Crafting Gentleness

Thursday, August 23, 2007

recklessness with the heart

I suppose trying to be sensitive to and gentle with someone else in a relationship relies a lot on whether the other person is emotionally honest with you. It's hard to act appropriately when people deceive you or themselves.

At such times you can end up in a constructed fiction of a relationship and not even know it. If only one person directs the fiction they can assume almost total control of a system that the other person didn't even know was there. Anything you do, even with the best of intentions, can then become open to the unexpected accusation of inappropriate behaviour.

Attempts to be real and present unbeknowst to you start to become challenges to the fiction: conflicts start to arise with no apparent cause; good intentions start to be read through the lens of paranoia; generosities start to become encroachments; being attentive evokes irritation.

It gets worse when the emotional dishonesty starts to include someone else external to your own relationship (e.g. if you find you are facilitating a two-timing situation), whereby every thing you participate in within your own relationship always-already weaves into the shadow-play of falsehoods and starts rippling out into the other relationship in ways you can never know.

It hurts when people are reckless with your heart.

It also hurts when a brief relationship that was by my account and my experience real and special and magical (and still fool of unknowns and possibilities) becomes twisted by someone else's words in a process of revisionist history-making and retroactive interpretation into something tawdry and icky that at least in my view disrespects what actually happened.

How can we ever be confident about what has happened when the intensities of emotion let loose the dogs of misperception?

Do I underestimate the power of the self-protective impulse in shaping people's realities (including my own)?

What is it about the moment-to-moment reality of openness and loving that sometimes scares people?

Why do people sometimes choose relationships of disrespect and dishonesty and anger and jealousy over relationships of openness and loving and generosity and supportiveness?

Can I learn to react less defensively or communicate more helpfully when I get hurt?

Is there any way for me to not fall into the pit of macho pride and competitive arrogance when there's another guy involved in the equation?

Is there a point at which the 'signs' can become mere jesters in a court of mockery and disillusion?


  • I hesitate to speak here - it might be better to just pass by in respectful silence.

    But . . . I would venture to say that openness scares people (myself included) because it begets openness. Close walls feel safer. Open up some space, and the self opens into it, and then there is a welling up of deep things, things that might not be pretty to look at. It feels safer just to keep them locked down and buried. And it's easier to do that when there is some external conflict around, some equal and opposite reaction to brace against while holding down the trap door.

    Just some thoughts. Thanks for sharing yours. I wish you well.

    By Blogger arcolaura, at Friday, 24 August, 2007  

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