I have often contemplated and written about the various types of attraction I have experienced in my life. Their different attributes and effects on my being.
In the beginning of my non-monogamous journey I would spend endless hours with fellow adventurers trying to verbalize the nature of attraction I experienced with different people and the qualities of connection available with them. Ever since these early days I have observed and explored these further in encounters, engagements, and moments of relating that had the feel of meaningfulness.
And I celebrate every new nuance or version I am experiencing. Appreciating the gift of novelty and variety life presents me in its unceasing generosity.
You become just one more thing screaming for attention; your attractiveness will pass unless you spark the more enduring kind of spell that makes people think of you in your absence. ~ Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction
A Recent Experience
As I came across the above quote the mystery of a recently experienced attraction began to reveal more of its occult nature.
I had felt an intense attraction and feeling of peaceful and blissful alignment in meeting someone, inciting a desire for intimacy and connection. Which they only sparingly allowed for, never opening enough to allow me to feel truly connected and in flow with them. That masterfully played into and triggered old patterns created by neglect, rejection, and abandonment in my earliest years.
And I am aware that it is these inner dynamics that make walking away challenging, not the attraction or a deeper feeling of connection and fondness for the complex beauty of them. In reflecting and gently liberating myself from this ‘disconnect’ I am gaining awareness of subtle layers to the attraction that had drawn me into it.
Once I shone the light of awareness the faux overlay on reality aka projection, created by this pattern to keep me engaged, starts fading and makes the emptiness and potential for harm embedded in it visible to the mind. It no longer blinds me to their turning away from bids for connection or cold/frozen facial expressions (rejection), their self absorption and lack of regard for me as a sovereign being, the manipulative nature of their sparing expressions of care (control), their discomfort with emotions, repression of them, and the tell-tale oscillation between aloof numbness and powerless over-identification with emotions, resulting in victimhood and feelings of (misdirected) resentment.
And as my internal glamour fades and wounded parts of me try to fervently to hold on to the illusion of connection, their system responds by revealing more of their coiling darkness through more starkness, coldness, absence (the opposite of presence in a spiritual sense), and the lack of attempts at kindness (end of manipulation). Until it eventually express in casual abject cruelty (feeling defeated and angry).
That being the final wake-up call alerting even my most delusional and wounded aspects to the fact that love is not available here, just more pain.
“One rarely falls in love without being as much attracted to what is interestingly wrong with someone as what is objectively healthy.” ― Alain de Botton
My mind is drawn back to the initial feeling of attraction, dissecting it, over and over, to lay bare its nature. Reminding me that to understand means to begin to transcend. To name means to disempower. To analyze its pattern means to know the weaknesses to be exploited in service of healing. Yet it leads to not much but the most superficial avail, this experience is born out of the subconscious, which the waking mind cannot enter nor ever truly know. It is awareness alone that can enter, illuminate, and transform unknown rooms within the palace of being.
As the relating was happening and I was mesmerized by trauma, I had wondered why this attraction never had the power of creating a gateway for love, and why it ceased to be present in the physical absence of them. A phenomenon that baffled me and yet managed to get lost in feelings of exhaustion and a need to reenergize after encounters. Why did I feel good in their company and only became aware of serious depletion after encounters? What malarky was at play here?
“I was always attracted not by some quantifiable, external beauty, but by something deep down, something absolute. Just as some people have a secret love for rainstorms, earthquakes, or blackouts, I liked that certain undefinable something directed my way by members of the opposite sex. For want of a better word, call it magnetism. Like it or not, it’s a kind of power that snares people and reels them in.” ― Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun
Attraction of Deprivation
There is a type of attraction that is more powerful and blinding than any other, one that pulls me under into the realm of unconsciousness and trauma. The entrancing toxicity of the sirens call of deprivation changes the state of mind and body, the familiar feel of one, who gladly withholds emotional flow and vulnerability, controls relating, and avoids intimacy is an embodied invitation to healing to me. A heady attraction meant to render all shortcomings in the other, dysfunctionalities of dynamics shared, and the poor way it makes me feel and show up – though visible and known, confoundingly inconsequential, i.e. until it has done its work and I have entered the process of awakening and liberating.
It has been a while since I have encountered this dark gem of an attraction, enough time to let me forget its pattern and nature to a degree that made me susceptible enough to its lure.
And it is the foundation of deprivation and its function as a blesson (lesson and blessing) that rendered this attraction incapable of rooting in love. The lack of emotional flow, which felt painful and confusing, was at the core of the blessing ensuring that extrication from this would be easy and gentle on my heart. After all it generally is the emotional bond that makes it hard for my heart to let go, in its absence my heart aches in a different and less harrowing way. It ached with the pain of exclusion, letting go of an illusion, anguish over the legacy of pain inflicted long ago, and the sadness about the abuse being visited on the one armoring and hardening their heart as well as others.
The Hidden Seed
But this time had something special, a spin if you like, to not only draw me in but make me stay long enough in the experience to dislodge and purge more of the old pain and confusion while seeding something unexpected. A little treasure hidden in midst of the murkiness, the seed of a lotus meant to grow and transmute this mud into beauty.
A ‘usual’ wound-mate or trauma bond would not have made me stay long enough in the encounter, a novelty had to be thrown into the mix to keep me coming back in curiosity and fascination with this unknown dimension of experience.
And what could be more powerful than initiating the unlocking of a dimension of physical connectivity I have never experienced before. Not lust, not emotional connectivity, not spiritual highs but a clear and expansive sense of total physical safety and openness with another. Something that has almost an addictive quality to the parts of me, who lived thanks to early sexual abuse in an ongoing protective stance and vigilance until this encounter.
It is hard to let go of the first one feeling safe enough to let these guards down, open up, breathe, and open to pleasure as I have never before. To let go of the opportunity which allowed me to open up and play where the most painful abuse of innocence and pleasure had happened has been a feat for this wounded aspect of me. Especially as it did so without falling into the darkness of victimhood.
But this is a moment that speaks to the level of integration, loyalty and love in my tribe of selves. Their compassion and love for each other allows this wounded aspect to let go, trusting the guidance and love of the other selves who seek disconnection on the basis of self compassion and love. The other selves commiserate with the aspect and its feeling of loss, while being committed to creating new experiences of this flavor in healthier and more loving connections to come.
I sense the activation in this experience, the beginning of an unraveling of this aspect of my embodied experience. An opening of what had been contracted in fear and self protection for decades. An opening that allows awareness and mind to work in connecting these aspects with my core, the core that lives in indelible trust in and alignment with life. To strengthen inner reconnection and enlivening of what was once severed.
Well played dear universe, I see what you did there!
“If you know how to make good use of the mud, you can grow beautiful lotuses.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
This is But a Beginning
I know there are many layers and blessings in this experience, much more than my mind can make sense of or put words to right now. As time goes by, and the transformative and expansive effects alchemically change my perceptions, more insights and revelations are sure to follow. This is one of the gifts that keep on giving when met with open-hearted awareness.
A new cycle of unlearning and learning has begun with the ending of this encounter. Walking away activated the process of rebirthing and reworking deep inside, it has summoned a network of beloveds to come closer and share in this journey, and opened the floodgates of love and emotional flow. It took a conscious choice to open wide, counter-instinctively, and intentionally create more present, vulnerable, and raw exchanges with beloveds, new connections, and random encounters.
And I keep hearing my indifferent self remind me ‘what is wounded in relating, heals in relating’ whenever I feel like contracting. She is reminding me to choose flow over protection, authenticity over playing to social scripts, and heartfulness over cold intellectuality.
I am hearing the clear call of intuitive guidance as it directs me towards new adventures and experiences while awareness is redecorating and making some of the unknown rooms of my palace of being conscious. I shall joyfully follow the bread crumb trail of Soul and Self in our magical game of embodied mystic adventures.
I bow in gratitude and promise to keep opening myself to novel attractions.