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    Polarity Dispairity

    “I know where the middle is. I pass it on my way to the extremes.”
                     - Anonymous

           Many years ago, I sowed the seeds of personal trauma by nourishing them with my own sick thinking. I thus inadvertently created a polarizing paradigm that I am shifting out of. Hooray for me, ‘Cuz this is big.
           My very real, but very childhood experience of abandonment created a paradigm that held the following as gospel: If I need and want someone bad enough, and if they want and need me bad enough, then we’ll never leave each other. We will be always be connected. I won’t ever again be......abandoned.
           Wanting to be needed and wanting to be wanted is not a bad thing. It’s a vital part of intimate relationships. It has to be there to some healthy degree, or there is little passion or vulnerability. Taken to the extreme however, as I have at times been guilty of, leads to codependency. Past the healthy dose and into the overdose.
           We all have one or more core wounds, core traumas, that bury themselves deep inside of us. They borough deep because they occur at a time in our lives, usually when we are quite young, when we simply do not have the tools to process them. So if we don’t have the tools to process, we stuff; hoping that if we can’t see it and can’t feel it, the pain will just go away. We become vigilantly protective of these tender places.
           That vigilant protection in action is commonly known as our defense mechanisms. And they can be incredibly formidable. And unconscious. Which makes them potentially very destructive blind spots in our intimate relationships.
            As is often the case when we polarize, we unconsciously create the other extreme. It’s a dysfunctional way to create a semblance of balance. Picture a seesaw. When functioning properly, both sides of that whimsical childhood device are free to teeter back and forth, finding itself in the middle more often than not as it strives for balance. But if you weigh one side of the seesaw with an oppressively heavy object, like a formidable defense mechanism such as codependency, an object so heavy that it may indeed crush the very seesaw it is part of, then one way to balance that is to weigh the other side with yet another oppressively heavy object. It would indeed be far more effective to just remove that first heavy object. But if we don’t know how to do that, or if we are not even aware that we have loaded one side, it’s relatively easy to just do what we know how to do on  the other side. Which is load it with something else just as heavy.
           So, in my case, the other side of the seesaw; the opposite extreme of my polarization; the opposite of codependency; the other heavy object, as it were, says that I can create a wall around myself strong enough that I can’t become too touched or moved or affected by the woman of my desire. And how that translates itself into the relationship is that I just don’t allow myself to need or to want her, or anybody else, that bad.
           Seeing this dynamic very clearly now, it’s the proverbial lose/lose. On one extreme, I need you so bad I can’t live without you. On the other extreme, I don’t need you, or anybody else for that matter, at all.
           I can say this from experience. Both extreme ends of that polarity totally suck.
           This phenomenon is not unique to me. There are many different manifestations of this polarity of needing and wanting people, of needing and wanting intimate relationships. Some people are petrified to need or want another person too much. I refer to them as emotionally hyper-independent. They reign in any healthy desire so much that they rarely experience that exquisite burning passion, that wonderful temporary surrender that screams, from every fibre of their being: “I WANT YOU SO BAD IN THIS MOMENT, I CAN’T DO ANYTHING BUT TASTE MY DESIRE!”.
           They also control any healthy need of their partner so much that they rarely allow themselves to be vulnerable. They want you and need you just enough to keep the relationship afloat, But hyper-vigilant emotional control remains paramount. Their guard is up, to some degree, virtually all of the time.
           For the emotionally hyper-independent, it’s a very safe place to be. But for the person on the other side, if he or she is at all emotionally available, it is, overall, an unpleasant experience. The emotionally hyper-independent one will probably often be experienced as somewhat cold, detached, disconnected from their heart, and not very expressive of how they feel. Closeness becomes the exception, and a certain distance is the norm. The emotionally hyper-independent will rarely be vulnerable. That way of being can put a big strain on a intimate relationship. Because what’s missing is the intimacy.
           Vulnerability is a scary thing for most. Some of that is cultural. The tools that serve us well in the business world do not translate well into intimate relationships. If you bring the boardroom into the bedroom, you’re intimate relationship is going to suffer. There is absolutely no way around that one.
           Emotional Availability means that you are available to your own emotions, and that you let your partner have availability to them as well. You share your emotions and feelings, as freely as you can, with him or her. That sharing promotes intimacy. That intense sharing, that exposure, that vulnerability is, in fact, critical to intimacy. To be intimate, you must be vulnerable. It simply does not work any other way.
           I know how important vulnerability is in relationships. I have been on all four sides of that fence. I’ve been unavailable and with someone unavailable. I’ve been unavailable and with someone available. I’ve been available and with someone unavailable. And I’ve been available and with someone available. If you want a deeply intimate relationship, the only way it’s ever going to work is the last way. Period. Semi-Colon. Exclamation Point.
           Intimacy is connection. Across the board, if you open up to people in your life, be it a lover or a good friend, you will build connection. And connection is sacred. It is in fact the most beautiful feeling I have ever experienced. Whether I have opened up to my lover and shared with her how her scent drives me crazy; how the touch of her skin against mine makes me weak; how the sounds of her moans are sweeter than any song I have ever heard....or if I’m just laughing so hard with a close friend that I experience our laughter as coming from one unique being that was just spontaneously is all about connection. Beautiful. Sacred. Exquisite, Connection.
           The willingness to risk exposing that which lies deep inside you remains a quality of questionable value to many. As positively frightening as it may be to share our deep secrets with our partner, the act of intimate sharing brings growth and closeness to a relationship that is otherwise unattainable. The freedom experienced when you open up to the one you love, or when they open up to you, qualifies as euphoric. For both of you. A high without drugs.
           Without question, the most beautiful moments I have ever shared with a beloved women, or a close friend, were when one or both of us completely opened up. When we shared what was in our heart of hearts; when we shared something that maybe we were  afraid to admit even to ourselves. The openness of the one sharing, and the loving acceptance of the receptor, literally creates a tangible energy. Unconsciously harnessed, this energy drives you closer to one other. In those most tender moments, when one person shares something so difficult that tears flow freely, it’s Magic. I know I’ve used that word enough in my writings that it borders on over use, but fuck it. It’s my blog.
           I want that connection with as many people in my life as I can possibly handle. And here’s a secret. Come closer. Listen carefully. If you’re up for it, I want it from you.....

    © 2012 Clint Piatelli & Red F Publishing. An Incalculably Intimate Amount of Rights Reserved.    

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