It seems that the current situation with the corona virus calls for endless reflections.
Maybe it is the inwards direction of the attention that makes this possible, which, I think, it is a marvellous opportunity for reset, redirection and realignment.
I have been reflecting a lot on relationships and their dynamics.
By relationships here I mean anything that we are making contact with. Whatever we define ourselves as, sooner or later we make contact with something outside of us and that we call external world, be that things, people, the universe.
In that contact we most certainly are impacted and impact the 'object', lets call it. Think, for instance, when you touch the water; what happens is that the water moves absorbing the vibration of our touch and similarly the same touch has an impact on us; we feel warm and cold, pleasant or unpleasant, we can even have a trigger of a previously recorded memory that is somehow associated with that sensation or feeling.
The same thing, but less visible happens with solid objects, such as a rock; we still make contact and 'exchange information' but it happens in a less obvious way.
What a wonderful bounce of sensations life is!
We are constantly making contact with so many things, consciously or unconsciously, (seeing, sensing, touching, hearing etc) so imagine the continuous interactive game that we play with the world.
Sometimes the experiences are pleasant, other times unpleasant. Sometimes we do not know how it is going to be and, yet, we long for that experience, that of a new contact, to 'feel' another.
In the case of objects the contact is slightly easier as we only need to respect the qualities of the object in order to be able to make contact. For example, if we want to wash our hands, then we need to choose a tolerable temperature of the water as very hot water will only allow us to make instant contact and not to complete our desire.
When it comes to human to human contact, then things become a bit more complicated as the other 'thing' that we long for or 'have to' come in contact with have a more complicated structure of functions and qualities. For example we know that a child can not hit us really hard as they do not possess such strength (as yet), so we have an idea on what to expect in regards to that.
Living closely together, inevitably, we are bound to make contact with one another an regular basis. I can choose not to speak online with my friends who live abroad, but coming out of my house I can not avoid my neighbours or the passing byers. If they are in a good mood and I am in the same, then we might smile to each other. If not, we might not look at each each at all or we might nod indifferently to each other.
These are instant decisions we make based on each situation and our intentions. We may never feel like waving to anyone who lives close to us.
In the illusion of having a separate self, having close relationships with people is a choice.
We form these relationships because we want to, not because we are forced to; we want to love and feel loved, we find safety and pleasure in them, we deeply communicate, we learn, we grow, we share and so on. Indeed, having intimate relationships is one of the most exposing things one can choose. Someone other than you witnesses you waking up in the morning, when you are angry, naked and weak; sees you when you are happy and full of joy and when you are defeated and powerless; sees you being powerful and making mistakes; sees you being transparent and hiding away; sees you being serious and interested and being silly and bored; experiences you closed and loving and distancing and 'cold'.
All these are states we experience normally in our every day lives. I mean, there is nothing inherently 'wrong' with any of these states. They may become 'wrong', 'unwanted', and 'unacceptable' only when they are judged as such. Someone- be that your own self or someone else- comes and says 'it is not ok to be, feel or behave in that way right now' and that is when everything starts to get entangled.
It is like going to a river and say: 'it is not ok, river, that you are floating in that direction; you should do otherwise'. Can you imagine the confusion or the the absurdity of the river?
This is what we constantly do to ourselves and to one another: we ask us and them to be otherwise; we try in all sorts of ways to change how the other feels, thinks, behaves etc.
We do that to our children, to our partners, to the youngsters, to our friends, to the governments that we have elected and so on.
We are trying to control and sometimes manipulate the other in order to fulfil the type of contact we want. When we do not feel like being affectionate, we tell the other that it is not ok to be affectionate. When we can not tolerate the truth, we call the others cruel, idealists or other names. When we do not want to acknowledge our own vulnerability, we call the others weak, cowards, self absorbed etc. The lists carries on and on.
Coming in contact with another human being will always be a challenging opportunity...
On one hand, it will remind us of who we think we are and, on the other hand, of what we do not like about ourselves.
It is absolutely ok not to be attracted to someone, not to feel synchronised or aligned with them, but to judge them for who they are, i.e. to tell them that is not ok to do what they feel (provided ,of course, that they are not abusive to someone else), then this is an indication of our own qualities, not theirs. The qualities that long for the other to be in a specific way and capture his freedom into our perceptual territory.
This is one more thing that the little virus has forced us to look at. Touching someone can be harmful and hurtful indifferent or with low impact and, also, healing and heart warming.
As mature adults we are entitled to do whatever we want (no matter how weird or inappropriate might be for someone else) and, also, voice our disagreements with other peoples' actions or views.
As mature adults we are also entitled to be shown and show respect for who we are and what we are about.
Hence, coming in contact with others will always reveal to us another part of humanity, the whole, what we are capable and, thus, another part of our own selves; we can always accept or reject it and act accordingly.
The choice is always ours...