Our Poly Life

Our life as a Polyamorous Quad, with 10 kids.

Ahh, sweet compersion

on May 3, 2006

I stood there in the garage and watched them drive away; my husband and our Temptress.  They are going away for business, but I know there is ever so much more planned than those meetings on the agenda.  I smiled.  I felt all warm inside. 

It’s something I’ve felt before, but never had a term to describe it.  Like once when I found my lovers asleep in each other’s arms.  And another time when I happened upon a quiet stolen kiss.  It’s not a voyeuristic rush, but rather this soft glow; comfortable, familiar, satisfying.  I also feel it when Fix reads our girls a bedtime story.  Or when my boys slip and call one of my lovers “mom” or “dad.”  It’s the peace I have that means we’re doing the right thing, that the ability to love more can’t be wrong, and that there is, indeed, a certain security in numbers. 

I found this word, compersion, quite by chance just recently in my poly research and it struck me how ironic a feeling that must be as old as human emotion itself only had been named in the last several decades.  It is defined below (taken from The Polyamory Society Compersion Index, http://www.polyamorysociety.org) 

Compersion n : the feeling of taking joy in the joy that others you love share among themselves, especially taking joy in the knowledge that your beloveds are expressing their love for one another, the term was coined by the Keristan Commune in San Francisco which practiced Polyfidelity, Kerista disbanded in the early 1990’s. 

When I “googled” the term compersion, I unearthed more than 23, 000 websites on the subject.  So obviously I’m not the first one to come to a place where I’m happy when others I love are happy.  But this word is definitely the opposite of jealousy – another undeniable human emotion. 

They looked so cute backing out of the drive; kind of excited in a nervous sort of way.  It will be their first time staying away as “Mr. and Mrs.” As new as our situation still is, we haven’t had a lot of occasion to be together away from home.  It’s really hard for us to cross couple weekends away because of the combination of our kids and our closeted status.  We are not ready (or, rather, the kids are not ready) for a full-blown “run screaming from the closet” poly conversion, so we wait for those concealed moments to come; those natural opportunities for two of us to slip away. 

Hours later, I can’t stop smiling.  I’d been hoping they’d have a chance to get away for a while.  Maybe it’s because I know how much fun they are about to have.  Perhaps it’s because I know how important the bonding process is.  I’ll even go so far as to say that I feel the more they love each other, the larger capacity for love they’ll in turn, have for me.  I could argue that compersion is not an altruistic emotion at all, but rather, a selfish one.  All I can say for certain is that two people I love are enjoying loving each other, and it’s an extraordinary feeling. 

~Goddess, 5-3-06

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