In the early-morning hours I had a dream in which I was preparing to give a presentation about my findings on the influence of limbic resonance in relationships, using a hand-held apple pie as an illustration. I was seated in the back of the audience and my partner, in the front. Just prior to our turn to present, the thought crossed my mind, “I have absolutely NO idea what ‘limbic resonance’ IS!” and I then frantically conducted a google-search on my phone - which seemed unusually small and I couldn’t find my reading glasses - but was called up to the stage before I was able to get any answers. I ran toward the front of the auditorium, sliding to the podium in my stocking feet (because, or course, I was not wearing any shoes) like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. The audience applauded.
I began the presentation while my partner clutched two hand-held pies, a cutting board and knife in front of her. “The pie on your left,” I informed the audience, “has been created in an environment of positive limbic resonance.” My partner placed the pie on the cutting board and sliced into it. She held up the two sections revealing perfectly gelled cinnamon-dotted filling, cubes of tiny, uniform apple pieces floating evenly throughout the cocoon of its golden flakey crust. The screen behind us provided a close-up of our illustration as a video camera zoomed in.
We then turned our attention to the remaining pie. “This pie, was created in a state of negative limbic resonance.” My assistant cut this pie in half, revealing insides of tiny round pellets, resembling Dippin’ Dots. Some of the dots spilled out onto the cutting board. The audience gasped.
I woke up from my dream and repeated ‘limbic resonance’ over and over, fearful I’d forget the phrase. I wanted to be sure to google it when I was awake for the day. After a while, the word “resonance” didn’t even seem like a real word in my muddled mind. It hounded me until daybreak when I found this description of it from the authors of a book entitled A General Theory of Love (2000). According to an article here, the authors introduced the term and describe it as “a symphony of mutual and internal adaptation whereby two mammals become attuned to each other’s inner states.” The article continues:
According to their research, limbic resonance is vital to personal interaction and relationships. It is the physical and mental process that provides individuals with a sense of compatibility when with one person or emotional hijacking when with another.
According to the authors, emotions are contagious; we catch them, and we spread them. This means that when we are with other people, physical measures such as heart rate, respiration and blood pressure change to correspond to those of the other person, particularly when looking into their eyes.
Over the past few months, I’ve been seeking out opportunities to have purposeful, affirming interactions with my kids and grandkids. I’ve got an Apple Blossom from Trader Joe’s in the oven for my grandson. I’ll be contemplating my relationships - those that provide compatibility and those that have felt hijacked - throughout my day, I’m sure . . .