I’ve recently encountered an emerging revelation in my life, but before I explain that, this all snapped into focus when I recalled a conversation a few years ago with a former girlfriend who now is polyamorous. Yes, she has multiple, ongoing intimate relationships.
My response was almost entirely one of curiosity, without any notable judgment. I asked her to tell me more, and then proceeded to research it to satisfy my curiosity. I concluded it really did make sense in the same way that every other means of loving and being loved makes sense. Nature prefers diversity of every kind, so of course there would be an infinite number of ways to express and experience love as well as relationship. Then I simply moved on with my life; this new way of thinking folded in with all the other ways of thinking.
Polyamory (from Greek πολύ poly, "many, several", and Latin amor, "love") is typically the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships where individuals may have more than one partner, with the knowledge and consent of all partners It has been described as "consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy".
With that as background and context, for the past three years I’ve returned to therapy after a long respite. For the record, I am a huge fan of professional help whether with coaches, therapists, councilors, or spiritual advisors. After all, why would I ever think I know enough for dealing with life?
Regardless, my current support comes from a Jungian Analyst whom I sought out because of interesting dreams and inner stirrings. We’ve been exploring aspects of who I am that are long buried or unresolved, the kinds of things that are vague and ephemeral yet, increasingly important as a middle-aged guy seeking to navigate his life as usefully and effectively as possible.
Especially we’ve been exploring who I intend to be as parenting and career recede in terms of their importance. Where would I like to live? What kind of life? With who, and doing what? To what end? What matters most now?
One starting point was an investigation into what gives me fulfillment. In one particular session I simply burst loose with a long string of transcendent experiences during which I wept with joy many times as I recounted these. Then I told her I feared I was simply an intensity junkie, a psychological thrill seeker. She leaned into the conversation with me, and a dam burst within. There was so much about myself I have held in condemnation, so many things about my innermost self that I have denied or feared to express, largely because these are at odds with society’s perspectives.
We began a continuing series of reframing sessions. It turns out I am a seeker of solitude, valuing time with and by myself above all others. And I am deeply creative, so much so that there is insufficient space in my life for all I wish to create, and the demands of day in, day out life can be difficult for me. Increasingly it is clear to me I am deeply emotional and experiential. While I have a strong thinking aspect, my greatest cravings are to feel and sense. At best I am a full-time, all-time student, an aspiring mystic seeking to slip the bounds of the material, corporeal world. I see wonder and beauty and the Divine in all things.
I am polyamorous, not in relationships, but with the world and life itself. I fall in love with people, and places, and things, and ideas, and experiences, and questions, and perspectives … over and over and over again. I do not contain well. Nor do I wish to do so ever again.
This reframing is allowing me to embrace what Carl Jung would call my True Self. It is simultaneously invigorating and frightening. And yet I seem unable to resist the call. Come what may, I will follow where each step draws me.
Inner engagement practiced outwardly leads us to resolution that transforms fate into destiny. To thine own self be true.
Seeing True™ in Action
What will you do today that will allow you to begin exploring your path in ways yet untapped? What is holding you back?
Updated October, 2018