The following is a recounting of a beautiful and powerful healing experience that I would have never believed possible not so long ago. It isn’t a telling of an unexplainable spontaneous healing of a physical terminal illness, yet to me it is every bit as remarkable in that it is tangible and replicable although seemingly as impossible. This experience was a pivotal turning point in a relationship that was suffering from a terminal illness that had been metastasizing for over a decade. An illness of resentment, pride, ego, victim-hood, misremembered stories clung onto, misunderstood hearts and disconnection. The story told below is a true story of the power of connection to cut like a scalpel through over a decade of scars to find the love that lies beneath. This connection is the core of human existence, the connection to our inner selves, the connection to the majesty of the earth and universe around us, and the connection to each other. This connection is my life’s practice and I explore it and strengthen it through breathwork, meditation, exploring nature and tantric exercises. I explore it alone in the wilderness on days long backpacking trips and I explore it in open hearted community found at places like SoulPlay Festivals and Naked Earth Tantra retreats. I explore it at home with my beloved, my children, my family and my friends, and I explore it in the supermarket in the smile of complete strangers. And the most beautiful part of it all is that it is yours to explore as well. The most healing power in the entire world, the power of connection, is yours for the having.
Last night started as many others had over the years. Upon going to bed and closing my eyes I found myself sinking farther and farther into feelings of despair. Old feelings, old thoughts and old stories slowly started to swirl around in my head and with a little time, leaked into my heart. I know these stories all too well... Thoughts of being inadequate, unworthy, unloved, unseen... I have tools now that I have never had in years past and I used them. I showed love and gratitude for the shadows and what they have taught me. I used various breathing techniques and meditations to ease my mind and nervous system. Yet, every time I would drift off to sleep, they would creep back in again.
Finally, at about 2:20 am I had nearly as much as I could take and while stifling small sobs, I started to rummage around for a set of earphones to listen to guided meditations or music to try to block out the painful voices reverberating in my head and heart. My beloved lying next to me awoke and offered me her headphones, or if I would prefer, some time with her to co-regulate through co-breathing. With tear filled eyes I accepted her gracious offer and quickly fell into our accustomed breathing rhythm as we held each other belly to belly. My tears flowed in waves and I shook as our combined breath began to work its’ way into my shadows. I spoke words of pain, remorse, guilt and apology and the pain slowly began to recede back into the crevasses of my soul where it has spent my lifetime in hiding. I was left lying there in her arms, hollowed out, empty, blank. We rolled away from each other, as is our practice, to once again breathe and ground on our own after such a connection. I finally felt like I may be able to sleep, although I felt raw, vulnerable and exposed. Like a raw nerve left fully exposed, terrified that the slightest breeze might overwhelm its ability to cope.
Then something new and life altering happened... My beloved of 12 years, instead of reaching for her pillow or reaching for my head or heart with words of love and encouragement as in times past, reached for my body. My chest, my nipples, my abdomen, my lingam. This shocked me, not only because it was so unexpected, but apparently much more than just my spirit felt raw and sensitive, her very touch sent waves of electricity through every nerve of my body that left me writhing and convulsing instantly on our bed. She tenderly worshiped my spirit and my body in ways that have been rare in our 12 years of marriage and I began to feel my hollowed-out soul begin to fill with a spirit I have rarely known in my 41 years of life.
She invited me into her and I met my beloved as the Eternal Beloved for the very first time. We made love in a whole new way, like two halves of the same whole, like long lost immortal beloveds reunited after centuries apart. We collapsed into each other’s arms just before sunrise overflowing with joy, bliss, love and tears. Both of us left emotionally raw and shaking.
After an hour and a half or so of sleep I feel sensitive, hungover but more open than ever. I feel new. The shadows that have plagued me feel more than just pushed aside. They feel loved, acknowledged, released. I feel more connected with my beloved than at any time in our relationship. I feel seen. I feel that I have no need to wear my defenses that I have crafted so carefully over my lifetime out of fear of being found to be inadequate, unworthy, unlovable.
Much like the new embodiment of the ancient Eternal Beloved in my beloved, this form of healing is new yet as ancient as human existence. We have been slowly exploring this space in our lives, learning, listening, embracing, embodying. It has been slow, it has been messy, it has been pushing the boundaries of our relationship and each of us individually. This world of conscious breath, co-regulating, sacred sexuality, intimacy beyond sex, loving outside of the box without limits, this tantra that I and we have been studying, practicing and immersing ourselves in; my beloved and I could no longer imagine living in any other way. This isn't some magic pill or 12 step program to healing and prosperity, but so far in our experience, this has been the most love filled, transformative and potent form of healing we have ever experienced. This is an invitation to a new way to love, a deeper way to love, a means to lean into love instead of running away and hiding from it. For there is no less love in pain than in joy.