Journal — July 9, 2017 — language, trust, love
I got stuck at a certain point, about a month ago, and now I want to get moving again.
When I say “language”, I don’t just mean English. To be complete, a post needs captioned images. I treat that as a rule of grammar. (source) My intention for this blog, which I mentioned in the first post, is communication.
At the beginning, I was just developing the language in which I write. I only invited you to read my work four months later.
After that, I was on shaky ground. I couldn’t quite formulate what I was asking you for. Last month I realized part of the reason why: I hadn’t really shown you my motivation.
At that point I got stuck, trying to write an article on social networks. This is my second try. There’s a question I want to answer, and I won’t be able to fully answer it in one post.
A network of relationships can be represented as a sociogram. I find this fun and useful, although it’s a bit like looking at a jungle through a microscope. (source) Why does this blog exist, and what does Facebook have to do with it?
I use the word “communication” to refer to the art of creating, maintaining, and changing relationships.
A relationship is a set of expectations. We all have relationships with everyone and everything, and it is our relationships, more than any other factor, that determine our reality.
A culture can be described completely as a set of relationships: how we relate to ourselves, one another, and the world. Almost all of our relationships are given to us by our culture; they were not made by us personally.
Everyone in this picture is intensely alone. (source) Imagine yourself walking through a big city, the streets full of people. You pass by hundreds of strangers, until one of them stops right in front of you, looking you straight in the eyes, beaming with a big warm smile, and asking you, “Hey! How’s your mother?”
Most likely you would be very surprised. Why? You don’t know this person, and yet it seems you already have expectations about them. You have a relationship with “strangers on the street”, as a group, which is shaped by your culture.
If we learn some simple communication skills, we can weave the social fabric around us into patterns as beautiful as any tapestry. (source) If we are conscious of our relationships, we gain the power to change them, and, through that, to change the reality of our lives.
I started this blog because I wasn’t at peace with the normal relationships my culture offered to me. Words like “stranger”, “friend”, “partner”, “parent”, “child”, “lover”, “coworker”, all carry expectations that I don’t agree with, and are missing expectations I want to live in.
The only way to change that is through communication – through asking the right questions, and offering the right answers.
Questioning is an art all by itself. (source) What do you expect of me?
What do you think I expect of you?
What do you want to expect of me?
What do you want me to expect of you?
These four questions are especially important. This is what I’ve learned, over the last six months of practicing the art of communication.
I’ve experimented more or less alone, up until now, but sometimes I’ve asked questions like this directly. I can only think of four people I’ve done that with. In every case, this transformed the relationship between us for the better. We could name what we wished for and then consciously act in accordance with what we both wanted.
I forgot to tell him I also want to adopt his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. I think that’s implied, but I’ll mention it next time. (source) What I put the most energy into, since February, is what I mentioned in the post I wrote then: a new kind of household. Back then I said I’d had an amazingly rewarding conversation with “this one guy”. I continued that conversation, and I said to him, more directly, that I want to marry him and his partner.
At the moment, this is the relationship I value the most in my life. There’s no guarantee that it will develop into a household, as I envisioned it. As time goes on, I’m taking risks to go forward, and with every success the risk gets bigger as the relationship becomes more wonderful.
The main questions in my life are still home, love and work. That’s my approach to home.
Sometimes love leads you to paradise, and sometimes straight into hell. Either way, I have it on good authority that you’ll be glad you followed. Eventually. (source) In the next two months, I intend to make a similar approach to love. I feel like I’ve built up enough of a theoretical foundation for a serious experiment to find an anima strategy that works.
I’ll try to build something like what I described as artist-muse love, backed up with some understanding of limerence theory and the Wheel of Consent, gained in the last few weeks.
To be honest, I don’t expect to succeed. Unrequited love is a ten-millennia problem. I do expect to learn a lot in the process.
My hope is mainly to live through it, to be stronger at the end than I am now, and to take something out of it that I can contribute to the world.