I met a male prostitute recently.
He said he worked very hard in a very rich part of Los Angeles to support himself and his child.
I asked him when he started and he said, "13."
I asked him how he protected himself emotionally, mentally, physically.
He said, "I don't care. The less I care the more I get what I want. The more I care the less I get what I want."
I asked him what he wanted. "Happiness," he replied.
I said this sounded a lot like the concept of detachment from the Buddhist tradition - that is, not striving and detached from the outcomes of things.
It also sounds like hardball negotiation - willing to walk away from the negotiation table in order to secure the best terms.
It sounds like action and reaction, push and pull - the more you pull, the more they push.
It's like the dance of intimacy - from suffocation to distancing - the closer you get the farther they run - the further you run the closer they get.
What if we stood still? What if we laid ourselves bare? What if we were strong and confident enough to be vulnerable, honest and loving? If we were rejected, what if we tolerated the pain until it passed. Nothing lasts forever. What if we let them go in peace? What if it gave us joy to see them happy, even if it meant they were happy without us?