Seven months ago, I gave up my career as a psychoanalyst and energy healer to do…absolutely nothing.
I wanted to see what would happen in the space of just being, unattached to any role, without pursuing any goals. I wanted to feel what space felt like and what would emerge there if I didn’t try to define it—or myself—so quickly.
I had fantasies of course—one of which was to dive more into my body, to embrace more fully my femininity, to unleash my sexuality. I had visions of raw sexual desire, animalistic experiences cutting through any inhibitions and unresolved shame that was still there. I was on a path, ready to meet her: the lioness, free to feel and express herself, yet also the master of her queendom, knowing her power so well, she could unleash it to create anything she imagined, while destroying nothing without intention.
And so here I am.
Seven months later…just at the beginning, really, of the rest of my life. What emerged during this time were six men and a lot of short poems. But these weren’t about raw sexual experiences demonstrating how unlimited my sexuality could be, how far I could go, and with how many different people I could explore all the different angles of my fantasies. No, I’ve just begun the journey into that forest, an adolescent girl blooming into a woman, just beginning to get a sense of the landscape, the smells, the textures, the paths.
What happened instead (quite the opposite of my amateur pornographic fantasies) was a journey into my vulnerability.
My body slowed me down to teach me that my feminine and sexual power is much more nuanced than unleashing into a space of raw desire. That if I wanted to be fully sexual in an act that felt connected and empowering, I had to be also fully connected to my deepest fears, that I had to move through my most vulnerable moments in the presence of another, that sex indeed can be completely and wonderfully animalistic, but that sex also happens in an eye gaze with someone you are so in tune with, you don’t have to touch at all. That sex happens when you are honest with the person you are with about how awkward and ashamed you feel. That the sexiest thing can be to cry while you are having sex instead of orgasming. That the hottest thing is showing up for ourselves when we we feel like running out the door and shutting down forever. That sexuality and vulnerability and femininity are so incredibly linked, and they have a whole lot more to do with just being ourselves at all times, instead of who we think we should be or what society has taught us to act like.
And so here—this short poem below—is what came through me as I encountered my shame, feeling completely unlovable, but deciding to stay with myself nonetheless. It has been a journey into connection, and my heart, since then, has been feeling very happy.
For my German Lover.
And then the moment came when I began to allow it.
The shame, it moved through me fast and I froze and I shivered
And I couldn’t speak
So I shattered into a million pieces.
That’s what it felt like.
And then I felt (as I often do) that I could die here,
All shattered and alone
And that I might die even harder from being left by you unseen
In my shattered frozen place.
But I let myself break
Because when I abandon myself, that feels like dying too.
I fell into the space that you held for me
And found the sun that is you, that is me, that is there always in the center
Holding the swirling scattered pieces of the galaxy together
Because that’s just what it does.
Every time I do this now,
I learn to trust
And every time I trust
I can feel the sun moving through me so warm and yellow
And I find myself exploding into a million different pieces of aliveness.
Author: Danielle Benvenuto
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron