"...the book was most helpful in approaching death because it describes in detail the deepening mental states through which the dying person passes and how to prepare for them... we pass through these states each and every day when we go to sleep or end a dream, as well as fainting, sneezing or orgasm." ~ Forward in 'Advice on Dying' by the Dalai Lama
I have spent the last few months making time to masterdate. You read that right. Earlier this month I took a weekend off of work to take myself on the perfect dates in honor of my favorite holiday, Dia de los Muertos. I grew up without holidays so I have no sentimental affinity for any holiday except this one because when I was experiencing the death and grieving process of the end of my marriage a beautiful Mexican friend introduced me to The Day of the Dead as it was her favorite holiday. Simply recalling the introduction to something I never knew before gives me chills. This resonated so deeply and I had yet to understand why. I didn't want to disrespect a tradition native to someone else's culture and not my own so I took my time getting to know it and understand it. There is a deep reverence and sacredness to this time period and I wanted to honor it with the respect it deserved. For now, I will explain what it has come to mean for me and my views of sex.
In years past, when experiencing heavy grief or numbing from trauma I would turn to sex in order to feel something again. Desire came from a space of lack. In grieving sex offered not only an escape but also a palpability to the pain of my experience. When numb it was the only thing that felt safe to feel. These experiences offered a sanctuary from my own emotions, my heart, my mind and my spirit. I couldn't process life when I felt as though all I knew was death, death of my self, my ideas, my dreams, even my realities. I remained in the darkness but the darkness wasn't scary when I had sex. I will expand on this more in the future...
Now here I am, years later, giggling with myself for calling my self care escapades "masterdating" (a Facebook friend deserves credit for that word) and feeling comfortable with feelings of discomfort. I have known various forms of death and as I rebuild my life on my own I find contentment in aloneness. There is a surrender required to truly heal and grow beyond your stories. So now I can be fascinated with the state of dying because I am not currently in that state (any more than any living creature anyway) but having known the closeness of it, having become intimate with it the fascination returns when I awake from a dream, when I catch myself falling into meditation or experiencing Yoga Nidra while riding the bus to work, but most of all I still experience that state in sex but much more so. When you release fear of death it becomes easier to drop into these states.
When you are not a victim to your own drama anymore your choices become much more conscious as do the people you choose to surround yourself with; the more intimate the relationship the more particular you become. This is because you are acutely aware of your own sacredness. You don't forget your humanness and you are by no means close to perfect but life is manageable. When a majority of people you see struggle to manage their life and their own feelings as they are easily swayed by anything that triggers them (other people, social media, politics, etc.) you must fall in love with aloneness for your own sanity.
This brings me back to sex. Now I can see so clearly when desire comes from a space of lack and not just sexual desire but any desire; decisions and choices are made from fear because the focus is on what one does not want and when I look into someone's eyes I can see it, it looks almost crazed to me and it's familiar because I know that space all too well. You see more of what you fear, more of what's "wrong" and less of what is a blessing, what has deeper purpose. When I am familiar with that empty feeling and can compare it to the feeling I have now after working so hard on myself so that I can be of service to others, those feelings I have of fulfillment and of gratitude, then how could I possibly invite that old fear into my space on any level, especially a sexual one?
It's easier to have a stronger internal boundary when you have been blessed to know men on an intimate level that set the standard, they are the standard as opposed to men you find yourself assessing to see if they meet "a" standard. If you have to think about it then they don't measure up; either they are the standard or they aren't and I for one, deserve no less. This is the man that joins with you from a space of equality eager to share a spiritual awakening through orgasm with you. He doesn't come to take from you something he is lacking within himself, instead he knows that the experience will challenge you both to go deeper within yourselves as well as one another and he has the courage to allow the experience to unfold as it's meant to. Fear is overcome with courage as you explore the states of consciousness that join death and orgasm. Old patterns of needing to attach meaning to this shared experience can be tempting but then you remind yourself that you are both safe and allowed to explore different realms of consciousness together because that shared moment is why you are together. It teaches you to remain more present and to give up the need to control anything by defining it because you know that will limit this one thing that is meant to help you both transcend those old limiting beliefs; those old unhealthy patterns.
These connections are what I wait for now. This has been a new layer of learning for my body who is used to getting what it wants when it wants. Now my mind, heart, spirit and body are beginning to have a mutual understanding and appreciation for what the sacredness of sex has the potential of being. Once you have this kind of shared experience with someone, just the presence of the other person has a profound effect on you, it can be unsettling but infinitely worth it. This is how a sexual experience can trigger the death of something you no longer need to hold on to in the healthiest of ways. Some deaths are welcomed.
Saying 'goodbye' to the past seems to have been a theme this past month. Sometimes we hold on to people because they helped us remember who we were, who we are, or who we long to become. Over time though as we recover, heal, grow and expand we realize that we have outgrown these people and they may have even outgrown us.
When I began to realize how far I've come and as I accepted where I really want to be, only then did I begin to truly feel the "letting go" of the connections I held on to for so long. I had held on to people from my past as a way of pacifying the struggles I was going through. At some point however, I realized I held on more out of fear than out of love. Some people had grown and began moving towards a different path, our work together coming to completion; but most people remained the same. Years have gone by now and still so many people had remained exactly the same. It began to feel so strange to me that for so long I clung to these people I loved as some sort of safety net, a way to cling to hope and an identity... an identity that I was working so hard at evolving in the first place! This was no longer love, this was desperation. Why continue to hold on to the past? Because it's familiar? Out of fear?
I am no longer desperate. I am no longer the person I was 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10, last year, last month, yesterday... So why hang on to a fantasy, and a fantasy based on fear, pain, lack, emptiness...?
The one man that I knew had outgrown me is the one who loved most authentically. He showed me what it's like to love in the present. He showed me that there are men who choose to grow and evolve and are brave enough to be vulnerable, to be raw, to connect. We both outgrew the roles we were meant to play for one another along with the way our love was meant to be expressed for each other but a love that real, a connection that authentic is never outgrown, it expands, it invites others who are ready for that kind of love and who need that kind of companion who can share a vision and work to create that together. This kind of love is not what the above quote is referring to because that kind of love drops seeds everywhere it goes, even when lovers part ways. The quote is for the more common love, at least from my experience, the love born from pain, emptiness, loneliness, an aching need we hope someone else can fulfill.
Maybe it's the Saturn transit, maybe it's because the moon is in Cancer, maybe it's mere coincidence but this has been a month of acknowledging the harsh Winters of all the empty love that never offered any real connection. That flower has grown tired of the harsh conditions, constantly fighting to break through the impenetrable soil. Seeds have been dropped though, potent seeds filled with potential that will remain alive and vibrant until the perfect conditions arise for it to bloom and flourish creating a mutual and balanced experience, creating new life.
Close your eyes and think about the last time warm caramel gently glided along your
Get lost for a moment in the smooth, silky texture as the delicate granules blend with the
rich cream gently dissolving in your mouth.
That's what it's like to be touched by him, to be kissed by him.
Every movement is sensual and smooth; filled with firm intent to please ever so sweetly.
Pressed up against a wall, his lips will meet yours and you will melt into him.
His kiss will make you high, as if you are floating with the moon and stars.
His body will bring you deeper into your self, connected to the earth and most primal part
of who you are.
You will glide together as if tangled in silk, but he will hold on tight, his grip still strong yet
Every memory of him will leave you feeling almost as deliciously satisfied as when you're
with him, warm and full but always craving more.
Something changes in a man's heart when he becomes a father and the moment you become a mother you feel honored and blessed to witness this transformation. Of course both men and women begin changing their lives when they know they are expecting but the way men and women respond to the moment of birth is unique to their gender; completely raw and beautiful. For Father's Day let's celebrate men who step into fatherhood and being dads...
Obviously there are always exceptions to every rule but we can all agree that having a child demonstrates who someone really is; whether the parent truly shows up or runs away, they are still demonstrating who they really are. You see, the thing about kids is, they keep everything real. You will be forced to face who you are including all the imperfect, embarrassing and ugly parts of who you are, whether your child realizes it or not - your kids are the ultimate mirror.
I first witnessed the transformation of how a man can love in my then husband when our son was born. My son's dad was so in love with our little boy, even before he was born, the doctor had to kindly ask him to get out of the way because he was so eager to meet him. The moment my son's dad held our son nothing else existed in the entire world but the two of them. I witnessed his heart vowing to that tiny baby boy to do and be everything for him and to right every single wrong from that moment on. In that moment I knew that no matter the hardships of our marriage we came together for that little boy and we would do a hell of a job co-parenting him because we always would respect the love we shared for this tiny human. Not long after, I witnessed my younger brother start a family of his own; he too left me in awe of how devoted he was to his kids. My brother has an amazing talent in being constantly engaged, gentle and kind, even when upset or angry.
My standards were blind when I was young. I didn't get to see the change in my father when I was born, I only knew the gentle and kind dad that worked all the time. I only knew the man who was never violent and whose perspectives were more important to me than anyone's on earth. He has a way of staying silent until he has a very clear and direct perspective to offer and when he decided to speak, everyone would listen, and then he would retreat back into his mind castle. I was so in awe of him that I didn't understand how different men could be, I had no real frame of reference.
Recently I was telling my brother about the man I had begun seeing and my brother asked one question, "What does he talk about the most?" This question made my heart skip a beat and took my breath away for a moment because the answer was, "His kids". This question brought so much together for me. When you're a mother and you date any man who doesn't have children there is a void in every interaction. You can't explain to people who don't have children what that void is nor do you need to. This thing that happens when a man has a child, when he accepts and feels this sense of sacred duty for this new life, it expands him. He begins to learn a healthy balance of selflessness and self-care and remains continually challenged by this for the rest of his life. To witness a dad meet their child where they are at in life, from tenderness at birth, to getting silly and messy with them in childhood, challenging their growth as they become teenagers, and guiding them into adulthood with their wisdom - as a mother, I ask you, is there anything sexier?!
In only a few months of getting to know a man who is a devoted dad, hearing him talk about his kids and his family and all his hopes and dreams for them I remember why I set the bar as I high as I did. My dad and my brother aren't the only men who know how to love in different ways. My dad and brother aren't the only men who used fatherhood as an opportunity to become greater versions of themselves. My dad and brother aren't the only men that have learned to apply the lessons fatherhood offers into all manners of life. There is so much strength and courage in a love this powerful and when a man applies all of what he's learned into other relationships everyone wins.
For the first time in my life I feel home wherever I am because I know that only I can give that to myself but when I'm with this man, this father, I am reminded of that feeling because he carries it with him. He offers the wisdom and stability his family needs when they need it and he makes everyone he loves feel that sense of home and belonging. This is what dads do, no matter how much time changes things, they remind the women in their life what home should feel like, they are our bearing point, our compass, our constant.
So to all the fathers who do their best to be the best dads they can be, regardless of the family context as defined by blood, law or anything else, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Happy Father's Day!
Micah's confessions and lessons that have helped with self-forgiveness, healing and acceptance.