The Adoration Principle...
Have you ever been adored?
Have you ever adored?
There is really nothing quite like it. In fact, I am coming to believe that it is what is present in the best relationships, the lasting ones. A mutual adoration that allows for time and stress and busy lives to leave no lasting scar on the relationship. This adoration survives all that. When you adore someone, you give them grace. The irritating things you do are somehow ok. The fear you feel about losing them is ok because regardless of how it all turns out, you adore them and that changes nothing in the end.
It takes a very strong and evolved person to adore. There is a lot in adoring because it isn’t something you can fake, you either feel it or you don’t. Adoration requires, demands in fact, authenticity. It demands that you are real, and love the other person, flaws and all. There is space in adoration for flaws, character defects, and the like because you see the whole person. Not just your version of them. You see them in their essence and that is wonderful, not scary or threatening or boring. They are them, you see them and get them and the feeling that comes up is that them being them is adorable.
I am not sure how many times in my life I have been adored. I know I haven’t spent all that much time adoring someone else. Which makes me sad on both fronts. But it is the truth. I have more likely adored more often than I care to admit right now. Safer to relegate those unresolved adorations to a misguided attempt at love, rather than call them out as true adoration.
I know that I wasn’t capable of adoring for a long time. I am not sure I ever really even acquired the skill before I had kids. I am sure that they are the first people I adored. Well, I adore my mom so I am pretty sure she was the first. Next was certainly my son, then my daughter. These three were my teachers in adoration and the feeling was mutual. These three primary relationships were where I learned how to adore, and be adored. And that is where I learned that mutual adoration is something that stands the test of time, that fills you up like nothing else and is a key ingredient in a lasting loving relationship.
Adoration is the supportive thread that sustains relationships over time. If you adore someone, and they you, you can withstand the petty jealousies, hurts and injustices that are part and parcel to every relationship.
The opposite of adoration is contempt. And contempt in thought, word or action kills adoration, strangles it while it sleeps and chokes it out until it is gone. I unfortunately have had this experience also.
I am pretty sure (I need more time to inventory my relationship heap to be sure) that I have only really had one sexual relationship where the adoration principle was operative in both directions: giving and receiving. And I will tell you there has never been a time in my life where I felt more alive, loved, cared for and present. And looking back, I know exactly when it ended. And then I spent the next few YEARS trying to get it back. But contempt entered and ruined everything. First him, then me. And though we didn’t know it at the time, contempt will always kill adoration, every single fucking time.
Of course I am talking about Lane again. Believe me, I so wish that I had someone else to talk about but where love and adoration is concerned, he is my gold standard...even though the last few go rounds with him were not really loving or adoring. It is really my only mutual experience with adult relationship adoration so it is where I have to go...
When I met him it was instant. There was this incessant desire to love him and adore him. And he was right there with me. We just adored each other. We showed up for each other, we loved each other. And all our grosser handicaps were made cute, endearing or even amusing because of the adoration principle. We had the beginning of this amazing love story because of the adoration principle. All our icy issues and traumas were assimilated into what became us because of adoration. None of it was threatening because we adored each other.
But for whatever reason, one day, literally I mean one day, he felt contempt towards me. It was about my son and how entangled I was in that relationship. I was struggling to keep my head above water, dealing with a child whose issues were too much and I was foundering. Instead of feeling adoration, contempt came to rest instead. And that was really the end of that. Now I didn’t know that at the time, I felt like adoration could and would kick contempt’s ass and we would return to the loving couple who was so very much in love. Sadly, as you all are now painfully aware, that did not happen.
Contempt took over and while adoration made some cameo appearances in the years that followed, we continued to try to make us work, but adoration cannot live in contempt’s shadow. Not ever.
But I didn’t know that then. I being barely acquainted with adoration, was ignorant and unsure about all of the above. I had to survive that relationship, and its many endings in order to get the lesson that adoration is pervasive and amazing. But fragile. Once contempt enters the building, adoration’s tenderness is pretty much decimated. And it doesn’t take much contempt to kill adoration.
It appears to me that each partner bears the burden and responsibility to work on keeping contempt out of the relationship. That regardless of whether the relationship lasts or is fleeting, if one can keep contempt at bay, then adoration does its thing and makes love possible. It just takes one person to falter and then the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.
This is not just my opinion, it is based on scientific exploration and research. Studies have been done for couples that enter counseling for marital or relational issues...and what they have found is that the couples who come to deal with some issues who lack contempt, tend to make it. But the couples where one or both parties holds contempt for the other, those relationships end...often badly and very painfully.
It makes me feel so insecure that love is so tenuous. So easily quashed and smashed to bits. But this is my experience. It is my duty to keep contempt out of my loving relationships because once it enters, it takes over and kills off adoration with each contemptible thought and then action that I take.
There is no better feeling in the world than being adored. Seen for who you are and loved for that, with all your flaws. And there is no more priceless gift than loving someone with complete adoration. Ask anyone who has ever been adored. They will tell you. It is a high that is better than any drug out there. Nothing can top it really.
And that has become my baseline. I didn’t intend it to be this way. But once you are lucky enough to experience being adored and adoring back, it changes you. And whatever bullshit stuff you were doing in relationships before, becomes unsatisfactory. If it isn’t mutual adoration, then it really isn’t worth the time or effort.
My journey has taken me on this path where I finally was able to love someone with all that I had. And he loved me back. Adored me as much as he could for as long as he could. But then contempt had to come and ruin everything, until it was all that we had left.
This whole experience changed me, many times over. And I remain extremely grateful for the lesson. Grateful to have had the experience of the adoration principle being operative in my life. I am forever a better person for it and know now that it is so much better than how I have done relationship before or since.
So I guess I am calling myself out here, demanding that I be more honest about my efforts at adoration. That I insist that I not remain or even enter anything that smacks of less than adoration. Because anything less than that is a con. Anything less than that is just another go round with contempt leading the fray. And I cannot stress this enough, I have had enough of that to last me a lifetime.
The adoration principle holds me in check to a higher standard for my life. If I am not adoring, then I do not belong in that relationship. And if the person I am with doesn’t adore me back, then again I have no place in that relationship. And it doesn’t have to be a big drama or need to make the other person sick or wrong or bad. They are just not capable, or maybe it is me, that is just not capable of adoring. Either way, the result is the same.
But I know the difference now, and as much as sometimes I wish that I didn’t, I do. And I know that living in close relationship with others without adoration just isn’t sustainable for me. It never really was. And my belief that it was just another way contempt has hidden in plain sight and worked to undo all that I have worked so hard to build.
And the growth here is that I have come to adore myself. Not in a narcissistic way where I think I am all that great. I am not. And I am. All at the same time. And because I have this feeling of adoring myself, I cannot exist for long with someone who isn’t capable or willing to practice the adoration principle. Adore me and let me adore you, or we need to go our separate ways...it really isn’t complicated at all. Easy no, complicated not even a little bit.
It takes a great amount of self worth to adore. You have to be ok in your own skin, able to sit with who and what you are, the good, the bad, the ugly and find that all of it is worth loving anyway, even in the face of contempt. For me, adoration doesn’t wilt in the shadow of contempt so long as I do the work to honor and trust that adoration is always the way to go, and if it feels like it isn’t, then I have some work to do. It may be that I need to let go, I may need to move on, I may need to have a hard conversation, but in the end, I must honor the truest thing I know...that I must operate in my own life, about myself, to myself and with myself in a way and manner that supports and brings fresh experience to the principle of adoration. For me, for you, for all. Anything less tarnishes love and turns it sour.
And for me, today, life is way too short to live one more second feeding the sour seeds of living. I want the sweet life, and I have it because I have worked so hard to find a way to love me, flaws and all. To arrive at a place in my life where contempt, that awesome and behemoth emotion, shrinks in adoration’s loving gaze and extinguished and banished forever.
To me, this is the truest meaning of walking hand in hand with the spirit of the universe...and I finally not only know it, I can feel it...in every fiber of my body, mind and spirit. And because of that I can take action to ensure that my life, all of my life is lived honoring, practicing and honing the adoration principle, one day at a time...