What Are You Running From?

I was often a runner in relationship. I ran for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it was a healthy flight- I wasn’t ready to love, I had other priorities, I had preparation work to do before I could deeply connect. But sometimes I ran for unhealthy reasons- I associated family with trauma from my early life, I assumed love meant imprisonment, I imagined every woman my difficult mother. Distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy motivations took me many years, but it may be the most important clarification work I did on my life’s journey. Because if our flight from connection is motivated by our unresolved life history, our defenses can convince us to run for the rest of it. And then we lose the opportunity to taste a different reality, one that meets our needs and heals our hearts. It’s worth examining- Am I running to something better, or am I running away from something unresolved?

Jeff Brown

Less is too little

justiceI laid in bed reading – one of the true pleasures to be found in bed! – and texting a friend to catch up on his week.  He was teasing me because this week has been my week of crushes.  I had been telling him about men who had started to show an interest in me, and that I found interesting, and I had spent time with each of them.  I also systematically texted him after each encounter to tell him that I no longer had a crush.  He sent me a few emoticons of distress and concern that made me laugh.  But there were things to think about that coincided in my experiences this week…

Millennials are changing the social structures of the world.  The article The Beat (Up) Generation references a few of the social norms that are being challenged by this generation, primarily in the workplace.  However, they are influencing the way in which relationships and sex are viewed as well.  There is very little research of value on this, but there is a trend that 20-30 year olds are the largest demographic in open relationships, although these relationships became of note in society in the 1970s.  Some of this might be tied to the issues they find themselves facing in the world: an economic system in collapse, terrorism and 9/11, the general failure of marriage, and a greater acceptance of race, gender and disability.  This generation may feel a drive to change the world in big ways, and that means the deconstruction of what has not worked. And it is perfect that social rules and dynamics change as we try to reflect a new level of consciousness. Beautiful.

One of the most cited quotations from  The Ethical Slut is “We believe it’s OK to have sex with anybody you love and we believe in loving everybody.” On the surface, I have no problem with this. Both statements are morally true.  I have met mature, ethical, and spiritual people who are living polyamory.  They are deeply committed to making the relationships work for each person.  A complex emotional framework is developed and maintained to ensure the success of the relationships.  At least to my understanding, the primary driver in polyamory is sexual ethics. So with respect to the quotation, my issue is with the word love, and what that means.

I have separated out the difference between love and relationships.  In tantra, we also recognize that love exists outside of any relationship at all.  There are over 100 words in Sanskrit to describe love.  Love is much greater than relationship. It is the essence of true consciousness. “How then does love touch? What indeed is ‘love’, not as a feeling but as a mode of feeling? And what it is about ‘love’ as a mode of feeling that has the power to touch us so deeply? Love arises out of a feeling awareness of others that takes us out of ourselves, for it is an awareness that knows no fleshly boundaries.” ~Peter Wilberg

Is it possible to love everyone? That is the truth of our essence nature.  Of course we can love everyone. But that does not require us to do anything about it.  Every interaction we have with another can be and is an opportunity to experience love.  It does not necessarily mean the experience requires action or the assignment of meaning such as defining the relationship. Nor does it mean we have to turn every spark or love into an attraction that requires expression. When we experience another, the deeper possibility in tantra is to become aware of the energy, the flow within ourselves, and to trace it back to source.  Tantra says that thoughts and emotions are not truth, but they can point us to truth within ourselves.  So it becomes a pivotal practice to be aware of the feeling we have at all levels, and explore it.  Where does that energy come from? Where is it pointing? Describe and feel it without assigning meaning, as the meaning will be laden with projections of our inner mental constructs, and will bind us to those.

transOur relationships are mostly projections of our past experiences.  It takes great presence to learn to allow consciousness to greet consciousness in our relationships with others. “Only by not reacting to others from our own feelings – positive or negative – can we begin to genuinely feel the other. Only by genuinely feeling the other can we also respond to them in a feeling way, through the active touch of our loving and knowing awareness. To ‘love’ another is not simply to empathise or show compassion with their ‘feelings’. Nor does it necessarily include the experience of pleasurable or romantic or erotic feelings in their company. It is to directly feel the other and in this way to directly know them. The inner connection between loving and gnosis lies in the capacity to know others in this authentic way – through direct inner feeling rather than feelings of any sort. Love in the deepest sense can only come from recognising both our own feelings and those of others as the “surface” of a deeper knowing – a direct feeling cognition of the other.” ~Peter Wilberg

So my answer to my friend was this: Once you have experienced love that transcends space and time – even with projections and dysfunction – any less is too little.  Some would say that means I do not need an intimate relationship.  Some would say that it is unlikely I will find one as I describe it.  Some would say that very few people experience the world as I do.  I know differently.  For decades, I have been able to express conscious uncoupling, and now Gwyneth Paltrow is doing it!  I know that the Law of Attraction says that all I have to do is live my conscious expression, and those of a similar vibration will be drawn to me.  And in fact, my social network has gone through a refresh – I am hanging out with a very different set of people than I was a year ago.  It is not moving on so much as moving in flow and alignment.

In a world hungry for love and connection, it is likely that we would want to taste as many people and expressions that awaken that love and sense of possibility within us.  I am no longer dependent on that love and possibility from an external source – it is within me.  And so it will take a very special type of conscious relationship, a unique expression of sharing that, for me to be in a relationship.  Because anything less is too little.

 

 

 

All is well in my garden

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Dry bracken and barren branches
Fallen leaves moldering
And vines annexing new terrain
Surviving lack of care

All went still and silent
When you said goodbye, my love,
And there was only gloaming
So the roots had to go deeper
To nourish themselves from the core

But the irises
Broke through the snow today
Arising heads
From long forgotten intentions
And a source more enduring

All is well in my garden, my love
All is well.

-Gail Matheson

About Rage

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Imposter syndrome – feeling like you are not who people think you are – is fairly easy to develop with a blog. I receive lovely comments and messages about the usefullness of what I write. These comments are beautiful affirmations of the light that flows and connects each of us.

If the focus is too much on the light, we miss the insights and value of the less attractive self expressions. The same way I felt shame at possibly manifesting illness, I can feel shame when I feel the pull of body mind grooves that don’t align with the truth of my soul. But it is the rejection of any part of ourselves that creates pain and disease, and becomes a dualistic view of the world. Consciousness is present in all, not just the things we like.

Anything we reject gets energized. Emotions and thoughts are not truth but they can point us to truth.

So, I have a history of being crazy when I’m in pain. I have often resorted to rage when my painful false belief was too great to repress. I can start to simmer in sadness or fear, and instead of moving the energy, I would boil over in to rage. Bitterness, anger, intent to hurt, intent to control, intent to overpower. It is ugly and vicious.

It has been 3 months since I’ve done this until I was triggered a few weeks ago. It passed quickly and led me to a profound insight about creating from a belief of Not Enough for Him. I followed the rage back to its source. The entire time I felt the rage, I knew the rage was false. I was not attached to what my ego wanted me to do or believe. In a day, I could cry and felt peace and freedom.

I used rage to release the pressure of false belief. But until I traced it back to its source, I was lost to it. False belief can be a powerful groove in our body minds. They create seperateness even in ourselves from ourselves.

I am not sure if I will ever rage again. It has lost its power over me, and when it occurs it is hollow. It has revealed to me what I needed to know and now it can dissolve. And so it is with each false belief, as I turn inwards to observe it and release.

The Wisest Words That Freed Me

If one person doesn’t want the relationship, then it’s simply not a fit. No sense trying to figure out why
we think they don’t want it. No sense blaming it on their commitment issues. No sense waiting around for them to realize they wanted it after all. Because it doesn’t matter why they don’t want it.

What matters is that we want to be met heart-on by a fully engaged partner. If they don’t want it, then we don’t want it, because we don’t want to be with someone who is not there for it fully. That’s the thing about love relationship- it’s an agreement that has to be signed by both souls. If one doesn’t sign, then nothing has been lost. If it’s not a fit for them, it’s not a fit for us either. On to the next adventure we go…

Jeff Brown