The Lover/Martyr

17 pages of commentary
typical Martyr quotes

Essence: The Lover

The area of love is the area of the greatest mystery in the spectrum of our human beingness. And mystery there will *always be* with love. And yet there are some simple observations about it that students of mindfulness can make, if they will watch out for it and keep awake.

The quintessential element of the men and women who are Lovers is their natural affection, or "tenderness love." Imagine the bliss of two lovers, faces up close, looking tenderly into each other's eyes. They are aware of a feeling of "melting." Recall the dizzying, "delicious" feelings of the deep endearment that is experienced in a *real* "I love you" moment. That is "tenderness love."

Of course, the words "I love you" are often spoken in the absence of these delicious sensations. (Doing that too often fades the memory of "the real thing"). You can't fake it without blocking it. Tenderness love is *spontaneous*. It just happens, a sudden awareness! It isn't there just because one says so. It can't be made to happen. It can only "appear." You can't get yourself to "do" it. It can't be forced, or manipulated, or bought. It CAN'T be bartered, or gotten by mutual trade! ("I'll love you if you love me.") It isn't subject to any command. ("Love me!") Questioning it ("Do you love me?") makes it "wilt." Grasping onto it, in any way, only makes it start disappearing. Personal sacrifice can help it along. Yet when it comes, it is by complete surprise. It "just happens" whenever it does. And it can only happen in conditions of *absolute freedom*--that is "unconditional love." The more freedom you give it when you have it, the more it keeps springing up! Thus, love is always painful--to have it, you have to let it be. And that can really hurt at times.

Because of these untameable characteristics, love sometimes occurs when it "isn't supposed to happen," between people who are highly unlikely to get together, or are ill-disposed to get along very well, and even between people who "aren't supposed to be" in love because of the morality of their society (which may vary greatly from place to place). Tenderness love has no boundaries, no standard criteria. It is of our primitive nature. It obeys no rules. It is on account of all this that there are so many tragic loves and "star-crossed lovers."

Lovers, as a type, are warm and caring. They show that they are affectionate to other people, to animals and plants, and to everything of the earth, water, and sky--they love it all. And Lovers love *love*! They are "in love with love," itself! There is a loving unselfishness in this. They may see complete strangers who are in love, or actors just acting it, or the work of writers fictionally portraying love, or people just talking about it . . . or just hear an old song . . . and get that same old feeling of tenderness love within them again.

For those of this essential type, "happiness" is "love." Without love, no matter what else is true, there would be no happiness for Lovers. So they might as well love, selflessly, no matter what others are doing.

Nearly all of us have this beautiful experience of tenderness love at some times in our lives. Although most tenderness love is manifested in romantic and sexual situations, one can also experience this kind of love towards one's children or parents, or other people that one cares very deeply and tenderly for, even towards animals and pets, towards objects, such as one's car, or house, and towards groups or institutions--cases where sexuality is not at all involved, and yet there is a strong feeling of deep *endearment*. One can love one's school tenderly. One can love one's team tenderly. One can love a cause they care deeply about in this way. Tenderness love can be seen to be manifested in many, many ways that are not romantic in a sexual way.

A person who is highly endowed in the characteristic essential strengths and delicious qualities of the Lover is easily recognized by mindfulness practitioners as a *very loving person*. They care about others. obviously. They think people should care more about each other. He is "sweet." She's "a real sweetheart." At times, when they look at you, you can *see* that they love you. There is warm fondess in them. They "have a heart." They really care about you as a human being, as a person. They care about your happiness. It really matters to them. They *care* about the company they work for; they support it "from the bottom of their heart." They *care* about the game. These are the one's who "play their hearts out."

You can see that they love their own children, and they love your children, too. You can see that they love all people everywhere. They care. Lovers are liberal. They like to share the wealth. They touch people with their hands--a caring caress. The gesture is spontaneous, with strong emotion behind it. They really *feel* it. And tears can come to their eyes in this deep caring that comes over them. Their throats may be choked up over it. It is very powerful internally--this *power of love*.

When a person "falls in love," it "takes them over." It is "disarming." It somehow makes a person of ordinary stature into "a giant," a "hero"--yet a very vulnerable giant, emotionally surprised and disarmed. Their knees may go weak. Their head may spin, even in a momentary situation of "love at first sight," as in passing by each other in the hall, or on the sidewalk. In fact, one can become absolutely disoriented, and stammer, and not know what to do, and walk into things. And then "a light" comes on. It dawns on one what has happened within them. Wow!

Spiritual masters of mindfulness sometimes make the point that "falling in love" is one of the few naturally occurring events in ordinary human life that can actually awaken an untrained person from our usual consciousness, or "sleep" into the illuminated state of mindful awareness. (Dying is another. Ram Dass, in "Remember, Be Here Now," also mentions the phenomenon of being in some extraordinary place that is so charismatically striking that one has that "What? Me? *Here*???!!!" phenomenon. "Pinch me! I must be dreaming. Being *here* is too good to be true!!!" Hawaiian kahunas also speak of the "mana of places," referring to their experience that some locations on the Islands, because of things that had taken place there historically, and the "force of love" accumulated there, could spontaneously stimulate visitors into a state of awakened attention --a state with which "aloha" is synonymous.)

This is the area in the spectrum of essential human characteristics in which sexuality resides. We become "arroused." We get "hot." That sexuality is one of the most powerful forces (if not the most powerful) in human society, has long been recognized. Many people of all eight personality types are so preocupied with sex that the first thing they see upon meeting a member of the opposite sex is their sexually-related characteristics. They may actually make a mental inventory, and note if they are sexually attracted to them, or not. This makes sense in the light of the natural selection process by which all animal procreation seems to take place. For all the pain and suffering that can possibly come out of it, sex is fundamentally good for the human race. We couldn't do without it. Although not all of us are "driven" by our sexuality, any of us might be, and when we might least expect it.

(If the scientists and politicians ever wound up taking over this procreative function, everything would become so screwed up--because of the lack of understanding of the genetic *diversity* that is absolutely necessary for our species to survive--that humans would lose their *humanity*. And a race of some kind of monsters would truly evolve. No one has any idea how things would become distorted by "breeding out" the rebellious Rebels, for instance, and, say, the apologetic and sometimes bumbling Doormats. There would be no more art, no more protection of the beauty of things. And none of all the hard work of the world would get done.

(Okay, so how about genetically breeding lots of extra Doormats as a handy work force with low ambitions for remuneration--a slave class that wouldn't mind doing it on the cheap? Eventually pessimism would become so disproportionally widespread throughout the populace that there wouldn't be enough popular enthusiasm to keep things going . . . and everything would stop. *All the types are absolutely necessary* for human life to work--balanced out among us just the way Mother Nature is doing it, by the sexual attractions we have for each other. 'Nuff said on this political topic. Besides, most people *really like* sex. It's unlikely we'll ever get rid of it politically, despite certain puritanical factions that might be in favor of that. However, throughout history, inquisitions arise now and then.)

Of course, most humans are capable of this tenderness love and of being sexual as well. Perpetuation of the race is fundamentally dependent upon these phenomenona, and in general, people's happiness is often very closely tied to them, as well. This type of love is altogether distinct from the "friendly love," or Agape love that is described in the Healer/Kind Helper. Tenderness love is the love that makes you "wanna cry" with either happiness or sadness! Us humans may cry when this tenderness love is realized, and what we cry about the most is when this tenderness love is lost.

People may cry when a dear friend goes away on a long trip, or gets married, or passes away. People may cry when they get fired from a job they love, or their cherished old car finally breaks down, or when the person they are in love with breaks off the relationship with them. They "won't get to do that loving any more," is the idea of it. These are "lost love situations." Nearly always, when a person cries, it is about "lost love." They have "*all this love* that's in there," and no recipient, nowhere to go with it now.

The Lover is "the romantic." They want there to be "a happy ending," and they may cry with happiness when it comes. They may be recognized by their obvious sentiment about things. Lovers are *sentimental*. They also might be recognized because their appearance or actions are sexually stimulating on purpose, or disarmingly intimate. Lovers, as a type, are a degree more sensual than other people. In awareness, this *visible sensuality* can be noticed in a crowd. They are deliberately *sexy*.

In mindfulness, one can pick up on this in one's own internal reactions. People become turned-on *involuntarily* when it happens. Watching movies, attending parties, at dance halls, rock concerts, etc., etc., this phenomenon just happens. Sexual arrousal usually does get our attention right away when it occurs. It happens at the supermarket, while driving in traffic, at home, at the office, while in church, indeed. Sexual response happens *naturally*. Former President Carter (although apparently no apologist for President Clinton), well known to be a good Christian, once saw fit to declare publicly that he has "lusted in his thoughts" in this way. Gurdjieff--a Russian Orthodox priest as a young man--apparently once told his "self-remembering" students (however far-fetched it may seem) that the main reason people go to church is to see members of the opposite sex. What do you think? (I have to admit I have memories that could corroborate that.)

About one out of three of us humans have this type as one of our three primary types. For one out of eight, the Lover/Martyr is their chief personality feature. Whereas sex plays an important part in most people's lives, it plays a much more obvious part in the lives of those who have the Lover/Martyr as a primary type in their make-up. With most people, tenderness love and sex play an occasional although regular part in their lives--such as for them is quite normal and what they are used to. With Lover/Martyrs, it is *always* playing a part. Love and sex are the things their lives most obviously revolve around every day.

Lovers are very natural. They tune in closely to the poignancy of nature. They love to go skinny-dipping in the wilderness. They commune with wild life. They talk to the trees. Lovers are uninhibited. They are very warm, and affectionate. They like to feel good. They do it tenderly with exquisite touches. They are ecstatic. Lovers are primitive. They may be wild and abandoned. They are free. They like to be barefoot, and go naked. They like to make love.

Lovers care about happiness above all. Their greatest pleasure is in giving pleasure and happiness to others. Lovers turn you on. "Do you like me?" they ask. They pleasure you. "Does this feel good?" Although the truth, indeed, among the different types that are studied here, is that "different folks like different strokes," Lovers, as a type, might well be "the best lovers" of our human kind. More than any of the other types, they like to spend their time giving good strokes. They like to do that! Most of all, out of everything there is in life, Lovers like the natural and orgasmic ecstasy of making love with a soulmate.

And remember, please, that *anyone* may have all of these essential Lover strengths and qualities! Most people have a greater or lesser helping of the essences of all eight of the types described in this class. It is in the personalities that the greater differences between people lie.

Personality: The Martyr

The typical story of the Martyr as a personality type is a painful love story that ends in suffering. They will go through this again and again over the years. Even the quest for love can be taken too far, and can automatically lead to repeated heartbreaks for the men and women who are trapped in perpetuating this painful and melodramatic syndrome. This is the area in the spectrum of our human personalities that accounts for most of the unhappiness in people's everyday lives. It is what all the "soap operas" are about. In the theater, this is the area of tragedy. "How could this happen to me?" The Martyr's story is the story of "lost love."

When Lovers grow to want and need love too much, they become Martyrs. Instead of letting love just "show up" when it does, Martyrs are always trying to make love happen. These are the people who suffer the most over love, not just at long intervals over major break-ups, but as a regular "style of life." They are easily wounded by those that they care for. "How could you do this to me?" They are spring-loaded to set themselves up for being hurt. They are always looking for intimacy and love. All this can bring much pain into their lives. They martyr themselves for love.

Instead of being fully invested in the other things that they are interested in, their lives might become indescriminate quests for having as many different partners as they can get, or having as much sex as humanly possible. Obviously, they are what is called "ammoral" in their disposition. They don't see anything wrong with this in particular, and they like to do it. Because of the great pleasure it brings them, no one can ever convince them that it is "wrong." (True, these people are regarded by certain others, *particularly Judges*, as "immoral." But they not only don't care, they think--often sympathetically--that the Judges are "uptight," and "missing out on a whole lot of pleasure.")

Martyrs make being loved more important than everything else in the world. They become wounded because they themselves *do* give so much tenderness and caring to others . . . but there is a hook in it. They have to get back as much as they have given, or else they feel demolished. It can become *impossible* to get back as much caring as Martyrs give because they do this giving as a selfish strategy to get more of it. Suffering over love becomes a dominating theme in their lives because of this.

"I don't get enough love." "You don't love me enough." "How can you treat me this way after all I've done for you?" "Give me something back to show me that you care!" In conversation with others, they are looking for *caring response*. "How did this happen?" They are seeking for a response that rationalizes to them that the other person cares. "You should care!!! I do everything that I can to make you happy." Martyrs are hurt when they perceive that they aren't getting as much love back as they give . . . or they don't even seem to be getting loved at all in return!

At this point, they are prone to start "laying guilt trips." Guilt trips are the manipulation of choice of Martyrs--making others feel bad because they don't love them in return. "You should . . ." "You should love me." "You shouldn't have let me love you and done me wrong this way." "You made me love you." "You did it to me." "You should treat me right, the same way that I've treated you . . . or feel guilty about it!" Unfortunately for them, other people *can't* reciprocate to this maneuver. It leaves them cold. Even if they would want to--to have some peace, for instance--they wouldn't be able to respond with the love that is manipulated for, unless it were to come up in them *spontaneously*. This is what Martyrs need to understand. Their manipulation is doomed from the start because it *turns the other person off*. "You never really loved me!" "You want me to hurt!" This is a bad act to put up with, and it is well along the road towards "lost love."

Martyrs may also become martyred in any social situation in life where they perceive they aren't getting back as much as they give--involving friends, relatives, or co-workers, as well as lovers. "Obligating love," putting others on the spot to get caring treatment back from them just doesn't work. As explained above, real love can only arise in absolute freedom. (Ask for it outright, if you have to. But try not to ask for it because people owe it to you. "I'd like to be loved by you," would do.) However well intended, and however feasible it may seem, manipulating for love only drives love out of the picture. At best, only an artificial substitute remains. (And Martyrs, who are Lovers on the inside, are never quite satisfied with artificial substitutes for love. Yet, *they go on and on attempting to force love to happen anyway*! They can't help it. It's become their conditioned personality.

It is so classically ironic that those among us who want and need love the most only spoil it for themselves this way and keep it from happening by trying to make it happen too much. This is a perfect example of the fact that the personality in these types we are studying here takes the theme of the essence "too far." Pure love, taken too far, demands love in return. Martyrs need to learn to get back to just loving again, without any expectations. Let it happen. Try not to make it happen, at all! Just go about doing your thing as well as you can every day. Love will show up.

A mindful observer may spot Martyrs in a crowd by a certain look of sadness that they have. They are "needy." Whatever is going on, they may be hurting there at the heart of it. They are the sad ones. They may appear despondent. Some may wear garrish colors and have a look of pathetic tragedy about them. They may have tears in their eyes. They may be very dark around the eyes, as if they have been crying. (Students may be able to spot this "look" more often than they'd suppose at parties or gatherings.) Those people who are blatantly melodramatic are the Martyrs. "This is how much I hurt!" "This is how much I suffer!" They talk about their suffering as if courting the caring of others for it. "Because I am hurting, you should make me be happy again." "Show me that you care!"

Martyrs are always on the look-out for intimacy. They are one of the types that is "on the make." They need to be held. They need to be loved. They *need to be responded to*! In a crowd, they advertise that they are available. When you hear them mention they are single, or live alone, you will know. Martyrs are always reaching out to be touched. They make lots of "moves." They may even touch others of the opposite sex inappropriately, to see if they will touch them back. They are looking for the slightest response. If they are given a friendly hug, their needs may show in the intensity of the way that they hold on. Martyrs--even while driving--can't help staring at the sexual attributes of members of the opposite sex that go by in the world, or "peeking" covertly any time they get an unexpected chance to see something they aren't supposed to see. They can't resist taking *every opportunity* for sexual "hits" that comes along.

When Martyrs are attracted to someone, they "hit on" them right away or as soon as possible. And they are attracted to *many*, indescriminately. All they may want is any other body to "love them" back. (That they'd never admit this is an aspect of "false love.") They "come on" to one person after another as they move around the room. They always try to "go too far" on a first date, and every date after that go farther. They may seem to "have sex on their minds" all the time, and not bother to try to find out what their dates would really like to be doing. Wherever they go on a date, it is "a romantic journey," with opportunities already marked out beforehand in their mind for making their moves along the way. (Talk about not being spontaneous!) The line that Martyrs are most universally tormented by, goes: "Can't we just be friends?" That's the end of the road with that friendship for a Martyr. Or else they will continue for awhile and keep on trying as hard as ever.

They might talk about sex compulsively in an inappropriate way. They are given to gratuitous sexual banter and telling "dirty jokes." Their language may be "suggestive." In all of this they are putting out "the hint," and looking to others for signs, however slight, that they will take them up on it. (Sometimes they misread others, and think they are getting taking up on it when they definitely are not. They may get slapped, or dumped unceremoniously, or "slapped" with a lawsuit, etc.) If a person is well-known for getting into serious trouble of any kind over sex, they are almost certain to have the Martyr as one of their principal types, if not their chief feature. (The President's chief feature seems to be the Teacher/Con Artist, but looking over his story in the long run, the Lover/Martyr has got to be a principal type!)

Martyrs are sexually preoccupied, and sexually driven in a way that the other types can't understand. (Mother Nature wasn't taking any chances with the perpetuation of the race in putting the Martyr into the human mix.) Easily overcome by their lust, they are the ones who are the most promiscuous. It may seem that they can never get enough, whether in a lasting relationship with one person or with many partners in sequence. They are the most likely type to be unfaithful to their lovers or spouses (or else they run a close second to Con-Artists in this). They need more. They may be questing for "a sexual ideal" of some kind.

In the extreme, this is the type that is most interested in "sexual experimentation" and "free love." (However, Martyrs are not the ones who are prone to "s & m"--a supposedly playful charade that is a function of the "arranging" propensity of certain rare Judges, who find Doormats to play "m" to their "s.") (Forms of behavior that are "assaultive" in a sexual context are usually in the province of the Dictator. Those who punish in a sexual context are Judges.) Martyrs' partners may discover that they are obsessed with trying out "threesomes," "swapping," and orgies--in fantasies that they share with their partners if they don't actually do it. "Exhibitionists," and the people who make videos of their love-making are Martyrs. They are the type that the sex magazine industry depends most upon, although "porn" is somewhat universal. They (along with na‘ve Believers, who are "led astray" into it by Con Artists) are the most common types among prostitutes, and the most common customers of prostitution, as well.

Short of any more striking sexual proclivities, Martyrs who are more moderate sexually still practice giving love to get love. That is the formula that creates their martyrdom. It is false love. Trading love can only work in the short run. For love always hurts in some ways. And Martyrs pay much more than their share of this price in their libertine lives. The accumulated pain of love begins "eating out their heart." There are always painful sacrifices that have to be made for love. Martyrs wind up making these sacrifices again and again with one person after another in serial fashion. In a host of ways they are compelled every time to re-arrange their life in order to get the love that they are after, and then they wind up with only the pain of all that re-arrangment that they went through to get it. But in the end, they lose the love. Their propensity to "give to get" makes them give far too much in this way. They will throw away other things in their life that are far too important in exchange for single-pointed pursuit. Martyrs become "wasted" by this. They "throw themselves away." Their lives become depleted for the sake of chasing "love." Martyrs will give up *everything* for love, and, in doing this, they may wind up again and again without it.

All of our lives become "re-arranged for love." The whooziness that goes with "falling" for someone is a symptom of the realization that everything is suddenly going to be changed. "I've got it bad." Nothing will ever be the same again. They are going to put themselves through a lot of changes. They won't be able to turn back from this *metamorphosis* of their life. A feeling of "weakness" comes over them, when they realize this. They are "hooked."

One will go way, way out of one's way, again and again, back to the same place where they saw "that person they want to love," hoping to find him or her again, get a chance to flirt, and ask them out, against all the odds!!! It is really something, this "quest for love!" It is Romeo and Juliet all over again! Or they will sit by the phone endlessly waiting for a call instead of doing the usual things that they do. Night and day, they think and even dream about the other person (instead of what would otherwise be their life). They fantasy all kinds of intimate situations taking place before they do.

The more a relationship actually ensues from this, the farther this process of re-arrangment will go in one's life. One is compelled to do this. And it hurts. All of one's allocations of time and space change around completely. They spend less time with their friends, stop going to their old haunts, have less time to their self. They are re-arranged with a passionate purpose that has got them in its control.

Along the way, they may change their philosophical ideas for the other, their ideals, the way they dress, and their eating style. They may move out of their family home, leave their hometown, quit their career field, neglect their hobby and interests, and small vices, change the television programs they watch and their entertainments--all in order to be *re-arranged* so as to fit together better with the person that they want to love.

This is a spontaneous, compulsive metamorphosis that one goes through, painful with every change (although this phenomenon of wholesale re-arrangement may scarcely be noticed by either member of a couple. And least of all is one likely to be sensitive to, and understanding of, what one's partner is going through in this regard.). This re-arrangement is "the price" that everyone has to pay for love--it is constituted by all the adjustments that have to be made simply for getting to be together. Being highly sensitive to the "price" that one's partner pays in this way is a terrific investment in any relationship! Mindfulness helps with this.

Committed relationship entails a host of adjustments that people will make with each other. Willingly or fighting it all the way, each one sacrifices of their self to the other to some degree. It is painful to make these little sacrifices. Watch their program on t.v.? Go to their movie instead of the game? Go to bed when the other wants to go to bed? Spend a lot of their money for that? Whatever the subject, the sacrifices in living together are many.

Mutual understanding about this can be a big help. It is very healthy to pay attention to this, and acknowledge it. Unacknowledged, it is a hidden source of alienation and estrangement, leading to many withdrawn relationships. The other person's happiness has *got to matter* for anyone's relationship to work!!! Although nothing pleases Lovers, the essence of this type, more than the happiness of others, Martyrs, the personality that evolves in this area, are always looking at it from the point of view of their own sacrifices and needs only. This contributes heavily to "lost love."

What can a person do when love is lost?

The reciprocal positive and negative emotional feelings of this type are tenderness love, and sadness. The natural human response to the loss of love is sadness. Our "hearts are broken." And the heart is exactly the place to look first with your mindfulness. In sadness, the large muscle of the heart and the muscles inside the chest there around it become tightened up, creating that palpable "wanna cry" feeling. In addition, muscles in the throat become "choked up," and tensions can be perceived around the mouth and between the eyes. Tears form. And one either begins crying . . . or fights it off.

One of the oddities of modern human society is that we all grow up with the idea that we are supposed to fight it off when we become sad. When love is lost, *feel the sensations of sadness,* and let it out. Crying comes forth. Keep letting it out. Let this crying flow out of your chest, through your throat and out through your face into the world. "A good cry" is the best medicine of all, whenever you are sad. And the times that you are sad, it is because love is lost. Mindful contemplation will reveal that context to you. But do the crying first, and let it all out.

A fuller training of this will appear in the Kinderfeelings class in the advanced Kindergarten classes on this site. The idea is simply to let oneself cry whenever one perceives in mindfulness that they *feel* the sensations of sadness within. Let the heart area vibrate this way, until it has shaken all the tensions of sadness loose--"shakin' the blues away." In severe or tragic situations (and with people who have bottled up most of their sadness during their lives) a person may cry for half-an-hour or an hour. *Intentionally take frequent breaks,* when you are doing this. Just stop it for awhile. Have a drink of water. You can always get right back into it again when you've got a whole lot of sadness collected inside.

The body gives a very clear signal when all of the tensions of sadness that have been there are *completely cried out.* The sounds of crying fade to a stop, and the chest heaves a huge sigh, or several big sighs. At this point, the heart that had been tightly clutched up with sadness has actually become free, and is loose again. It is when the heart is loose in this way, that one is free to love again. This sensation of tenderness can actually be felt in the heart area, too. And one is free to move on! The idea is to awarely "process" sadness right on through, and be done with it. It is not about "denial," but about experiencing it, totally. One can *treat* this emotional pain *valiantly* in mindfulness, when it happens. You can learn to heal yourself of sadness in this way.

There will be more about working with our emotional feelings in the Kindergarten. We all may cry when love is lost. That's the gist of it here. And it's good to feel it, and let it out.

A person may go for years without any opportunities of finding *love*. The "right person" just doesn't come along that often. Yet by habitual preoccupation with the quest for intimate contact over that time, Martyrs may miss out on real love *again and again* when these rare opportunities *do* go by.

Martyrs will be in every relationship that they can, even the wrong ones, just to have some "body" there to "love them back." When someone who might be a *soulmate match* with them goes by, they see that the Martyr is involved and, "pass on them." They pass them on by without showing their interest. Sometimes Martyrs catch on that this has happened to them. Involved with someone they didn't really care about, they missed out on someone they really might have. Martyrs are "looking for love in all the wrong places." They may be so available to every passing lover that they aren't available for "the real thing" when it comes along. How poignant!--as they are "the specialists" in love.

At any given time (since this is a primary type of a third of us all), a great many people may be in relationships that they got into by seeking desperately for bodily contact alone, winding up with people that they have little else in common with. And, solely for the sake of this intimacy that they have together, people who treat each other *terribly* may stay together for long periods of time.

One of the common mistakes that Martyrs make is that they "make their moves" with or without encouragement by the other person. They seem to have no "common sense" in this, at all, and may "hit on" anybody. They have a hard time catching on that they need to allow space for the other person simply not to feel the same way about them. They don't seem to understand this. Martyrs will go on chasing in *hopeless* situations, wasting their energy and re-arranging their life in all sorts of ways. They "think they are being guided" by the extreme intensity of their own feelings. "If this isn't love, I don't know what is!" Paying attention to the other person's feelings would serve them better in these situations, and could save a lot of wasted time and unnecessary pain.

Martyrs need to lighten up, be less intense about it, stop trying to make it happen. In the long run things would work out better for them if they could learn to go out on a bowling date for the fun of the bowling, on a movie date for the fun and interest of sharing the movie, and not always have what they do with those they date be subordinated to their drive to get sexual intimacy. If they stop trying to make that happen, it will "ripen" and come about on its own . . . . *in its time*. One has a much better chance then.

Martyrs may give "false love" deliberately. This is when they put on an act of caring when they know in their hearts that they really don't care that much for the other person, and are only interested in intimacy. They know in their hearts that they can't "really pick them." They know in their hearts that they can't "really stand by them." They speak an "I love you" that is hollow inside. The real feelings aren't inside there. It is just for sex. This can get them stuck in relationships that are highly unsatisfying. Having sex seems to precipitate people to wind up together, whether or not they get along or have compatible interests in life.

False love is contrived. It is when a person does something "loving" to you for the underlying purpose of getting you to love them back. But the "loving response" that *is* given back after being manipulated in this way is not sincere, either. It doesn't truly comes from the heart, because it was manipulated, traded for by the other person in some manipulative way. False love given draws false love in return. This only "works" for a little while. Two people who don't really share love are attempting to satisfy each other's needs for intimate company. Soon one or both of them will need to try again with somebody else. But the idea, as far as genuine love is concerned, is that it be uncontrived--no trying! The more totally unmanipulated it is, the more that true love can flourish. Then they get the big prize.

There is an "if" about love when it comes to you manipulatively. "I'll give you my love *if* you'll give me your love back." Bargains may become struck in false love--bargains that can't be kept. "What'll we call it? 'Going steady?' 'Engaged?'" But, going against one's own natural being (one's primitive natural affection) for the sake of "having love" doesn't work in the long run. "I'll make you happy if you'll make me happy." "You can use me for awhile, if I can use you." "Let's have what happiness we can while it lasts." Trading for love in this way is the formula for becoming self-martyred. The other person can never ultimately come up with the kind of love in return that each one is really seeking and expecting in making a trade like this. It is false love.

Promiscuity leads to serial heartbreaks. Every engagement in false love hurts more than the last. And "serial monogamy"--as our society seems to have adopted the "marital custom"--is a path filled with prolonged and despairing interludes along the way, when each of the parties is broken-hearted again, and left alone and despairing.

Each time another relationship is lost, the Martyr is left in a state of life that has been wholly re-arranged for the sake of that lost love. "Look at all I've given up for love!" They feel used. Life seems to have no meaning for them. "The thrill is gone." "You done me wrong." They are left "singing the blues." It is as if they are "dying for love." There is an "empty place where their heart used to be."

*They may believe that there is no such thing as real love, when, actually, it is false love that didn't work*!!! They need to understand that! Because of this tragic and dangerous *misunderstanding*, Martyrs may be more prone than other types to take their own lives. This, too, can be a form of "guilt trip." "You should have loved me." Like all guilt trips, it is wasted on the other party. It may make them mad for a little while, but they just don't know what to say. Suicide is a big strategic mistake. All their despondancy would *disappear* the instant they fell in love again.

My teacher, Mitsuo Aoki, shared many insights in his class in Hawaii about Martin Buber's perspectives on "love." You're invited to read the essay "What is love?" under "a philosophy" on the Site Map of the Campus here. Buber taught that love is *caring so much* for the other person, through both good times and bad, that one takes the sometimes painful experience of *allowing the other person to be whoever they are or they aren't*. This is real love.

Love hurts. Love is sublime. It will always be a mystery. You can't make it happen by trying. Be light about it! It comes in its own time. The best way (very difficult for a Martyr) is to keep focused on the other important things in life and . . . let love take you by surprise. Mindfulness can help you to realize when it's really around. Love is an awareness.

Typical Martyr Quotes

All for love!
I'm friendly all the time.
Do I make you feel good?
I'm warm and tender.
I care!
I've suffered alot.
I'll tell you about the heart-breaking times I've had.
I don't get enough love.
People don't care.
You should . . . (the quintessential guilt trip)
You should make me happy because I'm suffering.
I wish it could be like it used to be (when I was happy).
I'm kind of uninhibited. See?
I love everybody, and I want everybody to love me.
There's no tomorrow.
Love makes the suffering go away.
Does this turn you on?
I love to hug and be touched.
Do I make you feel good?
I love you.
I'd like to pleasure you.
(orgasmic vocalizations)
You did it to me.
Do you love me?
I'm not being happy.
Can I ever be satisfied?
I need you to make love to me again.
I'm going to cry.
It's not fair. I get used a lot.
You don't know how much you've hurt me.
I've wasted my life on you.
You don't care.
You want me to suffer.
You're driving me crazy.
I'll forgive you if you'll only love me again.
You should make me happy because I'm hurting.
How can you treat me this way after all I've done for you?
Life did it to me. I don't care about anything any more.

Back to the Playground

©1999 Teaching Tools For Mindfulness Training