September 17, 2020

No more Lukewarm Love—I want a Slow, Sweet Burn.

Why do we say, fall in love?

That has, in the past, felt too much like falling from grace—my own. 

I want to rise in love, be reborn in love. I want to be incinerated in love’s fire, to watch the pretty pictures I have painted burn and reveal the real—the ache, hurt, the care, the passion—all of it. 

We don’t do enough things slowly these days. Why the rush? Why turn life’s sweetest balm into yet another addiction, another distraction from ourselves? 

Most of us don’t really know how to be with ourselves and so, too often, we wind up using others to assuage our loneliness instead of truly delving into life—the hard, holy, human, messy, glorious, passionate, imperfect, raw pulsing thing that it is—with another person. 

Guilty. 

I was so afraid of being alone, of having failed at yet another relationship, that I kept myself in a sort of limbo for years. 

The fall was glorious. We had met at a seminar, at which I was a stage presenter, and I had chosen him as a volunteer to demonstrate the technique I was then teaching. The technique was an energetic healing modality that was based on the quantum physics theory of entanglement. It had a unique side effect of disrupting a person’s relationship with gravity. In other words, they often fell down. 

Healing—like love—isn’t supposed to be about falling; it’s meant to be an awakening.

That process is what I now think of as a phenomenon; it’s not indicative of real change occurring. But I was as taken with the process then as I was about to become with that man. And I assumed we’d fit together because of our shared interests. 

I had seen him from the stage—tall, dressed in black, amidst a sea of New Age type, middle aged women. He stood out. 

When I began my demonstration, I got caught in the wave, and as he went down, I nearly lost my balance as well. Well, nearly doesn’t cover it. I lost my balance for nearly a decade, not in that moment but in the months and years following. 

We moved too fast, moving in together within a few months; him moving thousands of miles to be with me. It was a whirlwind romance that began with an epic cross-country road trip that landed us in Seattle, in the home I shared with my two roommates and my then nine-year-old daughter. 

We know what we know and it is amazing what we will do to convince ourselves that we do not know it, just so we don’t disturb the wet paint on our plaster fantasies. 

Perhaps this shade of pink will convince me that I can be satisfied without touch or passion, without warmth or real conversation. Perhaps one more bottle of wine will stain my life the color that my soul longs to see—red. 

There was no red in that man. 

I knew it about three months after he moved in, when one morning I was absolutely melting over the chill I already felt settling over our relationship. 

I had said to him, through my tears, “I cannot live without warmth from you.” He had put his arms around me, and there began the dance that would last nearly a decade. He would give me just enough to keep me hoping and I—like a starving woman—kept licking the crumbs from his fingers.

After nearly a decade of lulling myself to sleep with craft beer, shallow sex, too much Netflix, and debilitating migraines—I left. 

Staring across the lake one misty evening, I belly-howled my hurt and rage into the night, and in my mind I heard the reply in his voice say, “Sh! You’ll disturb the neighbors.” Funny, he had said the same thing to me one afternoon while I was in the throes of passion.

You don’t shush a woman when she is coming. Please, don’t. 

I can honestly say, I would rather starve in the woods or be eaten alive by wolves than ever settle for a lukewarm love again. 

So now what?

There is a man whom my soul and body chooses, only I will not fall—I will open. 

You may ask, “What is the difference between falling in love and opening to it?”

Everything. 

Every risk I take is measured through my body and is held with the deepest intent to bring my whole self with me, to include me—mind, heart, and cunt—no matter what happens. 

I am responsible for my own vulnerability and it is my primary responsibility. 

How could I ever be present with anything that my sweet, life-worn lover might bring to the table if the cost of holding him is leaving myself behind? 

I know the answer to that—I have lived it—I can’t. 

We first made love on a full moon and I had done what I never did—I’d taken him immediately to bed. There was no break in our communication from the table to the sheets, between our lips as clothes were shed.

Of course I want more of that and I want to offer so much more of myself, without expectation but in honoring each blessed moment, and our unique connection.

But how do we give more when we, ourselves, have been so broken? With caution. 

We protect ourselves, our space, our priorities, our time, and our energy. We lean into the container that our values provide for us and we watch this sweet other to see if they are who they appear to be beyond our projections onto them. 

I would like to care more about you than about my feelings for you. ~ Waylon Lewis

How often, I wonder, do we fall in love with our own feelings—our hopes, dreams, and pretty pictures of that beautiful other?

We tend to look at people as if they are a brand, and we decide if we like, or not, what they seem to represent. Then maybe we go on a date. We wear perfume and buy each other drinks. We stifle our instincts and size them up to see if they will fit into our lives. 

We don’t slow down often enough to ask ourselves how we really feel. If we do not know what we value, we will accept whatever we imagine another has to fill in those places where we have been hurt, abandoned, and abused. 

There is no love without safety. And I would like us to feel safe with each other. 

I would like to weave a web of reassurance together. 

I would like us to be honest. I would like to know no matter what we choose today or tomorrow or months from now that we will still be here for ourselves. 

~

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