Recently I have been contemplating exercises of abolishing the segregation that comes with what some would label “couple privilege”; as well of empowered ways to cultivate Compersion – on ones own terms.
To start, What is Compersion? In layman’s terms:
“The feeling of joy associated with when a loved one connects/loves/shares pleasure/is playful with another”
First and foremost for those who struggle with cultivating Compersion. You are the majority, and it is totally normal to feel both Jealousy and Compersion all at once; they are not mutually exclusive and may never be.
For instance, it is quite possible that I personally may always feel jealousy (and man oh man on occasion do I ever) within my core partnership and any of my relationships (even the platonic ones!) – but to sit down and give voice to the jealousy that stews inside, releasing it to other perspective/s, acknowledging it, dissecting it to it’s root, learning from it and then moving on is one of the most important routes to Compersion that there is.
So I am working on activities/exercises on how to personally gather compersion. Some of them are simple and solitary, and some of them involve another’s presence.
Example of one I found helpful:
In the presence of my Core Partner I sat beside him, asked for a piece of paper; then side by side and unbeknownst to him I began to handwrite a sentence or three on each connection he has made during our time together.
These sentences described why I was grateful he had met and connected with each of them individually – I will admit that with writing one or two of them it was not easy -as with any alternative relationship structure- there is generally a certain amount of unskillfulness; which yes caused wounding on both parts. That being said I was able to find something to be grateful for even with those of whom had left a bad taste in my mouth; and those who didn’t? I gained a further appreciation for.
Once done, I turned to my partner and gifted him the writings. A tangible gift that could be revisited; one laden and crafted with love and acceptance, one that I had hoped would release some of the culturally instilled guilt and shame on his part; and also ended up helping me gain a deeper understanding of universal love, a courage for expressing my personal boundaries and a diminishing of the former perception of what I may have once (and may once again) see as a “Threat”.
I believe this brought not just us closer together but the community of which we are in attempts to nourish.
Second Caveat: Just a note to remember for those that desire their partner/s to have more Compersion, the matching component to compersion is compassion.
Person #1: I feel joy that you connected with person #3, I love you
Person #2: I am grateful for your expression and know it’s sometimes not easy for you when I connect with others, I love you.
(meanwhile person #3 is stoked not to be the target of any conflict or guilt)
AND also here is another short example of a practice surrounding personal recognition and appreciation of Non Primary Connections.
Shortly after the Love School in Oakland I chose on my own accord to write a Haiku to each of my non primary lovers that I had made connections with within the duration of my Core Partnership – These – for the sake of the intention of the practice- were not addressed to “One night Stands” or strictly carnal endeavours (so with respect personally this made my list a fair amount shorter than it would have been if I would have included the “others”) – these were address to those of whom I have constructed a tender friendship with and continue to savour said friendship (regardless if it continues to be physical or not).
Haikus are interesting ways of elucidation; I find given my tendency to write and write and write that they provided me a simple short to the point structure of which to focus a – if even in that moment of time – way of expression and that in its self is rather cathartic and beautiful. Minimalisticness at it’s best.
Once I posted these to my blog I was able to read and reflect on how special these people are and how grateful I am for their unique presence in my life. I have not even showed these to them or anyone else, save the few people that follow my blog. The reason for this is because it’s not about ME getting recognition via my writings – it’s about me personally acknowledging them.
This provided a greater appreciation not just for the people of whom I wrote about, but for each the sublime individual that we all are. Each a exceptional anomalous gift to the world and to each other – in whatever the context.
SO theres my share for the day, a wee bit of perspective in to my mind and hearts work. Perhaps you have a practice to share as well?