I used to think of attraction in a narrow sense, restricted to physical attraction and possible romance. I am realizing attraction has far more wonderful, mysterious complexities about it. How is it one person lights you up and another doesn't? What shadow pieces may be at play seeking to repeat painful patterns or what soul inspirations are calling to true life purpose and healing? When attraction registers inside of my body, inside of my being, a much larger range of possibilities, beyond romance, are generously being offered for consideration. When I limit my response to attraction to just a potential long term mate, I short change myself and the other.
Attraction may be inviting the emergence of a friendship or the start of a collaboration. Perhaps some joint project wishes to be birthed between two people and the attraction is calling forth the desire.
Attraction can also be a recognition of some quality in the other of an unacknowledged part inside of myself. This is a variant of projection, happening from a place of desire rather than rejection. Rather than projecting some unhealed dark part of myself on the other, I place one of my shining gifts, which I may not even accept, on the other. I can be attracted to someone and what may be happening is they are offering a mirror so I can recognize an unknown brilliant part of myself.
I was on a retreat recently and I was fascinated by the facilitator. She was beautiful, intelligent and articulate. She spoke words of welcome and handled the 70 person room with ease and grace. I felt a powerful attraction arise up inside of me and I was curious about this attraction. I even heard a voice inside of me say, "I'm going to marry this woman." As I reflect more on this attraction, yes she is beautiful and yes a romance would be fun, but what I think is more in play is a recognition of who I am reflected in her presence on that weekend. I recognize in this soulful, powerful, caring, embodied women working to foster community, welcome and honor the sacred, parts of my own soul's purpose. I recognize my own desire and gifts to create space for the wounded parts, confusions and glories which we all bring.
I offer a second example which does not involve a romantic layer to expand the notion of attraction beyond the territory of physical or potential partnership. Years ago, as I was just discovering the power and magic of poetry, I would listen to several men recite poems from heart. Their familiarity and fondness with the poems and their ability to speak to my soul in their delivery was fascinating. I was enthralled and at the same time rejected my own ability to ever "present poetry like those guys." I was given a glimpse of my own gifts in my attraction for these men, yet I was blind or refused to see those gifts.
I bow to attraction, I bow to the stirrings inside of us, the recognition of the movements which draw us together. You are welcomed, you are loved, you have a place here. That radical acceptance, radical welcome, radical recognition of what is holy in you is holy in me, dissipating what Thich Nhat Hanh calls the illusion of separateness.
Attraction can be larger than romance (and romance is wonderful). It can signal the start of a new friendship, brotherhood or sisterhood, It can be the genesis of creative collaborations. It can show us the beauty inside of ourselves if we are willing to look.
Attraction can also lead you into trouble, but that's grist for another blog :-) It's all about being aware and mindful.
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Jose Enciso is an engineer by profession, a poet by necessity and a seeker of spirit and soul. He brings a gentle presence and deep respect for the interior journey as expressed through creative and expressive arts. Jose is a skilled group facilitator who is committed to the spiritual and psychological growth of those around him. He trained under Francis Weller to lead men’s initiation groups doing deep soul work and is equally comfortable in managing complex technical projects. Jose is devoted to the emergence of the divine feminine, supporting women and men claiming their voice and power, and rediscovering the soul of masculinity. He is currently working on multiple projects including a book which seeks to encourage everyone to write their own poetry as a discovery of their own soul's truth.