Thursday, November 02, 2006

Innocence, Freedom & Compassion

(a meandering, serpentine thought process...)

What's getting more difficult as I become more self-aware is dealing with the ability to turn off and turn on my charms. This is making me nervous, self-critical and gunshy. What got me into this whole mess was my very open smile -- the icebreaker that everyone loves. I smile, and you just feel good about yourself. I smile, and it becomes a beautiful day. I smile, and suddenly I'm the approachable girl, the friendly sweet lady who everyone can talk to. I smile, and it's open season for flirting.

But really, this is just me. My naturally open candor of kindness. It used to be that I could treat everyone this way, for it was an innocent thing. Despite my welcoming smile, men respected the assumed limits that though I am approachable, I am afterall, another man's wife. And it wasn't just their assumptions. I assumed the boundary as well. This is a social courtesy, right? So with assumptions in place, there is a freedom involved that allows for a virtual dismantling of those boundaries with no cares. Because we are innocent, guileless and truly can do no harm.

Now that I have embraced my sins however, I find that I am perpetually questioning my own motives. Because I now realize that I can and do have motives that can be hidden, that can be revealed, that can be played with. This newly discovered personality trait is one that creates an undercurrent of ambivalence, one that feels somewhat manipulative. I am now aware that when I smile, it arouses a feeling in a man that perhaps, maybe? And with this knowledge, I feel a responsibility to deal with this interpersonal intimacy. I must reflect on my actions and I must tailor them specific to my desires and how they relate to the individual with whom I am interacting.

True compassion is derived from this loss of innocence.

That cliched remark about bliss has deeper definition than the shallow reflection on ignorance. Bliss can easily be identified with the type of joy that reverberates deep into your being, so deep that it touches on that buried germ so long forgotten but in itself still remembers innocence. Compassion can only surface upon awareness of suffering -- the fact that suffering exists, no matter its victim. Some may become aware of it through direct experience, whereas others may perceive it externally, via another's traumas. It is through these experiences that an aware person comprehends the extent of pain and thus can escalate that understanding to a level that incorporates and embraces others.

Where an Innocent's actions may or may not have an effect on another being, it is the Innocent's unawareness that acts as a barrier, halting true intimacy with that other person. Thus, the loss of innocence leads to deeper awareness, which in turn creates intimacy, thereby leading to a greater sense of responsibility. Follow? Not so sure I'm following myself...

The point is, now that I'm aware of my wily ways, I sinuously situate sexual desire, provocative gestures and seductive side-glances into moments of otherwise harmless flirtations... and sometimes these sultry habits pop out when I don't expect them -- sometimes when I don't want them. And by limiting these behaviors (in an effort to control them), I am painfully aware of my loss of innocence. I am aware of my effect on others, and I am forced to contain it when necessary. So sometimes I don't smile, even though I may be bursting inside with the desire to. Whereas before I decided to stray, I doubted (if not in a state of denial) that my actions could possibly evoke such feelings in others, and so had the freedom to flirt however I wished. This state is no more.

Herein lies the irony that plagues us who choose to live in these dark shadows, chasing the momentary sparks of Bursting Life. That which brings this immense sense of freedom comes at such a cost. We are in fact slaves to our habits, slaves to our addictions. In that, we are not free at all.


FritzVonT said...

Wow. That's an amazing bit of insight.

It seems a such a shame to have to control yourself, to "hide your light under a bushel", so to speak. I could understand, and even endorse, you doing so around your husband, especially if he is aware of the effect that you have on me. But to hide it away completely, because you may cause men to start to think lacivious thoughts? A real shame.

I say fuck 'em. Give the guys a thrill, if you feel a connection with them. I know it makes my day when I get a vibe from some beautiful woman that maybe, just maybe, she might be interested in me.

I say no harm, no foul. Provided you can keep your head about you!

anonym said...

Remembering, combining insights... I'm in an emotionally reflectful time and place right now... bear with me...

Cheri commented on a post recently that perhaps I've had these *things* all along, but only now are they appearing. Your comment about hiding my light... I'm remembering a poem I wrote many years ago, long before I ever realized any of this about myself, and in fact, I did know back then, because I wrote about it. Despite not being in this situation, despite not having experienced the throes of illicit passion, despite not having faced dire consequences of my actions, I wrote about it.

It was a very raw poem, full of torn apart fleshy being, barren emotions, destruction in all its glory, but the light was there all along, and the ripped body heals itself, and the pearl of light still shone through, ready and waiting to continue to give. I knew even back then what desires I had buried. I knew the challenges I would face. It seems I knew all along.

And still I know, the attraction of that thrill... because connections go both ways. And I love those smiles I get back too.

Cyris Vali said...

the thrill is addictive and I wish I could control my flirting ways . . . but as i was reminded a few nights ago by myself due to my own actions of that night (sitting in a bar with Nouri and David), i can't control them because i don't want to. i enjoy the flirting eventhough for the first time in my life i now feel guilty about this last episode of flirting, i know i'll do it again and if the chance arises for me to do more than flirting with Nouri or David, i will - eventhough i feel more love for my husband than i ever had for any other man.
i am so screwed.

Consummate John said...

What an interesting post.

In these situations, why exactly do you smile? To give expression to an inner feeling, or to produce an impact on another? If it's the latter, and if the person (a man) responds, what do you do with this loss of innocence/increase in intimacy?

I have so far only read this post of yours (having just joined the blogging world myself). I will read your other posts with great interest. Perhaps to answer to my questions are to be found there.

Infinite said...

with power comes responsibility

anonym said...

Consummate John, welcome to the land of blogging. I see you're off to a good start... literary aphrodisiacs... perfect for sex blogging!

As for your questions, I suppose my smiles bounce back and forth between inner and external cues. What do I do with the responders? Generally, I follow my instincts. I personally love to Play. So if I believe said responder can handle a certain type of playfulness without going extreme (ie. trying to have a relationship, falling in love with me, etc.) then I guess I push the boundaries some more. But before any of this, I think I examine the situation to see if all the effort it takes to "pull off" hiding secrets is worth what may come of it... That's all gut-instinct.

Hope you enjoy the archives! And welcome to this dark spot of the web.