In A Perfect Poly World
Copyright © 2002-2005, WorldPolyamoryAssociation. All rights reserved.
By Janet Kira Lessin

People often tell me polyamory’s impossible, even when they’re in the midst of trying to do it themselves. Those same people say, “people are simply too jealous to do polyamory. Humans are so conditioned, they’ll never get over being jealous.” The funny thing is while they’re saying all this, they’re committed to trying to love more than one and do it “right”.

Polyamory’s juicy. The thought of loving outside the box, going beyond the norm, having your cake and eating it too excites us. Polyamory’s a concept that’s so enticing, it’s captivated a whole new generation.

Our phone rings off the hook. We’re polyamory counselors and polyamory has arrived. Our clients ask “What’s this polyamory stuff and how can I get some? More and more people can relate to the concept of polyamory; they know what it’s about, they’re getting poly saavy. Some are even beginning to know the difference between swinging and polyamory. Poly jargon’s everywhere. Even yahoo groups have a category for polyamory. We’ve come a long way.

Polyamory’s about growth. It’s a high-paced, super-charged, lightning-fast track to enlightenment. But polyamory has hazards. For one thing, once you succeed at polyamory, it’s impossible to climb back into monogamy’s box. The nuclear couple myth becomes clear. Expectations and shoulds fade away as illusion dissolves and reality of monotonous monogamy closes in.

Polyamory will waken you. You’ll grow so fast you’ll burst your seams. If you look at love in all its complexity, master loving more than one, you’re certain to smile. When you love more than one, your heart expands. Polyamory’s like some hidden secret; once you’ve succeeded, mastered your true potential to love, you’re on the inside track. You’re “in the know.” You understand love more fully and wonder how the rest of the world operates with its limited perspective.

Polyamorists and mongamists both can experience jealousy. However, jealousy serves no one. It’s self destructive. If you find yourself jealous, no matter what your relationship orientation look at what’s making you feel that way. See how you can rise above it. Are you putting yourself down by comparing yourself to others? Are you seeing lack rather than plenty? Are you not getting enough attention from your mate(s)? Is there something you can do to liven up your life and not be so dependent on others to get your needs met?

Jealous emotions challenge you to look within. See how you can change yourself to become more like what you admire in others. If they’re richer than you, can you earn more money?. If they’re slimmer than you, can you lose weight? Jealousy’s an opportunity for self-reflection. Go within. Do you love yourself? If now, how can you learn how to love yourself better? Can you stop going into victim, blame and shame? What work do you need to do on yourself? What healing can you do? Can you ask your lovers to help you heal?

If you learn how to love yourself, perhaps your mate(s) may want to spend more time with because you’ll be more fun to be with. Are you ready to feel more love in your life? Maybe it’s time to stretch your boundaries. Maybe your boundaries are too limiting and keep you from your bliss.

Once you’ve enjoyed watching your lover love another, you freed yourself of fear and negativity. You arrive. You finally “get it”. When you learn how to love unconditionally, it’s like jumping the high hurdle. You win the decathlon. Now you’re full of love and warm fuzzies. You’ve succeeded on a deep and profound level,. You’ve overcome your fears and limitations. Now you understand what love’s all about.

Back in 1993, when I started my first poly discussion group, Pali Paths, in Honolulu, there were only four of us. We wondered how to explain to others the depth of conviction we held in our souls to a concept that we felt was so right. Most folks thought we were crazy, looney tunes, eccentric, immoral. But deep down we knew it was about love in it’s purest form. We remembered how souls danced polyamorously, existed in a state of loving oneness. There must be some way to bring that loving state into the physical plane.

Many times we felt disheartened. People didn’t even know the term “polyamory”. Where were the others to share with us?

We held space at Pali Paths. Week after week no one showed up. We didn’t give up. We advertised, posted posters, chatted, educated, talked, went on radio, television, wrote for magazines, attended conferences. We came out of the closet the best we could without sacrificing jobs. We had our dramas and traumas. We alienated friends, family and some even lost jobs. It wasn’t easy, but we knew truth, at least for ourselves, and we thought our truth would resonate with a lot of others. Was that truly only 12 years ago? Look how much we’ve accomplished. Imagine where we’ll go?

I’m involved in a conscious poly network. I have clients who’ve mastered the jargon, blazed trails and are showing their friends and families the way. I have lovers who’ve learned how to overcome their fears and when to they come to me they show up, are fully present. I have family that’s learned how to accept me for who I am. Even my sister Louise, who once wanted to send Mormon deprogrammers to rescue me from my polyamorous boyfriend, now supports my choice of polyamory. Friends now honor my personal choices, and some even support legislation that lets me and others like me have our choices. We are poly pioneers and they are our supporters. We’re bold, brave, open, unafraid.

Poly beginners come in to my therapy office and look at their programming and cultural conditioning. They consciously chose to reprogram themselves. They look at their relationships and see how they can open to more love, include others. They come to support groups, workshops, conferences. They connect, see that they’re not so alone.

The world’s changing. The ultra-conservatives that get riled up by our choices seem ridiculous wrapped around their fears. We wonder what harm our loving those we do can possibly do to them. Yes, the world’s polarizing in many ways but there’s an opening, ever-so-slight, a window that gradually gives us more freedom. All we can do is persevere, hang in there and stay true to ourselves.

Ultimately, the truth will set us all free. Love is the hope of the world and polyamory, loving more than one sex partner, is one of the avenues to a more loving planet.