Would You Date Sheldon Cooper?

Sheldon Cooper, Iron Man,  Sherlock Holmes, Spock.  What do all these men have in common? They are all men I have a crush on.  And they all demonstrate characteristics of Aspergers Syndrome. One book on adult Aspergers relationships is even titled Loving Mr Spock.

Aspergers runs in my family so it’s not unusual that I have a high level of comfort with it.  It was surprising for me to fall in love with an Aspie (affectionate term for one with Aspergers) and not realize it was there.

A person with Asperger syndrome may have trouble understanding the emotions of other people, and the subtle messages sent by facial expression, eye contact and body language are often missed or misinterpreted. Because of this, people with Asperger syndrome might be mistakenly perceived as being egotistical, selfish or uncaring.  Interestingly, one author has said if you feel like you are in love with the most selfish man in the world, that is usually a sign to check for Aspergers. 

These are unfair labels because the person concerned is neurologically unable to understand other people’s emotional states. People with Asperger syndrome are usually shocked, upset and remorseful when told their actions were hurtful or inappropriate. Even individuals who are high achieving and academically or vocationally successful can have trouble negotiating the ‘hidden rules’ of courtship. Aspies can be incredibly open and send signals that suggest intimacy. They do not recognize the boundaries that differentiate friendship from courtship.  And without knowing you are in a relationship with an Aspie, you can fall in love with someone who had no intention of that nor any desire for you. 

“Some common issues for partners of people with Asperger syndrome include: 1) Frustrations, since problems in the relationship do not seem to improve despite great efforts, and 2) Doubting the integrity of the relationship, or frequently wondering about whether or not to end the relationship.” Better Health

I have struggled hard to express my boundaries,  and with an Aspie that is critical. Over time, I could accept the Asperger tendancy towards asexual behavior,  the unlikely possibility of sharing a life, and difficulty with physical contact. His wisdom and skill with energy made him profoundly attractive from a spiritual partnership perspective. His soul was beautiful and the consciousness he could demonstrate was a great mirror for spiritual growth. When we were in soul alignment,  nothing was better. Except he is not monogamous and I am. And finally, after 7 years of deep sharing and partnership, he told me he can’t and doesn’t love me.

A typical relationship pattern with Aspies is their challenge with monogamy.  The nuance between types of relationships and maintaining the integrity of those relationships requires social and emotional awareness that is not easily part of the Aspie repertoire.  Informal discussions with other women in relationship with Aspies showed the same patterns. (Patterns of emotional outbursts, abuse and inability to handle adult life responsibility also exist but go beyond scope of my experience). I have read stories of Aspies who turned to spouses of 20 years, told them they didn’t love them,  and then were completely surprised to find their spouse packing up to leave.

I have left the relationship and I have done so without losing myself. I feel more sadness over the loss of Our Best Moments,  but the freedom and release is beautiful.  I forgive him,  because he would never want to hurt me. I think by being honest that he doesn’t love me he demonstrated exceptional integrity, and ironically, love. One day, we may find ourselves in some form of alignment. Today, he is the last part of 2013 I need to release. And I do. With gratitude for the space it creates in me for Me.

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Why So Sad?

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As much as I adore Christmas music, I turn back to modern music (independent alternative,  electro, jazz, folk, trance, etc.) with an easy farewell to songs of Santa. I’ve been off line long enough that “Say Something” was new to me. 

It’s a beautiful song. The emotion is heart wrenching,  the visuals more so. It gave voice to my own emotions.  

Except those haven’t been my emotions for some time.  Just the last week or so. At kirtan a week ago, I felt loving community.  At kundalini dance on Fridays, I felt joyful. And in Brazil,  I discovered my peaceful loving self reflected back to me in many forms of song and dialogue. 

So why so sad? “Maybe you like being sad,” a friend once said. “You create it so easily. ” It is true that I find poignancy and tragedy to be beautiful. Sustained wistfullness is artful.

I was listening to Esther Hicks talk about our collective consciousness of Sad. Our music is about heart break and loss. Very little of our music speaks of our infinite potential or of the joy of connection. 

We don’t realize how powerful music is in our creation process. We sing words that we release with emotion. And when we really like a song, we almost meditate it into our soul. That is powerful creation work. Emotion is the power that feeds manifestation.

I have not been sad for a long time.  I am right now and it will pass. But when I was listening to holiday hits, I felt better.  As I move back into joy, I will carefully choose my music, too.

Say Something – lyrics

Say something, I’m giving up on you
I’ll be the one, if you want me to
Anywhere, I would’ve followed you
Say something, I’m giving up on you

And I am feeling so small
It was over my head
I know nothing at all

And I will stumble and fall
I’m still learning to love
Just starting to crawl

Say something, I’m giving up on you
I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you
Anywhere, I would’ve followed you
Say something, I’m giving up on you

And I will swallow my pride
You’re the one that I love
And I’m saying goodbye

Say something, I’m giving up on you
And I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you
And anywhere, I would’ve followed you

Say something, I’m giving up on you

Say something, I’m giving up on you
Say something

Reiki: An excommunicatable practice

Did you know that the practice of reiki was an excommunicatable practice? I recently read a book called Everyhing A Christian Needs Know About Reiki. It is a sincere attempt to explain reiki and prove why it is evil and satanic by a Catholic priest. I was surprised that the church had taken a stand on reiki – it never occured to me that it was a dangerous practice in the eyes of a loving Divine God. Of course, it isn’t dangerous to God. But it is to the Church.

I think it is very valuable to explore perspectives that are uncomfortable.  I actually think we have a moral responsibility to do so. Challenging what we believe and why we believe it has been the foundation of human evolution. 

The book relies heavily on Diane Stein’s reiki manual Essential Reiki. One criticism leveled at reiki by the priest is that reiki is a feminine practice.  This is not a startling conclusion since Diane Stein is a Dianic feminist,  meaning she rejects the masuline energy and patriarchy of life. But it is from this one source that the book is written. The church is a patriarchal institution so it’s not surprising to have a criticism leveled against reiki from that basis. Since the author has no experience with reiki, and since he does not seem to have spoken with a reiki teacher, and he is using one unique source for his knowledge, much of his understanding of reiki is incorrect.

I suppose what startled me most was dismissing reiki for its lack of scientific evidence.  My understanding is that miracles generally have no scientific basis or evidence yet the church embraces miracles.

Is the real issue that reiki places the ability to heal in our hands? Is it because reiki does not require the intercession of a savior?  Is it because reiki threatens the foundation of power of the church? If we commune directly with the divine, or recognize we are in fact divine, then the foundations of the church are smashed apart. We embrace our nature as miraculous and powerful which is in fact one possible outcome from learning reiki.

Two contrasting articles:

http://amazingcatechists.com/2012/05/reiki-not-for-catholics-not-now-not-ever/

http://www.christianreiki.org/info/FAQ.htm

Why bother with a relationship if you are on a spiritual path?

I have started to investigate and inquire into the lessons about rejection or abandonment in relationship that people I care about have experienced.  This continues to be one of my biggest lessons, and I really am not sure what to do with it anymore.  I have done the psychological approach to exploring it, with some success.  I have done the spiritual approach to it, with greater success.  But it continues to erupt in me, and it is triggered by things that make no sense.  At this point, I feel like it is a distraction from my spiritual path, and I would like to set it down.

As I study more deeply into spirituality, and reflect honestly within myself, I know that traditional relationship is not my path.  My spiritual commitment is too great to be willing to commit to a relationship and its expectations without losing myself.  I have spoken to some people who have made their relationship a version of spiritual service.  I have talked to people who have found their spiritual path enriched through relationship.  I have read a growing body of literature suggesting that traditional relationship as a form is dying, and is being replaced by a sacred union, a spiritual union, between men and women who share a path and are willing to support the growth of the other on this journey.

Along the way, I have questioned if we even need a relationship for spiritual growth.  Why would I bother? With all the complications, and the possibility for loss and abandonment? With the potential to be engulfed by the other and lose the opportunity to be my Self? Let alone the difficulty in finding individuals with whom you share a compatible spiritual approach and spiritual path! To me, it seems unnecessary. And yet, something in me recognizes the beauty of seeing another living their purpose, and to have things reflected to you that you cannot see or access on your own. I recognize the beauty of healing with another. Perhaps my resistance to relationship is a resistance to face and heal that deep issue around abandonment and rejection and loss.

So what would a spiritual, evolutionary, equal relationship look like? Is spiritual partnership a new idea, or just an awakening to the union of the divine feminine and masculine without the social norms and baggage getting in the way?

I am not a student of the Kabbalah, but as one of the older traditions, it provides a baseline for understanding the divine union. “Having a spiritual connection means that both partners knows the reason for their existence – to embark on the spiritual journey and attain the spiritual goal of life. Then they will have something that truly connects them, they will be in a mutual “cell” together, and the verse “Man, woman, and the Divine Presence between them” will really come true. In other words, they will feel the revelation of the Divine Presence – the Creator.” Kabbalah and Relationships  I believe that the only true connection between individuals is a spiritual one.  We may share many experiences together, but true connection occurs between spiritually awake individuals.

The idea of relationship being spiritual, not a socially defined tradition, was reflected in many of the works of Osho.  In the book” Love, Freedom, and Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships”. we are told:

“A relationship is a koan. And unless you have solved a more fundamental thing about yourself, you cannot solve it. The problem of love can be solved only when the problem of meditation has been solved, not before it. Because it is really two non-meditative persons who are creating the problem. Two persons who are in confusion, who don’t know who they are — naturally they multiply each other’s confusion, they magnify it.

Unless meditation is achieved, love remains a misery. Once you have learnt how to live alone, once you have learnt how to enjoy your simple existence, for no reason at all, then there is a possibility of solving the second, more complicated problem of two persons being together. Only two meditators can live in love — and then love will not be a koan. But then it will not be a relationship either, in the sense that you understand it. It will be simply a state of love, not a state of relationship…” Osho

A koan is a paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment. So relationship exists with spiritual purpose and intention. And the relationship reflects the consciousness of the two lovers.  For all the tines in the West that we have glorified romance and passion, have celebrated longevity in marriage, and put controls and conditions around relationship to protect its real purpose – the protection of the rights of property – we have lost the role models and examples of real spiritual union between man and woman.

The most likely place for modeling of divine union is Tantra.  But it has been so twisted in the West that what remains in popular images is like trying to understand the history and culture of Brazil simply because you took a semester of Portuguese.  ““Tantra“ is now a buzzword in the modern Western world. We see it on the covers of popular magazines and books, usually linked with a vaguely suggestive and titillating notion of some kind of superlative sexual experience. Though almost everyone has heard this word, almost no-one—including many people claiming to teach something called tantra—knows anything about the historical development of the Indian spiritual tradition that scholars refer to as “Tantra.“ What these academics study as “Tantra“ bears almost no resemblance to what is taught under the same name on the workshop circuit of American alternative spirituality. ” Christopher Hareesh Wallis

So what can relationship on a spiritual path look like? It is formless.  It is indescribable, because it reflects the consciousness and intent of the partners.  It is based on the spiritual principles of Being, of acting from Consciousness, of Openness and Acceptance to what is.  It is Consciousness reveling in the recognition of Consciousness, of the joy of individualized expression.  It can last a lifetime, or a brief moment in time.  It can shift and change form.  It transcends all the psychology of relationship, and calls for a cultural shift in how we shape and experience each other.  It trusts in the Universe, and celebrates the process of co-creation with the Universe.

Do you need a relationship? No, not at all.  But if you are going to create one to serve as part of your growth, you will probably be on the bleeding edge of expressing spiritual partnership in our culture today.  It is called the bleeding edge because so few people will be doing what you are doing at first, and because it hurts when you are the change you want to see in the face of history and social dictate. And yet, isn’t all of life precisely like that? Isn’t living in freedom how all things change anyway?

If The World Were My Lover

IF THE WORLD WERE MY LOVER
Words and music by Libby Roderick

From If the World Were My Lover

If the world were my lover I would ask her to dance
Under skies filled with thunder and with lightning and flame
If the world were my lover I would wrap her in leaves
And build her a shelter at the close of the day
If the world were my lover I would lay down beside her
And caress her with laughter and with roses and rain
If the world were my lover I would never forsake her
I would always remember her name.

If the world were my lover and I told her a lie
I would search through the danger for the source of the pain
If the world were my lover and I lashed out in fear
I would fight like a warrior to redeem her again
If the world were my lover, even deep in my anger
I would always forgive her, never leave her to blame
If the world were my lover I would never forsake her
I would always remember her name.

And I would do the same for you, the same for you, for you are of my world
And I will do whatever I must do, whatever to be true, to a lover of such beauty

If the world were my lover I would venture my life
To try and protect her against hunger and pain
If the world were my lover I would walk by her side
Every step a reminder that her heart knows the way
If the world were my lover I would hold her so tender
As she wept at the horrors that I cannot explain
If the world were my lover I would never forsake her
I would always remember her name.

And I would do the same for you, the same for you, for you are of my world
And I will do whatever I must do, whatever to be true, to a lover of such beauty

Sing for me, sing, for we always will be deep in the heart of mysterious love

If the world were my lover I would fight to be true
To the passion inside her, to the source of the flame
If the world were my lover I would know in my soul
That her heart is a fire only wildness can tame
If the world were my lover I would see myself shining
Knowing deep down within her, we are one and the same
If the world were my lover I would never forsake her
I would always remember her name.

Revolutionary Love and Spiritual Partnership

loverevolutionWhat do you do when you wake up beside the man you love, the man you married, the man who not only fathered your child but lovingly participated in her birth, and realize that you are trapped? That you feel anxious, desperate, sad, and gradually like you are fading away? That you binge eat as a way of suppressing the ongoing feeling that something is not quite right and you have a horrible feeling it might be you?

When you are committed to a spiritual path, you come to joyfully welcome awakening to the truth, or so you think, until the universe throws one of these in your path.  It wasn’t all at once, but gradually I discovered that I didn’t belong in traditional marriage.  I realized that I had spent 10 years negotiating myself away in order to maintain the structure of marriage, security, and safety.

Gary Zukov is well known for his work on Spiritual Partnership, and he says, “Just as external power is no longer appropriate to our evolution, the archetype of marriage is no longer appropriate. This does not mean that the institution of marriage will disappear overnight. Marriages will continue to exist, but marriages that succeed will only succeed with the consciousness of spiritual partnership. The archetype of spiritual partnership—a partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth—is emerging within our species. This is different from the archetype of marriage which was designed to assists physical survival, and in which the partners do not necessarily see themselves as equals.”

You know any idea’s time has come when it shows up in the fabric of society from multiple perspectives.  I came across the Revolutionary Lovers Guide, and admired the founding principles one of which is:

“Revolutionary and aspiring revolutionary lovers must work to ensure their intimate relationships do not begin with an oppressive dynamic.  A fair amount of self-knowledge is required in order to unlearn the behaviours we have been socialised into by the dominant white male heterosexist power structure. Unlearning involves becoming familiar with your own subconscious patterns of domination and personality flaws, acknowledging and openly addressing the ways in which you typically dominate others or allow yourself to be dominated. Accept the challenge to actively deprogram yourself from these negative patterns while learning to replace them with more loving ways of being. “

As I have wandered my path, trying to understand what I want in relationship, I have examined monogamy, polyamory, open relationship, non relationship, and variations of all of them.  None of them feel right.  I feel limited every time I try to put a label on any of my co-creation relationships with men.  I simply want to be me.  The relationship I most want is the one with me, at my most conscious expression of self.

What I like about both Spiritual Partnership and Revolutionary Lovers is the idea of moving away from the self that is constructed to the expression of the true self.  One version takes a socio-political approach, the other takes a spiritual evolution approach.   I find myself turning to Tantra for my own personal answer.

I find it ironic that today, among some circles, it is becoming unacceptable to be monogamous.  In fact, I wrote a blog defending monogamy! I don’t think monogamy is a problem, nor is polyamory, or non-traditional relationship.  I find that the answer really is in understanding that we are consciousness experiencing itself in our individualized expressions and in a larger collective consciousness.  That consciousness accepts all that is, and does not judge.  That is not to say that the tantrika does not act from a form of a moral imperative.  If one is in a state of true consciousness and sees a child being beaten, consciousness will of course drive us to action in whatever form seems like right action.  Rather than seeing the abuser as evil, we see the abuser as an expression of consciousness that is concealed.

rev loveSo, when we encounter a social construct such as the conditions of control and expectation that are part of traditional relationship,  and see it as limiting, we shift consciousness to reveal a deeper truth.  There is no relationship form that is more right than the next.  Any form can reveal deep love and commitment, just like any religion, even fundamentalist ones, can lead an individual to an ecstatic knowing of the divine and the experience of Oneness.

I am still shaping the nature of how I show up in relationship.  There may be form, and there may not be. It will be something like Spiritual Partnership, and something like Revolutionary Love.  It will be rooted in my understanding of tantra, and of spiritual law.  But more than anything, it will be a full expression of ME.