Love - it's a brain drive, like getting you goal is

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Why do you feel so extra bummed after being dumped? Your brain waves make it so...

Submitted: April 19, 2015

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Submitted: April 19, 2015

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This morning, Death / Universe / God / Thought {take your pick} then took me to link the book I am currently re-reading, “Women Who Run With The Wolves” by Clarissa P. Estes, to my health and the Helen Fisher talks. Estes writes from her research as a psychoanalyst, amongst many other roles, that immunity is increased or decreased according to the state of the Soul. Hence my ill-health, which has not been healed by prayer, religious oil, 7.5, physio, chiro, sports massage, GPs, Health Point therapy, Acidity Balance Therapy, Body Talk, Artist’s Way Course and the like, could be due to Soul-discontent, in its various forms. I’m currently trying homeopathy and Body Stress Release Therapy to see where I end up with these options. Still, I have literally spent thousands of money currencies and encountered so many ‘thoughts’, ‘options’ and ‘diagnoses’ that I literally no longer know which way to turn.

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I can’t blame it all on “unrequited love” as I was physically out of harmony and just going through the motions before the unrequited story. Yet, in watching Helen Fisher’s TEDTalk  http://www.ted.com/speakers/helen_fisher

http://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_studies_the_brain_in_love?language=en

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Here’s the thing, Helen Fisher, with her M.R.I. research into “Love”, says that “LOVE” is not an emotion, it’s a drive, because it stems from the same part of our brains that want to win, achieve and such like. She says that there are 3 drives in the process: 1) Lust, 2) Focus to one by romance and connection, and 3) Attachment, the desire for only that one in every way, creating jealousy, protection etc. According to brain readings, she says: “…romantic love is much more than a cocaine high -- at least you come down from cocaine. Romantic love is an obsession. It possesses you. You lose your sense of self. You can't stop thinking about another human being. Somebody is camping in your head. As an eighth-century Japanese poet said, "My longing had no time when it ceases." Wild is love. And the obsession can get worse when you've been rejected... You know, when you've been dumped, the one thing you’d love to do is just forget about this human being, and then go on with your life -- but no, you just love them harder. As the poet Terence, the Roman poet once said, "The less my hope, the hotter my love." And indeed, we now know why. Two thousand years later, we can explain this in the brain. That brain system -- the reward system for wanting, for motivation, for craving, for focus -- becomes more active when you can't get what you want. In this case, life's greatest prize: an appropriate mating partner… Last but not least, we found activity in a brain region associated with deep attachment to another individual. No wonder people suffer around the world, and we have so many crimes of passion. When you've been rejected in love, not only are you engulfed with feelings of romantic love, but you're feeling deep attachment to this individual. Moreover, this brain circuit for reward is working, and you're feeling intense energy, intense focus, intense motivation and the willingness to risk it all to win life's greatest prize…

 

… I think of all the poetry that I've read about romantic love, what sums it up best is something that was said by Plato, over 2,000 years ago. He said, "The god of love lives in a state of need. It is a need. It is an urge. It is a homeostatic imbalance. Like hunger and thirst, it's almost impossible to stamp out." I've also come to believe that romantic love is an addiction: a perfectly wonderful addiction when it's going well and a perfectly horrible addiction when it's going poorly. And indeed, it has all of the characteristics of addiction. You focus on the person, you obsessively think about them, you crave them; you distort reality, your willingness to take enormous risks to win this person. And it's got the three main characteristics of addiction: tolerance, you need to see them more, and more, and more; withdrawals; and last, relapse… So, one thing I would like the medical community, and the legal community, and even the college community, to see if they can understand, that indeed, romantic love is one of the most addictive substances on Earth.”  

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In her other talk, Helen Fisher mentions that dopamine rises when small acts are done by one for another. I thought back to other moments with men. I was at a sports match with one and at half time we checked our phones, he had messages and I had none (that’s my norm), so he mentioned his and I replied, showing him my phone, with a “Nah, nobody loves me.” At some point, during the second half, he sent a text message with one line: “Somebody loves you.” I was incredibly moved and appreciative and gave him a huge hug and thanks, but had a lingering guilt, why? because my Soul was telling me I didn’t ‘love’ him, ‘in that way’. Another guy left work in Johannesburg traffic to bring me heart-shaped chocolates on Valentines, so thoughtful! Did I feel anything? No… and other stories; incredibly, gentlemanly delightful moments have crossed my days, but to no romantic surge for ‘forever’ in my brain (not that these guys were necessarily romantically interested – that was not mentioned) … then this one guy, from nowhere, walks in and bam! My Soul and Body are gonners, whilst my mind is not impressed. So I observe, I watch him and myself, and I walk away from the scenario feeling in my very core that this he is it… Catch – no he’s not. The man who imported wine from another country for me, is not interested. The only guy to ever buy me flowers is not interested in me. He already has a girlfriend; he just chose not to tell me for six weeks...

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Unfortunately for me, the damage is done. The dopamine started its course within me, his gestures and games reached my brain and now I sit, years later, with an addiction – tolerance (madness), withdrawal and relapse - that I cannot get rid of. With a mind-rationality that is telling my Soul/dopamine that he is not interested. With a mind that is trying to undo all the chemicals that can’t be undone. It’s exhausting. Absolutely chronically fatiguely EXHAUSTING. 

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At the end of the day, and now it appears, the beginning of the day too, I am tired. I’m too tired to write poetry, write blogs, teach, cook, clean, shop, shower, dance and all the rest… Friday I was in bed at 18h27 lights out and looked at the clock again at 06h28… no-one sleeps for 12 hours when they are healthy, no-one, unless they’re a doctor who has worked a dozen shifts on the go. I am not a doctor, or a night/shift worker. Not I, nor specialists know what is wrong, and as completely irrational and illogical as it sounds, as each ‘physical door’ shuts, as each ‘earthly practice’ leads to a dead-end, Helen Fisher and Estes’ doors of Soul-discontent and ‘rejected love’ and mayhem seem to evolve as the cause… So what on earth do I do with myself if I end up with Fisher’s and Estes’ doors being the last open doors?

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Estes story-therapy gives me four options from the 4 Rabbi’s Story: 1) Go psycho-mad, 2) Dismiss it as a dream, 3) Research it and teach it, or 4) Write about it in creative form, like poetry, songs, stories and the like…

I guess I'm doing 3 & 4 together ...


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