How to be loveable
Posted by xsplat on August 16, 2013
From a previous post:
Be loveable. That means that inside your mind is a good place to be. It means that you have real love to give. It means that you are playful and funny, are good at reparte, have a well developed sexuality, are a driven artist, enjoy sensuality of all sorts, are emotionally available, empathetic, giving, all around fun to be around, are an unstoppable sun of love, and the man who deserves to be giving directions. Be able to look an attractive woman in the eye and get completely stoned on the electric spark between the two of you. Be capable of meditation on the form of beauty.
Tom White asks:
This is probably where most fall down. I know I do. Explaining how to become this sort of person would help many men (myself included, obviously).
I’ll give a reply my best effort, but forgive me if I wind up blowing smoke rings out of my ass. You’ve asked a big question, and I’m not sure I can wrap my head around even the question, let alone answer it.
Ok, how to be lovable.
I think we are lovable on many levels. My background is in Buddhist training, so of course my perspective is informed by that history. Buddhists talk on and on about maitri, or loving kindness to oneself. There are meditation practices meant to increase it, and even just sitting quietly on a cushion should do so – you have not much option but to make friends with yourself when there is little distraction. Over time you manage to not run from your own demons and to accept your hidden corners. You’re full of foibles, and can afford a little sense of humor and humility about it, and even some acceptance. It’s not a reason for sloth, but we can try again after we fail, and not spend too much time beating ourselves up. Just enough to get the job done.
In the Buddhist tradition from that sort of folksy attitude of hanging out as a good buddy with your self, you learn a little compassion and forgiveness and empathy for the other fools.
But Buddhist practices have other means to build up a more powerful type of love. As do many other traditions. If you focus on your heart chakra you can willfully create a sweet warmth there. So you learn, through kinesthetic bio-feedback to create an emotion. The emotion might be said to be love. It’s measurable too – something about vagal tone. You can hook up wires somewhere and measure it. It’s a HUGE life enhancement to be able to generate this warm feeling. Buddhists call it precious Bodicitta – which translates as both awakened-heart/mind, and compassion. It really is very worthwhile to do, and can become somewhat of a chi-kung muscle memory you can turn on at will. I suppose it must have effects similar to ecstacy (never tried it) in that it increases a sense of union and openness and inter-connectedness and peace and contentedness and being safe and loved and loving.
And then there is the question of what is the self, anyway. This is a useful and interesting question, because if you love your SELF, what is it? If you love others, you also need to know what a self is.
Well, subjectively we can focus on things, and sometimes in that focus we lose track of the narrative, and so get lost in various flow moments or immersed in perceptions – be they outward or inward. The self fluidly flows into different contexts. Being fluid like this is very helpful socially and for loveability. Being stuck in the narrative of self gets in the way of appreciating the moment, or new perspectives. Sometimes we just want to stare at an abstract painting and immerse ourselves in the colors and BE the experience. Sometimes we want to role play like children. Sometimes we want to listen to the fan and let thoughts drop off as we drift into quiet, stable, lucid semi-sleep. A fluid self that can shift focus and is not bound by the narrative will free up a lot of creative energy and playfullness, and allow a person to step outside of himself more. That’s very helpful for loving others, and even for accepting ones inner shadow selves and unexplored corners.
Along with fluidity it helps to have stability. The principle is always generally to “unify the mind”. So instead of having several shards of a shattered mirror, there are unifying themes and frameworks of understanding. You transcend and include the various parts of yourself into a workable patchwork whole. You both have and can modulate emotions – neither perspective is primary and both are you. You are both the dreamer and the receiver of dream imagery. And the note taker. And so on.
Concentration is said to lead to vipassana, or spacial awareness, or insight, or this bigger picture organization of many pieces of information into a coherent awareness.
Actually, much of the information remains unconscious, and fed to the consciousness by unconscious processes.
But it still learns to hang together coherently. In a friendly and cohesive way.
Internal contradictions are noticed – especially logical ones. If you really want to be friends with yourself you don’t want to have conflicting views. That’s a type of inner war.
Rather than overwhelm parts of yourself with God and Country and Principles, it’s easier to just be sensible and seek truth.
The best definition for truth that I can come up with is: “holding as many facts together as possible coherently”.
The more coherence, the more truth, and the more facts, the more truth. Copernicus had to take into account the orbit of Venus to come up with the sun in the center of the planetary system. Einstein had to take into account weirder things. And so on.
So along with flexibility of mind and the ability to shift focus and to step outside of narrative comes an ability to organize a big picture view and see many perspectives at once.
This helps social intelligence, and gives you the right to direct conversations, which is another way of saying direct the attention of other minds.
Because you (at least try) to see a big picture and understand the world as broadly and coherently as possible, and because you aren’t fixated in just your own little story line all the time, and because you’re basically friendly and cheerful and get along with yourself, you can direct the conversation and moods in a way that make people also participate in this engaged attention – you bring out their stories, their interests, in ways that make them feel good about themselves. In ways that you learn from. In ways that benefit you. And them.
For instance, my buddy brought his date into my room, allowing me to flirt with her and generally for us all to hang. One tried and true routine I have for enjoying peoples company is to ask for stories. It eventually came out that her father spent some time in jail, and was a philanderer. So I congratulated her on telling an interesting tale (being boring is a crime), and spun it to her that her father must have also given her some useful characteristics – such as that at least she learned to not trust authority and to think for herself, and that she was adventurous. Then I asked her to tell me some good things about her father.
So she got to both tell a heartfelt secret tale as well as feel good about her history. This made us closer. I learned about her and the world, and made us all feel better.
That’s the folksy attitude that comes from accepting yourself on the meditation cushion, and being mindful, and not stuck in one corner of the narrative.
Tricky to explain. I suppose much of that dialogue with the girl must simply have come from long experience in sales asking girls for their stories, too. You grow a talent for timing and directing the individual and the crowd.
But the basic attitude of making the best of the situation, with an allegiance to truth, and a passion for being involved, seems an outgrowth of meditative practices.
Ya, I’m afraid that’s the best I’m going to come up with for now. Would appreciate other thoughts.
Oh, here would be a good place to paste in a useful comment by UCB
On being loveable:
For me, this came about as part of a conscious desire to let go of my desire to control my emotional expression. Many men, especially in the west, are socially conditioned to repress their strongest emotions. I won’t get into why that is, as it’s largely irrelevant; just know that it definitely hurts how women and much of the rest of the world perceive you. At one point in my life, when I was going through a particularly tough time, I just gave up trying to hide how hurt I was. One minute I’d be extremely happy and the life of the party, an hour later I’d be angry or crying and kicking everyone out of my house. This went on for a few months, then seemingly out of nowhere I suddenly found myself surrounded by women who were wanting to help. Admittedly, they weren’t particularly high quality women, but there were many times more of them around than I would have expected.
Over the years, as my life situation improved, so did the quality of the emotions that I was expressing. And since I’d taken the filters off and left them off for years, my ability to express these more positive emotions had increased dramatically as well. So I guess the secret is to stop hiding from yourself and learn to embrace ALL of your emotions, even the darker ones. Practice letting all of your personality shine through, even the parts you’d wish for others to not really see. Once exposed to your darker nature, you’ll naturally want to improve from this position, and you’ll establish a process for actually working through your darker moods rather than repressing them. Then work on improving your life, especially in the areas of creating and giving value to others. It may take some time, but eventually you’ll emerge as a more positive, fully expressed man. At least, that’s how it seemed to work out for me.
You should understand though, it’s not like any of us feel the way that xsplat describes ALL of the time. If you read his earlier work, and his occasional musings about women and their amorality, you’ll see a lot of anger and dissatisfaction shining through as well. I think that’s natural, healthy, and expected. Even with that though, you may be surprised at how well women respond to a man who fully expresses even the worst parts of himself.