Oh, Intimacy.

Intimacy.

It sounds so appealing, doesn’t it?   Enticing.  Fun.  Close.

Sexy.  Safe.  Secret.

Fantasy made real.

But then there’s the uncomfortable feelings that might occur.  Like fear and insecurity.  Or jealousy.  Issues of control.  Attachment.  Need and want.  Vulnerability.

Oh, shit.

It’s one thing to send someone a sexy photo of some naked portion of your body under just the right light.  It’s another to stand naked with your feelings and thoughts in front of someone without playing games of shielding.

For me, stepping into intimacy has been a slow journey.  I learned to hide early on, to transform myself on a superficial level to accommodate the external world.  I learned to be a yes girl.  An actress in everyone else’s story but my own.  I picked up on cues… what will make them like me?  What will make me acceptable?  How can I get the attention I need?   With men, I shared my body, but not my truth.  How intimate is that?  Not very.

None of this is unique!  A common, common story.

I denied myself food, and pleasure, and fun, and self-love.  My breath was shallow, my thoughts were often shallow.  My sense of suffering was chronic.  The paradigm I believed in depended on my oblivion to what it was that I actually wanted to experience.  My “want” was insidiously driven by the power of external validation.  The story of chasing my worth outside of myself, looking for love while holding my breath, is long and sort of boring.  It’s a story of false starts and dead ends.  A story of resisting my own knowing.

Intimacy is like waking up sober from your own thoughts, your own story.  It is the is-ness that is here now.

Intimacy has everything to do with honoring what feels good rather than what looks good.  Living without the story of some external reward or external validation, I am free to realize that breathing feels good.  Listening to my body feels good.  Self-love in its many forms of expression feels good.  Following my intuition feels good.  Not rushing to decide, respond or act feels good.

When I am free from the story of what I should or should not look like, feel like, accomplish or gain – I can look around with fresh eyes at this world that is truly, constantly, my own reflection.  I can move from that place.  I can smile first, or love, or hug.  I can receive.

I can say yes, gladly and honestly.  I can say no, simply.

Oh, Intimacy.

Dare I approach you?  Dare I let you in?  Dare I sit in stillness and ask the question: “Who?”

Who is having these thoughts?  Who is watching them?  Who is feeling the emotion?  Who is observing the feelings?  Who owns the sense of lack or want or need?

Who is chasing?  Who is forgetting and who is remembering?  Who is breathing in?  Who is letting it go?

Ohhhh…

So close, so intimate.  So completely woven into the tapestry of our lives, our stories.

Who is weaving?

 

Namaste.

 

 

Undateable

As the day of love approaches, I find myself considering putting myself back on “the online market” so to speak, as in online dating.  I’ve done it before, but it’s been over a year and I stopped because I wasn’t having very much fun.  However, I’ve heard of a couple of newer sites that sound like they might be worth a try, and besides – it’s all about where you’re at in the moment, right?  We attract that which we are vibing, that which we are putting out in the Universe.

I question the validity of my efforts, though, for there are a few “snags” in my fabric that make me feel a bit ~ you guessed it ~ undateable:

  • I’m a cat lady. I’m also a little crazy, but that is not a diagnosed condition, just my own self-assessment.  I only have two cats, but they are my children.  And they are the glue that holds my family together.  So my potential mate must like cats.  He must not be allergic to cats.  And he must specifically receive signs of approval from MY cats.  No pressure.
  • I am a single parent of teenage boys. I have been a single parent through the majority of their childhood.  I’m decent at it, but I won’t lie – the challenges are real and constant.  I love my boys something fierce.  And I bow to them as my greatest teachers.  They come first, always.  I need and desire a relationship in which I am understood as a mother.  I wear many hats and my superpowers are vast.  But damn, I could use a break sometimes.  Men I’ve dated often think they get it, but then they don’t.  This does not seem to be contingent on their own experience of raising children, but guys with kids potentially have more of a clue. “Potentially” being the key word….
  • My mind is cracked open to the awareness of human suffering. I care deeply.  Specifically, issues regarding sexism, violence against women, racism, violence against people of color, economic oppression, disregard of people living in poverty, violence against children, and the subtle yet violent brainwashing of men.  I want to talk about these things.  I want a meaningful discourse about these realities with the person I am dating.  I crave an ongoing conversation that makes our hearts softer and our words more kind, even as the pain of understanding suffering breaks our hearts and minds.  I don’t want the band-aid or the kool-aid!  Please, travel in this space with me.  Not for me, but because your soul is aware of its own contract and you, too, have come here to awaken and forgive, love and forgive, be and forgive, forgive, forgive.
  • I have experienced the end of myself. For many years, I kept hitting a cement wall (the end of myself), and it would feel painful and it would be a huge learning experience, but I kept re-creating my identity and my attachments.  Somehow, over time, I have given myself over to this death.  I still attach myself to my identity, but it is somehow looser, kinder and more porous.  The “me” I thought I was isn’t real.  This I know.  The “me” I identify with today is only temporary.  I long to constantly experience the end of myself, for that is the glimpse I have into a life of freedom.
  • When “I” stop clinging to “me” there is a letting go that usually makes me weep because I am so grateful and so relieved.  It is like a load of ten thousand bricks has been lifted from my mind and I can feel, for a moment, that the life that breathes and moves in this body is eternal and sacred and unaffected by conditions.  This presence is deathless, changeless and undeterred by my creative displays of suffering and story-telling.  In fact, it is through these experiences of suffering, these “dreams” if you will, that I seek the end of myself more and more.  Suffering was my introduction to freedom, for it was in times of trial that I rigorously pursued the presence of unwavering love.  I chased my lies until I found the thing that was far more interesting, and to this day I drop to my knees in my heart center when I feel this end, this death, this eternal nature.  I feel it as the the living water, and still I know that I am only grazing the surface of how brilliant it really is.

 

I suppose these are not too many deterrents, but in my experience, the trail gets less and less crowded on the path of soul-reckoning.  There often seem to be more women than men on this trail.  It is somewhat inconvenient that I am primarily straight.  So good luck to me!  Ha! 😉

Also, blessings and love to you – whoever and however you may be – on your love journey and in your seeking.  Namaste.