Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Death and Rebirth

I haven't written in awhile. As big Imp events approach, there tends to be less space for reflection. But now that we are headed into summer, I have a feeling - actually it's an intention - that I will be writing a lot more in the coming days. It's time to make some significant changes in my life and writing helps me significantly during times of transformation. I feel compelled to share this story as it unfolds, partially because I seek to be witnessed and partially because I always hope that sharing my story will be useful to someone else. It is in the sharing of our stories that we can find connection, meaning, insight, and a plethora of other gifts. And sometimes hearing someone else's story just lets us know we are not alone.

Don't hide your heart but reveal it, So that I may know mine too, And know what I am capable of... - Rumi

As I've said before, I've hesitated to be completely vulnerable in my writing here because this blog is associated with the Imps and because people I interact with regularly read it. As I bounce between the risk of transparency and the belief that I have to be "professional," I realize that I just need to honor that this is the space I created for writing the unfolding story of my life as an erotic hostess. The personal is just as much a part of that story as the professional is.

The image above is the Transformation card from the Osho Zen Tarot deck. In other decks it is known as the Death card. I love this card and because of it I have come to lovingly label times of intense transformation as "burning in Kali's Fire." The Fire of Transformation burns away the old (illusions, fears, wounds, all the things that keep us small) and forges a purer heart. Sitting in the Fire is painful, but it always leads to healthier and deeper capacities to love.

"You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.” Mary Manin Morrissey

It's been an excruciatingly painful week for me. My guy and I ended our partner-relationship. It turns out that neither of us is ready or able to fulfill the potential of our connection because we are nowhere near as profoundly in love with ourselves as we are with each other. We had been planning to move in together on June 1st, but the last few weeks/months we have been sinking into unhealthy patterns and hurting one another in the process. It all exploded last Monday and we have been navigating the wreckage since. There is no blame and there are no sides to take. We both made mistakes. We both neglected to put intention into the relationship and the necessary work into our own self-care and healing. Our trust in ourselves, each other and the relationship eroded. Our shadows and our fears took over. We have chosen to end that part of our relationship for now because it is the healthy choice to untangle our entanglements and overcome our dependency on (addiction to) one another. We both need time and space to focus on cultivating as much love for ourselves as we have for each other.

What makes this break up different than any other either of us have experienced is that our love is immense. And we are still madly in love with each other. We have put on the breaks before we stopped being in love. While it might feel easier to do the traditional break up -- to become distant and shut down our hearts to one another -- it isn't the loving choice that we desire to make. We are striving to remain open to the love we share and just shift its expression. We desire to maintain intimacy and support one another as we try to align with our right paths as individuals. We are open to new possibilities as we change. This is a death that will lead to some kind of rebirth. Maybe we are meant to be together and this whole process will birth a much healthier, richer relationship than we had before. Or maybe we were meant to be catapulted into our individual evolutions by our entanglement and then move forward as intimate friends. We have no idea about the future, we only know what we need to do now to move forward in love rather than fear and to build trust again.

Besides our personal motivation for remaining connected, there are other motivations as well. As much as I struggle with it sometimes, being part of a close-knit tribe and being community leaders for the Imps demand that we interact in healthy, loving ways. We will be attending a meeting on Wednesday and the staff decompression-party on Saturday. The following weekend will be a graduation celebration for tribemates on Saturday and an intimate gathering on Sunday. Unless one or both of us isolates ourselves from our tribe and/or stops working for the Imps, we have to maintain a relationship. It's a win-win for everyone that we desire to. I trust our tribe can hold space for the heartache and awkwardness that we will experience as we shift to a new sort of relating. They have already started.

Of course I have no idea what it will look or feel like when we attend future Imps events and play with others. While neither of us are in the right space for long-term relationship, that doesn't mean we won't have other intimate and sexual connections as we work on our personal evolutions. Unlike other communities where sex is kept behind closed doors, continuing to participate in this community requires an openness to the reality that we may see the other have sex with someone else. It's a very scary thought to me right now, but I am trusting that I will reach a place of ok-ness within myself in time so that I am not overcome with jealousy and other fear-based reactions.

It hurts like hell to do it this way. We can't escape, distract or disconnect from the heartache too much when we're continuing to interact. There is a necessary willingness to sit with the heartache and to process through all the negativity that comes to the surface. We are still talking and listening. There is a surprising willingness to hold space for one another as we untangle the mess we've made. Some moments I want nothing more than to blame and shut down. Some moments I am very afraid that I am alone, will remain alone and will not experience love like ours again. Many other moments I feel expansive and connected and I know to the core of my being that this will lead to very good things for us both. Choosing love is always the right choice.

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