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love is organic – instalment xix

it is an irony of romance that the more interesting and intimate a relationship, the more tempestuous it is. after all, a relationship involves two blood-red human beings with emotions to burn. so, you’re bound to have misunderstandings – and apologies and forgivenesses. however, this post isn’t about how you say ‘i’m sorry,’ because saying it should come spontaneously, naturally and in the most creative way you think. saying ‘sorry’, in some ways, is like proposing. you know what you want to say, but how you say it and how the ring appears depends on your creativity. like proposing also, when you utter the words, you always consider the options of a first refusal or several refusals (by the person), but you always have hope in your heart for the best. only you have spent moments before the fall out with this person, only you know the gravity of your offense, so, recommending how you apologize by someone else can be awkward. for instance, when i first heard ruben studdard’s “sorry 2004,” i wondered if this was like jesus dying on the cross for our sins, and sincerely hoped he meant it as a joke. so, this post is about the reason you say ‘sorry,’ not how or through what medium you express it. but whatever you do, when you say ‘sorry’, be sincere, do not place blame, do not patronize your lover/friend, or make assumptions – because most arguments start with someone making assumptions.

some people are shy – of words, and saying “i’m sorry,” is a phrase you’re unlikely to hear from them. i don’t blame this kind, and here’s my take on this. you see, the phrase “i’m sorry”, which is supposed to make its recipient feel better, for some, has the assumption of guilt and admittance of wrongdoing.  so, such people feel when they say the words to a person, it implies that they are in some way responsible for the situation. also, ‘i’m sorry’ has suffered a social death of some sort by misuse. very often, you hear it uttered in a range of circumstances, from condolences, i’m so sorry for your loss, to insulting someone, “you sorry excuse for a human being,” to asking a speaker to repeat a sentence, sorry, what did you say?”  to the playful (depending on the occasion) “get your sorry ass out of my face.” so, these people have learnt to let their actions be their atonement. i agree, letting your actions do the talking is commendable, however, not verbally (or via a message) telling someone you care for that you are sorry can come across as being arrogant. to great benefits, the two go together – the words/messages and the actions. besides, the ability to genuinely say you are sorry, for me, is one of the highs of emotional intelligence. it doesn’t only show an assessment of your behavior/action but how that action/behavior has negatively affected someone you care for. it’s a point in any situation when your ego takes a backseat for the betterment of what the both of you share.

as such, saying ‘sorry’ should not arise from your lover/friend making you aware of what you have done wrong, or a third party making you see sense. to be genuine, it must come from your own assessment of your actions. imagine walking to your lover and saying, “i was provoked. but after you spoke to me, i realized i was wrong. i am sorry.”  or “i was speaking to (insert name) and he/she made me realize i reacted wrongly. i am sorry.” when your saying ‘sorry’ is based on either of these two interventions, you are making decisions based on the current circumstances – you’ve had a fight, you’ve been made aware you were wrong, the situation will not get better except you apologize, so you say ‘sorry’. reacting this way could mean you wouldn’t have realized your mistake if someone hadn’t brought it to your attention. reacting this way could mean you have taken the circumstances as being beyond your ability to change – for me, this limits your options and solutions. you don’t think so? if you are used to taking this approach (of considering the circumstances), it is very likely, next time your lover is hurt, for you to say, “sorry” and think “at least it worked last time.” sometimes, you may have noticed he/she remains hurt, and then you wonder why ‘sorry’ didn’t work this time. however, when you take time to reflect and examine why you decided to say “sorry”, your conscious intentions determine your words and actions, rather them being determined by circumstances alone. 

earlier in this post i said it would be wrong for me to suggest how you say ‘sorry,’ because saying it should be spontaneous, and should come naturally out of what you share with someone. in the past several weeks, a close friend of mine and i had a misunderstanding. but through it all, she taught me a heartening dimension of friendship by not giving up on my sorry ass. i considered sending prince’s “the arms of orion.” i didn’t, because, like most songs, one line in the song was not applicable … instead, last week, to apologize, i wrote a short story and hoped she will read it and understand my intentions. she did. to you, wherever you are right now, i dedicate this post.

to be continued.

fkregie 2017.

love is organic – instalment xviii

some relationships can be blissful others frustrating – in either case, nobody ever gets what he/she desires from a relationship, but no relationship is useless. so, it is unfortunate that some lovers take to public fora (human or virtual) to blast their lovers from the past – talking about things the ex-lover is deficient in or trashing the qualities that attracted them to him/her. i was at a gathering last saturday when a lady said of her ex-lover, “he is a very educated man. that’s the only reason i went out with him.” this is all well – shows she has standards. but it also shows she may be deficient herself – that she hasn’t reached a stage where another person’s achievement shouldn’t be a core attraction. also, it may indicate she does not realize an attraction for what someone is has its limits. it’s like saying “he/she is rich. that’s the only reason i went out with him/her.” so what happens when you become rich yourself – do you feel superior and find the person inadequate, and then (maybe) look for someone richer? it is an irony of relationships that, in the main, we fall for the same type of lover. the question is, do you need someone else’s achievement to be fulfilled. if you like someone because he/she is intelligent – help to nurture that intelligence. if you go out with someone because he/she is beautiful – help to nurture that beauty from within and without. if you go out with someone who is traumatized by previous relationships, help that person believe in love again. let your appreciation/attraction enhance the person, and vicariously you. two words come to mind – pride and admiration. you take pride in something you helped to achieve. you admire what was achieved without you. if you helped your lover achieve a proficiency, then take pride in it. in my experience, the process of achieving a proficiency together endears both of you to each other. if your lover is already accomplished, and you admire him/her for that, you may admire his/her doggedness in achieving that or the variables that were pertinent to that achievement. there’s nothing wrong in admiration, but somehow, i feel admiration is transient when it only has to do with something external. because the moment someone with that external feature that is more interesting comes along – you may leave. or the moment you reach a stage in your own development – usually through associating with this person, you begin to think you’re better and don’t need the person. i am not saying those who admire cannot be genuine, but admiration for admiration’s sakes is a marker of insufficiency. if you find your lover deficient, selflessly help him/her become proficient in that area. if you leave him/her after that, you would’ve done your part. the one thing some lovers forget is, if someone else comes to admire you for a quality that was lacking before your current lover came into your life, it should be something that endears you to him/her rather than something that makes you feel superior to him/her – even if you find reason to leave. i feel nobody is too good to lose, but rather, that every lover leaves me with something that makes me a better lover for the next lover. even pain is a good lesson – you don’t think so? listen to rascal flatt’s “bless the broken road.” while you are at it, listen to barry white’s “whatever we had, we had,” and you’ll see there’s really no need for bitterness or hatred when things don’t work out. coretta scott king says, “hate is too great a burden to bear. it injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” i read recently, “lovers used him as a pick-up line.” the irony in these words made me smilei thought to myself, this isn’t bad. it shows he has been able to help the woman now trashing that quality to develop – before she moved on. but for him, she wouldn’t have found a sufficiency, a “knowledge” that now makes her feel superior or confident enough to leave. relationships should never be about “what do i get out of it,” or whether you are better than your lover. a relationship is about building or leaving a memory or memories the person will always appreciate – even long after you’re gone. no matter how bad a lover someone is, he/she always leaves you with something to appreciate. but more important, whatever attracted you to a person should remain sacrosanct – just as a person’s insufficiency – when you have broken up with that person, because, while it lasted, it did give you some satisfaction.

fkregie 2017.

love is organic – instalment xvii

her father loved me, oft invited me,

    still question’d me the story of my life

    from year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes,

    that i have pass’d.

    i ran it through, even from my boyish days

    to the very moment that he bade me tell it:

    wherein i spake of most disastrous chances,

    of moving accidents by flood and field,

    of hair-breadth ‘scapes i’ the imminent deadly breach,

    of being taken by the insolent foe

    and sold to slavery, of my redemption thence

    and portance in my travels’ history;

    wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,

    rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven,

    it was my hint to speak- such was the process-

    and of the cannibals that each other eat,

    the anthropophagi, and men whose heads

    do grow beneath their shoulders.[1]

when othello makes this speech in defense of himself before the senate at venice it is to explain his innocence against the charge of using charm and magic to woo brabantio’s daughter, desdemona. however, a close look at the speech will show how eloquent othello is, but also expose the nature of othello – a man who thinks his type is evil to impress new ‘suitors’. as such, a man you may have problem trusting because his psyche still harbors vestiges of his savage past. a man you may ask, “what happens if this present becomes his past?” so, but above all, the speech acts as a warning to the listening venetian senate – treat me well or else i’ll talk about your savagery. in other words, if othello talks of his own people like this, imagine what he would say of the treatment he receives at the hands of the venetian senate if they condemn his pursuit of desdemona on account of his race.

note that though othello mentions “fortunes” he passed through, he says “… i spake of most disastrous chances, … of hair-breadth ‘scapes i’ the imminent deadly breach …” because othello only concentrates on disasters, his mention of “fortunes” in a way, assumes a negative tone. this is a man you may struggle to trust, a man who thinks he found “redemption” from being “sold to slavery,” and now, the people he has previously praised saved him from savagery are threatening to savage him. the same is true of some lovers who speak of their past lovers.

it is common for lovers whose egos have been bruised or feel let-down to savage the memory of what they shared with a man/woman they believe hurt them. i am the first to admit you can have good reasons to feel disappointment if you were treated wretchedly or if your hopes or promises made to you were not fulfilled. but be careful, the hurt that doesn’t leave your mind, destroys your psyche. also, it helps no one to systematically resort to either destroying the person of the ex-lover and/or belittling the things you claimed – while with the person, you either liked or made you happy. avoid letting your desdemona become your othello. tell the person how he/she has let you down and move on – don’t be an othello who remembers misfortunes or the ‘evil’ of your ex-lover. some might prefer to keep quiet, but move on. you can blame the latter for keeping quiet, but sometimes when you observe a lover is marinated in his/her ways it’s better to let them fry in their fat.

but some (ex)lovers don’t leave quietly and stay quiet – pardon the pun. however, some of what these unquiet ex-lovers say, if you listen carefully, is based on uncorroborated actions or the nature of the ex-lover – just sheer bile, jealousy and retribution. i said some – not all ex-lovers. for such ex-lovers, ex-lovers become, as othello says, “cannibals that each other eat,/the anthropophagi, and men (sic) whose heads/do grow beneath their shoulders.” they become, as one lover said of an ex-lover “… a serial killer for all i know. i can’t believe i shared a bed with this monster for so many years.”  as fate would have it, her new lover became acquainted with the ex-lover, and after being in the presence of this person for a while, realized most of what he was told about his person was untrue. his interaction with his lover’s ex-lover may not be as a lover, but it is impossible to hide certain untoward behavior.

two things: some people are pretentious, so the ex-lover may have been pretending to be good with the current lover, after all, some would say, they are not lovers and he is a man. but if you pretend to be good, it is only because you know what is good. so, would someone who knows what good can be, be full-scale evil? i say this because, first, could it be a case of “we get what we deserve”? they say, God treats us the way we love. i am not saying an abusive lover (if he/she was abusive) is God. second, in this case, the accusing ex-lover, the current lover will find out, still calls and talks to the anthropophagi to constantly ask for help generally, fulfill monetary obligations and/or relief from stress. i am not writing this so you to pass judgment. besides, if you look in your present situation you may just be in this situation. and then some ex-lovers return to an ex-lover to seek revenge. again, this is not written for you to pass judgment, but to let you know the results can be catastrophic. consider the following remarks made to police by a 31-year-old man who stabbed his 20-year-old wife to death, after they had been reunited following a six-month separation.

“then she said that since she came back in april she had fucked this other man about ten times. i told her how can you talk about love and marriage and you been fucking this other man. i was really mad. i went to the kitchen and got the knife. i went back to our room and asked: were you serious when you told me that? she said yes. we fought on the bed, i was stabbing her. her grand-father came up and tried to take the knife out of my hand. i told him to go and call the cops for me. i don’t know why i killed the woman, i loved her.”[2]

david m. buss writes, “love is the universal human emotion that bonds the sexes, the evolutionary meeting ground where men and women lay down their arms,”[3] – you bet my use of this statement has two meanings. they say love is about compromise, however, for me, the best compromise is with your own feelings when the romance is over – the way you handle your residual emotions is key. so, the lessons from this are fourfold: what you say of others exposes your own nature – if you say an ex-lover is evil and an infra dig and you continue to interact with him/her it says so much about your character; no human is completely either evil or good, talking only about the evil of people shows your preference for evil. by inference, if you talk good of people it shows your preference for good. when you are capable and comfortable talking about your ex and your relationship with him/her, you know you’ve moved on. if you still keep grudges it’s impossible to talk about the good and bad sides of the story; returning to a lover that has hurt you for purposes of revenge does not only destroy the person, if you succeed in exacting revenge, it also destroys your person – you’ve brought yourself to the nature of the one you condemned; destroying the person of an ex-lover to a new lover is a red-flag that you’re someone who cannot be trusted. there is a difference between “that guy/girl let me down,” and “that guy/girl is a sadist/a prostitute.” you see, whereas what you say may be taken as truth, because you did spend time with the person, it is a red-flag to the new lover – because, like the venetian senate might have thought, if othello can speak ill of his own people, what won’t he say about his racialized adopted tribe. after all, if crocodiles eat their own eggs, what won’t they do to the eggs of other creatures.

fkregie 2017.

[1] Shakespeare, William. (1996). Othello. Act I:III. Dover Publications.

[2] Buss, M. David. (2000). The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy Is as Necessary as Love and Sex. New York: The Free Press. p. 7.

[3] Ibid. p. 10.

love is like mother to a son

in a recent exchange with a close friend of mine, she mentioned someone asked her something to the effect, “how do you know when someone wants you?” to which, i am sure, many will respond, “you can just tell.” i accept this response, but i don’t fully subscribe to it because there is almost something bayesian about it. consider this, several illnesses have the same symptoms, why should i believe then it’s love simply because someone looks at me in a certain way. when you really think about it, the look in the eyes of a stranger who wants you, is the look in the eyes of a friend who wants you. yes, really. there is a difference between wanting someone and being in love with someone. i am no expert on love or other people’s feelings, i can only talk about what i have experienced, and i have been fortunate to meet some amazing women. women who brought me bliss while demanding nothing in return. women who stripped love of its many layers and showed me its purest essence – a sigh. women who showed me, love, simply is, about preserving life. these women are my referents in this piece – so, there shall be no bewildering theories applied or unrealistic quotations on love mouthed. and my take on this is not universal because, though the truest essence of love is the same, no two love experiences are ever the same. all i know is this, a whole lot of the things we approximate with love aren’t about love. when you’re in love, i will not desecrate the way you know love by saying ‘when you’re truly in love,’ the major phenomena of life cease to exist. some call this madness, i call it the preservation of life. here’s why.

when you were striving after every success you’ve had in life, did you think of death. the same is true of love. being in love is the only time you accept fate – not in the traditional sense. someone could be shooting people dead across the street and your loved one is somewhere next street. all you’ll be thinking is “if i do this, i will get to her/him” you’re not thinking of death. i say this because to think of death in this situation would be, for me, to think “what if i get shot?” this question can only be concerned about preserving yourself for someone else who you don’t have to die for. to think this, is to think collateral damage – love isn’t about collateral damage. when you’re thinking about what you’ll have and won’t have when you choose to be with someone, you’re thinking about yourself – it means you know you don’t have to be with the person. you can have all you want without being with this person. love is simply, the acceptance of someone (flaws and all) who represents the preservation of life. someone to whom your life is worth preserving and vice versa.

when you are in love with someone, you accept the inevitability of birth and death, but not as fate. fate is a strange and curious phenomenon that doesn’t go with being in love. here is one of the ironies of belief in fate – you’ve just received a call that your house is on fire and your child is trapped inside it. let’s assume you have a car – you rush into your car and speed off to save the child from dying, but though you feel the need to save the child from dying, you’re scared of driving at 120 kilometers per hour – because you’re scared of dying. but you believe in fate. same situation, but here is love. “it will take me five minutes to get home. i need to be careful i don’t take other lives.” and you take off to save the child’s life. in fact, you won’t even think “i need to be careful i don’t take other lives.” your instinct to preserve life will guide you – but you’re not scared of losing your life to save the life of a child you love. here, death is only in the equation because of your wish to preserve life, not as a by/end product of fate. this is what love simply is – the preservation of life.

in love, you’re not fated to do the things you do for the one you love. whenever i think back to the moments i’ve done something for someone i love, i did not think of the consequences to me – or the preservation of my own life. call it reckless, call it foolhardy. you’re entitled to your opinion. but at all the moments in my life i have thought of what it would matter if i did or did not do something for someone, i realized at those moments i am not in love with the person for whom i was doing those things. when those women did the things they did for me, none of them thought “no one else will help him if i don’t” to do this would have meant, on their part, they were fated to do it, and this isn’t love because the subtext of that thought is, “i saved him.” love should never be about you being the one (fated) to preserve another’s life. if it is, you’re collecting accolades. love collects no accolades.

so, how do you know someone wants you. how do you know someone is in love with you. in my experience, it’s not in the eyes, it’s not in physical gestures, it is not in any gesture at all, but in things unspoken – a moment when you are in each other’s presence and you can hear all the sounds around you. a moment when something that has the potential to be explosive happens and you find yourselves breaking into laughter. it is when your lover lies down at the end of the day and you look at him/her, and in spite of all the vagaries of this world, in spite of all that stands in their way of being with you, in spite of all that bedevils them, he/she is not afraid to fall asleep (in your presence) knowing you won’t risk his/her life – knowing whatever happens, your first option is the preservation of his/her life. it is when your loved one has “dreamless” sleeps – like a pre-school child. for dreams are symbolic of a lack of something no matter how pleasant, and lovers, like pre-school children, don’t have dreams with mobile characters, lovers don’t have dreams that include themselves as active characters, lovers don’t have dreams with social interactions. but above all, lovers don’t have dreams with autobiographic or episodic memories, because lovers, like pre-school children have infantile amnesia – like a child with a loving mother. so, you know it’s love the moment you feel the connection reminiscent of that between a mother and her son. let’s not digress by arguing the relationship between a father and a daughter. let’s just consider – mother can be the man, son can be the woman. it doesn’t matter who is the mother or who is the son. some “mothers” and some “sons” don’t know why history gave us mary and jesus, so they drift apart. but the truest essence of love is the preservation of life – like the connection between mother and son. sigh!

fkregie 2016.

unwrapped cyclone and burst dams

fade in

ext. university parking lot – late afternoon

the sun has gone to bed early as the heavens playfully throw dark cotton balls across the sky. the wind, like listerine unhinging food particles lodged between teeth, is unhinging and flinging debris across the parking lot.

woman, 43, is walking towards her car in a crowded hospital parking lot, her sari dancing the flamenco with the winds.

reveal: her face – deadpan. she is weightlifting two bags – one containing her personal effects and a green umbrella, the other, a laptop bag – incongruous to her slight frame. she smiles. the heavens respond with a deep rumble that matches her hurried steps – and the heavens open up. she removes the green umbrella from her bag, clicks it open and her face breaks again into a smile.

woman (v.o.)

                                                  so i can’t even think the word?

int. woman’s home – an hour later

subtle lighting illuminates her cozy living room. pm dawn’s “i’ll die without you,” reminding the room of a presence not seen. a presence the walls have come to feel its presence through her smiles.

woman – warmly wrapped up, is sitting on the two-seater sofa – a mug in her hand, an open laptop on her laps, casting light on her face from an angelic dimension, a smug smile on her face matched by the gentle heavenly wet caresses on her roof.

woman (v.o.)

                                                  gosh, i miss you …

her smile widens, and the heavens respond with an excited cascade on her roof. she sighs a soothed-soul sigh.

overhead back-shot on laptop – picking a poem on the screen, “fiction.

cue sound:

so take every little piece of my heart/yeah, take every little piece of my soul/yeah, take every little bot of piece of my mind …

cut to black.

fin.

fkregie 2016.

love is organic – instalment xv

here’s syllogism: being intelligent doesn’t automatically make you a responsible person, therefore, being emotionally intelligent doesn’t automatically make you an emotionally responsible person. thorndike (1986) defines emotional intelligence as the ability to understand others and to act wisely. can this relate to emotional responsibility. for instance, are you being emotionally responsible when you understand and act wisely towards another person. would you be violating this understanding/wisdom if you left someone because you now understand them, and so, acted wisely by leaving. by leaving would you have handled your emotions wisely. goleman (1998) defines emotional intelligence as the ability to be aware of and to handle one’s emotions in varying situations. he claims that emotional intelligence includes such things as empathy, motivation, self-awareness, self-regulation and social skill. so, would you have abandoned your responsibility to this person – or abandoned this person by leaving. does emotional responsibility have anything to do with abandonment. for instance, when someone stops being in a relationship with you, has the person abandoned you or left you. using thorndike and goleman’s assertions, has the person left because he/she has changed after reassessing the situation and thought the wise thing to do was to leave, or has the person abandoned you because you are no longer what you were when the promise was made. before going any further, let’s get one thing clear, though the focus here may be biased towards romantic love, emotional responsibility in this post does not only relate to what happens between lovers. 

what does shakespeare mean when he writes, love is not love, which alters when it alteration finds, /or bends with the remover to remove.” is he talking about emotional maturity or a caveat for those who feel abandoned in a relationship – “remember you said you love me, why are you changing? what is abandonment – is it the feeling that you have been left by someone. if this is your definition, you might want to rethink it. abandonment is about leaving people we are responsible for – your child, an old or sick person – people incapable of being responsible for themselves, someone/people you have agreed to take care of. someone/people you should have the emotional responsibility to live up to the emotional commitment you made to them. the point is, as a fully functional person, another person can leave you but he/she cannot abandon you. yes, i said it. why. how can someone abandon you if they haven’t promised to be responsible for you. responsibility is a moral value at the ontological level – it means being responsible to others and doing personal and social tasks in its best way, here, i imagine a love relationship is a social task. responsibility means acceptability, commitment, and internal incentive to doing undertaken tasks perfectly. underline perfectly. don’t promise for instance, you’ll cook for someone and then three months later you do it with complaint.

romantic love operates on fractals. therefore, as you rush, giddy-headed into a relationship, be careful what things you promise to be responsible for, be careful what love-adrenal rush makes you promise to be responsible for, which when the intoxication dissipates, you have no wish to be responsible for. remember the butterfly effect. love on first sighting is all good, but i always believe, before you commit to anyone, wait just a little bit. there is no need to promise things on first sighting or when your head is still in the clouds. wait. wait for when all initial limbic or amygdala inebriation sates, then make any promise, that is if you must. remember, though it is impossible to sate infinite love, infinite love doesn’t require gratification, and as such generates little anxiety or hostility. infinite lovers are in love with love itself. the same cannot be said for finite lovers. finite lovers are in love with the expectation of what love can bring them. in truth, love shouldn’t be about what we can do for people or what they can do for us – you’re not a charity case, so your lover isn’t a charity case. love should only resemble charity in the act of giving, not in expecting anything back – you don’t give a beggar on the streets money because you want something back … it is a responsibility you carry out unconditionally, the same is true of emotional responsibility.

emotional responsibility in this post doesn’t refer to you being emotionally self-responsible, for instance, coming to the realization that you no longer imagine your emotional states as the responsibility of other people, or things visible and invisible. emotional responsibility here means, making an emotional commitment and being emotionally responsible enough to fulfil it – meaning, your responsibility shouldn’t change because you find alterations in the person to whom this promise is made. that is, it is not emotional responsibility, “which alters when alteration finds.”

let me further break this down. you shouldn’t stop being emotionally responsible for the promises you made to someone or a lover just because he/she has become unloving or uncaring. you shouldn’t stop being emotionally responsible because it has become tiring for you to do so – for this only happens when your commitments suddenly change, when other things begin to distract you. that is, when you accept other responsibilities after you had made this one. that won’t be fair on the person. however, your emotional responsibility can be reconsidered only when doing such has become emotionally self-torturous. remember, whatever we do is our own choice – even choosing to be miserable. so, you can only reassess your emotional responsibility because of you – not because of the other person, not because of changing thing-concepts and not because of group-concepts. never forget, that when you made this promise, you chose to sacrifice your needs against the collective needs of the person to whom you made the promise. i read somewhere that brewster (1977) and karami et al (2004) consider responsibility as a kind of attitude and skill, and like any other attitude or skill responsibility can be acquired or learnt. let me leave brewster and karami and his friends alone for now. 

here, i am talking about emotional honesty – your willingness to know and own your feelings. that is, always being true to what you feel. at this level of emotional maturity, you do not hide, repress or suppress what you feel, but you honestly experience what you feel. you are at least honest with yourself about how you really feel despite what you are supposed to feel. this needs being open about what you feel. and telling whoever you have made a promise to why you can no longer fulfil it. that’s why i agree with gertrude stein that love is “the skillful audacity required to share an inner life.” remember, it must be because of your own emotions – not because of the person to whom it was promised, or reasons external to the promise made. to do this you must reach a level of emotional maturity where you have no burden and pitfalls of group-concepts, self-concepts, self-constructs, self-images, and thing-concepts. and this is hard – what with all the nice distractions all around us. hence, the reason to assess your emotional capabilities before making promises in love. but whatever you do, remember rumi’s advice, “close your eyes. fall in love. stay there.” if you can’t do this then be careful about entering the house of love for you are not emotionally responsible.

imagine this: man comes home there is no supper – just the woman. 

“you didn’t cook.” 

“yes” 

“why. thought you said that’s one way of showing me you love me – that that’s your way of being emotionally responsible to me.”

“guilty as charged.”

“so, no supper means what.”

“means nothing. i am not particularly happy with myself right now so i didn’t cook.”

“and the logic being?”

“i don’t want to cook for you when i’m not in the right frame of emotion to do so. so, if there’s no food then there is no emotion to judge. good night”

“good night as in, i am not having supper? what about your emotional responsibility?”

“man, i just said, no food, so no questioning of my responsibility.”

“but i am hungry.”

“well, i am not responsible for your feeding, i am only responsible for the promise to cook for you. look, whenever you have eaten outside this house, have i ever accused you of not letting me fulfil my emotional responsibility to you? did you quarrel with those people for doing something i am responsible for? you’re quiet. good night.”

fkregie 2016.

those who hurt

those who hurt are vain and always in search of self-fulfillment – the desire to be number one everywhere. like a lover who wants to be the first and last lover a man/woman has. he/she may be, but the lover wants other things – that threaten the number one status of those who hurt. then they go on another search – forgetting they have already created a world in which they are number one. forsaking number one spot to start all over – selling rung-dreams as they climb up the ladder of affections of those they hurt. those who hurt are driven by self-love – but rather than create, they destroy. they build by extraction – removing the furniture (heart and soul) in the home to create a house (empty dependency). notice how those who hurt hardly finish any project. they arrive, seek to be number one, become number one. but they have cops in their minds, you see. and the cops in their minds always haunt them. then they leave, cops in mind, to seek new horizons of self-ordained mind-cops. those who hurt are destructively jealous – not in a violent way, but in a self-deprecating manner. their self, their owned are never enough. those who hurt have a reason for hurting – a past or an abusive present that they cannot overcome. somehow, this drives them to seek that which hurts them – so that being cold has no need to be explained. those who hurt find god and religion – but they never know god. those who hurt are sweet, caring, loving and loyal – when the environment is right. but in a world of duality, where darkness precedes light, the environment is never right for those who hurt.

fkregieblog 2016

love is organic – instalment xiv

two weeks back, i ran into a former student of mine, and as we spoke i noticed she seemed distraught. when i asked what was wrong, she said, “i moved in with my boyfriend. i had to opt for this instead of marriage. but it is driving him mad. he wants marriage.” what this young lady is going through is common in all relationships – it is called a ‘good conflict.’ you see, in every long-term relationship, there comes a time when you feel that the thing you need the most from your partner is the very thing he/she is least capable of giving you – in this case, marriage. contrary to what (usually) may follow and what many lovers think, this shouldn’t be the end of love, but rather, the beginning of profound love. this conflict is the bane of most long-term relationships. but, it shouldn’t be. this is a conflict you should not run away from because it is a complement of every long-term relationship. in fact, your relationship is deficient if it is missing because it is your key to happiness as a couple. consider this, your lover may seem content with you, and you consequently assume you don’t have issues with him/her. but that could be because he/she is scared of raising his/her deepest fear with you. when this happens, a lover you think is content may suddenly leave you without clues, but a broken heart. believe me, no heart is more broken than the one that assumes, just before being broken, that everything was fine. i received a meme this afternoon with the words “i hate it when dudes ask ‘can you cook?’ – “can you build a house?” seriously, each person in a long-term relationship has something he/she would like his/her lover to be able to do to secure his/her future. it may be a house. it may be a car. it may be trips to wherever at will. it may be, as in my former student’s case, marriage. it may be having a nursery-load of children. or it may be trust and true love. whatever it is, most times, this is usually what you feel your partner cannot give you, and consequently, this causes rifts within the relationship. but if you both can name your direst needs and commit to working on them together as a couple, your relationship will be the better for it. when you identify and choose to work on it, you should avoid approaching your ‘good conflicts’ with animosity, bitterness, blame, contempt, derision and levity or else your relationship will turn toxic. psychologists speak of fight or flight, but when you have a ‘good conflict,’ you shouldn’t fight, you shouldn’t take flight – you should work things out, as a couple. but if you are a flight risk, before you take flight, ask yourself this, “is it possible to meet the perfect lover?”

fkregieblog 2016

love is organic – instalment xiii

mahatma gandhi said, “the day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.” sadly, in any romantic relationship, two people never have equal power. if you pay close attention you will notice that depending on the issue or situation at hand, power fluctuates between lovers. for instance, you may have more power than your partner regarding family, friends and social connections but lack power regarding financial decision-making. when you do notice this in your relationship pay attention because these power differences influence the use of deception. it is quite possible that the person in the low-power position is more likely to use deception. you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know you can only truly give love from a place of knowing that you have love. “a course in miracles,” teaches us that “to the personal mind giving means sacrifice because to it giving means giving away. the personal self only willingly gives when it believes it will get something greater than what it is giving. this is the personal self’s law of “giving to get”, which it does as it evaluates itself in relation to other personal selves” (60). you see, the personal self is obsessed with the idea of lack, so if it feels after giving all it gets back is arrogance and control, it resorts to ways of regaining some self-worth.

in “love is organic – instalment x,” i wrote that a lover may cede the decision-making power to his/her partner, but even those who do come to a point where they feel overwhelmed by the control of that with whom the decision-making power lies. you see, there is a difference between making decisions on behalf of your partner and rendering your partner powerless with the decisions you make on his/her behalf. and no one likes to feel powerless based on decisions made for them. imagine your partner has just been given a job, you both have cars, but you say, “i will drop at work and pick you up after work each day. there’s no need for us to waste fuel.” in making this decision you forget your partner may have need for her car to dash to, let’s say, the cellular provider to pay the bill during lunch hour. must she then have to wait for you? plato says, “the measure of a man is what he does with power.” you see, when you make people feel they lack power, they often feel like they lack control over what happens and may resort to deception to level the playing field. the last thing you want is a co-worker driving your woman to the cellular provider asking, “i thought you have your own car, why aren’t you using it?” innocent question, but the subtext is “how can you let him dictate to you how you can use your own car,” a subtext that suggests you lack power.  a subtext the fuels deception. a subtext that’s tempting because through deception, people feel like they can gain the upper hand and have some influence over what happens. curiously, because every relationship is based on some modicum of complementarity, the situations power imbalance can crop up are numerous – some quite subtle.

imagine you are driving with your girlfriend through town in your 1982 citi-golf and you drive by a man in a ferrari pininfarina sergio – roof down in 42 degrees centigrade heat, and she says, “that’s mr so-and-so. he is our family friend. that guy has shit-load of money,” and then she proceeds to give you a juicy rundown of his escapades only those who would’ve closely associated with the man would know. you drive by a woman driving a brabus 850 xl and she says, “that’s …, she is the ceo of … last time she came to my mom’s place for lunch she gave me her card and said she’d like to mentor me. she just divorced her third husband.” still while driving you start to discuss her hunt for a job and she says, “i really need to call … (a man in the top three of the echelon of power) he owes me a favor. did i tell you my grand-father virtually raised that guy?” look, there is nothing wrong if your partner is a mobile ‘yellow-pages,’ but if he/she has a lot of friends and tends to make all of the decisions when it comes to who you spend time with that can create an unhealthy power imbalance in your relationship. now, imagine you don’t like having lunch or dinner dates with these people whose car allowances are six times your salary, or having to drive up in your 1982 citi-golf for gatherings in their mansions when every other car looks like a spaceship. when placed in this type of situation, you are more likely to lie to get your way “look babe, you can go to …’s place without me. i have to work late tonight. you can take the car” and she says, “ah, no need, i will take a cab.” whatever you do that evening while she is having wine and a meal you can only dream about, it wouldn’t be far from your mind that when she has to call a cab when she is ready to leave, a discussion might crop up about you … even if she has all the connection, but you are the ‘bread-winner,’ still the balance of power is skewed. you don’t think so?

imagine that your citi-golf driving partner, a self-conscious, unassuming fellow and a relationship manager in one of the banks in town, has the financial power in the relationship. in fact, you have just graduated from university, the only thing related to finance or an employment you have is a large brown envelope with your transcripts and academic certificates. so, he earns the money and likes to control how it is spent. now, you want to spend money on something or things that your partner does not approve of – he drives a 1982 citi-golf for heaven’s sake. imagine this – you want to buy a fitting birthday present for your high-society family friends, chances are you are more likely to lie about what you need the money for. when given, you are more likely to spend the money as you see fit and then lie about what you spent it on to your partner.

look, we all lie, that’s just the way the ball bounces. and because of this, it’s easy to imagine what someone doesn’t know wouldn’t hurt him/her, but lying for the sake of leveling the playing field can be bad, and when resorted to often, it can become difficult to deal with because it typically involves two separate issues. whenever deception is used, it is often used to conceal a mistake. so when deception is uncovered both issues, the original wrongdoing as well as the cover up, must be dealt with. unfortunately, because deception involves issues of trust, most people tend to focus on the fact that lies were told rather than focusing on the underlying issue. what i have learnt is this, if the underlying issue isn’t addressed, it is likely to recur. so, i have learnt too, it is often more productive to focus on the underlying issue rather than the use of deception.

have you ever noticed that when a lie is discovered most times the discoverer focuses on the deception rather than what caused the deception? in fact, any discussion about what has just happened is never really about what has just happened, but what has happened previously. you don’t think so? imagine you find out the person you thought was your partner’s cousin is actually his/her lover, and you say, “i don’t want you seeing him/her anymore. this shit must stop. no more messages, no more phone calls, you hear?” and he/she says “ok”. things appear normal until four weeks down the line you realize he/she is involved with someone else and you repeat your warning/threat and she says “ok” again. the point is, you may succeed in stopping one affair but you haven’t addressed the real problem – the reason he/she cannot stop cheating on you. what reasons are you giving him/her to cheat? do you make him feel because he isn’t a ceo or drive an expensive car his friends are not good enough to hang with? do you make her feel because she has no job she is not responsible enough to handle or spend your money? if you are going to ask someone to change his or her behavior you have to resolve what causes the behavior not the behavior. my thinking on this scenario takes me back to how parents socialize us on this way of ‘resolving’ problems. have you noticed when some parents catch their children lying, they tend to focus on the deception and ignore what engendered the deception? how many times have you heard a parent say, “i can’t believe you lied to me. you cannot go to school and steal other people’s pens. you told me that pen was given to you by … imagine my shame when the principal called me into his office this morning. i am really upset that you lied to me…. now, go to your room.” just like that, the original problem never gets fully addressed and it often happens again. remember it is your mind, not your behavior, that needs to change. remember, when your partner is depressed it is because he/she feels that he/she is deprived of something that he/she wants and do not have. what every lover wants is some kind of balance of power.  elizabeth gilbert of “eat, pray, love” fame says,  “i met an old lady once, almost a hundred years old, and she told me, ‘there are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. how much do you love me? and who’s in charge?” when there is a balance of power in a relationship, the need for deception is less. but above all, remember, the personal self is always comparing itself to others and is incapable of perceiving oneness when there is an imbalance of power.

 

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