We’ve settled in next to our lover.
We kiss. We cuddle. We make love until we have nothing left in our bodies to give. We are blessed by wave after wave of bliss as we give of ourselves and take from our lover. We gaze. We touch. We feel and we share of ourselves in a way we have never before. We have found our heaven and we need nothing outside of it.
We are one with each other. We can feel the power of the mind, body and soul intertwined in a holy dance. Each kiss, a testament of some holy verse never written, never spoken, but universally known just the same. No prayer brought us here. It is the prayer itself we utter with each sound of our ecstasy, and God itself exists where we are, not as some judgmental old man portrayed on a wall, but as the indescribable state of being we have found in each other. We are in our paradise, our land of milk and honey, our Garden of Eden.
And then we eat of the apple.
The morning sun shines and we awaken as man and woman once again. We don our fig leafs in various forms and we hide ourselves from the very God who blessed us. Slowly the veils are refreshed in our minds as we listen to the serpents tells us our stories of woe, creating the reality by which we live and in which we become who we think we are. I become “man” with my story and she “woman” with hers. We begin to taint the milk and honey with a bitterness that would not exist without our introduction. We begin to see the then in the now, the there in the here and completely change the landscape. The view hasn’t changed—the way we see it has.
Soon the lush vegetation begins to wither as the salty waters of our tears pollute the Garden. We begin to pull out the flowers with the weeds, and throw the good out with the bad. We hear the voices from our conditioning rise up within us and tell us a story that does not mesh with the one our love suggests is true. Our wounds open and we cry out in a searing testament to what was, often forgetting what is. We become the blinded Cain who forgets that yes, we are each other’s keeper.
Imagine the perfect heaven we have found in the mindless act of pure love, destroyed by the hell we have created in the mindful act of reliving pain.
Yes, the very God we have found in our moments of heaven throws us out of our Garden, never to return. We curse the serpent, but it’s us who has created it. We curse the apple, but it was us who chose it. We curse the very garden that brought us pleasure, but it was us who polluted it. Love never forgot; we forgot love, and in that mindless moment of fear, we set it all on fire and watched it burn.
Yes I have. Yes I did. And yes I have the burns to prove it.
I wish it was as easy as knowing all of this. Yes, I can see it all from the safe distance of my memory and yes, I can still smell the smoke tear apart my senses. Sure, I know all of this, but when the fear takes over, the knowing is often forgotten. You believe you know something else and believe that the apple is really what you want. The serpent whispers loudly in your ear, telling you that the past is here and now, and that this is just like that. You forget heaven and relive hell. You begin the search for proof that the serpent is lying, that the whisper isn’t real regardless of how real it once was. Yes, you know that you are dreaming but the dream seems more real than the reality you see. Truth becomes fiction and fiction become truth. Worse, you just can’t seem to help yourself.
You are…I am…forgetting
Then you become the wound, not just a wound on you, but also a wound on your lover. You create fear where none existed. You turn smiles into tears and laughs into cries. You don’t mean to, you are just responding to the whisper, but you can’t help but share the pain within you. You fail to remain mindful, and instead dive into a pool of mindless ambition where you do nothing but forget.
You think you are remembering. You think the wrongs inflicted on you in some distant life are protecting you. You believe that you are remembering. You are not. You are forgetting. You are forgetting everything that matters to you in this moment and replacing it with the nightmare of hells lived long ago. You are bringing fire to the Pearly Gates, and you are burning all that you Love. You are wrecking it by forgetting.
You even forget to breathe. You forget your mantra. You forget your dedication. You forget how awesomely wonderful it felt to be surrounded by your lover. You cast darkness into the light, and break windows with a stone hammer of forgetting who and what you are. You can only see what once was, as if you are dreaming some truth, but in reality you are forgetting the truth. You are leaving reality behind.
Had you truly been able to remember, you would have breathed. You would have settled down. You would have tasted the sweet nectar of the fruit in front of you and left the bitterness of the old stuff behind. Your peach would not have become a lemon, your wine not vinegar. You would have seen what was around you and not what was behind you. You would have embraced what was there now and forgotten what hurt you then.
Making Love Work
So, are we doomed to reliving hell?
Yes, in some part we are. We are a sum of our experiences, and we are spiritual beings having a human experience that begins at conception and ends with the moment we often call “the present.” Yet, even though we are a sum of our experience, we need not become a slave to it.
This has been the part I often forget in my daily life. Yes, I have experienced a lot in my life and yes, those experiences are a part of me. I have seen transformation and experienced the pains of that metamorphosis. Yes, all of this is “me” and I have a memory.
It seems to me, however, that I have too often become a slave to the very things that have hurt me in this experience. I see the pain and not the happiness too often in my life. I hear the whisper of the past more clearly than I hear the song of the love I feel in the present. I let the nightmare dictate my reality, and this is where a man must draw the line if he wishes to end the suffering and become one with the love and the lover.
It’s a choice, and it must be made. How do we make it? How do we flip the switch and end the grip that our pasts have on our nows?
Well, the answer seems to me to be meditation and awareness. See, the pain of the past (for me) has created a condition similar to the reaction Pavlov’s dogs got at the sound of the bell. Yes, I know the stimulus and I know the reaction. I can see the bell ringing and I know I am about to start drooling. So, it would seem I need to change the reaction the bell creates in me.
That happens using the awareness and meditating on the response I wish to have. I’ve done that a lot in my life—seeing what I want to change and making it happen through contemplation and consciousness. It can happen, but I know it isn’t easy and I know that there aren’t many Eves out there who can wait for this Adam to drop the fig leafs.
The question must be asked: Do I want to end those practices that have created suffering in my life and in the life of those I love, or, am I happy ignoring my role in choosing hell over heaven? If there truly is bliss in ignorance, I haven’t found it, but can certainly see why some people bury their heads in the sand. Sometimes it just feels safer.
Now, my lover, I know. We’ve eaten the apple and we’ve burned the Garden. In the smoke-filled haze of what once was a beautiful experience we view the ashen landscape we have created. There is hope, however, for in the fading embers of what was there is a small sapling that has survived. There are seeds planted in the ground still fertile with hope and love. Beneath the surface of despair there are tiny seeds of hope and promise for what is to come. All is not lost despite the destruction we are seeing now.
That is how we make love work. We feel enough to know, care enough to see and love enough to want to bring the Garden alive. Our tears carve paths through the ashy remains of our dreams now staining our faces. This is hope as we can either use those tears to cleanse us of our wounds or to create new ones.
For me, it is time I clean up this act and move beyond the fear my experience has created. It won’t be easy, but it will be a walk in the park. Or rather, a walk in the Garden. I’ve seen it; I love it, and I want to live in it. Forever.
Editor: Brianna Bemel