Looking for love (The Techno Connection)
Looking for love (The Techno Connection)
I have always been very curious about people, drawn to experiment with new things and longing to connect with everybody. Although this still prevails in my life, it has changed enormously, especially the motivation behind it and the place within that impulses me to do so.
Coming from a very Catholic family and with very protective parents, a huge shift took place in my life when I started university. The intense repression and boredom that had been brewing inside for many years felt like it was about to explode and although I was quite shy, I embarked on an unfailing rebellion against everything that felt ordinary, repressive, dull and dry.
I wanted to meet new people and connect to them; I wanted to find excitement and true love. This time of exploration brought some of these things: new friends, scenes, parties, excitement – although not true love, and least not true love for myself.
My parents were no longer able to stop me from doing anything, and I would always find my way out of home and into the adventure of nightlife and hanging around with friends.
The type of music that most enticed me was electronic music and I used to love techno parties. I was indeed searching for love, joy and connection, but I wanted it to be cool, not mundane or proper.
Techno music became the ultimate expression of cool, even though techno parties could feel ugly in the corners; I just loved the trashy sophisticated vibe… it felt different, dark, challenging, urbane, underground and real fun.
I learned to put up with the intense demands these parties put on my body, although I never mastered it on my own: impossible. Drugs and alcohol were the perfect ‘support’ to deal with an otherwise miserable and exhausted body lacking proper oxygen, space and rest. Drugs would help me let the guard down, “relax”, become more reckless in my approach to others, seemingly more open and crazy fun; not to mention the trip, the fantasy and the fictional mental state I would go into.
After many years of giving my all to these parties, I chose to stop. On one hand, I could no longer handle the emptiness, moodiness, grumpiness and the lack of self-worth I would feel during the week; it was obviously interfering with my normal life, job and relationships with others – after all I was not really succeeding in connecting to people outside these scenes.
The occasional romantic affairs that resulted from these nights mercifully vanished, leaving behind a memory of delight with a big hole inside.
On the other hand, my immune system got very weak and I used to get ill very easily, living exhausted and depleted every day.
Lastly, one night I fell over drunk and wasted, hit my head on the floor, had a headache for a month and my left eye filled with blood for nearly 3 months.
My desperate search for love, bonding and connection was only met momentarily during some of these nights; even though I still have a few good friends from that time, the relationship that was most lost and affected was the one with myself: I didn´t know who I really was, and never felt other people knew who I was either – how could they if I did not know myself?
Craving Bonding and Connection
Recently, after many years, I had the chance to revisit these scenarios. I went to a techno party with a couple of friends who were visiting from abroad; one of them was DJ-ing for a couple of hours.
I was amazed at what was displayed to me that night and I remembered that this is one of the ways many young people choose to party.
What is it about these experiences, parties and lifestyle that looks so enticing and is a real hook for many of us, especially young people?
I felt how much we really crave excitement and togetherness and the whole set up of a techno party can make us believe this is what we get.
We can indeed think we get this momentarily and intensely, through changeable waves, rides of ups and lows where we get to seemingly feel the pleasure of flowing smoothly in connection to the music and others, only to then suddenly come down, feel estranged, unsettled and in need to connect back again.
It is a rollercoaster of emotions, an oscillation between euphoria and low self-esteem, and of course you may also get the seemingly steadier, unemotional and self-satisfied vibe too.
Whatever way, the booze is always there, sold at the bar, for rescue and support and to help ensure you can reach the next high peak where the supposed ‘bonding’ happens.
Looking back at it I remembered how I really wanted to prove to myself and others that I could certainly cope with the whole night and gracefully reach the ‘bonding stage’ – that captivating moment of feeling at ease and connected to other people. I also remembered how fun it was to enjoy the capacity of one great DJ to take me on a ride: a building up of a momentum that would eventually reach a peak, a high level of excitement and sophistication that I could prolong until the next day.
What is it about this ‘bonding’ state? Is it a true bonding that takes place during these peaks?
Feeling into the wave, at some point during the evening I felt how I was taken by the energy of the music and caught myself having stepped into the ‘look at me, here I am in control and having lots of fun’ mode, in complete disconnection from myself and my body. I realised that this wave by its nature and quality was not inspiring or taking me into any true bonding state at all, but in fact taking me away from myself.
I could feel there was actually a high level of separation, jealousy, anxiousness, self-consciousness and looking for the ‘right one’ going on, all confirming our separated state and creating an oscillation between attraction and repulsion to others while seeking to keep up the good vibe.
It was now easy to recognise how I used to be shadowed by ideals, stereotypes and chemicals obscuring my true light, sweetness and playfulness inside. I realised how in this dense type of partying I never got to evolve an inch from my insecurities and boredom in a lasting way, and if I am honest, I never truly connected to another in true awareness, understanding and acceptance; it was more about ephemeral encounters and shallow exciting attractions.
I never truly connected to myself either, and in trying to keep up with the scene, I dishonoured my body and what it was telling me, all of the time. No matter how exhausted or miserable I felt, I made myself cope and push hard to keep up. The consequences were clearly felt in the come-down/after effect resulting in flatness and neurosis for the rest of the week, and the building need to go looking for love and connection again the next weekend.
It is not about condemning the party, the DJs, the technologies or our right to have fun, but about feeling the possibility that we have forgotten what true connection is about, and how restless and disconnected we really are inside and in our relationships with others – that we believe these experiences are natural, true fun and a great way to feel connected to life and people.
It has become a normalised way of going through life to settle for less than true love, beginning with our families and leading in to how we are with all others in life. We rarely get to hear about the grandness and wealth that lies within each one of us: at best we get in touch with seemingly life-affirming statements through religious institutions or new age currents with their re-interpreted truths. It is therefore not surprising that we are more willing to experiment with a spiral of ups and downs in order to escape from how loveless the world feels.
Returning to My True Self
In my experience I can say I spent invaluable time and energy in this way of life, in my desperate need to find myself, prove myself, free myself, meet others and belong, and funnily enough I ended up even more disconnected than before.
No regrets, but just an honest realisation that it has taken me a lot of time to clear everything from my body and brain. Also, I endured feelings of self-doubt, flatness, rejection of myself and others and anxiety, before accepting that my search would just end if I was to simply return to my true and steady nature inside.
To return I haven’t had to pray, use the power of my mind, choose salsa parties instead of techno parties or become a celibate, I have just chosen self-honesty, self-acceptance, self-love, self-appreciation and self-care as the new normal ways of relating to myself.
What I didn’t expect was that these would have such a huge impact, and that would unleash a very profound change in the relationship to myself, others, and life in general. What impulses me to connect with others these days is not any more that intense need and craving for attention, approval and excitement, but to really share who I truly am, learning to feel more at ease with showing my vulnerability and not so perfect areas, and to truly meet and discover the other person in their true nature and beauty.
Why not play it big instead of partying big, and trust that the love, sweetness and wisdom we have felt inside many times (no matter how fleeting those moments may have been) are truly what we need to honour, connect to and allow to expand, without fear of how much ugliness we see around us?
How different would it be to normalise the fact that there is an inner-heart within each human being that can be nourished and honoured through the way we appreciate, accept and live our lives?
What if every single person were to claim and embrace this? We could get a taste of how a human being feels when he or she truly loves, honours and accepts themselves and the trust, true connection and brotherhood that will follow, every time we get together and celebrate.