Come closer…go away.

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I’ve begun to experience some powerful feelings for someone right now.   It’s hard to describe, since I haven’t met this person and most likely never will (which is perfectly okay).   The feeling is a bizarre mix of low-level limerence (but that’s not quite it), empathy, and friendship (affection), but really, none of these really describe it.  The closest way I guess I can describe the feeling is the transference feelings one sometimes develops toward a therapist (and I do have those too).

Idealization of a person is something that comes naturally to me as a borderline.  I know it’s idealization because I don’t know them very well and haven’t seen their flaws.   I’m a person who prefers to live out romantic fantasy in private, because the reality of an actual relationship never lives up to the perfect fantasy I’ve constructed in my mind (even though part of me longs for a real connection with someone in the physical world).   This individual seems to be a kind of a mirror to me right now, similar to the way my therapist also is mirroring me.   But in no way is this individual in a therapist role.   I consider myself friends with this individual, but I have to be very, very careful because I can tell they need a lot of space–and I don’t want them to know how strongly I feel.  It’s a delicate push-pull balance–a kind of dance, almost:  to maintain a balance between my desire to get closer and possibly overstep boundaries (and get hurt), and not giving enough or even pre-emptive rejection of someone I like due to my own deep fear of rejection.

I’ve talked about this with my therapist and he thinks this is good practice for me and is a sign I’m beginning to connect in more meaningful ways and learning to be mindful about it at the same time.  But it sure isn’t second nature yet.   In the past I always either became obsessed and overwhelmed people by trying to get too close too soon, or avoided them (in spite of my strong feelings) to not have to experience possible rejection.  There was never any in between.

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Tears of beauty.

Most people associate crying and tears with sadness or grief. Yes, it’s true that you see tears when people are upset, grieving or sad, but it’s not really due to the sadness itself. Crying has nothing to do with the negativity or positivity of an emotion; instead they indicate the strength of an emotion. Crying occurs whenever a person is overwhelmed by any powerful emotion, be it sadness or elation. In western society, tears are seen as shameful and “weak.” Why is that?

Most pregnant women report they become more emotional during pregnancy and shed tears at the drop of a hat. This hyper-emotionality continues during lactation, when a new mother is bonding with her infant. I believe the marination of a pregnant or lactating woman’s brain in a bath of female hormones accounts for this, and is nature’s way of ensuring a strong mother-child bond. It happened to me when I was pregnant and after giving birth, and I’m not much of a cryer under normal circumstances.

I’ve mentioned my friend Shannon before, who is one of the most mentally healthy people I’ve ever met. She is also one of the most loving and joyful. But she cries all the time, because she has a huge heart and feels everything from empathy to joy so deeply. Shannon is as strong a person as I’ve ever seen, not a weak bone in her body. (She also laughs a lot).

I think tears are regarded as weak because we instinctively know they lead to and indicate strong heart connections between human beings, and emotional connectedness with others and our need for communion with other people is becoming increasingly thought of as a weakness, even for women.

Here are some photos and gifs I found on Google that show how beautiful genuine emotional tears (not the narcissistic, manipulative kind!) can be.

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Manly tears.


More manly tears.

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Johnny Depp in “Crybaby”

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From the movie “Crybaby” starring Johnny Depp.

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And of course, there is this famous video: