I just saw a movie called Bliss, it came out in ’97 and was directed by Lance Young. The story is about a young couple. The man loves his woman dearly but she is emotionally troubled. Their relationship is challenged. They go to therapy but without too much success. Then the man finds out his wife is cheating on him. Turns out that the guy she is ‘sleeping’ with is a sex therapist called Balthazar (played by Terence Stamp). Initially the husband wants to beat the shit out the therapist for fucking his wife. Later, as the therapist explains his work, he becomes his student, devoted to heal his woman. The movie explains what a tantric path is about, how sex can be a path of healing.
He shared another beautiful thing, insightful for me. He told me how important he feels a woman is. In Islamic tradition the genders are very separated. So as a man your wife is the only source of feminine energy and vice versa. I realized the same thing during the workshop. After a sharing exercise that gives people a strong experience of connection another participant asked me in disbelief “are we equal?” and I asked him “what does your heart tell you?” He checked in with himself and said, “yes, we are equal” It was an extremely powerful moment because the answer came out of the mouth of a devote Muslim whose tradition learned him that women are inferior. In that moment I myself saw how extremely important equality is for me. I don’t like my woman to be equal; I need her to be equal to balance me. Today my iraqi friend agreed with me.
Somewhere in the beginning of the course I had expressed my sadness about the loss of my relationship. Two days later I am in the car with Dr. Chudr and Dr. Salah. Dr. Chudr is driving us to a restaurant where we will have lunch. At some point he asks me: “Can I ask you a personal question?. I say: “Yes”. Then he says: “What is a girlfriend?” Now I have been asked often in my life if I had a girlfriend or what is the name of my girlfriend. But this was a question I had never answered before. I made me realize that we had very different paradigms wherein we lived our lives.
What do I want to write about? What is present for me?
I just came from my meditation cushion. Outside the wind is howling over Bagdad, making the sky white. Inside I feel numb, defeated, forgiving and consoling. I went through a complete cycle this morning: woke up, felt ok, got out of bed, became a zombie, zombied to breakfast, went back to my room, cried, showered, wanted to cry more but worked out in my room instead, had many thoughts, let them go, meditated, opened up, felt endless love and compassion, felt trust and had a question. Aha, that is my topic of today.
My desire is unrealistic. I want her to watch over me and to feel love and admiration for all the things I do. Although we are separated are love grows and grows. I shed as many skins as I can even if that means that I have romances and experiments on the road. Meanwhile she works on herself and attains enlightenment during a yoga class on a beautiful summer morning. She jumps in a plane and when she falls in my arms in the arrival hall we really feel that our souls are melting together. We look each other in the eyes and realize simultaneously: “the obstacles are gone”. We realize that there were no obstacles in the first place, all the obstacles were illusions created by the mind. But we needed to go this long and difficult path to realize that. Now we know. Now let’s make babies and transform our love into new live.
It is so hard for me to comprehend that her feelings changed so quickly and so radical. And it is so painful to accept that she came to the conclusion that the best, most healing thing for her to do is to cut all ties with me. It breaks my heart.
It is my worst nightmare: that somebody I love wakes up and sees that loving me is a mistake and that appropriate action needs to be taken. That she sees that it is in her best interest to get the hell out of there.
Note to self: don’t get caught up in your own story. Don’t exaggerate the importance of your doing, not even when it feels ‘right’. Actually, be very aware when you start feeling ‘right’. And don’t fall into the trap of comparing. Don’t think you are actually comparing your experience to the other’s experience, you are not. When you compare you are merely measuring your own judgment to your own experience. By rejecting what you consider futile, you are only projecting your arrogant and superior version of life on the other. Remember how crappy it felt at times when your own suffering was discarded for being futile (and remember how much this is now part of your story). Projecting your expectations is harmful, it is as if you create laws against being honest and truthful in your Universe. If your laws are obeyed you create ungenuineness, inside and outside of yourself. The pain you felt when you received the email is the pain you are still carrying inside. Don’t blame others for making you aware. Be thankful.
I arrived on a Friday afternoon, a couple hours before Shabbat. Shabbat is a day of strict rest. The religious Jews are not even allowed to switch the light on or off. Which means they have found all kinds of clever solutions like leaving the light on and have special plates that keep the food warm for the next day. The hours before Shabbat are very hectic; everybody is rushing. If feels like rushing to your massage appointment, as somebody put it.
When our life seems to fit into a scenario we should be warned. Yesterday I learned an important lesson for at least the second time this year. I had rejected a certain possibility because I felt it would create an impossible scenario (to love two women at the same time). I got stuck in the ideas my mind created about life and didn’t allow myself to feel beyond what I thought is acceptable to feel. When we limit ourselves to a particular scenario or version of the truth fear is at work. Every time I venture into ‘the impossible’ new worlds open up because I open up. Why am I saying this? Because this is my big lesson of today’s writing exercise: It is not about getting stuck in a negative self image or a positive self image but about opening up to whatever truth is there for us. By overcoming our fear to explore the impossible the impossible becomes possible. Opposites can be embraced. Fear can be replaced by love. The moment love enters the boundaries disappear and space arises.
An emotional release works on our system. I received proof of that today as I rode into town on my bicycle for a latte in my favorite Coffee Company store. The last two days I had been working on a huge self conceived writing exercise on the topic of my relationship. I did a lot of mourning about the loss of it. I had realized that I had been suffering from a deep fear of abandonment. Many tears had rolled down my face since Wednesday.
So I’m riding my bike, minding my own business when all of a sudden I start feeling an enormous amount of freedom. It felt like the sun came up in my belly and chest. I realize “it is ok to be abandoned”. It was as if somebody was saying the words gently in my ear. And for the first time I really understand. I start smiling and repeat to myself: “it is ok to be abandoned”. I am free! She is free too! She is free to love me and she is free to leave me. No strings attached. Literally. Hello? There are no strings attached! So don’t act like if there are. That’s delusion.