ehowton (ehowton) wrote,

Acceptable Behavior

Its easy to see the road ahead when racing around an oval track. ~ehowton

Having picked up the current periodical Psychology Today from Barnes & Noble, my wife and I shared an uneasy glance at the random cover story during checkout, "Are You With the Right Mate?" (article here) followed by a nervous chuckle. Luck of the draw to be sure. But what I was not expecting in its pages was article after article reinforcing everything I've reiterated here the past six months or so. In short, professional validation of potentially nonsensical pontification - starting with the subtitled, "Feelings mean nothing without context." (Link to my blog entry, not the actual article.)

There is no such thing as two people meant for each other. It's a matter of adjusting and adapting. But you have to know yourself. Successful couples redefine their relationship many times, relationships need to continually evolve to fit ever-changing circumstances. They need to incorporate each partner's changes and find ways to meet their new needs. ~ Psychology Today

Not that I believe context is everything anymore, at least not by itself. Here lately I've been foraying into the thick of intention - which I now understand to be related to context in a sleeping-with-your-sister kind of relationship. If context is the dynamic in which we wish ourselves to be understood, then intention is the motivation behind that communication. Conversely if the roots of that intention are misunderstood, then the context of the intent should clarify the dynamic, right?

"I don't care," is the statement I most closely associate with illuminating contextual misunderstanding or knowledge of intent - once everyone is on the same page - those who choose to disbelieve truth, despite facts to the contrary. "I don't care," really does say it all. And it speaks much more broadly and deeply about personal psychology than about the specific reason it was stated. I submit that no one can care deeply about the facts of one subject matter while entirely dismissing them in another. Facts are just that - truths known by actual experience or observation. Their reality is not colored by moods nor emotions. "I don't care" is the logical equivalent of the Dave Barry quote, “A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.” Basically, if you allow facts to change your opinion only on some things, but not others...what does that say about you? I'm not talking about disagreeing on what those facts may mean based on individual experience, only pretending they don't exist. Self-awareness is paramount for accepting change; a change which is going to transpire regardless.

I read a fascinating comprehensive article recently on the biological effects of love, sex, friendship, marriage and bonding (mostly sex) - and its surprisingly candid conclusions, which surprised me at how incompatible it was to the Psychology Today article. Basically anthropological behavior battling inter-relational behavior within societal constructs.

Due to the nature of the limbic system, you cannot will your feelings, emotions, falling in love, or staying in love, anymore than you can will your heart to beat, or yourself to digest a meal or sleep ~ Your Brain on Sex

So I get the whole Holy Roman Empire murdering heretics who blaspheme that the world may not be flat - that is about power. I get it, it makes sense to me. What I don't understand is how the "Nuclear Family" (Penn & Teller's Bullshit episode on so-called "Family Values" here) evolved to be the ideal. Between these three sources I've discovered that everything I ever thought I knew, or to be more pointed - was taught - was wrong. And I do know how that happened. Belief systems.

I first saw the Penn & Teller episode back in 2006. It talked about "artificial limitations," something I wasn't entirely equipped to absorb at the time. Fast forward six years of varied and numerous life-experiences and I reel at the glaring differences between the psychological and anthropological. I absolutely understand that both articles are presenting truth - and solutions - but from two different perspectives tackling two discrete problems. The single thread which runs through them both however, is to be mindful. Not understanding a dynamic and/or acknowledging even an imagined problem exists, by all accounts I've read, is a guarantee for dissolution. Not just in marriage, but also in life.

Non-sexual intimate touching builds self-worth and deepens bonds of marriage and friendship.

There's a lot I don't know about primitive man and the rise of nations - knowledge of which would surely belay my confusion. But I do believe this - adaptability is paramount in survival. And everything is an experiment. The idea behind Christ as a savior is brand new compared to the history of mankind, and it too will soon wane into the obscure. As will how we structure ourselves as individuals, as a family, and as a community. Much as we have gone from dwelling in caves to plugging into massive technological cities, so then shall we continue to mutate. And this will run hand-in-hand with better understanding of ourselves both individually, and collectively.

What does society gain by defining an opposition to human nature as normal then constructing an edifying framework around it?

I only know that I don't accept anyone's answers at face value. I desire to live outside the restrictive facsimile of what someone else says life is supposed to be. Its no longer enough for me to expire my own baselines, I need to test those of the status quo to ensure those who stand by it know why they do so. I wish to explore my own personal full potential, and that simply cannot be accomplished with the yoke of unquestioning acceptance around my neck.

I'm working to not care what other men do, or do not do, and I'm certainly not going to let their deprecated, archaic, uninspired belief systems judge me. They're not qualified to do so.

Tags: behavior, family-values, mindfulness, philosophy, psychology, self-worth

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