- Gender and Relationships
Oh, to be Adored!
Where does adoration fall in the mechanism of evolution?
I remember in my youth, a man. This man was not like any I have met in my life. His eyes followed me wherever I went in a room. When I spoke, he was the first to look and the first to smile. When we sat in a table together, our movements mirrored each other. We would reach for the sugar at the same time, stir in the same direction and sip our coffee in the same slow movement that made it feel coordinated.
It felt then as though I was participating in a dance that the rest of creation was dancing. In the animal world, this mating dance can be observed in various species. Animal pairs hovered around each other, jumping in synchronized movements as though they rehearsed it. Having known the phenomenon myself, I wonder if animals feel this kind of romantic love the way we do.
The study of love has now come down to the hormones like oxytocin and phenylethylamine. When you get down to this level, love becomes nothing more than secretions of a biological machine that wants to perpetuate itself. The pleasure you feel being watched, spoken to in soft long words that caress you like fingers stroking the back of your spine is nothing but a mechanism that inspires you to pass those genes to the next vessel already. Time is of the essence, you must reproduce before you’re too old to raise the child.
But if this is the case, why does such dances of love happen few and far between (if ever it does happen) in one’s life. More pointedly, it doesn’t always lead to a child. Sometimes the dance becomes too important that the fear it generates also prevents it from reaching culmination in a biological sense.
Perhaps love is not for having children at all. We all know that children can be had in less than ideal situations. Why did our biology set-up that mechanism in our brains such that our eyes would look at one person and one person only? Why is it that at some point in your life, nothing else matters but that person in the room whose eyes are following you wherever you go. Why is it that the memory of such a person triggers in you a sense of vitality that even when you are no longer able to produce a child with that person, the hormones that triggered the dance still flood you?
Love does more to us than make us breed. It inspires us to pursue our highest aspirations and propels us to ask questions about ourselves. It forces us to have the integrity to be as beautiful as the person the other saw in us, long after that person has moved on.
To be loved and adored is a mechanism (if it is apt to call it such )to push an agenda higher than just producing the next set of babies. It is there to rewire our system to its optimum capacity such that we are able to cope with the challenges of the biological task of continuing to live. It is there to raise the impetus for survival higher, to make us hold on to life even when it becomes pointless to do so, at times.
Those eyes that followed me follows me still in my mind. I watch my own movements and ask myself, am I that person that those eyes saw? The faithfulness to the image those eyes saw, fuels me to become that person whose fullness has already been seen in me, long before it was just a glimmer of possibility. The dance it seems was a calibration of harmony between potentiality and its actualization. So that wherever I go, I will not be lost. Those eyes that followed me are leading my way.