Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Love and Closeness Challenge #26: Helped

The above radio interview with Gregg Braden is wonderful and insightful. It's long, but I listened to it while I cleaned my house and it's well worth listening to and reflecting on.
I believe that we are hard wired to cooperate. It is a basic human need to cooperate with one another because it is absolutely necessary for our survival. We need to help and be helped in big ways and in small ways.
There is a lot to say about the wonderful feelings that cooperation can give you. When you seek to work with someone you naturally feel warm and kind, affectionate feelings toward that person. This is the way that energy works.
It seems like competition is the way that things are had. It seems like it's a dog eat dog world and if you don't get yours while you can there won't be enough for you. It seems like there isn't enough and everyone has to beat another person or take it from them in order to gain. This is not the way that nature works however. Nature does have some species that have to compete with one another or with other species to survive. However, on the whole, the rule of nature and survival is cooperative, not competitive.  
One of the wonderful side effects that cooperation has when talked about in the context of marriage or partners, is it's effect on our bodies. When we cooperate with one another our bodies release the extemely important "trust and bonding" hormone known as oxytocin.
Oxytocin  may be responsible at least in part for romantic attraction and subsequent monogamous pair bonding. It evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security around the mate. Oxytocin may help promote fidelity within monogamous relationships.
Empathy in healthy males has been shown to be increased after intranasal oxytocin[42][43] This is most likely due to the effect of oxytocin in enhancing eye gaze. 
Bonding: In the prairie vole, oxytocin released into the brain of the female during sexual activity is important for forming a monogamous pair bond with her sexual partner. Vasopressin appears to have a similar effect in males.[55] Oxytocin has a role in social behaviors in many species, so it likely also does in humans.
Cooperation is a need and it's natural between human beings and in fact the majority of the animal kingdom. We know that when we cooperate with one another we release the chemical oxytocin into our bodies and this is very powerfully bonding. It helps people to form trust and intimacy. It also helps couples to remain faithful because it adds a feeling of desire to be loyal. These are all amazing reasons to seek to help the other. However, these are not the only reasons to seek to cooperate with others.
That's what loving relationships are based on people working together as a team to meet the same end. Even if that end is just to enjoy a date, have a great conversation or relax and watch a movie, there is still a spirit of synergy
Two things can't exist in the same place at the same time. I always think of this when thinking emotions, thoughts and states. In other words, you can't be competing with one another, quarreling or living in discord if you are seeking to cooperate. The two are diametrically opposed. Like oil and water, one displaces the other. If you are cooperating harmoniously, you can't possibly be a hindrance to one another. The two are opposites, where one exists the other disappears. 

Your challenge today is not an easy one. The idea comes from the book "If It Hurts, It Isn't Love: And 365 Other Principals To Heal And Transform Your Relationships"   
  • Chuck Spezzano Ph.D. It's a wonderful book, very insightful and I love the way that he breaks it down into easy to do exercises for each day of the year. The challenge that he poses and that I now challenge you to do is to think of the person who you feel most attacked by in your life. Think of that person right now and know that the only reason that they are attacking you is because they are fearful. Their attack is a request for your love. Remember what it's like to feel like you are afraid and like you want someone's love but feel like you don't have it. It's an awful feeling. 
  • Your part is to "move toward them". You do this by extending love in some way, calling them, hugging them, being there to listen etc. The point is of course, not to get anything in return, but to give love without expectations and this is so incredibly helpful to the person in fear. This is healing and by being an assistant in healing them you are cooperating with them on a soul level. 

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