Strict Motivation: essay 1701
the oppression of obsession and obsessive relationships
Definitions: Let’s start from the bottom, the roots, first and clarify that this month’s essay is not about possession, but obsession, and so I am perfectly clear where I draw that line a short definition first. I speak about possession, when an entity overrides the self-determination of another, from the outside inward. (usually with the goal to run the over-riders agenda on the receiver) I speak of obsession when an entity self-driven overrides their own best interest and self-determination to run someone else’s agenda; so obsession is like possession from the inside out. Just to be perfectly clear possession and obsession are not defining characteristics of a safe, sane, consensual nor a risk aware consensual kinky, ideally loving Dominant/submissive relationship.
In love vs obsession: Let’s start from the top of things next, and look at the catchy title, and debunk the myth that love has much – if anything – to do with it. Even though an obsessive person will believe that their obsession or obsessive relationship, in fact, was love, it is not, by definition. It will feel like love, it will be passionate, consuming, it will feel like being in love for the first time, it will have all the symptoms: sleepless nights, cannot stop thinking about the other, attachment, loss of appetite and/or episodes of binge eating , partially excessive daydreams, dream filled nights (partially with nightmares representing the fear of loss). There will be that element of idealizing and idolizing: hanging on every word they say, every gesture they do, that *”every breath you take I ‘ll be watching you”* Sting sung about, putting them on a pedestal, making them larger than life, drama and over-dramatizing even rather benign or everyday’s situations, everything is like life and death, exciting, thrilling to the point of being rather too much to take especially for bystanders, family, .close friends.
Obsession, as being in love is a roller-coaster ride of emotions raging to the extremes, with bouts of states that resemble depression an awful lot (by the way even biochemically) in times of separation, lack of input or feelings of being rejected and neglected – intermixed with euphoria, feeling like on a drug high, or almost manic episodes when the input is given or rather felt received. In a way, it looks from the outside like some sort of madness, but the person feeling it seems unable to detach from it and oneself enough and see things more realistically. It is not that they wear pink tainted glasses, they are like in a full body condom surrounding them head to toe 24/7 isolating them from the real world.
And despite these two states of being in love on the one hand and obsession on the other being very similar both for the onlooker as for the people feeling it, these two states are diametrical opposites and have nothing in common but the symptoms.
You may now be thinking: “Wait a minute, what? ‘Nothing else but the symptoms’, that implies automatically the two states are the same”. I will give you an example of what I mean, even though a rather graphic one. Most people know what a cramp feels like. No-one in their right mind would want to be in cramps. No-one would want the feelings of contracting muscles, of spasms, of making faces uncontrollably and noises that are more animal-like than human sounding. And yet those exact same symptoms are what many people are after when they get intimate, because, in fact, the sexual climax (orgasm) is nothing but a series of tensions leading to a gigantic cramp. So as you can see, the same symptoms may stem from diametral opposite roots, from an intense pain or pleasure in the latter example.
Tina Turner asked: “What’s love got to do with it?” and that is a very valid question. The answer is as simple as revealing and quite provocative. Nothing.
Love is an energy and a principle. Love is nurturing and sustaining all at once. When you love somebody, you are giving them your love, without expectation and without condition. That is why we say, love is unconditional. Love is not an “if this, then that” kind of deal. Love in its essence is being given, and the paradoxical truth is, that as you are giving love you are receiving that love. That is the magic of love. By giving love you are not only giving sustenance to the receiver, you are also sustaining yourself. You give and you receive the love. That is quite a magical thing if you think of it. The more love you give, the richer in the currency of love you will get. The more love you try to keep and retain, the poorer you will get in that very currency. The less love you give, the more hungry for love you will be, the more love you pour out, the more love you will receive. Love is basically always about the giving. to someone else.
Obsession is different from Love. Obsession is pretending to be all about the other, but in fact, it is not about giving freely and unconditionally, let alone selflessly. It is a selfish act, to make yourself feel better in the moment. When in the loop of obsession, we are addicted to giving not for the sake of the other. We are not releasing the energy we are giving. We are loving conditionally, with an agenda and an ulterior motive, and that motive is to feel better about ourselves. We don’t give freely, we give because we expect to receive something back. This may be a virtual thing (I want to be your best fan), this may be very palpable and real currency (you can’t leave me because I “love” you this much; you cannot go away because I need you)
Obsession, as much as it appears to be about the object of the obsession (which may be a thing or a person, or a state of mind/emotional state the same) is always about the one obsessing. It is never a worship of the object but in fact a kind of self or ego stroking. Obsessive relationships where both partners are obsessing about each other are not that uncommon. They tend to be drama filled, thrilling or antagonizing, and may be very volatile, because actually, all parties involved are focused on oneself egoistically (I want to feel loved, wanted, needed) while the narrative points in the opposite direction (I am doing it all for you!)
Obsession objectifies, and obsession deludes the one obsessing primary. They start to project their wishes and dreams, they idealize and idolize without any much sense of reality, and pretend that the object of their obsession is the answer and fulfilment of their hunger and dreams, when in fact, that is a powerful illusion, that digs the hole within deeper, and that creates a deeper pitch of hunger and despair. Obsession is creating more of the troubles that caused obsession in the first place. It doesn’t replenish the lost energy, it doesn’t sustain the giver of obsession nor the receiver of it. It is an energy borrowed out to be jerked back. Nothing is given freely, all is just lent and expected to be returned. To make the confusion perfect it is called ‘love’ when in fact it is controlling instead of setting free, very conditional, instead of being unconditional, selfish instead of selfless and about oneself not the other(s).
And that is what makes obsession so hard to break as well. Even when the object is removed, the void within is the same raging deficit. And because it actually never was about them, it was about myself, we can go on obsessing. We start building what if scenarios, digging the hole within deeper, and giving more space to the void suffocating any hope for getting over it. We hold onto straws that will never carry our weight, building the walls of the prison we put ourselves in higher still. We mistake our suffering as prove of how intense and real our feelings have been for the object, also in an attempt to manipulate the situation to our desired outcome, or to stroke our own ego (see how much I am suffering, because of you) We are rendering ourselves even more helpless, more dependent on input from outside, whether from the object itself or just as a mortgage and bond towards whoever else. This way we are setting ourselves up for more failing, and are overshadowing any possible down the road relationships from the get go. Obsession leaves us left and empty
As much, as this seems a non win situation with no solution, the solution isn’t that much utopian, let alone undo-able. It does require consistency of effort, which is similar to the process of recovery from substance abuse. The first step must be to admit to yourself, that yes, this is obsession not love and that you had allowed yourself growing dependent. Since you were the one who gave the permission you need now to have the strength to forbid yourself to continue this self harming and in that selfish course of action. Since it was all about you in the first place this is good news too, because you can change yourself and your own behavior much more easily than you can change the behavior of someone else or circumstance in general. Instead of wasting energy to worship a false idol you set up yourself, you need to start to grow the seed of love within. You need to focus on yourself. That is the extent of selfishness, that is needed. You need to cultivate a garden of love, trust, integrity and discipline within yourself, so you can harvest that independently from an outside source. Thus you become independent and autark Thus you start harvesting that very energy you were after: respect, and love, and you will have something great and valuable to offer. By giving the love you cultivated, and being the unique you, with your set of qualities and talents you will become more and more attractive. You will become empowered to give love freely, unconditionally, and thus finding what you were after all along. Love going right.
Obsession is a dead end road. It starts in a void and makes the void even greater. Obsession pretends to be about someone else, but is ultimately just a selfish and self-harming ongoing loop. It leads nowhere and is eventually destructive.
Obsession is a disaster to which only unconditional Love is the answer #StrictMotivation
Love is cultivated and grown within; given freely and unconditionally #StrictMotivation
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