doesn't seem complete. Perhaps it is a spiritual aspect or perhaps it is an intrinsic ability. I'll have to think about it." I tend to agree that there is a spiritual component. But now we are on difficult and shaky ground. We are faced with the ancient argument about 'duality'; Brain or mind as a brain function versus soul. Is the differentiation illusory?

If you are referring to Divine Love (Agape) as evidenced by nature, then we have to bring the unpalletable third component into the equation.

i.e. Divine Love = Creation + Sustenance + Destruction.

I agree with all the rest of your posting. It is pretty well in accord with how I see things. As for your analytical abilities, I think that they were always excellent in all your postings.

January 11, 2000
4:42 pm
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Kitten.

Welcome back.

Good to see that you are on the tail end of your 'dark night'.

I believe that to understand why 'butterflies fly out of our ... and we see stars' when kissed by mr/ms right we have to understand our infant and early childhood experiences. Some of the emotional memories, laid down then, hold the key to what we 'see' in our lover.

I believe that as an infant an emotional memories 'template' is formed. When triggered by a prospective partner this 'template' is unconsciously transferred into the other person. The memories of the ecstacy that we experienced then when reunited with the breast, touching etc when we were at one with all of the cosmos, are re-experienced. The greater the abandonment that we experienced as a child the greater the ecstacy of reunification with mom/dad when it unconsciously re-occurs in the form of a lover. The pain of breaking up with a lover is a retriggered emotional memory of abandonment in infancy.

The greater the dysfunctionality of our childhood, the greater is our potential for painful codependent relationships.

I really hope that you find yourself through this unavoidable pain. It will not have been in vain then, eh! All the very best in this new year.

January 11, 2000
4:49 pm
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DD.

I would respectfully suggest that the 'motives' and 'intentions' behind what one does are what determines whether an act is loving or not. The act itself and its outcome are not really determinants at all.

January 11, 2000
11:47 pm
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Tez,

Well, then, isn't the relationship a bit like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? We come back to that initial experience and keep repeating it in order to gain mastery? To get it right this time? In other words, we achieved a sense of connection with the lover that has qualities of our first love (mother) and now we want to maintain that...not have it grow/go away? We work at the love hoping to get it right. We laugh, cry,
pout, whatever works to get the lover/
mother's attention. Those that are good at it regain the bond, those that aren't keep looking...until they learn how to be good at it. Perhaps I'm over-simplifying this, but I always wonder why it seems to be so easy for some and so hard for others. So many questions, so few answers. Often, I can not put something to rest until I am fully satisfied with the answer. I believe everything happens for a reason and with that in mind there has to be a reason why I was/am in relationship with my bf. Or is this all hogwash and love is merely a roll of the dice? A matter of smells and biological need? He's there when my hormones are at a certain level--so I'll take him? Tez, am I asking too much? And VRJ; why do you think you were brought into your relationship? Where has it taken you? What have you learned? And why haven't you let go? What makes us stick with one person rather than tossing them aside?

January 12, 2000
4:34 pm
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Kitten.
I have experienced a severe 'love' addiction. I freed myself by using myself as a laboratory wherein I empirically and academically researched my condition. I then 'bit the bullet' and put in the hard yards of abstinence from my 'lover'. I have helped many people, both male and female, to successfully overcome similar addictions to people. This is why I believe so strongly in the truth of what follows.

Some of us have a strong emotional attraction to people who are deficient in exactly the same way that our parent(s) were. They seem to project a psychological profile or image template that convinces our unthinking, emotional self (our inner child) that we have found our our parent(s) again. We then set about trying to make our lover ( parent(s)) recognize our intrinsic worth and love us. Or we try to change our lover (parent(s)) into the mom and/or dad that we wanted then.

The terrible irony is that if we receive love from our (template) lover or change their behaviour to that required of our parent(s), our dumb emotional self no longer 'sees' the template. We then emotionally fall 'out of love'. We then go looking for 'real' love; one who projects as near as possible image of our long gone parent(s).

That template part of our emotional self, our infant emotional memory, is unchanged from when first laid down during real or imagined abandonment.

This explains the insanity of the 'push-pull' game. Our lover gives us love. Our inner child (emotional memory template) sees that this is not really mom/dad (the template is not loving). We emotionally 'push' our lover away. Our lover is hurt and withdraws. NOW, our lover appears to abandon us (template fits again). The craving for our lover starts again and we seek to 'pull' them back to us. So the mad yo-yoing push-pull cycle repeats with an accompaniment of emotional memory recall of pleasure on reunification and intense pain of emotional memory recall of abandonment on receiving rejection; both exactly as experienced as an infant.

Our thinking self becomes terribly confused and struggles to make sense out of non-sense. We think that we are going mad. We identify this symbiotic craving with love. It is infant 'survival' stuff being re-enacted from the past.

It is my pessimistic view that such push-pull relationships, involving 'dovetailing' neuroses, are doomed. I believe this because the infant emotional memories are set in concrete. All we can do is use our cognitions to avoid the triggers. Then the evoked responses (the pain) eventually subside into extinction. However the memory is alive and well; albeit asleep.

My own personal solution was and is to have a partner that does not fit the psychological template of my parent. However, the price tag is that I never experience the ecstacy of reunification during love making. I accept this. The bonus is that I never experience the agony of abandonment every time I receive real or imagined rejection. My relationship is very fulfilling in a real sense; it is based on 'real' affection and love, not symbiotic craving.

I realise that the above phenomena is different for every one. Yet it is often only different in degree and type. However, I believe that the fundamental mechanisms are the same.

You asked, "Tez, am I asking too much?" Kitten, I cognitively remember my past pain well. I emphasize with you. I guess that you have had to tread your own path, your very own 'dark night of the soul' and have gone through the pain as I did. My answers are as stated above. I hope they are of some help to you as they were to me and my many 'friends' whose pain I have shared. Now,in my opinion, that pain sharing, mutual vulnerability sharing, is real love in action.

January 13, 2000
12:52 am
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Tez,

Thank you for your insight. I agree about the push-pull part, but I also believe that those relationships are not necessarily doomed. As a parent, I know I had to teach my children certain "ways" of love. Left to their own devises, they would be self-centered and selfish. They had to learn that I would return for them at the end of the day (child-care) with love in my heart. About trusting love. So, too, that is possible with partners. If I am aware of my own patterns as well as his, then perhaps I am in the position of teaching him the art of loving. Now granted, I don't want to take on the role of mother, but only mean to aid him in the quest for love. I think of Albert Ellis saying his therapists are like Evangelists who go out spreading the gospel. Those therapists teach Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy to others and at the same time increase their own awareness. Hence, they become better therapists. Isn't this possible with love? He is learning lessons from me and at the same time I am as well. Physician heal thyself--
teacher, teach thyself--Lover, love thyself. There is much more here...
maybe we are supposed to reunite with mother; the one pure love--the love of God/Spirit. Maybe that is what makes us mortal. To deny the return to mother/God/womb is to set ourself apart, thus viewing self as "special" or immortal. I know I am getting off the track here, but life is about the process of dying--removing our physical body and re-entering into that place of oneness we occupied. To do that we must pass back through the door we entered...Life is circular, after all. N'est Pas?

January 13, 2000
7:06 pm
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Kitten.
The reason that I think such push-oull relationships are doomed is because the button pushing provokes such painful emotions that the 'push' is inevitable. I grant you that two very enlightened and committed people may with much perseverence and dedication learn to live with the pain. Yet, in my experience few of us are able to do this. It is like an alcoholic trying to learn to drink socially.

You mentioned Albert Ellis's REBT. It is based on a cognitive, rational approach to changing behaviour. This is fine for controlling low key emotions. In my experience, when it comes to high intensity survival emotions , as is the case of recall of unconscious memories of infant fears of abandonment, cognition has little if any control over our behaviour; in such intense pain, emotions tend to govern our behaviour.

You said, "... life is about the process of dying--removing our physical body and re-entering into that place of oneness we occupied. To do that we must pass back through the door we entered...Life is circular, after all. N'est Pas?" Fundamentally, I agree with you that this is so. However, this process takes a many life times :-).

In my experience few can cop the pain in a push-pull relationship to enhance this process. Some commit suicide; others have a 'nervous breakdown'; while others kill their partners; some turn to drugs. Where push-pull relationships are resulting in intense button pushing pain, I believe that there is so little hope of making such a relationship work as to be insignificant; in my opinion and experience such relationships are doomed. I wish I could hold out hope but I can't. For two and a half years now, I have been watching a professional counselor, a woman of 43, try desperately to make her severely addictive push-pull relationship work. Her partner is also a professional counselor in the same age bracket. They have split apart and reunited well in excess of 30 times. At one stage she took out a restraining order against him through the courts. Within a month of that order, she got engaged to him. That collapsed a fortnight later. She implores me to help her find a way to make the relationship work. She also implores me to help her get away from him. Despite all her rationality and insights into her problem, she is unable to commit to either alternative. She is powerless over these powerful emotional memories and 'caves in' almost every time he comes a knocking on a booty call. He suffers terribly as well.

The only solution, in my opinion, is to bite the bullet and chose total abstinence from the person to whom the person is addicted. Much support and counselling is required for the individual partners to learn to 'nurture their inner child' through the painful withdrawl period. In times of crises during withdrawl, the carer has often to pull the 'rational adult' within the addicted one to the fore.

A couple of years ago, I have had one email communication with Dr Albert Ellis regarding this matter. His response was to refer me to his book on alcohol addiction. It didn't help much.

January 13, 2000
7:10 pm
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hi Tez

You said, "... I tend to agree that there is a spiritual component. But now we are on difficult and shaky ground. We are faced with the ancient argument about 'duality'; Brain or mind as a brain function versus soul. Is the differentiation illusory?

If so, the soul would be the foundation, the basis for everything, and the brain would be the structure built on top of that. Does the structure need to be dismantled to get to true love or is the structure an add-on to allow us to interract better in a 'physical' world and we should allow the soul to flow through the brain?

You said to kitten "My own personal solution was and is to have a partner that does not fit the psychological template of my parent. However, the price tag is that I never experience the ecstacy of reunification during love making. I accept this. The bonus is that I never experience the agony of abandonment every time I receive real or imagined rejection. My relationship is very fulfilling in a real sense; it is based on 'real' affection and love, not symbiotic craving"

Do you not think you could have it all? Couldn't you recognize the association you are making with a parent and consciously decide to be objective and separate the fantasy from the real person? Or is the association hardwired? Or, couldn't you learn to look for the ecstacy in a place other than with a momclone? Couldn't you decide to see a person as just that, a person, unlike any other (reality) and/or couldn't you realize that you are capable of the ecstacy so nurture and learn to experience it with a person of your choosing (reunifying with the collective or with the Godperson)?

January 13, 2000
7:11 pm
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Hi kitten,
You asked, "And VRJ; why do you think you were brought into your relationship? Where has it taken you?
What have you learned? And why haven't you let go? What makes us stick with one person rather than
tossing them aside?"

I believe I was brought into this relationship because of prayer. It has taken me to realizations of things about myself that I hadn't even come close to even recognizing, never mind changing. It has shown me things I like as well as things I don't like. It has forced me to look, listen, learn, change, grow. It has taken me to heights I didn't know existed. It has plunged me to depths that I wasn't sure I could get out of. . . but I did. It brought me here. It is still evolving. I have learned about life, love, him, but mostly about myself. It has taught me to look at things in a whole new way.

Why would I let go? Why did you ask that?

To answer your last question, in my case I think there is a much stronger bond than can be explained in purely worldly terms - and I'm not really speaking of this cosmic connection thing even though I do feel a union with him, mentally, physically, spiritually. It has more to do with faith and with acceptance and with trust. It has to do with letting go of ego. It has to do with dieing. It has to do with peace.

By the way, this is the prayer I prayed . . . please bring to me a man who will love me honestly and truly and purely with a love like yours for the rest of my life and who I will love honestly and truly and purely with a love like yours for the rest of his life.

What do you think?

January 13, 2000
7:23 pm
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Hi again tez

I just saw your post to kitten.

You said "The reason that I think such push-oull relationships are doomed is because the button pushing
provokes such painful emotions that the 'push' is inevitable. I grant you that two very enlightened and
committed people may with much perseverence and dedication learn to live with the pain. Yet, in my
experience few of us are able to do this. It is like an alcoholic trying to learn to drink socially. "

I don't think the response to the button being pushed has to be inevitable. Do you think I'm in a push-pull relationship from what I've said? All I can say is I've never experienced anything like it before. I certainly get intense highs and lows. Or 'did' I should say. I feel I'm learning more and more and reacting the same less and less. The highway is becoming less hilly. I am a rebel and refuse to accept pain as a long term thing. So, I am learning to look at things differently instead, in a way that isn't painful, and I think more truthful which is what makes it even better. It is more like giving in to or giving up fear, a base emotion, or maybe even learning what it is that I do fear and giving it away. Not there yet but it's coming.

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