Alternative relationship styles are not for everyone, and I believe in mutual respect and honor for that choice. How much of relationships influence and encompass my existence, and affect another person’s, is not absolute. There’s lots of different definitions and viewpoints that I’ve interacted with; the main constant is that once a person and I find some connection topic(s) or way(s) to bond, there is a mutual respect for our lifestyles and communication boundaries. Some people know all about my lifestyle choices, others know nothing, and vice versa, and I’m okay with these boundaries. I try to be open-minded, accepting, understanding, respectful and still hold to my beliefs and experiences. If there is too much disparity in our viewpoints, I try to practice being unattached to the future or past. I try to let the connection build or dissipate, change and shift in or out. It’s not that I don’t care or hope, it’s that relationships are one part of the life process and journey. It’s called a practice because there is still learning and growing to be done.
That said, I find creating a story and images to describe really complex thought trains to be very helpful and more clear than talking in detail and example using real life situations/people. I’ve read and heard lots of perspectives on alternative relationship structures, but metaphor is somewhat rare. I plan more writings on this world, and how it intersects and relates with the rest of the world of relationships, family, difficulties and blessings, but I have to start somewhere…
There’s a doorway from the traditional relationship world that looks different to each person. Most of the time that I’ve seen, the door tends to appear unassuming, harmless, just barely a little too big for one person to fit through. It begs the question of maybe more than one person is meant to walk through this door, sideways, at the same time. The door handle changes shape or existence depending on the person. For some it’s a swinging door like in a diner kitchen. It’s fun to just bounce through it, catching it on your butt and hearing the friendly pat or smack before it fits into the threshold. For others it’s a big, heavy brass handle like for an old church. It feels shockingly cold and is too big for the hand to grab but so beautiful, intricately carved and shiny it just begs to be touched. Then it feels so gratifying to be proudly holding with the thought, “yeah, I got this, I can handle this, my hand might be too small but I’m stronger than I look.” And for others it’s a hidden door that one must battle and cut through all sorts of brush to get to. They feel compelled to stubbornly follow their intuition and the little coded messages from Divine/Universe that the damned door really does exist. Still others just happen upon the door, happen to fall through, and happen to be caught in their fall by various strong, loving, happily smiling and open arms.
For me, the door was inviting, appeared cracked open and old with wear but had new coats of paint on it. It’s from the 60’s in the design and carvings, like it belongs in a backyard converted studio or a 2 story with full basement built by some hippie who dreams of some amazing village family that has foundational principles of peace, love, hugs and kisses, but after a decade or two wised up and now understands not everyone can be included in this wild and free love place. There was no handle on the door for me, which was disappointing as I was seeing other people get a handle. But, some influential part of me, we’ll call it my Soul, chose the path of needing a password to get in the door. I found that the password is never given to the person that found the door, the password is whispered and a kind of rite of passage; in books or in experience.
I first tried the experience route, which got me some really good lessons the hard way, but also left me with more questions and doubts than when I first saw the door. So I started over and tried again. I proclaimed my status of being at the door. I declared it rather loudly and bluntly to anyone willing to listen. Some were appalled by my straightforward honesty, some were (apparently cautiously) fascinated by my assertion, and some were welcoming, appreciative of my boldness, and grateful they weren’t the only one struggling to get in, echoing my sentiments immediately. At first I felt emboldened or steered in another direction, depending on the reactions. Then I realized this was just another part of the door. I found the books, I read and studied them, then I had some more experience, then read some more, then did some personal work, and repeat. Finally, I found that during this whole struggle, rest, look around, rinse and repeat cycle, that I was not only in the world of polyamory and alternative relationships, I had found the password(s). I rubbed my eyes, stood up in my own power and realized my position; I had created my alternative relationships, and, though I’m still learning constantly via mistakes and various forms of struggle, this world fits me well. Or I fit into this world well… Either way, I feel at home in all forms of alternative life- community living in a responsible and sustainable environment and fashion, acknowledging and celebrating as many ways of being and believing as there are people in the community, having relationship and connection to nurture and support each other and the planet, stimulate, challenge and encourage growth, and create and maintain the foundation and containers of human living such that we contribute to evolution as individuals and mass humanity.
The request of a description of how I view relationships and believe in alternative lifestyles is a main reason for this post. My hope is that I shed light on the beliefs I hold, providing clarity and a window into my thoughts and heart felt perspective. I’m human, I enjoy some of the hedonistic aspects of life as much as the next person. But the core of my choices and views are to live in happiness, let live in balance, and reach for liberated consciousness in the fullest ways possible. Sometimes this means intense struggle and difficulty in conflict, and sometimes this means blissful joy and smiling so much the face hurts, and everything in between. It’s all goodness and life.