Love Languages (BDK-TT)

I’ve been doing an online teacher training with Budokon. It’s an amazing physical practice and the reflection essays we’re required to write aren’t bad, either. In no particular order, I’m posting my assignments here. They definitely enter a space of transparency and vulnerability, so please be 1) forewarned and 2) respectful. The five love languages are Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Acts of Service (I think Cooking should be another one because it’s kind of beyond an act of service in the sense that it’s a sacred thing to prepare and share a meal with someone—but that’s another conversation.) In my current relationship, and most relationships I can recall, it’s always a conscious act to remember to give words of affirmation to my partner. It doesn’t come naturally to me (actually, the opposite comes naturally, to offer criticism that’s uncalled for). But it’s a very simple act that normally lightens the air in any situation, and for the life of me I don’t know why I didn’t figure this out years ago. Maybe because it doesn’t come naturally for me, that’s why I always attracted women who require them. Meanwhile, I’ve always felt good *receiving* words of affirmation, but I have trouble accepting them. I seem to feel content simply that the other person is feeling content and saying “you’re welcome” is uncomfortable or feels unnecessary.  Physical touch is huge. I love receiving it and I love giving it. Over the years it’s been weird with physical touch because when I’m super “in love with myself,” I am physically touchy with everyone, especially females, even if it’s not an intimate relationship. Intimately, I find physical touch with my partner is beyond just a love language, it’s a primal means to connect again after some time away. With some physical contact, the body seems to do its own thing without my conscious intent (like release endorphins and all that)… so even if I’m not actively desiring it, or wanting to give it, I always react positively to it. So similar to words of affirmation, physical touch is something that helps me get past my ego and return back to love. Gifts are fun but I don’t need to receive them. And I only give gifts if I see something  in the wild that’s just right. I’m horrible at birthdays and Christmas time, but I give plenty of genuine gifts at random dates throughout the year. Meanwhile my partner LOVES giving gifts and I know it makes her happy when I receive them well, so I try to act like it makes my day. She knows it’s a show, but it still makes her happy. It’s kind of the same thing with post-conflict words of affirmation I offer in order to calm down and generate some empathy from within when I’m upset… she knows I’m saying the things because I regret having left a space of love in our interaction, but she appreciates that I’m recognizing my bullshit, owning it and working with her on it. And the act of digging those words out actually really does tame my lion, so that’s kind of a cool trick I’ve learned: trick myself into getting over myself. Quality time is also nice but I’m like Cameron… let’s do something productive together! My partner is like that too, but things are different now with a baby, so most of our quality time is one of us playing with the baby while the other person does a household chore in the same room. Same thing with physical touch and words of affirmation, for me I notice that when I’m not desiring it at all, even resisting it, when I make myself put some quality time into the relationship—and by that I mean with no expectation, just to be together with no distraction—I find myself in love again and grateful to live with this woman (mixing in some oxytocin now). I think the most quality time we could have right now is sex, which hardly happens at all lately. It’s good to know the relationship doesn’t need sex to thrive. But it’d also be good to have more sex. (enter in polyamory conversation—for another time.) I give acts of service, that is me. I mentioned cooking earlier (which I suppose classically would be categorized as an act of service), but when it alleviates her stress I also like cleaning, running errands, or going down on her. I like making life simpler for someone/my partner, especially when it’s something I enjoy doing. Optimizing activities and energy output in a household, a team, a project, etc, is very important to me and my personality. Perhaps it’s not truly *doing* something for someone that is me expressing love, but rather it’s a byproduct of some …

A Treatise on the Self and the Moment

What or who can we really be, beyond this moment? The only existence beyond this moment is a story we tell ourselves. Beyond this moment lies a future full of projections of the past, including the media we’ve consumed which contributes to fear, and things going “wrong.” Beyond this moment also lies a past full of lessons, including those that we’ve learned from which magically became a part of who we are in this moment.  So “beyond” this moment, be it future imagination or past memories, really just exists inside our head. In order to live beyond this moment, one must subscribe themselves to a collective cooperation, like society. Participation in society is a contract to tell stories of ourselves, so we can be understood by yet others telling stories of themselves, in order to facilitate systems of organization like governance & commerce. In sum: to be a member of society, one must tell stories of the past and of the future. To sell a future one must convince another of a past. To create a result one must step on the foundation of a cause. There must exist binary opposition of past & future in our society’s present, leaving us at the zero in between them both: this moment. The first question to the spiritually beholden: Why must I participate in society if it is inherently contradicting the truth of my existential nature? I do not exist beyond the moment, only my stories exist beyond the moment! The first answer: you do not have to participate in society. There is always a way to ex-communicate yourself.  But that leads to the second question: Do you want to be alienated from others with the same nature as you? The second answer: if you tell yourself that yes, you do want to be isolated, then it’s another story. How will you tell stories if you have no one to tell them to? I’ll tell them to myself! And soon you will crave society more than ever, because there is no creative satisfaction when reception lacks. And inevitably, the third and final question: So is storytelling thus part of my existence? Less inevitably, the third and final answer: Bingo. The paradox is in your being. Your story continues yet no narration follows you. Your arc follows patterns, cycles even, yet you’ll never see them until after. A story can always be told. So you exist in this moment, yet a story of you exists beyond this moment. What does that mean for this moment?