you are an enigma and I don’t understand you.” – A comment during a performance review, circa 1990.
Labels are awesome. Really they are. We use them all the time to simplify our lives and keep us safe. Our ancestors used them with great success. For instance, some animals can be labeled food, others can be labeled eaters of us. We can group labels into meta-labels too, eaters of us can be under the label dangerous things, and dangerous things can be under the label things to run away from.
This however, is were we run the risk of getting ourselves into trouble. It is easy to allow erroneous entries in our taxonomy, or get the associations reversed, for instance, dangerous things may be things that make us afraid but it does not necessarily follow that all things that make us afraid are also dangerous things. It is also easy to fall into the trap of believing that an object’s labels, somehow define its limits, rather than just some of its properties.
it may feel like your life has been specifically designed to shatter ...
We are all enigmas, the totality of our selves defy the labels that apply to us.
As Enigmas we should strive to treat labels the way a NASCAR driver treats his sponsor’s caps while being interviewed on victory lane. Wear the one that defines us right now, discarding it the moment it has outlived its welcome, making room for another that we like better, and sometimes swapping between contradictory ones at a moments notice.
Opening up your relationship can be fraught with uncertainty. You are very likely traveling uncharted waters. If you are like us, you are probably looking for reassurance that you are following the right path. Just be aware that in these instances it is easy to forget what labels are, and begin to believe the labels we adopt define traits that we should aspire or conform to.
For instance, what does it mean to be a Swinger?
Does it simply mean being ethically open to having sex with people outside of your primary relationship? Or does it carry additional meanings? Like how or how often you have that sex, where you have that sex, how you feel about the people you have that sex with, etc?
Can you call yourself a Swinger, communicate with your partner, follow your heart, yet do it the wrong way? Depending on who you ask, you could certainly come away with that impression.
We occasionally call ourselves Swingers, we are open to full swap, we like same room, and are overjoyed to be friends first. But those labels do not define the only way we could imagine doing this, or even how we will define ourselves tomorrow. More importantly, we would never assume that others would feel the same way.
We believe that we should all strive to embrace our inner enigmas. While doing so, I suggest we try to accept those around us as enigmas too.
So, the next time you are talking to someone, try this: When they say, “We are Swingers.” Say, “That is awesome, what does Swinger mean to you?”
Damien & Angelica (AKA: Mr & Ms Enigma)
Do you think life is filled with Enigmas ?
For as many years as I can remember I have had an affinity to ponder the enigmas of thisuniverse and
search for the answers.
Why do they exist , how can we embrace that love bring sadness, why do we fail and succeed and why are there opposites to life’s experiences.
I have had a fascination in particular with love and melancholy, you know the fine line between love and sadness we have all felt. I have felt it many times … When I look into my grand children’s faces and I see the twinkle in their eyes and I feel within my heart I just could not love them anymore yet I know that we will grow apart, they will grow up and away from me and learn to be without me.
Have you ever loved so deeply that the thought of losing that person would make you so saddened you might not be able to go on ?
I believe that all humans have felt this type of enigma at some point in their life.
I believe that love and melancholy are interrelated and exist within the same context.
Film maker Cameron Crowe use the term ” Happy/Sad ” to define those moments of extreme awe that move us, that open our hearts to be filled to the bursting point with a multitude of juxtaposing emotions. You know those moments we are so happy yet we cry, those moments when we love so deeply yet we feel mad that we do. It is at those moments when we don’t know why we feel they way we do, that we have encountered an Enigma.
These are the moments that make life authentic .
The intertwining of love and melancholy is what makes love so mesmerizing and yet tragic at the same time. We can find examples of this happy / sad, mesmerizing and tragic all throughout our lives. Think of the correlation to success and failure, good and bad.
“For every force, there is a counter force,for every negative a positive, for every action a reaction”
Roland Barthe in his book ” A Lovers Discourse” elaborates on the polar opposites to love by saying ” The first thing we love is scene, which is seen for the first time. Curtain parts, and what has never been seen is devoured by the eyes. It’s distinct, abrupt, framed, it is already a memory” and we become saddened by its loss.
Are these not moments we have all experienced and yet we are striving for ? The extremes of emotion makes us feel our life is more than mediocre. They become the defining quotations that our personal experiences will use to form “OUR STORY”.
This statement really resonates with me. The idea that we are first struck by Love, love at first sight if you will, as beautiful as it is, it is already a memory and we will never experience that particular moment again within that paradigm.The moment is happening in the now and whether we know it or not we are beginning to experience its loss.
Albert Camus wrote ” Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears “
Now is where I digress to the beginning, my fascination with the enigmas of life has inspired me think outside the box and brought me to the greatest points of extreme emotion in my life. They sparked my creativity , given me the pinnacle of awe and fueled my inspiration.
Now in all practicality these awe inspiring moments can be far and few in between and most of us, most of the time move through life to busy doing other things than focused looking for these moments.
I totally too have been a victim to that and know we can’t walk with our head in the clouds or be moved to tears at every moment,but we can live in a state of heightened awareness that good and bad , love and melancholy , and success and failure are closely intertwined.
These enigmas can profoundly effect us, our story and we cant’t follow the societal norm and“numb the bad stuff“.
We need to be vulnerable to the good and the bad, embrace love and melancholy and see that in order to succeed we need to have failures and be able to live wholeheartedly with it all.
Thanks for reading this post and after you watch this inspiring Ted talk by Dr. Brene Brown, about her search to live wholeheartedly let me know, are you ready to use the enigmas you have experienced in your life to impact your story and live wholeheartedly ?