The weekend before last, while my love was away at his Men's Weekend, I had a rare opportunity to spend some 'social' time, alone.
I spent most of Saturday working and I had a client in the evening. We were going to do some filming after the session to show at an event I was speaking at. I had gotten myself all dressed up and even put on some makeup.
My client had to cancel last minute and I found myself at 8pm on a Saturday night all dressed up with no place to go!
I resolved to take myself to a late movie. Here is where things get interesting...
The first thing I did was go home and put an ugly sweater over my beautiful outfit.
Even so, I noticed as I walked the few blocks to the movie theater, I was incredibly self-conscious and tight in my body...terrified that I might attract attention.
Lately I have noticed that I often dress to avoid attention with the excuse that it takes too long to get all 'done up'. When I am dressed in this sloppy way I generally want to be invisible. I don't want to talk to anyone about Tantra, don't want anyone to 'hit on' me, and I generally feel inside that people are probably thinking I am ugly and dull. Since I know that I am not ugly and dull I live with a feeling that I am holding a delicious secret.
The few times that I have been dressed up when my beloved is not with me I have noticed this theme of wanting to cover up, and feeling very uncomfortable in my body...a strange feeling that by being more visible I might get hurt somehow.
When I arrived at the theater I was the only one there.
I cannot begin to describe to you how terrified I became. I sat alone in the theater watching my body tighten up, feeling my breath become more shallow, and watching a slide-show in my mind of all the terrible things that could happen to me in my vulnerable state of aloneness in this theater.
Being the Tantrika that I am, I knew this was an opportunity to discover something. The truth was that I was most likely not in any danger. So what was I afraid of?
I played with relaxing my body and allowing myself to feel the sensation of fear inside of me. Within a few minutes the tension would come back...
During this experiment I began to notice that I was hoping that a woman or a couple would walk though the door of the theater. Somehow, this would make me feel safe...
And I was terrified that the next person to come in would be a man.
What became more and more clear to me is how much energy I spend every day feeling unsafe around men. The reality is that most of the men I encounter in my life will not physically harm me, but that does not seem to undo a collective consciousness of fear that if I am alone with a man I am at risk of being beaten and raped. Historically, it has happened so many times, to so many women that I think the fear may unconsciously live on in all of us.
How much do I allow this fear to run my life?
In the way I dress, in the subtle ways that I make myself small so as to go unnoticed? In the way my vagina sometimes tightens up and won't allow my lover deep inside of me? In the way I sometimes unconsciously want to punish my man...forgetting that in my holding back from him I am also denying my own pleasure and freedom...
So, more importantly, how do I ever go about moving beyond these fears, which are surely coming in the way of me being radiant in my life and of deeply surrendering to man?
I think in this moment, just experimenting with feeling the fear, keeping my body relaxed and allowing it to flow through me is the most effective way to face the demon. And being honest with myself when I feel it. Whether it be alone in a movie theater, or in the arms of my beloved.