As I have been sharing in my newsletter, 9 days ago, my beloved Martin and I, chose to take on a daily practice. We have done this several times, bringing in different practices throughout our partnership. Sometimes the impetus comes through a divine inspiration, sometimes through an invitation from a class we are taking, sometimes we are craving a certain sensation or nourishment that a particular practice gives us… this time is was because we were seriously struggling.
It is often difficult for me to share with you the struggles I experience in my partnership because it is so tender for me and I so want to be making the ‘right’ choices. I honestly fear being judged for being a ‘less-than’ woman because my relationship isn’t always smooth. Having said that, I have always learned the most from the teachers who opened themselves to me and showed me all sides of their journey. It gave me a new level of trust for them AND a relaxed feeling in my body when I realized that there was no such thing as someone who has it all together. (I have spent a lot of my life comparing myself against the ‘perfection’ I imagine other people have mastered). Because of my experience, I have always shared honestly about our ups and downs and the feedback has almost always been positive.
So, I share with you here a little about my experience of our journey in the hopes that you may find some wisdom in our exploration.
This Tuesday morning, during the lovemaking portion of our practice, I looked into my beloved’s eyes. I was heavy with the fights and confusion we had had just days before, and he looked like a stranger to me. It felt so painful that I didn't know him and that I felt it would never be the same between us. I could not touch the love that we once had, which I had come to rely on to feel our connection and I was too busy being terrified about that to allow myself to rediscover him. I felt paralyzed in this limbo, in the discomfort, stuck in my head, in the not knowing what would become of us... My heart literally began to burn, I could see that he was right there, but I could not let myself fully let him in and I could not feel him…
In hindsight, I became aware of a powerful pattern I have used to keep love at bay through this experience with him. Anytime something isn’t perfect, in any aspect of my life, I don't want to let myself relax because I'm afraid that will mean that it will never move, it will never change. 'Don't relax into this, this is not okay'... I get scared that I am going to become complacent or I am going to accept something less than what I am supposed to do in this life, or that I will die never knowing freedom, never taking advantage of the choices that I have.
It ties into some idea like, ‘if I am feeling totally happy, I may not be living my full potential.’ I think this is what we have been sold. ‘Don't think you have it all... you definitely need to buy this in order to feel whole’...
This translates in my partnership because when I am not happy with what’s happening between us I start to feel like; ‘I cannot open my heart. I need to look at the fact that I am not happy here’ and I start closing down parts of myself . This of course perpetuates the challenge and the distance between us...
That day, after our lovemaking, I continued to feel the burning in my heart. My heart started to feel like it was opening so much that my shoulders felt like they were moving down and my chest was opening naturally. There was a sensation that I was being peeled open to make space for this burning (perhaps cracking open) of my heart.
By Thursday, I was still playing with that edge of allowing the love in and that feeling of 'but I'm questioning and I don't know if our values are aligned and I don't know if it's working between us and I don't like how he does this and that and therefore I won't open.’
But somehow, miraculously, instead of leaning into that and getting caught in my head, I just chose to open anyway. I wasn’t paralyzed, I just chose to love him anyway and allow myself to feel the love flowing between us… and to let it be dangerous.
Maybe I will get lost in the love and forget that we are incompatible (how funny that I consider that to be a problem) or forget to fight for what I believe in for our partnership or loose myself and give up my power.
I just let myself open. And guess what happened? He opened, he shined, he transformed back into the man I had once fallen in love with (who I felt I hadn’t seen in a while). And I still didn’t know him. I looked into his eyes, with my heart open and I surrendered to this man who I don’t know at all. After the challenges we have been through in the recent weeks, it is true, our partnership will never be the same. And perhaps that is sad, it can be difficult to let go of the beauty and the wild love that we have shared.
The miracle is this, I saw him for the first time. I opened my heart and my body to a man I do not know, a man I cannot know. I allowed myself to step into the dangerous unknown of opening my heart without a net. Without our history to rest on, without a promise of the future. Nothing externally has changed, we still face the same life-challenges that we did 3 days ago, but now, we are moving through them fueled by love. Now, no matter what unfolds, love is flowing between us.
I allowed myself to be foolish the way that we all are when we are first touched by romantic love. I let myself not need to know if everything is going to work out, if we will agree on whether to move or philosophical ideas… I let myself get lost in his arms, in his touch and through that the field of energy around us unraveled and we dissolved for a moment into love.
And the lovemaking was beautiful. And my body was effortlessly open to him. And for a moment we were whole together.
I often say to couples, open your eyes and see your partner for the very first time. I don’t think I ever understood what it would take to truly do that. How much there is to risk when we let go of thinking we know the person before us.
Who knows what is ‘right’ in relating? I think if we are constantly worried about that we can easily forget the more important question to meditate on, ‘what is love?’.