If we look at some basic principles of Qi in Chinese Medicine, you see that the Qi (or energy) that makes the core of you, is a knot of all sorts of energy cords that come from many other places. It is like you are the central hub and a definition of the crossing points of all of the different energies that make you, you. Basically, you are made of a giant intermingling of energetic cords.
Now, if we take that idea forward, and think about our interactions, to have an interaction with someone, you are actually taking an energetic cord, and trying to energetically make a connection to them. This can be a positive thing, and it can go bad. But that is a story for another time. I have noticed for a very long time that I will see someone, and I feel connected to them. The only word I have for it is attracted to them. And I feel that this is where our language breaks down.
When I say attraction, I am not meaning sexual attraction. No matter what that person looks like, nor how I perceive and judge that appearance, this attraction has nothing to do with it. It is almost as if I can sense an aspect of who that person is. An aspect of their essence. And from that brief glimpse of who they are, I feel as if I know something about them, and that something seems to override any visual representation that I take in with my eyes.
This is something that I would like clarity on. And I would like to offer clarity in a place where neither our language, nor our culture is very clear.
There are several people I have met, mostly women, but also some men, transgender, pangender folks as well. And it took me a long time to figure out that this wasn’t a physical attraction. I am seeing that they are a person with whom I could connect. And when I can trust that connection, without judging it, I can find a soul with whom I can connect.
For example, my family and I were visiting some family-friends in London, England. We were having dinner, and we very briefly saw one of our friends that had simply been unavailable each time we had been there in the past. And when I saw her, I instantly felt that connection. This was initially confusing for me. She is a strong, intelligent and kind woman, and that is the sum of everything I would find attractive in a woman. But it was so clear to me that the attraction I felt was not about romance. The longer I thought on this, the idea came to mind, “Best Friend”. And that was actually a defining moment for me. I realized that this confusing pull that I have had, that seems to transcend people’s physical appearances, was an energetic connection giving me a clue about the people with whom I could be close to. To be able to trust, and be 100% authentic with. This was a feeling I was having that talked to people I could trust and truly find friendship in.
Our language supports very few kinds of relationships without paragraphs of explanation. Friend, Romantic, Enemy, None.
If we can look beyond this, we can see all of the various relationships here are: (Like my post about love)
The relationship with your dog.
The relationship with a respected peer.
The relationship with a well spoken professor.
The relationship with your son’s friend.
The relationship with your favorite Oak Tree
The overarching complicated relationship with your extended family.
There are so many I could list that are boldly different, and remarkably and subtly different from the above.
I often mock the creation of new words that can come out of modern culture, but I cannot dis-acknowledge the benefits of words like “Frenemy”. My kids use this all that time. And it is a single word that actually takes a very complicated relationship where you are mostly friends, but there is some competition between you, and you regularly have spats that seem quite mean, but when it comes down to it, you would defend that person as a friend…. This single word articulates a complicate relationship.
While we may not yet have the vernacular to describe the complexity of the 90 thousand potential relationships, we can start to acknowledge them. We can acknowledge, and even converse about the nuances of relationships, and how they are not always a relationship that must be Romantic if you are nice to each other but it is not quite friends.
By acknowledging these, we can start being clear with our intentions about those energy cords we send out in making connections with people.
It can become clear, and perhaps society can see, that if I, as a male, and teaching a female something, does not mean that there is romance even as an idea in the conversation.
Relationships can become more clear when we are transparent from the beginning that our intentions are to be a strong friendship, in a way that is NOT romantic. And if at some point, those intentions change, be honest about that too.
When we are talking about how to connect better with others, let us start, by being clear with ourselves.