Aikido, Gestalt, and Valentine’s Day

Warning: The following post uses gender-specific concepts like him and her. As a nod to those who may be offended by the premise that there are males and females the author has used italics to support their fragile psyches.


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As we approach that festive time of year when the emotional expectations of one half of the population zooms past the perceptual limits of the other half’s reality (which on a good day is bucking for Energy Star™ certification) we have to ask ourselves, “Self, what is my role in this turgid universe of emotion? How do I both adjust my expectations (on one side of this binary equation) and exceed them (on the other side)?” (This assumes you have a binary identity and that binary identity understands how to parse the question in a way that supports a unified answer.) This is why we need to approach the festivities with a Gestalt approach to reality. That the duality is actually a unity and any expectation of “delivering the goods” on this upcoming St. Valentine’s Day is, frankly, a clue to go get some professional help.

For those of you few who are still with me, let me first address those whose effulgent expectations might need sunglasses.

  1. Regardless of his age he is still learning that there is more than one person in the room.
  2. Regardless of how long you’ve been together, he needs to be reminded of the previous point (above) upon waking. (Note: Coffee and a hot shower helps him grok the gestalt of duality faster but if you give him too much time you risk his being lost to the demons of the “to do” list. Practically speaking this gives you a window of about 12 seconds before the full effects of the caffeine and the body wash have restored his sense of singularity. Ideally, you’re there to hand him the towel, while pulling the coffee cup out of his reach.)
  3. If you’ve achieved Satori you’ve realized that a sudden acceleration or deceleration in decibel levels does not support the achievement of Satori in him.
  4. As in Aikido, you must find a way to unify the forces between you and him and “become” one. (See also: Aikido.)
  5. You must have the mental and emotional fluidity to find the “lever” that will help him “see” that there is more than one person in the relationship and that it is to his benefit if he is standing anywhere near a heavy blunt object, thus creating an emotional “win/win” situation.

Now let us swivel and address those who have learned to don the polarized sunglasses of detachment and live in the fun house of mirrors called, the Fortress of Solitude. (Don’t worry, I’ll use short words, dude.)

  1. That blinding light and clanging gong in front of you is another person. They do exist; and no, they are not tools. Nor are they the enemy.
  2. Applying a little Noise Canceling to the ego may help you just make out, “Do you even hear what I am saying?” coming from that other person (stay with me) standing in front of you. (Again; they are not the enemy.) This is the first step toward “sublimation.” (See #5 below.)
  3. Just because you’ve acknowledged her existence in the past doesn’t mean (focus on my voice) you’ve achieved the philosophical goal posts of a “quantum of unity” with her. (Note: As cool as it sounds, quantum is not a word you want to use in relation to her. The chase for the sub-atomic is not a concept that applies to the duality of relationships and is used here only in a negative sense and should not, by any means, be thrown out in the heat of an argument.)
  4. If you’re one of the few, the proud, the sensitive you’ve begun to realize that making two cups of coffee in the morning is better than one, and building a shower big enough for you and her might help this process of integration along. (This is both practical and metaphorical.)
  5. Freud said that sublimation is a sign of maturity and civility. Paul wrote, “husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it…” (Ephesians 5:28,29) It’s hard to argue with both Freud and the Apostle Paul, so don’t even bother and just go buy the flowers and chocolates.

In the immortal words of Stan Lee, “’nuff said!’