Down the Rabbit Hole

I want intimacy to be easy and effortless. I want it to feel natural and comfortable. I want it to make me feel secure. I want it to satiate me.

But intimacy has another plan!

Intimacy says, “Come here, come into the land of the unknown, let’s tear down your expectations, your assumptions and your misgivings. Let’s scrape the paint of falsehood off your pride so that it glows again. Forget the self. Forget what you think you want. Let your senses awaken to what is happening now, let that be enough. Let the truth of you be enough. Let the truth of him or her or them be enough. Let WHAT IS be enough.”

I am enough. This is enough.

I am. This is.

But I want it to look and feel a different way.

What about the fairytale ending? What about unwavering bliss? What about “finding happiness”, like it is a landmark we have discovered, conquered and can now capitalize upon? What about my twin flame, my soulmate, the one who completes me? Don’t I deserve that?

Intimacy is laughing. “Do you know who you are, child?”

We imagine that we are lost. We imagine that we are not whole.

We imagine that we have to struggle, suffer and endure in order to be rewarded. We imagine that we have enemies. We imagine that we are too complicated, too sensitive, too ugly, too much of a work-in-progress to be received fully as ourselves.

We imagine that we have to bargain for our happiness.

We imagine that we have many flaws and all of them need fixing.

We imagine that there is a better version of who we are now.

We keep striving.

What has been forgotten? What awareness is underneath the bullshit, the chatter, the distraction, the noise?

Intimacy is relaxed, watching me wonder. A bemused smile crosses its lips as it sees my thoughts churning — “I’m going to figure myself out, fix myself and become an expert on love and romance before I dare get close to another human.”

Intimacy says, “Nice try, kid. Here, have another helping of this thing called Life.”

*

My thoughts carry me back to that day, not so long ago, sitting in the sun across the table from him and sipping coffee. It was already over; we both knew it. But here we were again, sharing more magical moments.

And then his words came crashing down:

“What did you think was going to happen?”

He said it so casually, his voice tinged with pity for my ignorance, but still swaddled in kindness and caring because that’s just how he is.

In that moment, he felt sorry for me. He thought we were grown-ups, having a grown-up romance, steeped in impartial maturity. An arrangement, not a relationship — at least not the kind that can be defined.

What could I say? Of course I didn’t think anything was going to happen. What could possibly happen? I’d be delusional to imagine a life together. I’d be crazy to think that the love in my heart had anywhere to nest with him.

The house of cards tumbled down in those moments.

The fantasy went POP!

But the blade of his words were stinging on my heart.

There had been a dream of soft sand, and sunshine, and togetherness and kisses and feeling understood, feeling wanted, needed and loved.

I walked away that day. There were a few more ending conversations, promises to remain close friends, but my heart was done. I was so, so tired.

It has taken time to remove the fish hooks of his love and the story I wove with him. There’s still some in there, I can feel it.

They hooked right onto these other fish hooks that have been there much longer, the ones that trigger grief and abandonment, “daddy-issues” and all these ways I am harboring pain.

And since the band-aids don’t work anymore, I feel like I have but one option:

Heart alchemy.

*

My new lover is willing to walk on the gravelly rocks of intimacy

barefoot

with me.

I’ll be honest — it’s kind of freaking me out.

I want to shoulder the sharp edges of my reality for him.

Let me hide this suffering so we can pretend

it’s only the soft sand and the breeze and the

waves on our naked skin.

But no, the naked heart is far more jagged

and intricate

and full of promise

than those fleeting moments of delight.

I’ll admit,

I don’t totally understand his willingness

and I question my ability to stay in this space

with him.

When offered fight or flight — -

I fly like a bird.

I circle from a distance.

But I am searching

for a place to call home

and nest.

This lover is somewhat fearless

of the shadows and the jagged edges.

This lover has me feeling very curious,

indeed.