**Note – This was originally written in July, 2017 and was updated in September, 2017. As I’ve delved deeper into these themes, I’ve gained more clarity and share those thoughts as an addendum. Stay tuned as I will be sharing much more about this path very soon!
Wouldn’t it be nice if what we wanted and what we needed were the same thing? This could apply to anything in life, but what I’m immersed in exploring right now is how this applies to love.
Please don’t take my musings here as indications that I possess answers. I’m sharing in this conversation, offering my thoughts and processes because I get turned on by thoughtful dialogue, and because I see that many of us are contemplating these same themes.
I’ve engaged this contemplation for years, and have come to believe that many of us are still stuck in old-paradigm thinking about relationships, as well as what it means to partner, what it looks like, and what it feels like to partner romantically. Even those of us who lay claim to consciousness and live on the fringe.
We think we have to be in partnership or find “The One” who is our soul mate, twin flame, our forever. The spiritual community is rife with this sort of thinking.
Let’s be honest – we are indoctrinated to grow up, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids, buy more things…. to live within an old ideal, an out-moded system.
When we marry/partner we have these ideas about what it’s supposed to be, how life isn’t complete without it, and that we need to have a partner to build a life.
Then we partner/marry and it’s not like we thought.
It’s a letdown.
We compromise who we are to fit into this idea of partnership that doesn’t fulfill us. It’s a relationship paradigm meant to make up the perfect consumer unit – a family that supports economic growth – the Great American Dream/Nightmare. Debt. Consumption. More. A bigger, better, newer version… (This becomes blatantly clear when you go through divorce.)
Relationships as Consumerism
This same consumer mentality plays out in grand fashion in the dating scene, and with relationships. Online dating contributes to this scenario as we pay to “swipe” and “shop” for the “One.” People looking to get the next, bigger, better, sexier, more sex, less drama, etc. relationship.
Or, they’re trying to have as many sexual partners as they can. Because more is better, right?!
No. More is not always better.
In fact, “more” can be a means of running from true intimacy. Avoiding vulnerability and intimacy with a partner, in the guise of chasing after perfection, or conquest.
Pain as Love
When the heart opens – whether by the pain of heartbreak or the bursting forth of love – it hurts.
Are we/you/I addicted to pain?
I think it’s very possible that we become addicted to feeling different kinds of pain. I also think that many of us mistake pain, being triggered, being mistreated, and the highs and lows of adrenaline-fueled drama, for love.
The ancient wounds of childhood play out through our adult relationships, and while we long for healthy connections, we find we’re drawn to narcissists, addicts, or partners that are mentally and emotionally unbalanced. Our co-dependent nature ever seeking the energetic roller coaster ride of unhealthy patterns because as children, that’s what we came to know as “love.”
Hence, we get caught up in relationships plagued with unhealthy markers and wonder why. When looked at through the spiritual lens, we heal these patterns through the heroic undertaking of loving ourselves, unconditionally.
Let me touch on polyamory. It’s grounded in the belief that we humans are not wired for monogamy. I think many of the principals of polyamory are beautifully altruistic. It takes special kinds of selflessness and dedication to practice polyamory and make it work.
My past experiences with polyamory drained me as I attempted relationships where my partners weren’t truthful and didn’t communicate openly. I poured myself, my time, my energy, into cultivating these relationships, only to be let down. This left me with trepidation and feelings of betrayal. It made me wonder if people who are polyamorous hurt their beloveds a great deal.
At times I feel I am suited for polyamory, and at other times I’m not sure. It requires a great deal of conscious effort, honesty, communication, transparency, and energy. Add to that the willingness to be triggered. It seems to me polyamory also calls on us to be incredibly confident while practicing non-attachment.
I’m incredibly confident, but like most, become hyper-aware of every insecurity once I’m in a relationship. Breathing, letting go, and detaching at every turn, become my refuge.
Non-attachment is perhaps the greatest gift of Buddhism; it has become the Work of the Collective. It’s what is most called for in this era of extreme dichotomy between higher consciousness and moral decrepitude. In every area of our lives we must be willing to let go and make way for New Paradigm energy and ways of BEing in this world.
New Paradigm Relationships
I believe that what we truly crave is connection and intimacy. A loving, safe space to practice vulnerability. The willingness and ability to let down our walls, be our true selves, and be vulnerable. It’s being truthful, sharing openly, and being uncomfortable while allowing relationships, and situations to be as they are without control or manipulation.
It’s not putting things into a neat little box or requiring too much definition – making space that allows whatever needs and wants to come through to do so.
Connection and intimacy help us feel alive, and learn more about ourselves and life as a whole. As we open up, laying our ancient walls to ruin, we free up energy and anchor into our physical bodies – allowing ourselves to feel EVERYTHING. Feeling everything is what awakens us, making us feel vibrant.
While I’m clear that I truly desire to have a deeply connected, intimate partner relationship, I’m equally clear that society’s ideas of how that looks, and what that means, are not in alignment with my own ideals or desires.
In fact, I find that the more I’ve tried to fit myself and my life into societal standards or norms, the more unhappy I’ve been. And, those things haven’t worked out so well, if at all.
As a Priestess and sovereign, cis woman, I’ve never fit inside those perfect boxes, nor have I wanted to. My path hasn’t been one of the straight or narrow. Following the standard “go to school, grow up, get a job, get married, have kids, etc.” is not the life I’ve chosen.
Why would I buy into those ideals and standards with regards to partnering?
Recently I let go of the notion/dream/belief/goal of having a life partner/marriage.
I came to see that holding on to that dream has held me back, let me down, and may not be my destiny. It’s been disappointing and clearly hasn’t worked for me. Even working towards having a more casual partnership through dating has let me down. For whatever reason, it’s just not lining up.
This is not a cry for pity. This is me coming to terms with reality, no longer fantasizing about romantic love.
Coming to terms with the notion that having a life partner may not be my destiny has been equally tough and liberating.
I felt the pain of holding too tightly to a long-held belief that there’s someone “out there” that I will partner and build a life with. Upon shedding that dream, I had to mourn it.
Letting go makes room for what needs or wants to enter my life – as a contract between myself and the Divine.
Letting go has opened up many more possibilities and ideas about embodying love, sharing love, partnering with love, in ALL of my relationships.
What the Universe wants to give me goes way beyond “partnership/marriage.” Letting go makes space for the Universe to install that new-paradigm model, while I craft and build my epic life.
I also ask these questions of myself as I navigate this new territory:
Can I just love someone as they are, right here and now?
Can I give love because I AM love, without any expectations of a return, just for love’s sake?
If we love, only to have something – anything – in return, then is that not manipulation?
Can I love the most devastated, dark, wounded parts of another? Can I love those same things in myself?
Why or why not?
As a Priestess, I carry within my spiritual DNA the memories of lifetimes serving as a Temple Priestess. In those times, I was a vessel for healing through acts of sacred sexuality. Then and now, I teach and lead people in ritual acts of sacred sexuality.
I’ve decided that any/every encounter I experience, I will embody love and hold that encounter sacred. I will create a container of love within which those encounters may take place. These are only possible through feeling some connection and attraction.
Perhaps these encounters will eventually lead to finding a partnership (or partnerships) that aligns with my desires – deep intimacy and vulnerability that I crave most. Those things require time, trust, and emotional availability.
Most important of all, is trust in myself. I’ve lived, died and been reborn enough in my life to know that my instincts are spot-on. Where in the past I may have dismissed an inner nudge about someone’s lack of honesty out of a desire to partner, these days I don’t need to stick around for confirmation. I already *know* the truth within.
Trust – in myself, my heart, my gut – leads me to more authentic connections, and frees me to explore life and relationships knowing that however things turn out, I will always be fine.
I am free to acknowledge my desires, and voice them. Then, I must let go of expectations, allowing things to be what they are. This is how my heart navigates the new territory that is opening to me.
I have SO MUCH LOVE to give and share. My love will be poured out upon a broken world, my dear ones, and the people I’m blessed to serve in my Work.
The world could use more love. I’m here to share.
Of course, these are my current thoughts, and I fully expect them to evolve.
After writing this article I’ve had more opportunity to practice these ideas and discuss them with many people, including potential lovers/partners.
Delving further, I’ve decided that I am not monogamous, polyamorous, or any of the other relationship models I’ve heard floating around – they are too limiting, still imposing a container I find limiting and uncomfortable.
The term I have decided to adopt is Sovereignty. I am fully sovereign, living my life with authenticity and in alignment with my own integrity.
I am free to choose to partner in ways that feel good to me and honor my boundaries. I partner with whom I want, when I want, and how I want, understanding that those needs and desires are constantly in flux, ever changing.
It is incredibly important to me to keep my energy clean, and to be clear about my choices; they must be healthy choices that prove my love and respect for myself.
My requirement for sharing energy with another in a sexual context must feel like a “Hell Yes” to me. If not, I may share energy in other ways.
I’ve been delightfully surprised to find that as I meet new people I feel a shared attraction with, I’m choosing not to enter into sexual union with them.
Instead, I am choosing myself. <3
This conversation is rich. I welcome your comments.