8 Things I Learned about Love in 2010


I’ve met a lot of people this year, used and abused my library card on psych books, and run social experiments on poor unwitting victims – and have learned oodles!

Here are a few highlights…

8) Dangerously good people

The most dangerous types of people, to me, are self-described good people. People who believe they are charitable, doing all they can do. There is no room for growth from this perspective.

Beware the ‘good’ person.

7) The human condition

Committing to love a human being is committing to the human condition. You are loving them as they are, the dirty truth and all.

6) Lifetraps

In the book Re-inventing your Life, recommended to me by a PHD psychologist and former make-believe buddy, there are several lifetraps people fall into in early childhood. Abandonment, Emotional Deprivation, Mistrust/Abuse, Social Exclusion, Entitlement, Unattainable Standards and Defectiveness to name a few. Reading more about these doozies helps to point them out when they’re occurring and also helps in understanding others. And shows you why you’re attracted to certain people – to perpetuate relationships that evoke familiar feelings to you.

I tend to be a very trusting person, so it catches me by surprise me when others aren’t. But, I’m also easily disappointed (part of the emotional deprivation schema). Knowing your sensitivities helps to figure out when you’re being irrational and acting out of habit, rather than logic.

5) Paraphrase

When someone is mad at you, the best way to connect with them (why connect? see 3) is to paraphrase what they’re saying in the form of a question.

eg. Okay, so you’re saying I’m a stupid bitch?

Yes.

So you’re saying that you’re angry with me?

Yes.

So you’re saying that I’ve done something to hurt you?

No, you bla bla bla…

Oh, so you feel bla bla blaaa? etc.

I’ve successfully done this with a few irritating people, to the point where they were no longer irritating me, but have I evolved into a great communicator? No. I confess, I did maybe mouth off a few cops and drop a few fuck bombs in confrontation this year.

4) Comedy is the key to my heart

Of all the decent young men that I’ve had the privilege to date this year (okay, so there’s been a few ; ) the one who snagged my heart did it seemingly effortlessly and all because he was willing to make an ass of himself for my pleasure.

I’m basically putty in the hands of anyone who can make me laugh. Call 1-900…

3) Because it feels good is good enough for me.

Love is best served unconditionally but you never have to date/be friends with people unconditionally, (cred: Marianne Williamson). But I didn’t know, or had forgotten, that forgiving people actually transforms them. Okay I guess I did figure out this out once.

Forgiveness – and I don’t claim to be an expert – is a place to feel in your heart that allows you to start anew with anyone. It’s a feeling, which is why it’s so hard to find intellectually. Forgiveness is a gift that you give to others to unload them of their mistakes. It is a power. The more often you use it, the more powerful you become.

Why forgiveness? Why ‘choose connection’? Because it feels good.

2) Cheap grace, meh

Sometimes, when we forgive someone out of convenience we don’t fully let them off the hook. We know in our hearts that they’ve committed a wrong, and maybe they have in the objective lens of the universe, but when we see them, we have our eye on them. We know what they’re capable of.

This is cheap grace. It’s a way of smoothing things over without truly letting them go. (cred: Lana Love)

For example, this girl in high school used to hate me because I was mouthy. Was ; ) She initiated a truce with me after some friends of ours died, and was busted talking badly about me just days later, adding: “oops, I forgot, we’re friends now.”

That’s cheap grace.

So how do you forgive someone who is still in your life or in your mind and still hurting you?

Well each situation is different, but allowing people to be who they are is the bulk of it. And distancing yourself from a person who is not conducive to your growth path is fair game. If this is a daily person, asking for change can show that you believe in the person.

1) The kiss is everything

In Byron Bay, on Belongil Beach, I once kissed an Englishman.

We kissed in the waves and sand and it was like no other kiss I have ever experienced. Ever. It was like a choreographed dance. It was like I was kissing myself (narcissistic much?). Okay, it was so much better than kissing myself. It was a miraculous, cataclysmic spice girl two becomes one.

And he treated me like I was invisible the next day, acknowledging me only by “hi lover” when he’d see me riding my bike into town.

I have no idea what the kiss meant to him or why he was such a dick afterward (because I didn’t give it up..?), but looking back I realize that to me the kiss is everything.

I’ve been looking for it ever since.

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