So, I mentioned in my last post that I’ve started to date someone. This process of getting to know someone and matching weirdness with weirdness is not one that I feel extraordinarily good at. In fact, I’m complete rubbish at it! (I know wrong mentality to approach new things with, but I’m working on it!) It all comes down to patterns and vulnerability for me.
We have a lot of social patterns that guide our culture’s actions and assumptions, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. We assume that people will date others with the intent of getting married. We assume that dating will follow a certain time frame. We make assumptions about attractiveness and careers. As someone who enjoys patterns, this should make social processes like dating easier. Humans, of course, rarely follow these patterns closely leaving pattern friendly Danni in the dust. Someone’s past experience might make them take things slow. Someone else might have different end goals than is culturally acceptable. Besides, no one really wants to live the exact same life as anyone else. No one wants to be hobbled by patterns that don’t work for them. So, what’s left when the patterns we are socially taught aren’t really so useful?
It leaves us to enjoy the moments we find ourselves in. There must be patience, compassion, and true wonderment for the life we are experiencing. Finding the stillness to be in the moment can be difficult. I personally find it extremely difficult to turn off the rational, over analytical part of my mind to just enjoy getting to know someone. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the pattern part of life that I forget to live my own. Nothing kills a budding relationship more than thinking it to death!
But to live in the moment we must be willing to be vulnerable. We must be open and aware. Vulnerability allows us to give a person peeks into our deeper self. It allows us to develop a trusting relationship. It also opens us up to a world of hurt should that vulnerability be betrayed with callousness or rejection. It’s such a terrifying but beautiful part of getting to know someone. Here is where I find I need the most self-work. I avoid true vulnerability with self-deprecating humor. I change the subject quickly whenever a moment of stillness follows vulnerability. It’s like my autopilot in my brain thinks it can out-run or out-wit the inevitability of being vulnerable.
Even in my spiritual practice, there are moments where I avoid the vulnerability of being wholly open and true, moments in the woods that I turn away from the stillness offered. Which is a bit ridiculous since the only thing to be afraid of hurting me is Divinity or myself! I know from the wonderful experiences I’ve had with Divinity that there is no hurt there, challenge maybe, but not hurt. So, that means I fear what I might lash out upon myself with. But the moments where I do turn blissfully into the stillness and allow myself to be vulnerable are the moments I most treasure. It’s where I feel most alive and present in my spiritual practice. I suppose that being vulnerable just takes some dedicated practice both in a relationship and in spiritual life.
Ah, well, that came out a bit more rambily than I intended.