Originally Posted by SeventhCrow
I've found the best way to think of it is as fishing. Only I'm not baitcasting, tossing out a line and reeling it in, trying to entice one of the fishies to grab that hook. Nope. I'm setting a trotline with multiple hooks and I ignore the damn thing most of the time. I check on it once in a while to see if any fish have decided to bite.
So, you've set your bait on that hook. Ignore it for a while. Set more hooks--and ignore them. Check back occasionally to see if any o' dem fishies has taken the bait.
At first I thought this analogy was a strange one.. people aren't fish, I thought. I don't want to ignore people, because I hate to be ignored, I thought.
But SC, I think I get it now. The trotline image has come to the surface in my mind many times as I continue to get more and more comfortable with my sexuality, how I choose to use it and be fulfilled, how it fits into my relationship with Damncatfish.
Sometimes, to get things straight in my head, I draw diagrams while listening to lectures in class that have become uninteresting. I did this the other day and once again thought of the trotline. I thought of all of the people in my life that are romantically connected to Damncat and myself, or who I feel could be at some point. A Venn Diagram, my usual way of representing connections and how they overlap, just wasn't adequate.
This might all sound a little elementary, drawing little pictures to organize my love connections to others, but the main thing it helps me to do is consider everyone involved. Those who are involved or could be involved with me, those connected to both Damncat and I , those connected to him, and all of the people who are connected to those people whose feelings must be considered also.
When I get the big picture of how many people are involved outside of D and I, it really helps me to stop being demanding about what I want to take place ideally in each situation. It helps me to realize that I am one part of a web of connections between people and that I can't possibly know or even imagine all the issues and feeling involved for those I am connected to. It helps me not to push. It helps me to feel grateful that I am even, in some small way, a linking element between so many wonderful people. It makes me feel responsible to be selfless sometimes, patient always, grateful that I have such an exciting and multi-faceted life and am connected with lovers and friends everywhere I turn.
So the "ignoring" for me does not mean that I don't pay any attention, just that I refrain from placing people within my fictional fantasies of what should happen in any given encounter with another, and instead, do my best to be loving and respectful, and appreciate what is real when it comes, if it comes, which is all I can and should do, I am starting to see.
Thinking of my life in this way, with all of the people involved that I have fantasies about and all the people that would be effected should these fantasies become real- also helps me to realize that I would be completely overwhelmed if they all got real at once.
All to say- I am feeling more appreciative of what I have, and not so worried about what I might want/fantasize about that I don't have.
But I am getting more and more comfortable with setting out the bait and walking away, letting go of my expectations, and being pleasantly surprised when my openness and interest sparks a connection between myself and another.
I think the root of this difficulty of mine definitely stems from how I've lived my life up until 6 months ago- unconsciously expecting every connection I have with another person to be all or nothing. I am so glad to let go of that, and be free to test the waters without the expectation that those are the only options.