Friday, December 30, 2011

Why is it hard to be intimate – even with ourselves?

In the normal course of events, we so carefully stuff our thoughts and feelings away behind protective social personas, we forget there is any reality hidden within. After years carefully constructing and reinforcing our social façade, we rarely encounter let alone explore the little reflective inmost core that reveals who we are at essence. If we do happen to notice a discrepancy between the focus of the world outside and our singular inner point of view, it seems like a secret we must guard against as if our personal preferences are unexposable truths the world isn't ready to understand. To feel safe and socially accepted, we often deny our distinctions even to ourselves.

After years learning how to be the person our parents, families, friends, teachers, institutions, community, and society in general want us to be, we end up someone other than the reflection of our deep innermost yearnings. We learn to value the commonly accepted societal norms. We make choices based on others' preferences. We live the life we are expected to want – or suffer the anguish of settling for even less.

When we're busy projecting a satisfied face to the world – or working hard to improve our appearances – we have little inclination for any real self-evaluation. Without awareness of our innermost essential core, we appraise life by social standards and invariably find ourselves lacking.

The harder we strive to measure up in the world, the more we notice the disparity of our position from "real" success. We are never enough.

From that deficient perspective, we are never surprised to feel heartfelt unrest. Gazing outward, we can see only too clearly how far we have to climb, and with that external focus, we fail completely to make any progress.

At this time of year-end assessments, as we're busy setting our resolutions and upcoming goals, we miss the opportunity, time and again, to move out of the cycle. Whether what we're missing is the prestige of power and position, the demonstrable accouterments of wealth, or even the fulfillment of individual or coupleship passion, the success that we seek will remain illusive as long as we are steering our course toward an external objective. As long as we base our choices on that misguided standard, we'll succeed only at fully filling life with dissatisfaction, conflict, and stress.

Instead, we could become aware of a better basis for our upcoming choices. By searching intimately deep within, we can recognize the heartfelt ideals we value at our core of being. It is only with that insightful perspective that we can fully fill our lives with happiness and satisfying fulfillment.

  Join me in 2012 to explore Life Wisdom for  Better Choices
 in the happy pursuit of CommonUnity with all you yearn for.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Why does coupleship passion fail?

The transcendent bliss or ecstasy of peaking passion feels totally fulfilling. It is a synergistic fusion of our energies in one ideally unitive purpose. In coupleship, we often feel this in sexual union and associate the feeling with the intense release of orgasm, but in actuality neither sex nor release is essential to the experience of passionate bliss.

However, when you're yearning for that energetic boost that passion provides but you have no idea what yields that added urge for fulfillment, you try to replicate it in the one consuming behavior that transcended the rest for you. Most often in coupleship, we think that sex is the answer.  Sadly, this is not just futile but counterproductive.

As we try and fail to maintain that ecstatic level of passionate union, our efforts dwindle. Without realizing what we are doing, we diminish the very behaviors that led to the level of true intimacy and shared purpose that enabled the fullfilling buildup of our united energies. We spend less and less time and attention on each other, and we wonder what happened to the intensity of our love.

Spending less shared time with your beloved, your focus and attention redirect elsewhere, and the passion of romance inevitably suffers. Clueless why the passion built or peaked or failed, we write off the love and go on to another, or if we have already committed to the coupleship, we endure and lapse into the comforts of familiarity without expecting the more ecstatic bliss of the lost romance. We may still yearn for passion, but we think the excitement is gone from the coupleship and we lower our expectations further.

After a disappointing lull, we give up on reviving the coupleship and direct our attempts to find fulfillment in other ways. Those resigned to their passionless lives turn to poor substitutes like workaholism, shopping, eating, even working out. If we're lucky, we may plunge our heartfelt energy into a cause, but most often, our efforts are shadows of the passion we remember and long for yet at heart. We think this is just the way of life.

Or, craving the old excitement, we think any exciting behavior may suffice. Risky behaviors of all sorts often seem the most alluring because they promise that tingle of uncertainty, forcing you to commit more of your focus, attention, and energy to the activity. Extreme sports, motorcycle racing, supersonic flight, all provide that extra thrill. Sadly, so do sneaky addictions like shoplifting, secret overeating, binge drinking, using drugs, and the chancy affairs of illicit sex.

In a society that gives no acknowledgement let alone informed direction to passion's attraction, it's no wonder teens make bad choices, middle aged crises regularly disrupt families, and addictions abound.
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Why is enduring coupleship rare?

Marriages may last for decades, but romance never does. Too often after the infatuation fades, the dreary routine of living obscures what is missing. Early coupleship is built on effortful heart-baring connection, but ongoing relationship too often slips into habit.

Enduring coupleship is a special bond of ongoing effective connection between two truly intimate partners. For coupleship to not just continue but evolve, those intimate connections must be mutually nurtured and maintained.

Intimacy* is not sex, romance, physical pleasure, simple excitement, or any other easy connection; rather intimacy is the mutual sharing of innermost essence. It takes ongoing risk to create and retain the safe vulnerability required for intimate coupleship. Many relationships, even ones that last, never get that far.

We change, and as we do the dynamics of relationships shift. We cannot avoid becoming different people from those who began the romance. Too often we fail to notice how the changes of life, circumstance, and being are changing us. And when we do, too often our inner changes feel threatening to old relationship understandings.

When we fear testing old relationship limits, we close down. We adopt a persona or ego or social self as an outer construct built to the specifications of our old environment. Layers of habit, denial, and inhibition cover our evolving inner truth. Without intimacy, truth becomes hidden from surface awareness, and relationship disintegrates into two lives in shared space.

It's not just enduring coupleship that is rare; it's any coupleship.

(*See SocioEnergetics glossary: Intimacy requires uncensored essential mutuality.)
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Friday, December 23, 2011

How does a relationship evolve into coupleship?

Coupleship is an intimately fullfilling relationship. Romance is not a prerequisite. In fact, coupleship is possible between two passionate business partners who share a commingled unity of purpose and a common vision of possibility for its fulfillment. Friendships that connect in special areas of interest can evolve into selective coupleship as well. Even arranged marriages between two who join wholeheartedly together can form a coupleship. Any surface pairing that is intimately* reciprocated can deepen into coupleship.

It takes time, attention, interest, effort, and support from and to each partner to forge the heartfelt bond necessary for coupleship to evolve.

Creating coupleship is not a single forging event but a continuous practice. With consistent regularity, each partner must honor the joint commitment to nurture the bonds that connect each to the meaningful purpose they pursue together. It takes proactive concern and care as well as ongoing immersive cooperation to generate enough interactive energy to deepen into the passionate synergy that empowers coupleship.

When both of the pair value the coupleship highly enough to continuously choose to fully fill their part of the partnership, they empower mutual fulfillment. For the duration of the process, a synergistic self-reinforcing "virtuous" reward cycle can boost the relationship out of everyday habit into the transcendent benefits of coupleship.

Because the course of life is ever-changing, the challenge of coupleship is to continuously develop. Without ongoing effort, the interaction cannot maintain the synergistic boost of mutual passion; when effort wanes, the effects of interaction fade back into less fulfilling progress. This diminishment is not, however, inevitable.

With an appropriately chosen ever-expanding integrative ideal^ guiding each in mutually reinforcing ongoing efforts, the coupleship can continue to evolve indefinitely.

(*See SocioEnergetics glossary: Intimacy is the sharing of our most valued ideals.)
(^See SocioEnergetics glossary: An integrative ideal is a values-based behavioral compass.)
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How does coupleship passion grow?

Passion is a thoroughly fulfilling emotion, and once we experience its expansive effect, we yearn for more of its impassioning power. Though passion need not be romantic, we often associate passion with our interactions in relationship. In committed coupleship, the attractive motivation of mutually expressed loving emotions can build into the energizing potential of passion.

Passion, like love, is an internal signal of attraction; unlike love, though, it takes more than just our own energy to trigger passion's synergistic power. Passion arises as we integrate all our energy in one purposeful driving force toward personal fulfillment of an inner focal ideal. The integrative ideal we yearn to create need not involve another person, though when in coupleship, we tend to project our unitive longing onto our partner.

In a coupleship, devoting time and attention to each other is how intimacy* grows, stimulating more mutual attraction. With every little additional connection, we have another opportunity to share our activities, ideas, and more closely held truths, revealing more of our most valued inner being and sharing ideal stimulation.

As our commingling energies grow together, we feel more and more connected – and more and more excited to be with each other; as a result, we share more and more of ourselves and the closeness commingles more and more of our energies further and further. We associate that growing intensity with our romantic endeavors and a self-reinforcing "virtuous" reward cycle can ensue.

When both partners of a coupleship choose to fuse together with one uniting purpose, passion grows and can peak as the two become fully-filled with one transcendent drive. We experience this fusion of being as bliss or ecstasy.

(*See SocioEnergetics glossary: Intimacy requires uncensored essential sharing  at our core of being, not mere sexual connection.)
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Why is love never enough?

In love's thoroughly excited state, our focus on our intense attraction and our most fervently desired interest urges us into further connection. This thrust toward love's source generates a powerful energizing boost of passion.

Like love, passion is not object-driven but an inner expression of our core desire. Passion pushes us into more intense participation in life, coupleship, a specific undertaking, or even the world in general. Once we feel the synergistic potential of passion, we yearn for its ever-growing potency.

Merging into this creative potential consumes artists, lovers, and inventors. We yearn for this flow of passion to push our lives beyond mere wishes and dreams and possibility into fulfillment.

More than the mere pull of love, passion fully fills us with transcendent possibility. Its explosive intensity has the ever-expansive power to fulfill more potential. When, whether individually, in coupleship, or as part of a enthusiastically connected group, we wholly embrace a passionate intensity, the power of our focal passion overwhelms our everyday lives. We are fully filled with a  synergistic power we could never have created on our own.

Because we yearn to live in the generative intensity of that synergistic power, we are always looking for more than "just" love. The passion we seek begins with love's attraction, develops in love's intimate unitive focus, and evolves ever after into more of what love's potential could be.

To settle for a love with less passion than synergy's generative potential can never fully satisfy our longing for fullfillment.
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Why does passion surpass love?

We are inevitably attracted to love. This is by definition: Love is the attractive lure of our deep inner longing for connection. In actuality, no other person (or thing) is necessary as a recipient for our attractive impulse. (We can love an idea or working on a project.) Often, though, we associate the urge with coupleship and pine for our true love to appear.

When we do connect with someone (or some focus) to love, we are pulled to devote more time and attention to build the intensity of our connection. The allure of possibility excites in us an urge to join more closely with whatever we identify as the source of our attraction. While love requires no physical object, this urge for our focal intensity to unite with our most driving desire pushes us toward love's source. It's not sexually driven but a yearning for deep unitive connection.

When we nurture our loving connection, we become more and more excited by the possibilities of joining more fully with our love; we imagine our love becoming something greater. Intense longing compels us to transform the potential our love encompasses into an explosive transcendent force: We yearn to create more than we were alone in our separateness; we long to produce something that never was before.

In mutually responsive coupleship, our shared emotional attraction can indeed build beyond mundane everyday love. When we connect with another and create enough shared intensity, we stimulate a special excitement with explosive power. As the bonds of reciprocated attraction deepen, we discover that the newfound romantic swoon we commonly label as love is only a shadow of the even more powerful emotional attraction: passion.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What's so attractive about love?

Love is the connective attraction we feel from within; our heart's content expands into something greater than we felt while unaware of love's pull. It feels intense (or we'd label it something less than love) and we want to experience that encompassing pleasure more.

When we feel love, we are experiencing an internal signal that drives us to seek more of whatever same sensations attracted our attention to begin. We want to repeat our experience because it felt empowering and fulfilling.

When we happen to be in a mutually responsive interaction at the time, we project that powerful potential onto the other person. In actuality, love need not be romantic, but we often learn to identify it as the attraction we feel as part of a couple.

Mutual attraction between two people feels exciting, and in a commitment of coupleship, we can build the emotional intensity as we share intimately* into ever greater connection. What we really are seeking, though, is not just to continue exchanging the same loving attention; we want to build the attraction into ever-more-fulfilling potential.

(*See SocioEnergetics glossary: Intimacy is not sexual, but a connection at our essential core.)
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Monday, December 12, 2011

What's love got to do with anything?

Tina Turner famously sang, "What's love but a second-hand emotion?" She may have deprecated love's essential claim on life's choices, but I beg to differ. Love, though perhaps not the romantic notion of love we erroneously infer from the word, has everything to do with how we live, what we do, and why we choose.

Emotion, the magnetic attraction or repulsion we feel that draws us toward or away from more of the same sensation, is never second-hand. Emotions are invariably our own internal response to a triggering stimulus, but more than just a feeling, emotions are energetic motivation: they pull us toward an experience or push us away. When we are attracted, we "love" and yearn for more.

That attraction that pulls us into connection with something bigger than we were before is always initiated within. Others may influence how our response is expressed and perhaps even, over time, persuade us to modify our initial reactive interpretation, but no one else can force unwilling inner acceptance. Outwardly we may comply, but internally, we hold our own counsel; conflict of heart and mind become the source of our tensions, dissatisfactions, self-sabotage, and (ultimately) desire for change.

When we are attracted, though, we are drawn toward whatever we perceive as the source of the magnetic pull, regardless of the feedback. We indeed "love" and want to be near/ with/ part of that pulling connection. This yearning for connective wholeness forms our entire raison d'être, and love drives us eternally toward our most consuming desire.
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Friday, December 9, 2011

What's special about First Love?

There's something irreplicable about First Love, and even when the coupleship doesn't last, there's an allure that lingers around the memories that reminds us of its beginning. Yet, in reality that's true of all romances: that first sense of attraction and special connection underlies all the rest.

Whenever things are going badly, we bring that sense of fresh possibility to mind to keep us trying to revive that bursting potential we once felt. And after a coupleship ends, the heart filters out hard dying memories to settle on that first, most powerfully enchanting attraction and retains that sense of mutual heartlinked connection at memory's core.

Always and forever, we continue seeking that sense of wholeness in duality. It's our essential nature to be attracted to connections that feel fulfilling. We yearn to replicate that potential if/whenever we can.

Reciprocity in wholeness is the very essence of our being. Mutuality of connection is the fundamental underlying drive of all we do. Despite the litter of heart shards cluttering the past, we're always moving forward with the hope that this next encounter might be the attraction that transforms into the ever-more expansive connective bonding the heart eternally yearns for.

Coupleship may be a search destined to end in heartbreak, but when any pairing inevitably ends, the First Love at memory's core always goes on, as fresh as a new beginning.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What is it about love that we miss?

Browsing new book titles, I was drawn to choose The Moment. Two days later, I got an email from my first love. Coincidence has a way of bringing things into perspective.

Certainly Douglas Kennedy's novel of a tragic Cold War love affair in Berlin has far more drama and greater historic context than my teenaged broken heart, yet the essence of nascent passion and misguided ending prove the universality of tragedy's roots.

The ironic crux of ordinary heartbreak (extraordinary circumstances not withstanding) is more than that love can be discovered in an instant and, despite its intensity, end. When not just romance but the entire relationship is suddenly severed, the tragic crux is one utterly banal truth: every inexplicable ending is avoidable. In a universe of perfect communication, none of the drama or burden or pain would have been necessary.

But we live in an imperfect universe, and decades of silence hid bittersweet truth from me as well as the novel's protagonist. Imagined betrayal, more toxic than proven faithlessness, ensnares us in flawed perception and ineradicable outrage. Persuaded to believe our own fallibility at seeing reality (How could I have been so wrong about my beloved?) plunges us only deeper into that very fault. Without air-clearing confrontation, we're left in a fog of self-doubt, leaving us ever-marred by self-inflicted insecurity.

And if we learn the truth we once failed to recognize, it's tempting to wallow in the lacerating abyss of old heart shards. But such self-flagellation will only compound old errors with new wounds.

If instead we make the best current choices to alleviate any ongoing suffering (for both ourselves or any still-affected other), we mitigate present consequences. Whatever amends are possible today can never fix the past, but when we unknot negativity still tying up our hearts, energy is freed to grow beyond old possibilities into righted wrongs.

So though we may have missed the choice of love in the past, we'll never miss forgiven regret and resentment when we reclaim energy for today's much more effective new potential.

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Why sit there when you can save a life?

Okay, go ahead and sit there, because it's that easy to save a life during the Write for Rights! writeathon. From today through Dec11, you can choose from 15 cases featured in this year's 50th anniversary Amnesty International letter writing campaign.

It's easy to Write for Rights! Follow these simple steps to success:

1. SIGN UP at the Write for Rights registration link:

2. Get your RESOURCES. Everything you need to participate is available on the AI Write for Rights website, including case summaries, sample letters, and helpful tip.

3. December 3-11 WRITE and MAIL your letters.

It's that easy to save a life. And don't forget to SPREAD THE WORD on Facebook and Twitter or by text and email. And then sit there and Write for Rights!
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