permeable membrane

It’s been awhile, and I got inspired to do a relationship post. I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships lately…how we define them, but most importantly, how they define us.

As I sat listening to the rain, I popped in Eat, Pray, Love (best book, great movie) and the “permeable membrane” quote came into my head. That’s how I am with relationships – every time.

“…I have boundary issues with men. Or maybe that’s not fair to say. To have issues with boundaries, one must have boundaries in the first place, right? But I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my family, my dog, my dog’s money, my dog’s time-everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert; Eat, Pray, Love

I place a lot of emphasis on my romantic relationships, and I know that. I take them dead serious. Casual dating is something I avoid (although I go on dates…I barely like any of them) because I am addicted to the euphoric feeling of having someone. When they check out, disappoint me, become busy…whatever the case may be, I slowly disintegrate. It happens every time without fail. I’m a whore for intimacy, I will do almost anything to maintain it. Of course that’s a destructive cycle I’ve endured over and over again for years.

One of the most redemptive things about Mondays is video blogs from Gabrielle Bernstein. She usually vlogs about something I need to deal with exactly at the right time…this week is no different. She taught me a quote/concept from A Course in Miracles – to “make your romantic relationships more brotherly and your brotherly relationships more romantic.” Avoid the “special relationship” and pinning all your hopes/needs/desires onto one person. How could anyone ever satisfy them all, anyway, even the most well-intentioned person? Instead, find fiery love in all corners of your life. Your friendships, creative projects, family, solitude, pets, spirituality. It isn’t all the same brand, but it is all still LOVE and it is abundant, if you’re open to receiving it. And with that, I’ll let Gabby do the talking…

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