Apologue #48: The Red String of Fate

Ever hear about the red string of fate? It’s all about love. The red string of fate, also referred to as the red thread of destiny, red thread of fate, and other variants, is an East Asian belief originating from Chinese legend and is also known to be used in Japanese legends, as well. According to the myth, the gods tied an invisible red string around the ankles of men and women who are destined to be soul-mates and will one day marry each other. Often, in Japanese culture, it is thought to be tied on the pinky finger.

The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers — regardless of time, place or circumstances. The magical string may stretch or tangle, but can never break. The myth is similar to the Western concept of soul-mates or a destined flame.

There are many folklore tales such as these in other foreign cultures that I have heard about. I remember one Greek legend about how humans used to two beings born to be stuck together by the hip, until the gods split everyone up into single beings, and so we search wholeheartedly of our other “missing” half/twin. The concept of soul-mates through legends that transverse through time and in different cultures are always so captivating to hear about and learn.

We all know that these legends have been romanticized dramatically to aspire young people about love, but I’ve always had a heart for them and will always lend an ear to hear more. Believing in destiny has become a young person’s game but it never hurts to dream every once in a while under a blue moon.

Apologue #46: My Six Types of Love

Within the many different archetypes of loves in this world, I have tuned myself to remember the six types that most people will encounter in their lives. Some were good, some were not so hot, and some were downright outrageous but experience-wise, it was all good in the name of love. Who knew there were so many types? Let’s go see what we can dig up!

First is Eros: a passionate, physical and emotional love based on aesthetic enjoyment aka the stereotypical “romantic” love. This one is the hot spot of all relationships. The most memorable and fun, romantic and blissful. It’s the one where you can’t entangle your hands away from each other and you’re not particularly doing anything but constantly attached to the hip.

I try to be romantic every once in a while even though I dream of romanticism every day. But the one I remember most in this type of love was with a dear friend. Our emotions and experiences were constantly challenged and heightened with each new experience because everything was so new both of us. There’s tingling just by locking eyes even though you aren’t kissing, your smile feels like it’s hooked up onto your ears and you can’t help it because everything that your eyes see feels like a dream and feels so surreal, his small touch on your hair sends shivers down your spine — it’s just unbelievable. I don’t know if it was because I was young and naive or because this was the first time in everything, but you get hooked like a drug, wishing you’ll never come back to reality.

Ludus: a love that is played as a game or sport; think conquest. Toying with someone’s emotions and playing them for sport, thinking of conquest, is WRONG. You can’t conquer over someone. Sure, you could dominate, heck, it could even potentially be called a game even in the idea of thinking of the whole relationship concept as a “dating game.” That’s as far and close as I have ever gotten my hands dirty in the thrilling idea of the “chase” in pursuit of gaining someone’s heart driven from my true feelings.

Storge: an affectionate love that slowly develops from friendship, based on similarity. This love is everybody’s sappy first love. It’s the story we all know and always talk about. You either learn from it or get real hurt by it. It’s tough love falling for a close friend. My advice, the relationships you make from friends are best from friendships with long histories because even if it doesn’t work out in the end, the friendship may still take a toll but will eventually come back with some leeway because of the friendship history to come back on. Short term friendships don’t work so hot in these areas.

Pragma: love that is driven by the head, not the heart. This is a problem area for me because I feel that since I’m very calculative, I’m always in this area in the scheme of beginning relationships. I can’t help myself to plan out the ideas and see prospects of what could happen. I watch out for my own back too many times that I missed out on great opportunities. No one feels romantic by someone who uses their heads too much in a heart-filled place. As a woman, I’ve learned that it’s okay to be strong, but every once in a while, you need to lean on your man and trust him in order for things to come into perspective.

Mania: obsessive love; experiencing great emotional highs and lows, also being very possessive and often jealous lovers. I can confidently say that I have never been possessive over my boyfriend. Sure, I have been jealous a couple times but I have never obsessed over him to the point where I would want to control him. That’s ridiculous. But, I have had boyfriends that had a mania love towards me where they were extremely over-protective of who I meet and where I go. I can think of two exes that fit this category perfectly solely on behavior and mental analysis.

Of the two, there was one that was a fine boyfriend all-around, but he was indeed the type that goes bonkers and just mad hare crazy when he can’t reach me. I remember one time, I was at some meeting with a couple of friends and I had my phone on vibrate in my purse and didn’t know he was calling. I had already told him where I would be but he called to reach me nonetheless. By the time the meeting was over (which was about 2 hours), I found myself with about 30 missed calls and equally 30 voicemail messages. He was the type that even though he knows where I would be, since he’s not there with me, he HAS to find out and know I’m okay and safe. Possessive much? A little bit. Controlling? Not really. But SUPER-OMEGA-OVERPROTECTIVE.

Lastly, Agape: a selfless altruistic love, like spiritual. To love someone that transcends all other meanings of love and bring out an emotional and spiritually connection of bondage between me and my literal, soul-mate — has not happened yet. This is the type of love that I am still direly searching for. I have found this type of love that I share with God, and I feel that it only exists exponentially with a deity. We as humans have too many driven feelings of joy, sadness, jealousy and fear that I don’t believe we can love another human being such selflessly. I’m sure the meaning is different between married couples, and of course a parent to a child. There is a special bond of love there and I’m sure we can love unconditionally, but to connect to a spiritual level of selfless altruistic love without any personal selfishness — I feel, among humans, seems close to impossible.

The New Chivalry

“Matt and Julie got married last week, and when the time came for the garter to be removed, Matt did something unexpected. As Julie sat in her chair, Matt approached her with a water basin and a towel. With perfect tenderness, he humbled himself and made a beautiful gesture of his service to her.”

Love Quote #6: “Why the Wedding Ring is Worn on the Fourth Finger”

Why the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger: The Chinese give a beautiful explanation to this.

The thumb represents your parents. The index finger represents your siblings. The middle finger represents yourself. The ring finger represents your life partner. The little finger/pinky represents your children.

Hold your hands together like the picture. Join your middle fingers back-to-back, and the remaining fingers tip-to-tip.

Now, try to separate your thumbs. They will separate because your parents are not destined to live with you forever. Rejoin your thumbs and separate your index fingers. They will separate because your siblings will have their own families and lead their own lives. Rejoin your index fingers and separate your little fingers/pinkies. They will separate because your children will grow up, get married, and settle down.

Rejoin your little fingers/pinkies and try to separate your ring fingers.¬†They will not be able to separate because your life partner is meant to be with you throughout your entire life, through thick and thin.”

Apologue #11: Heart-Mate

When it comes down to believing in soul-mates, I’m not an affirmative believer on just one soul-mate. I believe that there are many people that can touch our lives and souls and can be a soul-mate. It could be a parent, a best friend, and even a lover. When I was younger, I used to believe in fate and destiny and counting down the days until I too, can finally meet my soul-mate who will be with me forever. As I’ve gotten older and coming face-to-face with the harsh realities of the dating game, my thoughts on the love that connects to the soul-mate has indefinitely been severed. Don’t get me wrong, I still do believe, it’s just that I believe it to be more of different forms of love, not just romantic.

I have few friends that I believe to be are my soul-mates. Friends that have been with me through thick and thin. Friends that know of my deepest and darkest secrets. Friends that will never judge me and friends that will never leave me no matter what the circumstances. I have come to meet more people that love me and protect me that are soul-mates bonded by friendship than that of soul-mates bonded by love. Ironic how that worked out. Maybe that’s why they’re called soul-mates. Maybe it’s named after the people that not just touch our souls but help us to live life the way we should when we deter and fall off the road. Maybe it’s the people that give us hope when we lose our own.

I received an e-mail from a dear friend of mine a few days ago. She’s one of those people that have many names in your life. She’s a friend, a past co-worker, a soul-mate, a second mother – she’s everything good wrapped up into one package. Danielle just turned 65 and is just the sweetest person you’d ever meet, and she mentioned a word that stuck on me the minute I read it. Heart-Mate. She used that word about her husband that’s she’s been happily married to for forty years or so and I really like how she describes her special someone. She was telling me that it’s not just the soul that has to connect but the heart first before anything else can be achieved. That’s why she believes that a Heart-Mate is so special and hard to find because not everyone that you fall in love with can really understand who you are and what you’re made to do. She also believes it’s very rare because we normally don’t open our hearts to generally every person that comes our way during the dating game. We protect our hearts and keep it heavily guarded that sometimes, we believe that we did open the gates, flooding our emotions into relationships but the truth is, we rarely do anymore because we’re afraid of getting hurt and emotionally-scarred. I do admit that my heart is heavily guarded and well-protected, not any man – no matter how persistent – will easily be able to break down my walls. Which I can understand better of it being rare and extra special when the right person comes along. Danielle is very lucky to have found her Heart-Mate in literally “love at first sight.” She told me one time, how the minute she saw her husband, she just knew he was the one for her. Not all of us are just that privileged. Maybe times were simpler back then.

Whatever the case, the word has stuck on and I’m going on a hunt for it. Maybe this is the reason why I don’t believe in the romantic-sense of soul-mates. I’m sure that others can argue that a Heart-Mate couldn’t be any different, but for now, I need a little hope and something to believe in so maybe a little bit of more dreaming wouldn’t hurt me so much.

Where are you, my Heart-Mate?