A chance meeting puts me back in touch with a soul I have known off and on for countless lifetimes. The connection is instant, as is the sense of joy I felt every time he spoke to me or interacted with me in any way, something I had never felt before. It was life changing and profound. It didn’t matter what we talked about, I felt this intense pleasure and joy from being around him.
This pleasure and joy quickly turned to misery. Filled with messages we all learn regarding what “love” and “falling in love” is and what “soul mates” are and ought to be combined with physical responses to him. Adding in my own sexual frustrations to the boiling pot and my subconscious concluded that I must be “in love” and must have sex with this man I barely knew. Desperation, misery, and obsessive thoughts filled my mind. I stopped functioning for the lack of him. All the joy that initially guided my desires changed into a cesspool of obsession that no rational person will give into. From this very pleasant lady enjoying the company of an attractive man I briefly transformed into a psychopath and a stalker.
I am not proud of what happened next nor of the events of the last few weeks. The “in love” paradigm prevented me from listening to him when he explicitly and very politely expressed his flattery at these feelings he found he could not return.
In hindsight, I agree with everything he told me and why. But in those weeks, I was unable to hear him, no matter how he offered the truth to me. Crazed by “love,” it took an intervention of sorts to set my head on straight.
I was just one word away from losing everything.
So how did this happen and why? How could my initial feelings, which were so joyful, twist into so much ugliness and sorrow?
A video followup to Bob Proctor’s “The Secret” explores the role that paradigms play in shaping our reality. Essentially paradigms are ideas that we learn that take root in our sub-conscious mind. They are both cognitive and emotional in nature. They are the schemes we use to define everything — who we are, what love means, what a cat is. Our self image is there. In the language of math and science, paradigms are the foundational axioms of our lives by which everything else is filtered and interpreted. They are almost always taught to us.
In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker’s paradigms of what is and is not possible compelled Yoda to advise him to “unlearn what you have learned.” Why? Because Luke’s concepts of reality prevented him from using the Force. If you do not think you can move a spaceship with your mind, you won’t be able to do it.
Flash back to my perception of being “in love” with my friend. Society defined for me what being in love is. Social constructs of what a soul mate is and what happens between soul mates told me:
1) soul mates of the opposite sex must marry and raise families together;
2) you must be “in love” and fall in love with your soul mate — or s/he is not actually your soul mate;
3) if a person is your soul mate, romantic feelings must be immediately and passionately returned — or s/he is not your soul mate;
4) you must have sex with your soul mate.
This paradigm defined for me everything I felt and did so much so that all information from him to the contrary never reached my ears or my mind/heart. And since my feelings were being manipulated by this paradigm, my joy turned to all the nastiness I described. I literally lost touch with reality — until he offered his tough love reality check.
No one should have to go through that. Yet sadly, most of us do. We let others tell us what we are feeling instead of defining our feelings for ourselves. We take positive emotions and conclude we are “in love” which means “a” through “z,” all of which others taught to us rather than coming from our own experiences and conclusions. We become puppets and slaves to what other tells us and, just as I did, often make unnecessary messes of our lives and create unnecessary suffering for ourselves and those we care about.
Instead of feeling our own feelings and making our own decisions about what our feelings mean, we let everyone else except ourselves make decide what they mean and what we should do about them.
I was wrong and so were you when you did the same.
So what is the solution?
Ultimately we all need to step back and think about what we really think and feel before we move forward with our conclusions. What are these emotions? How do we feel? What expectations do we have towards other people as a result of these feelings? What do we want from the person or people generating these feelings? Are we intruding onto the others’ thoughts, feelings, or actions with these feelings and our conclusions about these feelings?
In this situation, I imposed heavily onto my friend and nearly lost his friendship. I forced myself upon him, creating the inevitable protective responses to aggression I perceived as passion. In my self delusions, I could not see what everyone else could see.
But this is not the end of the story. For you see, every paradigm can be changed. Instead of continuing to affirm the definitions given earlier, I chose to listen and learn from my friend and from the Bob Proctor video about paradigms. I made a choice to, as Mr. Proctor puts it, move out of bondage and into freedom — by rejecting the toxic paradigm about love, intimacy, and soul mates — and recognizing that what I felt and feel is admiration, trust, and respect.
Admiration, trust, and respect are all key to lasting friendships. These emotions promote the good feelings on both sides that allow everyone to relax and simply enjoy connecting with another person.
I nearly lost everything. But by making the right change in time, I now have a solid and I hope long term friendship with someone I genuinely like and respect.