The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Soulmate Process #3: Animal Instinct, Spiritual Yearnings

So I’d done the first step of the “Soulmate Process” and found a woman that was the closest to my perfect partner that I knew.  And actually had the chance to date her.  And blew it, despite being hugely open, loving, and honest.

What the heck happened?

Well, I found myself at a convention not long after that, and was grousing to myself.  I had friends there, but had no interest in having fun, or doing business.   I wanted to know WHAT HAD GONE WRONG?

What I decided was that I’d been married so long that I was a bit “out of the game.”  That I literally had forgotten things I needed to know to make that aspect of my life work.  I KNEW that once upon a time I’d known, even if it was “unconscious competence.”  So what I decided to do was pretend I was an anthropologist from Mars.  That I knew nothing at all about human relationships. To just sit back and watch the people pass me, and see if I saw something useful. 

So all day I sat in the lobby of the hotel, watching men and women, and especially women with men.   And after about six hours of this, a pattern began to emerge that boggled my mind.  I literally couldn’t believe what I saw, and I was seeing it again and again.

It was so politically incorrect, so counter-intuitive that it baffled me, but I saw it again and again.  And here it was:

The more beautiful the woman was, the more likely she was to be with a man who was, apparently, ignoring her.

What the #$@@?   My mind blanked out and revolted. This couldn’t be true!

Could it?

So I kept watching, and it was just true, so far as I could determine.  Moderately attractive or average women were often with guys who were all over them.  But the gorgeous ones?  They were with guys who seemed both intense and relaxed, who kept their attention straight ahead most of the time.

This led me to asking: IF this was true, what could it mean?   How could I justify this belief with my other knowledge of human behavior?

And one thing I demanded of myself: what if this was not something dysfunctional.  Not about “insecurity” or “broken people”.  What if there was simply some aspect of our animal, human, or spiritual nature…something about our minds or hearts that is difficult to see because we are INSIDE the system.

I went to my room and sat.  Just sat.  By myself.  Told myself that I wasn’t coming out until I had the answer.   I could feel that it was bubbling, percolating just out of sight of my conscious mind.

What if these men and women were healthy?  What if it wasn’t a toxic behavior? What in the hell was I looking at?

And could this have anything to do with what had happened with “Carol”?

And suddenly, after about four solid hours of thinking about this apparent paradox, something occurred to me, and it was one of those “ah-hah” moments that will blow your mind and change your life.


Here it is.  What hit me was that there are two basic types of animals: carnivores and herbavores.   Carnivores have their eyes mounted in front, to lock on prey.  Herbivores have their eyes mounted on the side, to search for predators.

Now, then.  What is beauty?   In general, in my values,  it is health, fitness, self-possession, dynamism, energy, playfulness, all of that rolled together.   And while SOME of that is “natural” much of the presentation is a matter of technology: makeup, dress, movement, psychology, diet, exercise.  Focus.  Intelligence and aesthetics  applied to the artistic presentation of YOUR characteristics.  I’ve met very, very few people who could not be beautiful by some set of standards, to some group of people, if they decided to do so.

So…what if I looked at the women I (and I think the majority of people) considered “beautiful” as lionesses.  They possess themselves.  They know their value.  They are dynamic and aware.  Heck, that certainly described “Carol” to a “T”.    And what does a lioness look for in a mate?

Wait for it…

She’s looking for a lion.  That’s it.   She is looking for a mate.  Someone with his eyes mounted in front.   Now, then, by this standard, what was I seeing?  I was seeing hunting pairs, that’s what.    The male’s attention wasn’t on her.  It was scanning the environment.   Among predators, if your attention is directly upon them, it is a challenge…or predation.     If I was putting too much attention directly upon her, I was either a predator seeking to hurt her…or an herbivore terrified of her.  And in either case, I simply wasn’t hitting the “buttons” that said “potential mate.”

In fact, the way I was being so open and expressive, I was coming across as either

1) An Apex predator, someone looking to hurt her, or
2) A leaf-eater.  Someone she would chew up and spit out, without meaning to.

I had played my hand exactly wrong. A woman at her level of beauty and sensuality attracts men by the boat-load.   She would be used to games, a slow unfoldment.  You put down a card, I put down a card.  Until, over time, the entire deck is known to both.  I’d just dropped my “deck” face up on the table.

Her only safe bet was that I was lying.  It simply wouldn’t have made sense for her to assume I was being straight-forward.  It just isn’t that kind of world.

So…if this was healthy (and I was assuming it was) there was a question-answer going on between men and women.  The question was, in essence: “who are you?  Where are you going?  If I partner with you, will you take me somewhere I want to go?”

I’m quite sure that those strong, confident males with those strong, confident women gave those ladies, in private, all the attention they could desire.  But in public?  They were a hunting pair, with their focus ON WHERE THEY WERE GOING, not each other.

(The expression that “love is two people looking at each other, but a relationship is two people looking in the same direction” ties right into this.)

Holy crap.  I could feel the insight slipping away from me, even though once I saw it, even though I couldn’t NOT see it…at the moment.  My mind didn’t want to hold onto it, and I knew what I needed was a practical experiment to see what I could do with the theory.

So I   decided to see if I could attract, from cold, the most beautiful woman at the convention.    I searched for the next hour, and finally saw an absolutely stunning woman.  Two men were trying to chat her up.  And I said “perfect opportunity.”

Now, it happened that the more “alpha-attractive”  of the men had been at a presentation I’d given earlier, and I could engage with him.  The three were arranged in a roughly triangular pattern.   I ignored the “beta” guy, and positioned myself between the lady and the alpha, with my back to her.   I talked to him about some ideas I’d been sharing earlier, then after about three minutes turned to the lady and said “You are VERY attractive,” and then turned my back again.

The effect…was startling.   Let’s just say that for the rest of the convention, if I’d been Mick Jagger she couldn’t have been more intrigued.   Or attracted.  And I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was one of the best conventions I’ve ever attended.  Ahem.

I’d stumbled onto something.  Some combination of confidence, attention, and self-possession that seemed, in that case, irresistible.  But I had to test it further.   I had a date coming up with a lady I’d never been intimate with, and let’s just say we crossed that threshold with dizzying speed.   Focus and balance.

Over the next weeks I refined that same perspective with dizzying success.  
Warning: Because the following involves publicly known history, I have to be a bit more oblique.   I had a conference coming up at Clark Atlanta University.  Let’s just say that the same “Relaxed-Attention” technique worked three separate times: one on a waitress at a restaurant WHILE I was sitting with another woman, and once with a woman who was writing me erotic love poems within a half hour of meeting me.  

I went to my room that night stunned.   I’d never experienced anything like this in my entire life.  It was clear that I’d touched an energetic position that was beyond technique, in which I had somehow, in some way I didn’t totally understand, become capable of attracting any woman I focused on.  It was extremely  disorienting,  and the doors of hell were swinging open.

Why?  Because I saw that I could be an absolute dog, if I wanted that.  Insecurity about food can make people gorge when food is available.  The same thing can be true about sex.   There was still enough left-over insecurity from my earlier life that I could see myself becoming a rather unpleasant person.  A “bounder” shall we say.   Note an earlier comment about magic.  It is possible to have the ability to manifest anything that you want, by the simple expedient of training yourself not to want anything you cannot manifest.

In that same way, clearly I’m not saying “I could attract anyone in the world.”   No.  I’m saying that somehow I had reached a point where the circle of “what can I attract?” and “what am I attracted to?” overlapped.  So far as I can say, they overlapped totally.  And that means that, PRACTICALLY, it was the same as being able to attract anyone.

All my life, I’d had the typical male interest in limitless ladies.   Having anything I wanted, whenever I wanted.  And faced with the reality, it repelled me.  I didn’t want that.

Clearly, the desire had related to a sense of lack.  “I can’t attract these attractive ladies.  I want that.   I am possessed by my desires, and they drive my fantasies and goals.”

But the instant it became clear that I HAD the capacity, that there was no lack at all, I was free to evolve to another level of The Game.   And guess what? Under the lack-driven adolescent motivations…

I didn’t want games.  Didn’t want “conquests.”  Didn’t care about seduction or anything else. 
What I wanted was a partner.  Someone to share my life with.  Someone I could be MYSELF with, with total honesty.  Remember “Talking to the Tree”?  The masks we wear are constructed from energy we could otherwise invest in moving our lives forward.  Those masks are heavy, and costly.    Drop them, and you can “unravel” the mask and invest your energy in your life.

I called my daughter, checking in with her as I did whenever I was away from home.   And my first wife.  Although our relationship was ruptured, I loved her, and still love her dearly to this day.  We always had such a wonderful friendship, partnership. She is simply a terrific human being, but what we wanted from life was sufficiently different that we could no longer “walk in the same direction.”  We’d always had such connection, and in talking to her on the phone, I realized it would be a betrayal of the wonderful years we’d spent together to “settle” for less than that same level of harmony and connectedness.

After I got off the phone, I felt like I was in a different place in my life, a place I’d never known. I knew who I was, and what I wanted—a perfect partner.  A soul mate.  And I knew, and I mean KNEW, that I could have it.

All it takes to get everything you want, is everything you’ve got.

I dropped to my knees in that room and started praying. “God,” I said.  “I’ll do whatever you want.   And if what you want is for me to be alone for the rest of my life, that’s what I’ll do.  Because I will not settle, or do less than the best I can do, or be other than I really am, ever again, for the rest of my life.  Period.”  Tears streaming down my face, I picked myself up, and went to bed.

And as you can probably guess, the very next morning I met Tananarive.

More, very soon


Anonymous said...

So I have been reading your daily posts for a couple years now, and I have to say you hit the nail on the head with this one.

From a woman's point of view, I always describe it as "women are not attracted to 'nice' guys, because we want a guy that will go out there and be tough and protect us and be able to go out and get things in life". Not worry about being "nice" to everyone.

And its true.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

But of course, someone who knows how to direct that type of energy...

Miss Monkey said...

I could not have read your blog at a more perfect time in my life. It's funny, I've been getting your blogs for a few years now but I haven't always read them all because I don't always log into my computer. I get so much junk mail that reading anything is just luck of the draw since eventually I just end up deleting them all. It just so happens I just started a new job and they had hooked up my email(s) to my account and here is THIS blog.

I am now at the earlier stages of where you were in these blogs. I've had enough, I am no longer willing to settle for mediocre in my relationships and I'm ready for the One, the Soulmate, the bestfriend I am to spend the rest of my life with. I've been dating almost all my life and I'm willing to do whatever it takes because I can no longer settle for less than I want, and yes, I am willing to be alone and find myself to get it. And yes, if it just so happens that I'm alone for the rest of my life, so be it. I've even been saying lately to friends "You know how when the student is ready, the teacher will appear? well, when the lover is ready, the lover will appear!" Yes, I said that over lunch yesterday. It made me smile reading something similar in your blog. ;) I just figured I have a lot of work to do. I have myself to find and really, isn't that a gift enough on it's own? Self-love. I don't think most people ever take the time in their lives to ever really find themselves. And I'm willing to do that, dig deep and heal my inner child....and only then will I be ready. I have been coming home lately with the most intense solar chakra pain (yes, it's deep) and I've been meditating on them. I have to. It's time. If I don't deal with my pain now, when will I? I figure the only reason that the lover isn't here yet is I mustn't be ready, right? So let's get to work! ;)

The last part of your blog made my eyes watery. When you were in your room in tears talking to God, YOU KNEW. And from reading that, I KNOW that if you can get there, so can I. Love isn't impossible, it just takes a lot of faith.... And if anything, this blog gives me a lot of hope and for now, I KNOW what I have to do. God will be with me on that journey, and I am here to ask for guidance and look for little signs (such as your blog) on my way there. I'm extremely happy for you Steve, and you know what? One day I too will have my Tananarive ;)