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Honesty and Vulnerability the Key to Intimacy

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Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Air Your Dirty Laundry At Home

We all have fears, and insecurities, lost hopes and dreams, that we don’t allow most people in on. We aren't perfect, we have faults and warts, we would rather others not see. When you have a bestfriend(s) that you feel comfortable with, you can more closing relate your true self with them, because you trust them with that part of you. You are having the faith in them to honor, and keep those inner parts of you sacred between the two (or more) of you. You let them know and see vulnerable parts of yourself, that you are too afraid to let the rest of the world in on.

Most all of us have experienced a time in our lives when one of those friends betrays that trust and faith you had, and goes out and let’s the “cat out of the bag”. Whether intentional, or not, we all feel betrayed when this happens. Even if we patch up the betrayal, forgive, and continue with a friendship with them, something has been broken. You begin to hold back those vulnerabilities, and are much more cautious about letting them know, and experience that part of you. It will be a very long time, if ever, that you allow them back into that space.

When you enter into an intimate long term relationship with someone, the vulnerabilities that you share are part of what creates the bond, and intimacy between you. You are learning about each other on a deep level, showing the other that they are special…the one you share your secrets, and secret parts of you with. But in order to do that you need to have trust, and faith that your partner’s “got your back”, and you stand united together against the rest of the world.

I have read several articles lately about male bashing, and/or sitting around with the gals over coffee or tea, discussing all your partner’s shortcomings. Some people see no problem with this, but is there…?

Trust is so very important in any relationship, and I don’t understand why anyone would do something that they know is going to shatter that trust, or possibly shatter that trust. But some women believe there is nothing wrong with bashing their man, with a group of women over coffee. A man needs to be able to trust that the stories you tell your women/men friends are consistent with what you are telling him to his face, and that what he tells you in confidence will remain a secret between you two. Don’t you feel that way about your own wrinkles, and warts?

The way we talk about our relationship to our partners and to outsiders, send powerful signals to outsiders as to the health and viability of that relationship.
Not to mention, when you talk unfavorably about your partner, you are not only speaking badly about them, you are speaking badly about yourself. You are, in essence, stating that you have bad taste in people.

Even family members are not a wise idea. People have their own opinions about your partner, and your relationship, having their own agenda, which may, or may not agree with yours. They are going to voice their opinion, and many times these people like to interfere, and try to influence your view, which not always has your best interests at heart, but rather theirs. Not only are you betraying them by talking behind their back, complaining about their shortcomings, you are opening up the vulnerabilities of the relationship to outside attack. People outside the relationship cannot be allowed to interfere, there needs to be boundaries set.

I was reading a blog the other day, where the person wrote about how they had talked to her best friend about how well-endowed, and good in bed her boyfriend was. Only to have her boyfriend be seduced by her “so-called” bestfriend, because she wanted to experience these great pleasures for herself. I have also witnessed the same type of thing happen with the partner bashing, where the “so-called” trusted best-friend felt that the boyfriend was not appreciated enough, and they wanted to show him that they would appreciate him so much more. Things like this happen all too often, and it begins with seemingly innocent talk about your partner, and your relationship; talk that should be taking place between the two of you, not with your friends and family.

Aside from the fact that you are abusing their trust; aside from the fact that it reflects unfavorably toward yourself; aside from the fact that people have a tendency to allow other people to affect their opinions, and attitudes, which may or may not be beneficial to neither you, nor the relationship; aside from the fact that the information you give may be used against you, rather than support you; aside from the fact that gossip can, and usually is an evil thing that grows and takes on a life of its own; thoughts become things.

The more attention you give to an issue, the more thought you give it, and then add to that, the power of vocalization, you are effectively feeding the growth of the problem. You are effectively feeding your frustration with the issue, not to mention, when your cohorts agree with you, they help feed and add fuel to your frustration with the topic, adding some outside reassurance that you have the right to feel this way, to the mix. When all along, the person you should be talking to this about, is the very person who you allowed to make you feel this way to begin with, hopefully extinguishing the whole process, and receiving the relief you are after.

Be careful what seeds you plant, an inadvertently fertilize, lest you grow weeds that suck the life out of everything beautiful that surrounds it.

When we are vulnerable we put away the fancy airs we put on and drop our self-image, which is always hoping to look a little better than we actually feel. Any kind of spiritual self-image automatically blocks our vulnerability thus cutting off the heart and blocking us from the very thing that we want - love. When we do expose ourselves we become psychologically naked. This only happens when our defenses are down, when we are not worried that others will attack or judge us. Then we can be just who we are. But this is difficult because that is exactly what happens when we just are. People want us to be or feel or think something different. The paradox of vulnerability is that, though we can only be vulnerable when we are not worried that others will judge us, being vulnerable means openness to such an attack. In human relations no situation is completely safe when it comes to our vulnerabilities. In the beginning, when we first learn to open ourselves, it is prudent to pick the most gentle and caring people we can find to open our hearts with.The Heart is the Vulnerability of Being

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Balance of Power Among Equals

For everything, there must be balance. Giving and receiving; when the balance begins to go off kilter, then the foundation begins to wobble.

I went out with a group of friends the other night and was watching a couple dancing to one of the fast dances. They used a large part of the floor because they were displaying a push/pull type display that is very real in our lives. She would move away from him and create a large gap, and he would maintain his distance. She would then kind of hang in one spot giving up her retreat, while he slowly made his way toward her direction, then the dynamic would switch and she would move toward him, meeting him half way, and he would then change his energy and he would begin his retreat. She would maintain her distance dancing around him, but hanging back, until he moved back toward her. She displayed her hips, and moved gracefully, he kept his hands in his pockets, displaying his chest, and drawing attention to his manhood. Back and forth they went with their dance. I had to smile to myself how they were displaying a very real ritual we play with the people we are pursuing, and in a relationship with. It continues on.

Power and balance are both very real and prevailing force in our lives. Even before we learn to walk, children begin to start testing and vying for power with their parents. I amusingly recall my son sitting in his highchair intentionally dropping a toy on the floor to test how many times I would retrieve it for him, for example, or even crying and throwing a fit, in an attempt to get his own way, or in an attempt to get attention.

Every relationship, or budding relationship goes through the dance of ‘power play’, and the ebb and flow of balance. One person will move forward pursuing, while the other steps, or hangs back creating a space and a vacuum succulently attracting the other person toward them. Sometimes the tables turn, and the pursuer sometimes steps back creating the space for the other to move forward, but by hanging back, causes the first to return, or they become the pursuer, which has to happen sometimes for there to be both giving and receiving. In relationships, we need to become familiar and sensitive to that ebb and flow. When one stops dancing, then the song and dance is over.

It is the woman’s task to retreat when the man becomes defensive, and move toward them when they are giving in, adjusting equally to their moods. Women have somehow, mistakenly, been given the impression that this is giving all the control to the man, when, in actuality, she is the one in complete control. If she comes toward him, or argues with him when he is defensive or picks a fight, she is then taking on the masculine energy with him, and is competing against him. Men compete with other men, and cannot cherish other men. So, when a woman begins competing with her man, he will therefore, treat her as another man.

Rejection plays a powerful role and has a powerful force in our lives. We do not like being or feeling rejection, and it is the shear terror of rejection that keeps the dance going.

You see this all the time, and why men have come up with the three day rule regarding calling after a first date. They pursue the woman for a date, she has a date with them, becomes interested, and then poof, no call, so the woman becomes anxious, she feels the anxiety of rejection, and many times will call him, text him, SMS him. Or possibly she waits, if she listens to the advice of most, and he calls. Because she felt that anxiety of rejection, she is relieved, and much more attracted to him than she was in the first place. If he doesn’t ever call, she is left with the feeling of rejection, but so many times, she still gives energy toward him and gives him more power, by running everything over and over in her mind attempting to figure out what is wrong with her, or what she did wrong. She perceives these feelings as a sign of how much she likes this man when, in truth, those feelings are revolving more around her own feelings of rejection by this man.

Today with feminism going strong, women want to be equals in the relationship, and they are. They just bring equal but different strengths and energies into the relationship, just the same as lighting and thunder have always been together, two forces existing side-by-side. Even though both are stable in and of itself, they not only co-exist, they require each other, and build upon each other, as an integrated whole.

Men and woman are different in many ways, but in this case I want to talk about the difference in energy that they bring to the table. Even though both men and women hold within themselves both masculine and feminine energy, men are much more masculine, and women are much more feminine. Men are the head, woman are the heart. We are different, because those differences are supposed to intermingle to create a whole. Men work on logic, women work on emotions. Not only are we raised that way, but our brain makeup is built that way. We were created to compliment, not compete against each other.

Once we women learn to, not only except, but to also embrace these differences, and learn to adapt or re-adapt to them, our lives and relationships with men will begin to change. If each partner is to be satisfied and fulfilled in the relationship, both need to be able to be allowed to bring their equal, but unique characteristics to the table. Just the same way, in which partners in a business bring different strengths and talents to the partnership and business. If both partners brought the same thing to the partnership, there would be no need for them to come together, they don’t need each other.

Men are so afraid that their women will not, or do not respect them, and they need a woman’s respect. Whereas, women are afraid that men try to rule over them, and they are able to rule themselves, however, they want to be cherished. Women can’t have it both ways, it knocks the balance off kilter. If both parties are bringing the masculine energy to the table, the balance of power is going all one way, and they are no longer complimenting each other, but rather competing. A man cannot cherish something that is just like him, or competing with him. He can only cherish what he is missing within himself.

Without a woman in his life, a man has a hard time accessing his feelings, and he admires women for that ability. It causes them to become curious, and gives women the air of mysticism. Curiosity and mysticism are at the heart of seduction, and attraction. When a woman chases a man, he is taking (or more likely rejecting), and she is relinquishing her power to him, and the power goes off balance. When a man retreats to his cave, and a woman goes to him vying for his attention, she is chasing him. However, if she maintains her distance, he becomes curious. Where is she? He feels the vacuum. If he doesn’t, then he doesn’t treasure and cherish her, and she should look for someone who does.

A powerful woman waits for her man to come to her, and expects to be cherished and treasured, she does not beg for it. Then she is receptive, if she so chooses, when he comes. Never underestimate the power of creating a space with someone. A vacuum is created, a curiosity mounts, rejection is felt.

For a relationship to work between two people, both need to give, and to receive. So many women have a fear of appearing needy, especially since they are always being told that being needy, or appearing to be needy, will drive men running for the hills, and the death of a relationship. Because of this fear, many times, in an attempt not to appear needy, they don’t voice their needs. As stated above, instead they keep quiet, usually throw a hint here, and a hint there, then when the hint isn’t picked up on, like another woman would do, they start feeling resentment because they are giving more than they are receiving, and eventually explode. Instead of expressing what their needs are, now they are blaming the other person for not meeting them. Now they appear needy, the very thing they feared all along.

Not only do you have to be able to give others love, you have to also be equally able to receive love. The same applies to giving and receiving as far as your needs being met. You also need to have your needs met, as well as attempt to fulfill the other person’s needs.

I personally, know that I am a giver, and I find it hard to receive. I have this nagging feeling that I am taking something I shouldn’t be, and I have to work very hard at receiving. In my case, I am out of balance with myself. If I am out of balance with myself, then it will be very easy for me to unknowingly create an imbalance in my relationships. You also have to give to yourself, as much as you are giving to others, or your balance if off. Then because you caused your own balance to be off, by giving to others more than to yourself, we have this tendency to blame them, for our own creation.

In the same way that you become resentful if you feel you are giving more than your partner, your partner can also become resentful if you are unable, or unwilling to receive what they need to give. In both cases, rejection is felt. Whenever resentment is felt by either person, you can bet that the culprit is the balance is off.

A man will also perceive your over giving more than he is giving to you, or you are allowing him to give to you, as competition. In persuasion and influence many salesmen, and advertising campaigns use the law of reciprocity. The law of reciprocity states that for every positive or negative action we in turn respond, and/or feel obligated to return. In the case of salesmen and advertising, they give you a free gift, that you get to keep no matter whether or not you choose to buy or not. When they give you this gift, you feel more obligated to buy, to give something back. Well, this also comes into play in not receiving. If you do not allow others to give to you, they feel resentment, because you are not allowing them the luxury of reciprocity. You are therefore competing.

Also, nothing makes a man happier or more powerful than making his woman happy. If you don’t receive what he is trying to give you, he will eventually give up, and feel that he is unable to please you, and go hunting for someone that he can please.

If you feel unable to express your needs, it is due to not trusting. You have to be able to trust yourself, if you are going to trust another. Therefore, you must be able to trust both, and with that trust you will be able to show vulnerability, and express what your needs are. No one will be able to correctly give you what you need, if they don’t know what they are. Unless, of course, they have the same need, in which case you are receiving it back, because we have a tendency to love others, the way we want to be loved.

Access a deep trust for yourself and another, and all the love in the universe will be yours.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

I Am Not Tempted By Anything But Temptation

This is one of a series of articles that talks about seduction, and how we can fall prey to its grasp. Some of these tactics and games have the powerful ability to cause immense emotional torment and anguish to the player(s), if used when you are already in a relationship, or used for the thrill. It is not the intention of these articles to teach you how to use these tactics, but rather to inform you, so you can guard and protect yourself against them.
Besides the obvious fact that when people cheat they are personally extremely needy, and/or else they have handicapped thinking patterns and behaviors, that would cause them to resort to cheating as a means of calming those issues. Because of that they are easily susceptible to seduction…or they are masters of it.

I already wrote about how Casanova got the bright idea to use the “Love Triangle” tactic when he thought he was loosing me to mounting bills, work, and then my son. I do not believe that he originally intended on his little game going as far as it did when he engaged. Which is why it is so very important that we do not place ourselves in situations where our animal instincts, or our inhibitions can be compromised, around certain people and types of people and situations. His intention, as he later relayed it to me, and which only backfired, was to bring me closer to him.

The Forbidden Fruit

Almost all of us are vulnerable to the attractions of other people, and we take precautions against unwanted lapses. Robert Greene – The Art of Seduction
Both the “Love Triangle” and “Temptation” work on our desire to engage in the “forbidden fruit”. We want what we cannot, or are not supposed to want or have. They both work on our desires. Curiosity, coupled with our imaginations, killed the cat. Casanova originally engaged, and used Bulldog, because she had already made it clear to him that she was interested, which made her an easy target to implement the “Love Triangle”. But Bulldog was clever, and knew exactly what she was doing. She had already been strategically placing herself in position for the kill.
Lure the target deep into your seduction by creating the proper temptation: a glimpse of the pleasures to come. As the serpent tempted Eve with the promise of forbidden knowledge, you must awaken a desire in your targets that they cannot control. Find that weakness of their that fantasy that has yet to be realized, and hint that you can lead them toward it. It could be wealth, it could be adventure, I could be forbidden and guilty pleasures; the key is to keep it vague. Dangle the prize before their eyes, postponing satisfaction, and let their minds do the rest. The future seems ripe with possibility. Stimulate a curiosity stronger than the doubts and anxieties that go with it, and they will follow you. Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction
Bulldog positioned herself as a friend, made friends with the people within our circle. Being a bartender at a place we felt comfortable at and frequented often, only added to her access, and to easily begin seducing by wearing seductive clothes, including her shorts exposing the cheeks of her butt; indulged his every need; flashing stolen winks and smiles. And when I was not around, she made sure that she positioned herself where she could steal stolen brushes and touches. She confided in him, and fueled his sympathy by telling him about her divorce and despair over her childrens welfare, and how they would be taken care of. Once she went so far as to have the entire bar patronage convinced that she had breast cancer in both breast, and would have to have them both removed, but mysteriously, following the so called day of surgery, they were still there. To top it all off with a cherry on top, when he finally went to her for solace, she made insinuations that I was cheating on him behind his back, among other things, creating the seed of doubt, anger and possibly revenge. She made sure that she made it clear she did not, or would not indulge in any of the things that he found annoying about me. This devil incarnate used just about every tactic in the “Art of Seduction”.

Through her mode of dress, the stolen smiles and winks, and brushing up on him, she both insinuated and gave an unspoken message that she was available to him. And by her lack of inhibitions and her wild behavior, when he had her she would drive him to the heights of ecstasy. All this could easily be his, but…he was taken, therefore, he was not meant to want her, she was the forbidden, creating a barrier and tension, for the desired fruit.

When Casanova confided in her, he gave her all the information that she needed to allow her to give him the impression that his current situation with me held no near future contentment. What with those added expenses we hadn’t counted on, now having to fight to pay the bills, and my ex-husband and son making sure that he added drama, and turmoil in our lives at every turn. Our dream we had worked for to create was falling apart at the seams.

She, on the other hand, would be easy to please, she had nothing, so he could not fail as a provider, and anything he supplied would be more than she had. She on the other hand, presented, and was willing to supply him with a constant flow of wild pleasure and excitement. “Let me help you lay down your troubles, and let me please you”, was the message she gave. “You have everything to gain, and nothing to loose…if you allow me to…if you follow me.”

Bulldog is bold and brass, and she is one of those people who believes she has the answers to what everyone else should be doing, and how they should be behaving and thinking. One day Casanova, in his despair over the mounting tensions in our life made the comment to me and probably her, “I need a strong person who can tell me what to do.”

Casanova had told me during our many talks when we first met, that he was a rescuer, and one of the things that he liked so much about me was that I was self-sufficient and independent. I loved him for him, and not for what I could get from him. Even though that was a quality that he loved, deep down he was still a rescuer, and Bulldog fell deeply into the category of someone that needed a man to give her a home. That coupled with our current financial difficulties which deeply bruised his male psyche, she presented an easy opportunity to regain his sense of manly self-worth, and be her savior.

He had also off-handedly remarked several times that he liked a woman a little on the trashy side. This one goes without saying. The first time he said it, I remember asking myself what he saw in me. But I also knew that he was very ambitious, and we both had dreams of things we wanted to do and accomplish that matched, and our combined knowledge, drive, and assets would help us to accomplish those things together. Something she did not, nor would she ever have. She could only supply instant sexual gratification, as well as knowledge of how to mix a drink, and the wild abandon of the nightlife.

In every struggle the unconscious will win out over the conscious every time.

The Love Triangle” works on the third party’s weaknesses of greed, envy, jealousy; and need for competition; of wanting what they cannot have, and what someone else has that they perceive they want; and above all, the thrill of winning over the object of their desire. One of the partner’s weaknesses for wanting to create desire and competition in their partner, against the third person they are using to stir those weaknesses and fight for them, is the desire to create and heighten their perceived value in their partner’s, or desired partner’s eyes.

Temptation works in several ways.

Being in the right place at the right time, when someone is discontent, or perceives some sort of lack in their lives, or leading them to believe, or insinuating that they do, by planting a sneaky seed of doubt, and supplying the right missing ingredients is an overwhelmingly powerful aphrodisiac to temptation. Luring and enticing the unprotected down its path, in those times when we are the most vulnerable. When the temptation strikes a cord with a weakness, insecurities, or perceived lack in our lives, and promises to validate us, and what is currently missing in our lives, it is hard to resist. It may even involve pain, however, pain offers its own temptation, and is very close to pleasure. Just the same as hate can be very close to love, as they both require great passion. When we are feeling secure and satisfied, temptation looses its power.

Temptation works on the weaknesses of the partner’s desire for the “forbidden fruit”, having what they should not desire, and finding a way to get away with having it, without loosing what they already have; or fulfilling a perceived lack, or a compensation or distraction for a perceived lack. The third person in both cases is still all about their weaknesses of greed, envy, jealousy, need for competition and thrill of winning; wanting what they cannot have; and what someone else has that they don’t, but believe they should be entitled to.

We all have insecurities, consumed by doubts and regrets, and fighting to keep order in our lives. However, when we step out into the World we put on a mask concealing those insecurities from the people around us. We don’t want anyone to see our weaknesses. We go through our daily grind of life trying to gain, and hold on to our security, all the while looking out there, and seeing people that appear to have so much more, and appear to be so much more happier and fulfilled than we are.

We are faced with temptation almost daily, of one sort or another, and it is exhausting standing by society’s and our own moral codes, all the while fighting to maintain a feeling of security. Closing our eyes, and holding up a strong front in the face of our doubts and regrets, as well as being faced with the perception that others have so more than us, and are so much more happy than we are, is exasperating. We see glamour every time we pick up the remote control. Make no mistake about it, we are all struggling with keeping order in our lives, and damn it, it is hard being good and righteous all the time.

We aren’t looking for temptation, what we are really looking for, and secretly wanting, is to lay down our guard and restrains, and give in to temptation. To throw caution to the wind, and relieve the tension of holding it all together.

Temptation surrounds an underground desire that is being subdued, causing tension when confronted with it…when it is there for the taking. Causing you to wither and struggle with the tug-of-war of desire against restraint and barriers. It starts kneading its way into the back of your mind, sparking a flame, causing it to consume and take over your thoughts. The more you try to resist, the more the thoughts and desire mount. The curiosity and imagination grows into a bonfire.
The Apple in the Garden of Eden. The fruit looks deeply inviting, and you are not supposed to eat of it; it is forbidden. But that is precisely why you think of it day and night. You see it but cannot have it. And the only way to get rid of this temptation is to yield and taste the fruit. Robert Greene - The Art of Seduction
When a temptation has the perception of a future pleasure, and distraction from our everyday lives and pressures, a perceived barrier to that pleasure, the desire to overcome the barrier, and get a taste of the pleasure, intensifies. You/they are taken; you/they are not good enough; you\they are not interested; morals vs submission.
The only way to get rid of temptation, is to yield to it. Oscar Wilde
So many times, sadly, we find out that our fantasies turn out to be so much different than the real thing. I will leave you with this:
The same voice in your mind that told you to act, is the same voice that ridicules you later for making that choice. Jonathon Mead

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