Tag Archives: sadness

The Nothingness of Depression.

black-and-white-person-woman-girl

I am depressed today. And I don’t know where it comes from.

Is it a chemical reaction to something I’ve eaten? Is it related to my yearly battle with Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD)? Is it because I’m not being “true to myself,” and I’m stuffing emotions that I should be expressing, taking out and examining for a deeper meaning?

I don’t know. And I don’t care.

Years ago I was at my chiropractor’s office getting an adjustment. As he was asking about what was going on in my life, I mentioned I was somewhat depressed. His condescending response held the phrase, “…when you start feeling sorry for yourself…” I never went back to his office, even though I had been getting adjustments from him for years.

It was obvious he had no experience with depression. It was obvious he though “feeling sorry for yourself” was the same as depression. It is not. For me, even sadness has nothing to do with depression.

Depression is about “nothingness.”

Fast forward to just about a year ago. As a Hypnotherapist, I was learning a new technique to acquire a new tool to help my clients. This type of technique involves assisting the client to reprogram their thoughts and responses. As a part of the process, the client is encouraged to choose a better way of thinking (a “preferred response”), and to really make the new, better response very intense and active in their mind.

During the training, the instructor, while going over methods to use with clients who are depressed, said something about how “depressed patients are lazy,” because they don’t want to think of anything better.

Again, obviously he’s never been depressed. Because nothing could be further from the truth. It has nothing to do with wanting. It has everything to do with unable. Feeling sorry for yourself is light years away from true depression.

Depression is when there is nothing but deep darkness. I can’t even rise up enough to think about thinking of something better. “Something better” does not exist in depression. Depression is it’s own dark abyss where nothing else exists and movement is difficult, if not impossible.

Light and “preferred responses” cannot penetrate the lethargy, the fog, the thickness. “Something better” does not compute from within depression. It is not that depressed folks are lazy and therefore can’t remember a happier time; it is that happy does not exist; the past and future do not exist. Only darkness exists—in an eternal, deep, sucking Now. There is no direct route from depressed to happy.

The depressed person cannot move—in thought or body. Depression pushes down and pulls down, all at once, sucking me further in. It is stagnant and dark and terrifying, but I am too lethargic to react, too drugged with heaviness and apathy, to even express the terror. I get pulled in so deeply, that it physically hurts to open my eyes (my mind’s eyes, as well as my physical eyes) to try and look for something other than this black Now.

I usually find myself begging out loud for mercy, asking, “please…please…please…,” not wanting to continue the descent. The begging is as close as I can get to movement, to doing something proactive, to praying. I begin begging because, for me, there are levels of depression, and I don’t want to keep sinking. I beg for at least a full stop. I beg because I know how horrible it is further down in there, and please God I don’t want to go to that level again—please, not this time.

Depression sucks the will out of me. It sucks faith out of me. Reasoning goes next. Aversion shows up, and I am convinced that no one—not even my best girlfriend or my sweet, patient man—wants to take a desperate call from me right now. No one wants to put up with such a wretched person as I am right now.

Embarrassment is next, as I begin berating myself on how I should be able to pull myself back up out of this morass. And if I do somehow make it back up and out of this, how am I going to face everyone who noticed me sinking so deep and far away, who saw how worthless I was/am?

I am worthless, talent-less, lacking in reason and therefore have no place to go but further down, deeper into the abyss. It is the only place where I feel welcome, where I know no one will be forced to endure me, and so I let it pull me further in.

Is it a habit—like an addiction? Am I addicted to depression somehow—maybe on a chemical level that I am not consciously aware of? Because it is seductive, in a way. It is quiet, at least. It is a form of Now.

At least I don’t have to talk to anyone here. I don’t have to listen to anyone tell me how wonderful my life is and how I shouldn’t feel this way, how I shouldn’t succumb to the darkness, how I should be strong and resist it, how foolish it is to go so deeply away, to be so… absent.

That is what it feels like. It feels like I am not in the real world; I am absent. I am separated from the world by a thick, heavy fog that I can only barely see through to observe other humans.

It always feels like I’ve sunk too deep down into the rabbit hole to return.

the elephant journal version:  The Difference Between Feeling Sorry for Yourself and Depression

I Tried Not to Love You—an Overdue Love Letter.

love warriorI really did try not to fall in love with you.

And at some point, when I realized I was already there, I stalwartly attempted to unlove you.

By that time, I had cycled through so many loops of attraction, attempted indifference, love, friendship, anger, acceptance, frustration, pretending indifference, attraction, etc. that it had begun to feel like my normal way of life.

At some level, I was growing numb to it in my attempts to adapt and save my heart.

Through all of those loops, those months, the cycles, I tried to trust my instincts about your feelings for me, tried to intuit through or behind those barriers you were so good at building, but I was never sure where you stood.

It seemed to bounce around too much to pin down. I always knew the barriers you created were necessary for you.

I never took them personally.

But after that incident of which we have spoken and for which I apologized, I took myself out of your circle. I didn’t want to see you, didn’t want to be around you. It was, finally, too painful. I felt stupid that after all my struggles to do so, I couldn’t seem to control my own heart.

I wanted to stay as respectful and distant as I could. I was trying to do the right thing—mostly for me, but also for you. I wanted to prove to the Universe and to myself that I was walking my talk. I wanted to take care of myself.

So I retreated into myself, into my own small, compact and safe world. I stopped going to church; I stopped dancing; I stopped going out with friends, stopped meeting girlfriends for tea.

I spent those months meditating, praying, inspecting myself for fissures—repairing what presented itself. Trying to be kind to myself, I attempted to not admonish myself for sadness and thinking “what if…” thoughts.

I was only partially successful on that count.

Mostly, I let myself feel the pain head-on without trying to hide it any longer. The pain itself was not fun, but it felt good to finally allow it, to sit shiva for my own heart, to honor its journey and the sadness—to cry into the cracks and to hopefully discover something like courage underneath—or maybe just endurance.

I also attempted to distract myself at times during those months and attracting an online dating scammer during that time certainly did the distraction trick. It turned out I learned so much about myself during and after that wild crazy ride, that I couldn’t feel bad about it.

It was a gift.

So I gradually began to see light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. My ferocious optimism gradually reasserted itself and life was looking better and better all the time. I began to feel strong and happy again.

Then came the day when I felt so done and over you that I didn’t care if I saw you again or not. I felt indifference settle comfortably in and grow roots.

I liked the familiarity of that indifference, because I had successfully navigated that feeling right into a safe, I’m-over-him, harbor more than once before in my lifetime.

Life was good again—and back to normal—only better.

I ventured out into some of my bigger circles, coming out of my compact world and back into a larger version that contained more people, sometimes even including you.

The first time I saw you I was strong and detached and ready. It was easy to remain detached. I felt the attraction still there and registered some disappointment that it had showed its old, worn face again.

But it seemed easy to talk around and over. It was simple to ignore that big white elephant in my heart’s small, tidy living room.

I felt triumphant at my own self-safekeeping victory.

But after the second encounter I knew I wasn’t faring so well. I knew I was in trouble. I felt a mad mayday alarm start in my head and spread out in all directions, racing to get to, and save, the heart as quickly as possible.

I could feel myself emotionally withdrawing to save myself, scrambling to recover lost ground, but at the same time, and with much self-disappointment at my “failure,” I noticed I was counting the days until the next time I could see you.

But something felt different this time—something that kept wiggling out from under my mind’s thumb; it wouldn’t hold still long enough for complete definition.

Then finally it seeped in. I didn’t feel those high, thick walls in you.

How was I supposed to know that you would somehow be waiting for me? That when I emerged from my retreat and from my healing that you would be standing right in front of me, shading my eyes from the sudden bright glare, there to meet me?

I didn’t expect that.

I was prepared for more distance from you—even avoidance. I was counting on you to emotionally withdraw from me, the way you had always done before. I was always able to feel those walls you built. I was counting on you to help me out by building them again.

You didn’t. You haven’t. heart rock zipper

It felt exactly like it did in Berlin when the wall came down. After only the first few days it was still obvious where the wall had once stood, dissecting.

But not long after that—after some cleanup—it was easy to start in West Berlin where I lived, be walking through where once the wall had dead-ended a street, to suddenly realize I was standing in East Berlin, without ever having noticed the transition. It just felt the way it was supposed to, streets flowing to their next, natural destination as originally planned, without obstruction.

So now I’m in a much-anticipated, foreign and yet achingly familiar land with my officially and freshly stamped passport clutched a bit nervously to my heart, standing looking at your welcoming “YOU ARE HERE” map, which fortunately and thankfully—and much to my relief—seems to be in the rough outline of your heart.

A Married Man’s Secret Tears and a Woman’s Response

Also published at elephant journal.

A Married Man’s Secret Tears
by Steve Horsmon

Do you know why romance and sensuality novels for women are so popular? Short answer:  The authors know exactly how to give women that feeling.

1stphone4That feeling has many facets and she loves them all. She tingles with the flirtatiousness of the conversation. She blushes at the boldness and sensual innuendo. She craves the unapologetic desire. She wants to be “taken” by her man. The sexual polarity and tension have her on pins and needles of pleasure. She is aching for the climactic release from this torture.And he doesn’t quite get it. He can read the same passage and have a lukewarm response.

Sure, it’s a little titillating. But it’s not the kind of “romance” language he has told me he is longing for.

He is a long-time, married man who is just dying to star in a different scene.

Just as he struggles to understand her emotional reaction to those scenes written for her, she can also be clueless about his deepest desires. And it’s not a sex scene.

To him, it seems she just doesn’t understand (or doesn’t care?) why reading this scene will almost always bring a tear to his eye and a lump in his throat.

More than anything, he wants that feeling, and only she has the power to supply that.

The Romance Story That Can Make Men Cry

They were finally alone. He had been looking forward to doing this for months and she finally agreed to a getaway for just the two of them. The kids were with grandma and they will finally have a chance to reconnect as a man and woman – not as dad and mom.

Their truck was cruising west on the hot desert highway into a beautiful sunset as one of their favorite songs from high school came on the radio. They both started humming the song and broke into the chorus at the exact same time. They both laughed and smiled without talking as the song ended. After another few miles, she gently reached across the top of the bench seat and her hand her found the back of his head. Hcrying maner fingers rolled and massaged through his hair as she delivered the most loving half-scratch, half-massage treatment he hadn’t felt in a long time.

He caught her looking at him out of the side of his eye and said, “What’s that look for?”

She kept eye contact and grinned as she said, “This was such a good plan. I’m so happy you’re my man. Thank you making me go on this trip. We both need this, don’t we?”

As they pulled into town that night, he realized he had not even noticed the last 100 miles. While his truck found its own way, he had been traveling on Cloud Nine.

Many women reading this will think I’m full of crap. The men know I’m not.

Remember, the leading man in this story has been married for 14 years, has three kids aged 13, 11, and 9, and he lives in a rat race of work, relatives, friends, home maintenance, and weekend soccer tournaments.

Sure, his sex life could be better. He wishes it was better. He has even looked at some real porn.

But that’s not what he longs for in his heart. It isn’t the loss of sexual intimacy that causes the tear and the lump to form.

It’s the loss of his emotional and sensual connection with his only romantic partner in life. He craves her presence, respect, and trust. She is the only woman who has the power to lift him up and make him want to conquer the world for her.

Yet he feels that she no longer wants to be that woman for him. She gives herself and her energy to just about anyone but him. And it makes him sad. It makes him fearful of his future. The sadness and fear show up in his life as anger.

The Truth Behind His Anger

Anger of this type is a secondary emotion. It is a reaction to the thoughts of what he believes he has lost and of the fear of where he thinks he will wind up.

The dream of “happily ever after” for most men includes the idea of a long-term, committed, romantic, and sexual relationship with a woman who shares his values and desire to maintain a healthy, trusting, respectful, and intimate relationship. The dream is full of good feelings, supportive words, and loving actions.

For many men, it feels like this dream is dying right in
front of him and there is no way to stop it.

Can he be more supportive? Can he be more caring and sensitive? Can he take more responsibility for planning and getting things done? Yep.

He’s been working hard at being better. He wants to be a man that he can be proud of. He wants a woman who is outwardly proud of him and openly appreciates him.

Most days all he needs to keep working is a good head scratch and a loving vote of confidence.

What is she thinking and what should he do?

A Woman Responds
by Grace

Why can’t we touch you in affection right now? Why does it take so long for us to open up to you again, to have sex again?

It all boils down to trust and safety. These are major needs for women.

Why We Don’t Trust You (Yet)

Reason One:  Safety

Please keep in mind that from birth, girls are taught not to trust men. We are all taught, at a very young age, about how to dress and not dress, how to act and not act, where to walk at night, when it is okay to walk alone and when not, don’t “lure” men. Don’t trust men.

To make my point: I knew young male years ago who was a cross-dresser, taking hormones and considering sex-change surgery. When dressed as a female, he very much looked like a very attractive female. One night while walking home alone dressed as a woman, he was sexually harassed from across the street by a group of men. They followed him for more than a block, threatening to rape him. Thankfully they finally gave up and left.

This had certainly never happened to him as a male. He told me it was the most frightened he had ever been in his young life. He had never had to think about whether he was walking alone or not, never thought about having to plan his clothes and his walking route differently because he was a woman.

This is something, unfortunately, that all women have to think about on so many levels—safety. This is in the “DNA” of every female.

I want to be very clear. I am not saying that every man is inherently violent or unsafe. I am also not saying that it’s okay for a woman to see herself as a victim of society. I am saying that in our world, out of necessity, women are taught about their personal safety. It is the world we live in.

To women, touch not accompanied by emotional safety is scary.

Reason Two:  We Need you to be Strong in your Masculine Energy

We need you to be consistent. We need you to be your own man, to stick to your N.U.T.s. We need you to be impeccable with your word. If you tell us you are going to do something, we need you to do that. If you can’t follow through, we need you to tell us as soon as you know that—even about things that seem small to you. Or not only will we lose respect for you, we will begin to feel unsafe with you. kissing couple

And without that safety, we are closed to you—and often even to ourselves. We are waiting for you to offer us strong, directed, safe, Masculine energy. We need to know that you are in it for the long haul, that when we open up and let you see this Pandora’s Box of emotions, you are going to stand strong and not retreat.

David Deida puts it this way: “…if you don’t trust your man because he is undirected, scattered ambiguous or otherwise weak in his masculine energy, this will undercut your relationship, reducing your passion, your sexual attraction and your trust of each other.”

Reason Three:  History

It is not that we don’t want to touch you. We know it’s important. We’re afraid to touch you in affection, because we have seen in the past that you take that as a green light to sex. We don’t feel safe enough yet to have sex. We do not want to send you mixed messages.

When you keep touching us before we trust you enough for that and if you continue interpreting our simple affectionate touches as a sexual green light, you erode the trust even further. In fact, you risk destroying any new trust that might have recently been established.

Please take sex off the table.

Don’t get me wrong, we women love attention, touch and sex! That simple hand on the small of our back as we walk through a door tells us wonderful volumes about your love and respect for us, your desire for us. We women want and crave that too and will always want more of it—unless we are not feeling emotionally safe, unless we feel, even subconsciously, that we cannot trust you for some reason.

And are you only putting effort into the relationship when you think we’re leaving you? Some women don’t want to open up and “let down their guard,” because they know that if they do, you will stop being affectionate, or stop putting effort into connecting with us as soon as you think we have decided to stay.

One woman tells me, “I’m afraid to give in, because every time I do, he becomes an emotional child again and stops doing all the lovely things he was doing to woo me. He starts ignoring me again and taking me and the relationship for granted.”

The Proverbial Bottom Line

Most women are afraid to open their hearts again to their man, because the only thing worse than getting our hearts broken by someone new, is getting it broken by the same man over and over again. It is too painful. (Read: We love you.)

We’re thinking things like: What if he really can’t (or won’t) stand in his Masculine energy for us? What if he can’t be impeccable with his life and his word? What if we open this huge dam holding back all these scary emotions, and he can’t handle all this emotion, all this anger, this fear, the doubt?open to DF

To try and open up before we feel safe enough and trust you enough to do that, feels like a self-betrayal. It feels like we are not taking care of ourselves, like we are compromising ourselves. Like we are just giving in to please you. We know that is not how you really want to connect with us. It is not how we want to connect with you.

The Solution

Please be patient with us and don’t take it personally. We are working on our stuff, our blocks to opening to you. If we compromise our own safety by having sex with you before we are ready, you would lose respect for us on a very deep level. We would lose respect for ourselves—and for you.

We know you’re sad, fearful and angry. So are we. We know it took two to get us to this scary place. It is going to take two to get back to trust, safety and love.

Steve Horsmon is a Certified Professional Life and Relationship Coach and foundesteve horsmon photor of Good Guys 2 Great Men. With a long corporate career in leadership and organizational training and development, Steve is a lifelong student and “passionate pursuer” of the communication and personal development skills required for healthy and satisfying relationships. You can connect with him via Facebook too.

Grace is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Registered Psychotherapist in Ft. Collins, CO, USA. She gracethanx2013.3sees clients and facilitates Divine Feminine Hypnotherapy workshops for women. She’s a flaming, Earth-loving, tree-hugging, save-the-Planet, believes-in-faeries, bike-riding, card-carrying, spiritual but not religious, hippie cowgirl liberal poet therapist—yep, they do exist. You can find her creations here. You can also connect with her on Twitter.

what I learned from a dating website scam—about myself, about men

I feel like I actually won, somehow, because while he got no money from me, I came out on the other end of a scam feeling empowered and richer.

I was recently scammed via a dating website. I won’t mention which one it was—mainly because it doesn’t matter. When I told close friends about the scam, many of them said it had also happened to them on various other dating websites—so the site itself is not the issue.scam2

I’m also not going to discuss any of the “red flags” I noticed during this experience but ignored for various, probably self-deceptive, reasons – because that would only give scammers ideas about how to improve the scam. But I am going to talk about what I learned.

Because I learned a lot.

There’s a lot of information circulating right now about Masculine and Feminine energy. Women are learning how focused and goal-oriented men are. And women are beginning to understand that this is a big turn-on. There is nothing so sexy as a focused, self-directed man who is going after what he wants – whether it’s a woman, that new job or the big, cosmic, spiritual goal of living his life with scam6integrity, purpose and clarity.

It is simply a massive turn-on to be around a man who is living for himself first and putting all other things second—including me. Steve Horsmon says it well in his GoodGuys2GreatMen blog post. “The truth is, a woman can not help but honor a man who first honors himself by having the integrity to stand for and live by his values.”

I was surprised and extremely relieved that within minutes of publishing my dating website profile, several men already wanted to connect with me. Sometime within the last two years, while I’d worked on my own issues, I had made a new rule for myself. I don’t initiate anything with men. They must make first contact. It was a good rule, trust me.

In those two years I had, once again, taken a serious look at my life, and I didn’t like what I saw. And I believed that if I didn’t like something about my life, I had the ability to change it. I had done it before. I was determined to do it again. I began by exploring and changing the only thing I have absolute power over: what I believe, think and say.

When I looked back at all my romantic relationships, I found that I was always the person to initiate the exchange. In fact, I was usually the person pushing frantically to make it happen. Consequently, I had always been in relationships with very passive men—which I then proceeded to bully into being more masculine. Gawd, I can’t tell you how very embarrassing that was to admit to myself!

I could see that I had always put myself in a self-protected, dominant “masculine” place on the masculine to feminine spectrum. From my research, I began to understand that Feminine and Masculine energies are always seeking polarization and balance. Like the poles on a magnet, like repels like and opposite poles attract. It was no wonder, then, that I had always attracted sensitive, passive, or even “feminine,” men.scam3

I began to pay attention to my own energy and beliefs associated with the masculine and feminine. When searching for why I was so resistant (and even hostile) to receiving men’s masculine gifts/energy, I had to go back to childhood. I realized it was not safe in my childhood to appear “weak” or “less than” by receiving help from anyone—especially from males.

My adult rejection of Masculine gifts was founded upon good reason (survivor of abuse), but had become a defensive, knee-jerk habit that no longer served me. I started by taking the emotional charge off the originating source. And yes, it was painful and difficult to look at and heal.

So having done my work—and still doing my work (lordy, does it ever end?), I was confident I was ready to let men, and the Universe, lead. I just wasn’t so sure how that would look.

I did still have moments of panic, when I wondered if I was truly ready and if I could live the lessons I’d learned or not—but mostly, I was excited to begin something totally new for me: the art of embodying the Divine Feminine and of allowing. After many months of research and healing, I certainly needed the practice of walking around in my new, allowing skin, so I stepped carefully and introspectively into this dating website. I occasionally freaked-out a bit and thought of removing my profile, but I ignored that sensation every time it came up, rallied and kept moving forward.

I let men initiate every connection I made on the dating site. So when one of the men suggested he call me and email me instead of using the site’s messaging system, I liked that he was taking charge of the situation and moving things forward. I agreed and gave him my phone number and email address.

His energy during our first phone call was obvious. I liked it. It was focused, direct. I could tell he had a mission. The mission seemed clear to me. I like this woman. Get to know this woman. During the next few days, he asked direct questions, he expressed interest in me and my life, we laughed a lot together. We were soon talking twice a day, in the morning to start our day and in the evening, before going to sleep. We were also emailing often.

scam1I woke up every morning, remembered and smiled. I could feel my heart sigh happily, expanded and relaxed, felt it stretch inside my chest like a big fat tabby cat with a full belly and nowhere to go. I languished. I turned to greet the sun each morning warming the bed through the window and imagined seeing his sleeping form beside me. I imaged waking him gently and slowly with kisses that would start on the back of his broad neck (he had sent photos of a man—some included a son—another scam victim?). I’d work my way up to his ear and then pull myself up and over him, so that I’d be lying in front of him, still kissing him easily—on the eyelids, the nose…

He would grumble, then smile as he came back up from the deep and pull me closer with a sleepy laugh. I craved that familiarity with him, that habit and ease of intimacy. Every sunrise, upon waking, I was hopeful and happy and imaged some form of this perfect morning. But he wasn’t there yet, and I liked that too, liked the thick anticipation of it. I didn’t want him there too soon.

I loved the feeling of walking around every day knowing we were falling in love with each other as we talked on the phone and emailed each other. I felt like we were becoming a team, and I loved the feeling of him having my back, of having someone who adored me. I felt safer in the world, knowing we were coming together as a couple. With these feelings growing inside me, I walked taller every day—stood up straighter, felt powerful, safe and almost smug in his warm regard.

I felt important to him. I felt his masculine, goal-focused energy directed at me, at wooing me. It felt heavenly. I had never felt energy this intense from a man. Partly, I’m sure, because I had never allowed it. Before this, I had made everything happen—not allowing the man to direct anything.scam4

In hindsight, I know the reason that his energy was so intense was because this was how this man made his living.

Men, being men, are often very focused on their career and making money. One of the ways they show love for their woman and family is to make money. This is one of the masculine gifts they bring to the world. The intensity of that focus on career/job is primal, I think, for men. It is one of the strongest urges he has. The scammer took that directed, intense, masculine energy normally reserved for focusing on a career, because wooing women was his career, and focused that energy on me.

scam5He was confident in his abilities, as odious as they were. It must have worked for him before, because I could feel that confidence. I’m not saying I support him or scams. I think it’s petty, deceptive and sociopathic to even attempt to prey on anyone in this manner.

The point I’m making is this: It felt pretty fucking amazing to be the focal point of that type of intense, masculine energy normally reserved for a man’s career. It was like a highly addictive drug that I couldn’t get enough of, for fuck’s sake.

Gentlemen, I have just handed you the keys to the proverbial female kingdom. Lock and load your first 20-round magazine and fire at will. 🙂

Information Men can take away from this Experience

Take that unbelievably amazing, goal-driven, concentrated masculine energy that you usually reserve for making a living and a career and focus it on your woman once in a while. We don’t want you to give up yourself and your life for us—that is extremely unattractive, and we will lose respect for you if you do that. But we do want, on a regular basis, to feel that we are, in that moment (or those twenty minutes), the single most important thing to you.

I’m talking about the concentration and focus that you point at work, your career—that primal energy of survival, because that’s where your next meal is coming from. Focus on us like you do it for a living, like your life depends on it. We can feel the difference.

As women, we understand the courage it takes to be that vulnerable. We have a deep respect for that—especially when it comes from a man.love blue

You become our hero when you do this for us. Because you care enough to really pay attention and then act on it. You know the perfect time to call us, how to touch us, when to tease us and when not to—all because you took that how-can-I-win-this-contract way of thinking and applied it to your wooing of us and turned it into the how-can-I-win-and-keep-her-heart-and-respect way of thinking.

Please lead the way for us, with your strong, directed masculine energy. Because when you offer that to us, it creates a safe place for us inside the protection of your love, your attention. It frees us to be able to do the same for you.

We women, with our seemingly scary, out of control, multi-tasking brains, will know you really see us and hear us when we turn off the hundreds of simultaneous thoughts, when we put down the phone, close the laptop, stop talking, etc., to concentrate on you and give you our undivided attention and vulnerability, when we genuinely open to you.

And when that shared focus becomes a wonderful habit, something that is a part of the normal, everyday way we love and live together? Dude, you have just become a girl’s dream come true right there.

What I am Taking Away from this Experience for Me

I learned that I really can embody Feminine energy. I was able to be the new, feminine person I wanted to be. I learned that I am able to keep my heart open during a budding relationship. At no time during the experience did I become defensive or reactive. I was just relaxed and allowing. I let him direct himself. I directed myself—powerfully and softly.

godess blueAnd while I felt disappointed as soon as the proverbial rug was pulled out from underneath me (which really felt more like a magic carpet ride, in this case), I never felt like I had done anything wrong or stupid. I still have not felt any shame. Because the only thing I was “guilty” of was being authentic, open and vulnerable.

I got to feel what I’ve always been missing and craving without even knowing I had been missing and craving it: to be the occasional, appropriate, single, determined focus of a man’s goal-oriented attention.

The experience gave me an example of how intense that focused, masculine energy could be—and how important and cherished it made me feel to be the recipient of that, how it filled me up to feel that coming from him. I was his goal. It felt stunning. For the first time in my life, I felt that with a confident man’s support and love, I could meet him there and support and love him too—in the healthy, adult, juicy, wild, authentic and close-to-the-bone way I have always wanted to be able to love. scam.8

I feel like I actually won, somehow, because while he got no money from me, I came out on the other end of a scam feeling empowered and richer.

The story continues here with:  The first phone conversation, or the fine art of penis thrusting.

Also published by The Elephant Journal

allowing longing.

I awoke this morning with a heavy, achy heart – sad and a bit tenderoonie.

So instead of going instantly into my usual fix-it, let’s-get-happy-again-as-soon-as-possible mode, I made heavy_heartthe conscious decision to just sit with it. To wait on my heart to tell me its story the same way I would sit and wait with a sad friend – just to be present, just to be there for them. So I have been still all day, listening, showing my respect and admiration for such a brave, strong, sensitive heart.

And my heart has been telling me lovely, sad stories of longing and belonging all day. It tells me a story of longing to belong, another story of desiring independence and strength – to be alone, stories so sweet and tender that I have been in tears all day at the sweetness and vulnerability of them. It tells me the story of longing, desiring my permission, to go ahead and search for God like a man with his hair on fire searches for water (or maybe like a ‘woman’ with her hair on fire searches for water, b/c the search would not be the same) – the longing for the Beloved – the ache to once again meet and merge with the Divine One and surrender to her/him. heavyheart2

And my heart is not broken, not breaking open. Instead it is swelling, overflowing – full of life, full of tears, full of pain, full of love and knowing. And instead of quieting my heart, instead of trying to muffle the sound, I am sending out the longing like the call for the Mate, the Beloved it seeks.

in company of fear

my body is afraid
leaking fear
grief
anger
all over my life
it remembers

I wake
dreading consciousness
memories
my face briny again
still always surprises me
my body crying

without my permission

waking
I feel sadness
slipping away to hide
he takes fear with him
and together they slide furtively
around progressively deeper
narrower
corners
seeking shelter
until the darkness returns
digging in
until they can leak out again

where is that well
the source
why can’t I ever find it
fill it up
empty it
I try and follow them
around those blind corners
alleys close with thick darkness
that feels like walking through
coagulated blood

the body limps
around always questioning
has PTSD
jumps at the slightest cosmic burp
wondering
fearful of knowledge
wanting to remain blissfully ignorant

body
I am here now
you are safe

and every morning
yoga stretch-stitches
me sweetly back
to myself
closes gapfull
watery swellings

power

I don’t have the time or energy
to help you feel more comfortable
with my lack of comfort
with my pain

I cannot make it my problem
I do not have the resources right now

I am unable
at this moment
to babysit you
soothe you back into
seeing me as complete
to help get you somewhere
closer to your own comfort zone
to find a way for you to put me back inside
your definition of me
see me as what
you think I am

I am busy in here
and in pain
have work to do
I cannot help you right now

but do not mistake my lack of comfort
my pain
my inability
to be something familiar for you
my process
this river of emotions
I must watch and sometimes even choke on
as it flows downstream
for weakness

for this stream is cutting
a canyon through me
growing ever wider and deeper
whose impact
product
will only be able to be
measured
after the flood has
ended
after the river has ebbed