Is falling in love, staying in it and falling out really that simple? Or is it a series of complicated brain activities that eventually help a person to understand that love is but a feeling deep inside the brain that can be controlled by the aid of technology?
Not really an official scientific study, but singer and rapper Dessa experimented, to find out if she could undo all the feeling she once felt for a man, that had begun to seem insurmountable. Or just simply see if her brain could fall out of love and free her.
In this interestingly-detailed TED talk, she speaks about her struggles, about how she was up for anything that could give her some relief, and how eventually she did come across technology that proved to her that her feelings were a combination of mind and body, and art and science.
Speaking about her relationship, she says she was heartbroken and embarrassed that she couldn’t rebound from “what other people seemed to recover from so regularly”. “And even though I knew it wasn’t doing either of us any good, I just couldn’t figure out how to put the love down. Then, drinking my wine one night, I saw a TED talk by a woman named Dr Helen Fisher. And she said that in her work, she’d been able to map the coordinates of love in the human brain. And I thought, if I could find my love in my brain, maybe I could get it out,” she says.
Dessa then goes on to explain how she went ahead with her plan. How she reached out to doctors and recreated Fisher’s protocol. Eventually, she did succeed in freeing herself from what had been holding her for years. “And finally I allowed myself a moment to introspect, like how did I feel? And in one way, it felt like it was the same inventory of feelings that I had had at the outset. I had had love, and jealousy, and amity, and attraction and respect, and all those complicated feelings that you amass after a long-term love. But it felt like the benevolent feelings had risen to the surface. And the feelings of fixation and the less generous feelings weren’t quite so present. It sounds like a small thing in some way, like this re-sequencing of feelings, but to me it felt like the biggest thing,” she says.
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