Compassion/Caring, Right/Wrong, Logic/Illogic, Truth/Phallacy
WOW. Just wow.
I see no point in writing on the thread that left me saying that today. It seems to have gotten caught up in so many technicalities of defense that it's been rendered useless to me.
As a child I heard my father say something so many times it literally makes me sick sometimes to hear it now,
"I want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth..."
As a teen I saw the movie "A Few Good Men" where Jack Nicholson says,
"YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!"
As the two things rang in my head and wandered amongst one another I started to find some thoughts of my own.
One of them is that sure-we THINK we want the truth. But Jack is right-quite often we can't HANDLE the truth. It's not a matter of willingness-we simply can't handle it.
So we get some portion of the truth, or truth somewhat manipulated and a person like my dad would say that means it's purely a phallacy. But it's not. Because it's not PURE. It's just not a PURE truth either.
I can tell my daughter that GG is her father. But she will look at me like I'm stupid-because to her this is NOT SO. Maca is her father and she's not interested in biology because she's not CAPABLE of handling the truth of it right now. Her brain isn't WIRED for that truth. HOPEFULLY someday it will be. But it sure as HELL ain't at 2 years old. Does that stop me from telling her GG loves her too and he loved mommy and daddy SO much he gave her to us? No. I tell her, because someday she WILL understand AND she will understand that I told her the truth AS SHE COULD HANDLE IT.
Is it logical to say that Maca is her father? Nope. It's not-because her DNA proves that he is NOT her father. We KNOW he is not so saying he is is NOT logical. And yet-it would be very illogical to try to convince her that he is not her father, because in her HEART he IS her father 100% and the heart she has doesn't give a DAMN about biology. Someday it might, some hearts DO care about biology. But it also may not, for some hearts never do care about biology. Now it's arbitrary-because when it comes to matters of the heart (like poly or mono relationships) LOGIC has little to no meaning. Logic can't heal a heart, logic can't give you love, logic can't support a friend and logic can't solve the worlds problems, but a loving heart CAN heal another heart, a loving heart CAN give you love, a loving heart CAN support a friend, and enough loving hearts can solve the worlds problems.
What is right? I guess that depends on precisely who you are, where you are, when you are there, why you are there, how you are and a crapload of other details.
Because for me abortion is wrong. But when I found myself pregnant after my husbands vasectomy (hadn't been long enough) holding an 8 month old child and caring for a 4 year old violent, previously abused, psychologically damaged child... I found that abortion was more right then risking the life of my 8 month old. I KNEW I was unable to carry a pregnancy without being bed-ridden and I knew I couldn't keep him safe in that environment if I was pregnant...
Would I ever suggest ANYONE put themself through the emotional turmoil of an abortion? HELL NO. I still think that they are wrong. But I vote pro-choice, becuase everything in life can be thought of as right or wrong depending on the terms of the immediate situation.
Poly is right for me. BUT it may not always be so. Mono was right for Maca-but it may not always be so.
HOWEVER-mono is right for my dad and always will be so. That's just the way he is. He's found fulfillment and happiness as a monogomous man, and he doesn't need to keep searching.
I found at some point in my life that being "right" or proving a point was just NOT pertinent if I wanted to build relationships.
I also found that building relationships was CRITICAL to finding my own joy in life and becoming the best person I could be.
I recognize the need to question things. My father is a logic person who does that ALL DAY LONG. He's also often.... very friendless. Not because he's not a kind-hearted person, but because he gets SO caught up in proving a point, that he forgets that each of us in on OUR OWN PATH through this life. As River said somewhere (roughly not quoted) we're all part of THIS COMMUNITY of life on earth. BUT we are also ALL individuals and we shouldn't have to LOSE that individuality in order to FEEL and be accepted as part of the whole.
ALL of us have moments of heartache, all of us have moments when we simply need to know we are accepted for who we are. ALL of us deserve to be treated with loving compassion by those who we've opened ourselves to-EVEN if they think we are wrong.
I didn't speak to my dad for 8 years because he hurt me so badly. Our hearts need gentle care.
I did read every post-and I get that no one was trying to say anyone else was a "bad person" specifically.
BUT-there was also little attempt (I saw 3 posters do it) to show COMPASSION, CARE, UNDERSTANDING and ACCEPTANCE for differences and different perspectives.
First and foremost we are here to talk about our need/desire to LOVE multiple people. It seems to me that the most logical step then would be to treat one another with LOVE when we are on here talking.
If we can't be LOVING to our "comrades" just because we feel that we are right and they are wrong, or we are logical and they are illogical or that our beliefs are truth and theirs are based in phallacy-
HOW ON EARTH CAN WE HAVE POLYAMOROUS RELATIONSHIPS????
If every person here took the time to consider their statements in regards to how the other person might FEEL they might find that they could in fact change the worlds opinions about polyrelationships. Because the first step in proving that you CAN love multiple people is TO LOVE multiple people.
Ok-that's my rant/vent.
My heartbroke in two today when I logged in. I just don't even know howto say the pain that went through my soul at the demise of a beautiful joining of a truly monogomously minded person with a polyamorous minded community. 1400+ posts... is there a poly-minded person on here with so many posts at all? That many since April '09? I know I have been posting my ass off since September and have bi-passed the number of posts many of the "regulars" have...
It's sad when we prioritize making a point over making a relationship.
First, let's talk about compassion, care, understanding and acceptance of differences and different perspectives.
It may be hard to believe, but everything I do and post is driven out of compassion. I have a great deal of respect for every person where they're at in their journey. HOWEVER, that respect does not manifest in coddling or not speaking truth whenever I see it missing. In fact, if I were to do that, I would not be respecting the people I'm in dialogue with, I would be manipulating them. I don't do that.
Second, as far as acceptance of different perspectives. This is a bigger issue.
Here's the thing: Everyone is indeed entitled to their own opinions. HOWEVER, that does NOT mean that they are entitled to put that opinion out and expect it to be free of scrutiny and challenge, ESPECIALLY when they are opinions that create or perpetuate marginalization, prejudice and stereotyping. Because there are ADDITIONAL feelings to be considered: All those people who get marginalized and stereotyped by such things. Sure they may not be here on this board (though I will say there are certainly been posts on here that marginalize me and I'm sure I'm not alone in that), but I'll be damned if I don't continue to speak when I see that marginalization getting fueled. Why? Because such people don't have the luxury or the privilege of setting that marginalization aside. They don't have a choice. Where many of us seem to have the luxury to "process" or "work through our feelings" while we continue to offer up and put out opinions that perpetuate those things without ever having to see the negative and hurtful effects of them. That seems a very selfish view to me.
I simply cannot and will not let opinions that are offensive to my fundamental values go unchallenged if they are offered up to me, whether they are offered up by my closest lover or by a complete stranger. I certainly don't take those opinions personally, but that does not change the fact that I consider it necessary and part of my humanity to challenge such things. And believe it or not, it is compassion that fuels that need. It's why I'm a teacher. It's why I run anti-oppression and anti-racism workshops (which is a job that routinely subjects me to people lashing out at me). It's why I come to boards like this.
Conversely, I never take on any entitlement that says nobody can challenge my opinions either. It's the nature of a public discussion board.
Also, let me clarify something about respecting different perspectives. It's one thing to say "I don't like James Bond films because they just don't do it for me." It's an entirely different thing to say "Because I'm a woman, I don't like James Bond films, but that's just my opinion."
The first is a personal opinion expressing preference. There's no reason to say that I should or shouldn't like James Bond films and that's fine, because it's just opinion.
The second is a fact laid out in the guise of an opinion (and not only a fact, but a fact that speaks to stereotyping a large group of people and their identity). The fact laid out there is "Women don't like James Bond films." Even if I added something like "but that's just my opinion" it doesn't change the fact that it is a fact, and a wrong fact at that.
So we have two different things going on here. The first is a perspective and absolutely should be respected. The other is a statement making incorrect assertions about an entire group of people, but told from the perspective of the person saying it. As a woman, if someone made that statement to me, I would challenge it. If I wasn't around to challenge it, I certainly hope someone else would challenge it on my behalf.
I also feel the need to point out a couple of double standards here: First: We have other members of this community that use pretty blunt language and are often explained and excused when that bluntness is off putting to newcomers. Yet when a new poster comes and uses a very similar blunt language, that is interpreted as inflammatory.
Second, nobody seemed to have a problem when I took to task the VERY same issue of flawed reasoning creating prejudice and stereotypes when I brought this up in the Sexual Element thread. In fact, lots of people chimed in with lots of inflammatory language towards the OP there for his opinions. And I have to give a lot of credit to GroundedSpririt for taking such flames and sticking with it and making an effort to continue the dialogue, which honestly he has done very well both on the boards in in messages.
So how does making 1400 posts exactly excuse a person from having a similar post held to the same standard? After the number of times I've come to the defense of the mono perspective on this board, I find it really funny to be accused of mono-bashing when all I was doing was holding the same standard I hold in every exchange on this forum. I appreciate that Mono was probably going through a tough time, and perhaps a break from the boards will help, but I cannot take responsibility for that.
The beginning of respect is being authentic, even if it means saying something someone doesn't want to hear.
So at this point, if that is something people feel I shouldn't be doing on these board, then please let me know and I'll take my conversations elsewhere with no hard feelings.
I, too fail to see how the number of posts made by an individual has any bearing on the validity of a particular statement or argument.
I have benefitted by reading these threads and going over the issues raised back and forth with Ceoli in private. It is and has been a valuable intellectual and mental exercise to turn this around on myself, question my own perspectives, and expand my awareness of reality defined by the use of language.
Of course, it seems like I am taking Ceoli's "side", but if it makes any difference, I have also been talking privately with RedPepper, so she (and Mono by proxy) knows how I roll on this.
I will also note that whenever I have challenged a statement or opinion that has been offensive to my fundamental values, I have never EVER personally held it against the person making the statement, regardless of whether a person perceives it that way or not.
We're all adults here.
One thing I have learned about internet forums is that if you put an idea out there, people will respond. That is one of the main reasons we post our comments and ideas. There are different styles of comments and some comments will trigger issues into a new direction.
A troll is easy to get rid of because they are only interested in strife and don't care about the discussion itself.
While I disagreed with Ceoli's final conclusion, I do understand her motive and reasoning. Her main goal seem to be removing excuses for sterotyping and encourage self reflection. I think we all agree with those motives.
Unfortunately, it was seen more as a personal attack than it was meant to be. Ceoli kept saying that it was not a personal attack and Mono's comments were an example of the issue. I don't think Ceoli meant it as an attack, though I can see why some would see it that way.
Part of this issue is the way we reach decisions. Ceoli is following rational lines of thinking to avoid contradiction and to verify her thinking. Mono's statement bothered her while it didn't bother anyone else too much. So she discussed it in a way that is more provable than emotional. But since most people were not bothered by his comment, that line of argument sounded too confrontational.
I find that if I am going to argue against someone's word, I try to get them to state it very clearly. Like I will say, "Are you saying that....?" A lot of the time, I find that people will not like the way i have it paraphrased and will correct it. That can avoid some arguments from the start.
I see this stuff like dealing with family. Sometimes we argue, but ultimately, we all care.
And I think it's an important one !
Especially in a public forum.
We're all here to learn from and help each other - subscribers & visitors alike.
And it's a given that no group of people are all going to agree all the time - especially on complex topics. That's ok.
But I think sometimes it's just enough to say "Ok - let's agree to disagree"
And smile at each other. And let it go. We can all get the concept that there may be other possibilities in the world and are totally free to pursue those at our leisure.
I guess I just think that there's a kinder, gentler way to navigate in the world and that if we put that first on our agenda - everyone gains.
I hate to see conversations take turns like some of these have. It really isn't necessary. I see the potential and have seen it a bazillions time before. I try to head it off when I see it coming (and got myself in deep do-do here for it).
But maybe this is the "good" that came of it.
A reminder to us all to be a little kinder,gentler, a little more empathetic.
As I think I mentioned to someone......passion and strong ideologies are double edged blades. They truly cut both ways.
PS: Ceoli - any olives on that olive branch ? <grin>
Missing a message and not agreeing with a message are two entirely different things.
The cycle continues:(
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