Sunday, June 23, 2013

rumination on creating closeness

CAPRICORN: Anglo-Irish novelist Laurence Sterne
married his wife Elizabeth in 1741. Twenty-five years later he fell in love
with another woman, Eliza. In composing love letters to his new
infatuation, he lifted some of the same romantic passages he had
originally written to Elizabeth when he was courting her. Try hard not to
do anything remotely resembling that, Capricorn. Give your intimate allies
your freshest stuff. Treat them as the unique creatures they are. Resist
the temptation to use shticks that worked to create closeness in the past.

Let me start by saying I love Freewill Astrology. This week's Tuesday horoscope (above) really resonated with me, and I've thought about it on and off all week.

I thought about just leaving it here and saying: this works for me, but I thought it would be worthwhile to dig into it a bit more and think about why this kinda took my breath away.

I suppose I have to be honest: I have recycled here and there in matters of the heart. As a writer (ha! I fancy myself a "writer") I've actually heard myself say the same thing to a new lover that I said to an old lover. What a tragic thing to admit to in a place of attempted writing excellence! I am no better than Laurence Sterne.

But beyond my own suddenly not-so-secret shame about saying the same poetic lines to new and old loves, I am very interested in this idea of letting each relationship be a truly new endeavor.

I think of it from many angles: not falling into old habits; not reacting in tried and true ways; checking your expectations of other people (and yourself); not jumping to conclusions. Just totally, truly, letting yourself and this other person be a blank slate. I am as unique as this unique creature in front of me.

I think for many years I've told myself two basic stories about my love life: 1) All the good ones are taken and 2) I've been choosing the wrong partners.

Point #2 is what I am interested in exploring here, and why this horoscope worked so well for me. I think my story puts the blame or accountability on the partner: they were wrong for me, so I just need to find different types of partners rather than examine myself and what I might be doing wrong. What if, instead, I looked at the "shticks" I was using to create closeness, all which based on my single status have clearly failed, and what if I tried different ways of being instead?

This horoscope is freeing for me. Here freshness implies stepping beyond past hurt or failure to discover what can be created in the present. Here the present is assumed to be untarnished, not yet written. We are making it as we go, with completely thoughtful behaviors and communication. Here we respond to what is true in the moment, instead of what has been true in the past.

That's what I really take away from this: to go into every new situation (dating or otherwise) with the belief that it could be unlike anything you've ever known. And in that possibility, invest in being the person you want to be and the person your partner needs, rather than just turning on a character or standard set of behaviors/patterns/catchphrases that are comfortable (even if they all aren't good).

I think there is an implied pause in this advice too. And how radical to add pause and silence into interactions and conversatons with possible partners: to stop before reacting to ask yourself "Is this an old shtick I'm falling back on?" I think this advice demands that you are more in tune with the person you are with, instead of the stories you have told yourself and the generalizations you have made about how people are.

Don't even get me started on how empowering it is to think about partners being "intimate allies." Love it.

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