Childhood Story: What we were taught

The fact that we human beings exist at all is a miracle. Nowhere is the mystery of this miracle more present than at childbirth. These completely vulnerable, completely open, amazing manifestations of life staring into your soul without even really looking at you. Becoming a parent is life changing. As parents we are also, instinctively and quite naturally, drawn to protect this magical being that came from us. This is all part of the natural order of things. Where it gets interesting is determining what exactly the children need to be protected from, particularly as they move into adolescence and adulthood. There is also a ubiquitous pattern of attempting to use fear as a way to garner compliance. This is pretty straight forward with physical danger, such as the danger of running in the street or getting in a car with a stranger. The benefit of this model becomes way more ambiguous with ideas like if you are bad Santa Clause won’t bring presents, God wants you to be good or you will go to hell, and your sexuality is something to be feared.

The model is setup like this. If you are good then good things will happen to you. If you are bad then bad things will happen to you. If you think you are being good and bad things are happening to you then you must not be good enough and need to be better. Good and Bad is not merely determined by if you are doing something with love and compassion in your heart but by WHAT you are doing. If you having lots of sex, bad. If you are holding yourself to one person and being responsible TO them, good. Regardless of what is true for you.

This model is so ubiquitous that, to a person, by the time we are still in single digit ages we have all decided that we are flawed in some way. We then spend our lives attempting to fix these flaws. One of the key genres of this flaw fixing is in the realm of romantic relationships. This seeking to be whole gets coupled with one of the most bizarre superstitious stories of human kind. The story of THE ONE. Your soulmate, your life partner, your destiny. You are flawed and incomplete, however if you are good enough, and you look hard enough, you can find your one and only true partner and then you will be complete. You will know this because THEY will make you feel special. Special and unique because they are willing to show that you are special by choosing you and ONLY you. This story is so deeply ingrained that we run around seeking being special to someone else in what can only be described as addiction. This addiction takes the form of seeking the feeling of infatuation. There is a quite natural phenomenon of infatuation between human beings. Particularly when there is sexual chemistry. This phenomenon first shows up when our hormones kick in during adolescence and as a parent it is TERRIFYING. All we really care is that we can get them into adulthood without ending up emotionally scared, pregnant, violated, or diseased. What we do with this fear is reach for the story of THE ONE and talk endlessly about the dangers of sex and the difference between fucking and making love. This completely made up superstitious fairy tale is so complete that as instinctively protective parents we procreate this story regardless of our own experiences. We proclaim that when you find your one and only true person you will know it because that infatuation feeling will last for the rest of your life. Besides the basic problem that we cannot fix ourselves through another person the other fatal flaw to this story is that this infatuation is a temporary feeling. The infatuation stage always passes. The model is to leverage a really good infatuation stage into a life commitment. Defining responsibility as something that you do for someone else is a key element to crushing desire as childish and something to grow past. Settle down. Behave. In the heart of this entire fairy tale the requirement of sexual exclusivity as a condition is a given. We don’t have to look any further than how parents overwhelmingly answer their children when they ask the question “what is sex?” It starts with “when two people who really love each other…..” Regardless of how you feel about relationships and life this answer is a lie. This confusion and intertwining of sex and romantic relationships is a foundational element in the model just described.

This entire model is flawed. One part of this fatal flaw of design is that the infatuation stage ALWAYS passes. We can enter into these life time commitments with the best of intentions. The resignation, compromise, distractions, and sexual blandness are inevitable. We demonize non compliance and create self made traps. One way is to intertwine our money and assets and make the consequences prohibitive. The other is to create this illusion that we can emotionally hurt someone else by doing what is true for ourselves but breaks the rules. We then rationalize doing the “right” thing.

This is a very lonely hollow existence. I find it deeply ironic that any sort of sexual variety or freedom is demonized as lonely and meaningless when the over whelming paradigm is so lonely and compromising.

Freedom is possible. Feeling whole complete and perfect is possible. Intimacy beyond anything you have imagined is possible.