Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Love, Desire, Valentine's Day & Reality

I know Valentine's Day has passed, but the lessons learned from it, for many of you, have just begun. First, I encourage you to read Dinner Scooped Off the Floor, which can be downloaded from my website. If you're a MAC user drop post a comment to this blog indicating your interest, visit the forum to post your request there, or register and send a private message. At that point I will make a .pdf format of the complete report available for download. Once you're ready to deal with your situation and stop repeating it, Clarity awaits.

All that being said, I want to make sure that this special edition reaches
as many readers as possible. I invite you to post your comments.

In celebration of Valentine's Day I will share with you an edited version of an essay that first appeared in print in the UK's The International Journal of Erotica (Spring 2004 Third Issue). Although I have edited the piece it does deal with mature adult subject matter. Anyone who might be offended should cease reading now.

For everyone else, I'll be making an unedited version of the piece available by request. I will provide information on getting the original version in the forum (Just click the forum link there and I'll be posting more info there on how to have the private download link sent to you).

CLARITY Relationship Valuation Is Coming Online
Clarity Relationship Valuation Software will be launched as an internet based application. That means no software to download, access from anywhere, and MAC users will be able to get the Clarity advantage too.

But wait it gets even better! As online resource I can offer you the flexibility you need. All you'll do is join the membership type that meets your needs. There will even be a membership level that includes software for your PDA/mobile devices, so you can use Clarity on the spot.
How much could you benefit from that kind of on demand personal support? Those who purchase now, will get automatic free subscriptions when the Clarity Simple Plan Personal Coaching Membership Site officially launches.

But enough of that for now. I'll make future insider announcements to subscribers of the forum first using the private messaging system.

Are you ready to delve into Love, Desire, Valentine's Day and Reality? Well, this essay is sure to give you much to think about in regard to your own personal development. And now for.....

Who’s Flying This Plane?

Yvette Dubel

I had endured in a quest for self-actualization, not defined merely by a mate, or children, but on my own merits. What was at the root of this surrendering tendency I had held in disdain all these years? After emerging from a year of deep meditation on the issue, it was clear to me that a key aspect of my emotional recovery from the battering of unmet needs, and unrecognized desires was trust. Though the analysis is viewed metaphorically in sexual terms, sexuality does not fully encompass the theme.

The point is more correctly, acceptance of the self on all levels. Absence of dishonesty seems a critical piece of how I define love (perhaps the only consistent element) and in fairness it should apply no less to myself. This being such a huge concept I had to find a tangible way to wrap my mind around it if I hoped to begin dealing with how it expressed itself in life. The most assessable way of confronting the issue hindered on the reclaiming of my sexuality, as a sacred expression of my most intimate self. I struggled with my inability to disassociate romantic notions and sex.

How could I reclaim myself if I was knotted up in idealized concepts of romance with sex being the pentacle? Falsified is what I really feel, but that seemed too cynical and unbecoming for a married woman of my tenure. Yet I feel it is all the more meaningful from someone who is still in love with her husband, but has chosen not to save all the best of herself for someone else.

Of course, I know enough to understand that love and romance are not the same thing, nor are love and sex. (These are some of the truths I unearthed during my semi-isolated period of contemplation.) In theory, sex for one seems the obvious solution, but again we miss the point if we focus in on sexuality seeing it only in terms of the act of having sex (giving the self and searching for completion).

I took in the near holy words of Audrey Lorde in the “Uses of the Erotic: the erotic as power” and fashioned a life that expressed more fully who I am. At nearly thirty-three, I finally feel like I love this person I have been born into and chosen to grow up to be. I had done things I never imagined, starting my own consulting business, becoming a writer, becoming interested in product development and stepping in as CEO/Chief Development Officer for a community development organization when required. That it is a nonprofit organization founded by my mother makes all that I am doing a personal pinnacle, but I have discovered more of myself in the doing and know that life can offer me far more than I can dream.

I think it is impossible to seek truth and avoid certain universal realizations. On days like today I grapple with the complexity found in being, I find myself at a loss, overwhelmed by my own contradictions and those of reality. In my moment of desperation, I look for metaphors that help me make sense of who I am and the experience I am having vs. who I want to be.

Metaphors (such as lyrics) helped me weave new myths, which are based on complete honesty with myself. What I wanted most in my quest for the ideal romantic love was to trust in someone else with no hint of doubt, now I desire nothing more than to completely trust in myself. Where to begin? The answer came as soon as I asked the right question, seeking to understand the parts that wanted most to hide. As I considered exactly what that meant, I drifted into the song that was moving from the background into the foreground and I began thinking about the song and why it came on at exactly that moment.

What a fool I was to go and break the trust she gave
And see her love turn into sympathy
It's the one regret I carry with me to my grave
Oh, they'll never, never take her love from me...

"They’ll never take her love from me"-sung by Elvis Costello

It is a jagged pain to swallow in realizing one’s beloved has chosen another, no matter how momentarily or superficially, over you. But what is the damage when we do this to ourselves? In either case the acts and often the lies that follow to conceal it, do such injury to the party deceived that the only solace is in believing the experience has meaning in our personal evolution.

The place of power is in making a decision; this forms the backbone of my personal philosophy. An existentialist at heart in so many ways, I feel the point is to make a choice. No matter what others around me do, all I can do is make a choice about who I will be, how I will see, and what I will do. This empowering perspective can be validated with a new creation, recovery would seem assured and faith is a fertile land once more. Others who create something tangible from their experiences, something we all acknowledge as special enough to be considered art, inspire me. The artistic process is deeply erotic and powerful, yet I did not marry an artist. I know the folly of seeking completion in another person.

There is a longing, such as the one that is summoned when an avid coffee lover smells fresh ground coffee brewing, to connect deeply to another artist, one who will understand and expresses the unique Eros of astute creation. But feeling something doesn’t mean we have to act on it. As I mature I understand that attending to feelings, maybe even honoring them, does not justify poor judgment.

I wanted to honor that childish part of me without sacrificing the woman in whom I was more invested. For me the answer was to find a “safe” place to be that girlish woman, where she and I could be without self-condemnation. I had to accept the romantic in me that refused to relinquish it’s place in my psyche, if I was to learn to trust myself as that was the identified road block in the journey of fully loving.

This is still best personified by the relationship I have to the work of Elvis Costello. His music has been an integral part of the soundtrack from my life. And as such, with each new project, I reflect on the personal significance of those projects prior. Since I was about fourteen, in my eyes Elvis Costello has been a diligent disciple of seasoned artfulness. With both ”They’ll never take her love from me” and “Suffering Face” he, at difficult times, helped me look at individual imperfection in an interrelationship context, as I would want mine seen, with compassion. But with his words, I was ushered into the land of a strange and enduring kind of suffering and grace whose landscape looked remarkably like my own:

”If we were chrome, we would be rusty
If we were thirst, we would be quenched
You don't need the same old rivet gun
You need a brand new wrench
Someone to pull you down on the ground
and cover you with kisses
once I was the jewel of your heart
now I'm only semi-precious…"

Suffering Face"-sung by Elvis Costello

The equity is that I at least determine what that other precious jewel would be for me. I no longer want to be that devoted, not in my mind, to anyone, it seems it accompanies expectations that are another guise of self-sabotage. I admit it. I want the romantics escape without the risk or disappointment, and romance novels are just way too cheesy and shallow for my taste (purposes). The search led me to ask questions about my true desires as the basis of understanding my real expectations.

Then the next track on my play list started and I heard:

May be the face I can't forget, a trace of pleasure or regret, may be my treasure or the price I have to pay,
She may be the song that summer sings, may be the chill that autumn brings, may be a hundred different things, within the measure of a day. She may be the beauty or the beast, may be the famine or the feast
May turn each day into a heaven or a hell, She may be the mirror of my dreams, A smile reflected in a stream … May be the reason I survive, The why and wherefore I'm alive
The one I'll care for through the rough and ready years.
Me I'll take her laughter and her tears
and make them all my souvenirs.
For where she goes I've got to be, The meaning of my life is
She, she, she..."

"She"- [written by M. Kretzmer] sung by Elvis Costello

That’s it, that’s what I want! And I wonder is it possible that he says what other men feel and are unable to articulate as eloquently? Or as I more honesty suspect, is he just singing words he came up with that sounded great together and expressed some ideal he also holds inside himself as a frame of reference for what love should look like. Clearly, he is singing the insightful words of devotion many women long to hear from the person significant in our lives.

Here I share with you the evolution of my relationship to Elvis’ music and the liberating fantasy fueled by it. I have examined the heart of romance and reality and considered how they can coexist in the same place. The answer was revealed through my laptop as Elvis’ sweet tongue delivered:

"It’s so funny to be seeing you after so long, Girl. And with the way you look I understand if you are not impressed. I heard you let that little friend of mine take off yo’ party dress… "
"Alison"- sung by Elvis Costello
That song has a long treasured place in my memory chest, reminding me of my first love Won Kim. It is able to stand as a romance because we were so young and innocent or was it just immaturity? It didn’t survive to prove or negate our assumptions. Its priceless value lies in the fact that in its brevity, it encapsulated the passion and intensity, as well as the subtlety and beauty of sharing yourself wholly with another, without complete surrender to lust. The more innocence lost the harder it becomes to accomplish such a simple task.

It was heavenly to feel that he, who held the vision in a cherished place, authentically beheld me. But Won is also remembered because he is credited with turning me on to Elvis. His rendition of “Alison” on our six-month anniversary just after a dozen white roses where delivered, probably had something to do with the song’s later significance in my memory book. The affection for him has waned, but not the good memories.

Yet in Elvis’ delivery the enunciation, the vocal breaks---- all reveal the sanctity that is in the lyrics. The song is delivered like a bouquet of multi-tone and textured flowers presented as he kneels on bent knee, offering one flower at a time. At times it is a blessed garden of initimate kisses. His words, his vociferation:

"Well I see you got a husband now. Did he leave your pretty fingers lying in the wedding cake? You used to hold him right in your hands, but he took all that he could he take. I think somebody better put out the big light cause I can’t stand to see you this way. Alison, my aime is true…Mmyy aime is truue…"
"Alison"- sung by Elvis Costello

The music seemed to alternate between kissing and consolation. It seems reasonable in that moment, to cling to what is good because it is unfeigned when his music, his voice awakens the nadir. And no matter the sorrow conveyed in song, it always feels unblemished when it is he sharing it. He offers extended foreplay veiled in a struggle with imperfection and a commitment to introspection as loves preservation. This indicates intelligence and suggests personal growth that when combined with his coarse velvety utterances, my imagined sanctuary emerges.

Inherent in my music inspired fantasies, are my expectations, contained in the un-manifest; they are bearable. No one wants to be limited by my projections, the role I choose to cast them in. No, everyone wants to be accepted for who they are and romantic ideals can prevent that. Instead of waiting to be ideally romanced by someone else, I began to understand the most authentic romance I could have was with myself.

Elvis Costello’s music, for me, encapsulates those experiences had and those desired at various times in my life. I am grateful for the inspiration, pleasure and introspection he continues to ignite.
Among a legion of devoted and long haul fans, I humbly take my place…standing in a virtual line, admitting that in yet another arousing flight of fancy, for a moment Elvis is allowed to be king.

He is my virtual elected stand-in for now, as the longing for a king to make me queen has ceased. Without a doubt, I am confidently piloting this plane.

© 2005

If you enjoy this you'll also want to read The Right To Choose To Think and seriously consider the difference Clarity can make in your life.


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