“Love nurtures and helps us to grow into compassionate and loving beings” this is something that we have heard, known for a long time. We look for friends who will accept us for who we are and love us all the same. There is so much love between us or so we believe, but most of us like to stay in a neutral ground. We end up talking about neutral topics, which could also be personal but usually something, which continues to maintain the relationship. We shy away from most crucial conversations, even in close relations. So other than the initial relationship fizz, most relationships end up being maintenance relationships, the high maintenance ones fall of naturally as very few people have time and energy to keep nurturing them. In our daily routine we get so used to the maintenance pattern, that all we end up doing is maintaining. So where is Love?
When someone shares their vulnerability with us, it is so difficult to stay and listen to that person fully, our tendency is to make the person see reason and move on quickly. We are so scared of being in the mush pool. The tendency to judge or give advise is so strongly coded into the maintenance program, that anything outside of neutral is an alarm. Our lack of courage to bring our vulnerability out in a safe space and our lack of courage to stay without judgement of others vulnerability, keeps us away from each other. It keeps us away from expressing love.
I have developed a mid level resilient model, around maintenance. It simply helps maintaining things as they are. If everything fell down my mental model allows me to come back to maintenance. What this mental model does is to keep me from exploring what is outside of this frame. It allows me to stretch to a certain point to the boundaries of the frame, but quickly brings me back. So I would never explore outside the frame, I would judge what is outside this frame, I label it, I may even condemn it, sometimes I may gossip about it, but I will definitely keep away from experiencing it. The conversations that I will have in relationships would be safe conversations and I won’t even know that I am having a safe conversation. This keeps my status quo as it is, it becomes my identity. I need to maintain a certain identity to be in the society and my life goes in making sure that this identity doesn’t crumble. Some of us may choose an rebel identity and keep maintaining the status quo of looking outside the frame, there life will go in making sure that they keep looking outside the frame, that is there ‘frame’.
These frames help us stay where we are and also help us grow into the frame. It is a fallacy to believe that people who stay in the frames can’t grow or love, of course they can within the frame. We also contain our love within the frame just about the right quantity which is required to maintain the dynamic of relationships. If we feel more love towards someone, we share it within the frame so as to not overwhelm the other person. This overwhelming is perceived to threaten the balance of the Frame. This is true not only for love but also other emotions, but Love is something we need the most yet we fear to share it and also accept it. With children it is different they have the ability to love with complete vulnerability, and that evokes us to venture out of our frames and show more of our love. In any relationship tin which you want go beyond the frame of maintenance, intentional expression of love evokes the connection. This helps the relationship to evolve into a more richer and wholesome place, where we can discuss matters of heart, with vulnerability and ease, without fear of judgement.
Love is not neutral it is mushy