As I sat rolled up and face down in a ball of despair on my mat during an Ayahuasca ceremony a vast darkness loomed over me. My stomach was turning with absolute anxiety. Morbid visions of demented faces occurred in my mind’s eye. While a perfectly wonderful and happy song was playing a tsunami feeling of anger and hurt and being triggered through love and past love connections was taking a heavy load on my heart. How I’ve “failed” others and punished myself because of it. How others have “failed” me and how I’m punishing them or punishing myself for why it didn’t work out. The love connection with another has been the feeling in my life that I’ve walked towards to mostly throughout my adult life. Somehow it felt all too powerful to not pay attention to. It’s led me away from other life goals like sports, traveling, and pursuits that perhaps would have helped me develop to be a more balanced person in life and love if I would have gone in those directions as opposed to always directly chosen the fantasy of what love would provide me. The fantasy entails thinking I am owed something. It entails thinking that love from another should be the antidote to my life. It entails thinking that it is bigger than me and outside of me and that love conquers all. It entails thinking that stimulation equals love. It entails thinking that I am the victim. It entails trauma coming up and freezing me in my tracks when things go wrong. It entails a fog appearing that I can’t walk through or really know where I am going in. It entails insecurity, a lack of confidence, and putting a lot on others and myself than is sustainable. It entails not taking responsibility for loving myself and being emotional honest about the issues I have. In entails being competitive and rebellious and digging a dark hole deeper and deeper in order to rely on short term stimulation to make me feel better and that it will get me what I want. It entails bypassing the work I have to do because it is a long road with such sensitive and intimate content. Much of this comes from a place of how I was conditioned overall to believe in love. Two halves coming together to make one as opposed to two wholes coming together to make something truly dynamic. With two halves, bonding through insecurity can be common because each person is lacking. They “fall” in love instead of “grow” in love. With two wholes, we’ve done more work on ourselves and are more complete and capable to take on intimacy and connection and honesty. The result is a more dynamic love connection that fosters true processing of light and dark, leading to never ending expansion and overall positivity whether you stay in intimate connection with who you’re in relation with or not. Two wholes bring about an array of possibilities for how love can show itself and flourish.
These realizations have alluded me for quite some time. Not that it’s ever easy to figure out how you want to love yourself and others in your life. You’ll arrive at “Eureka” moments here and there but then later realize it’s just another step in the learning to love and be loved tango. It is pretty much a lifelong process and I’m not saying by any means, “I’ve figured it out,” but I can say that I’ve embarked on an important step for learning how to take on adequate love connection in my life. There have been times where I’ve gotten everything I’ve wanted out of love in my life in a partner who was there for me in most ways, yet a vast emptiness loomed. There have been times of extreme difficulty, triggering, and confrontation with partners where I haven’t gotten nearly everything I’ve wanted yet have felt much more connected to them, but the emptiness still loomed. No matter what happened with my loving connections, the impending result seemed to be the same. I would feel empty, go into a sort of trauma state reactionary freeze where I hide or don’t even really know what I need or can’t communicate it or am afraid of the results if I do. I would often blame and project onto others for not being enough while internalizing guilt and blame towards myself for an array of things I couldn’t be emotionally honest with myself or my partner about. The same cycle has seemed to continue and it has been very hard to put my finger on why it keeps happening.
Ayahuasca exposed this weakness and darkness to me. It slammed me in the face and pounced on my already tired heart, exposing to me that my heart will age and become weaker, leading to ill health, less quality of life, a shorter life (possible heart attack), if I don’t figure this out. I tried to escape it while sitting on my mat. I tried to curl up into the smallest ball possible as I was sitting on my bent knees with my forehead in front of me on the ground. I tried to become smaller and hide further hoping that somehow I could just burrow my head and be forgotten into the ground. My feet, legs, and hips fell asleep as I laid like this for who knows how long. I knew I was inflicting pain on myself. I knew I wasn’t allowing blood to flow. I was pissed and angry that I had to move. That I had to act in life. That I had to take accountability for why I was feeling all of these things. I was determined to be willful against this feeling to act and move. Why should I? Fuck that. It’s too painful. The pain in my lower body was getting too great and starting to take some of the attention away from how I had “failed” so much in my life. How have I failed myself and others in life and how painful that all was. I still didn’t move. The Ayahuascaro even called my name out in song and it made me feel a tinge of connection to something else but my darkness quickly covered it up. The mental loop cycles were playing over and over in my head. The anger and resentment was rising and then the break came. I had to change. I had to understand a new realization about love and attachment in my life. I had to partake more in emotional honesty about what and who I was and how I wanted love to be enacted in my life coming from a healthier place vs always leading to self-hate, insecurity, and reactionary trauma freezes. I started to move. The tingling was an unbearable sensation as I had never had this much of my body fall dead asleep with my blood so stagnant. I started to move my legs and get on one knee. It took forever for me to get my feet on the ground. It felt like I was learning how to walk again. It felt like a re-birth. A new era is upon me. An era of a more mature love and connection. I started to wander around the room and connection came towards me in many directions.
As the days have passed I have wobbled back and forth from this new paradigm and back into the old. My heart has felt extremely heavy and taxed and in pain from so many years of trying to implement the old paradigm of love and connection. This is not something that will instantly change as grips of past routine take time to weed out. It will take active intention for me to really understand and implement what this new era of love connection is about. Not to different from the simple act of going on an exercise routine to get out of horrible shape. It can’t be a fad form of exercise or diet, it has to be a lifestyle. My heart and brains are muscles. They are capable of change and I am very capable of learning and growing. I have proved it to myself before with so many other types of things.
The base of this new paradigm of love and connection is self-love. No one outside of me is going to keep me from feeling the desperate insecurities and depressions that I’ve felt in the past in loving relationships. No one person in stimulatory physical appearance or mental prowess is going to save me from my own depleted sense of self-worth and self-love. And in a weird way, the stronger the desire for the person the stronger the desire for self-sabotage comes into play. It’s like my body knows I am not really doing my work for developing myself and starts to disengage me in its own way. The rebellious nature of myself sets in as can be seen in my contracted position reacting to Ayahuasca described above. With my body rebelling at me, the ever desire yearning for more from the other in my partner sets in. The need for a fix, to be satiated by my partner gets ever stronger, so much so that it feels no different than if I was actually strung out on an unhealthy relationship with drugs. The cycle feeds on itself and I feel almost proud of and defined by my rebellious nature as that’s who I am and that’s my power place and that’s how I’m defeating pain! Well it most certainly is a power place as it affects myself and others so much but a very limited power place overall in my ability to expand and love and truly be in an empowered connection. The stress on my heart has been noticed over the years. I can’t be so willful and fight it anymore.
The base of this new paradigm will be in emotional honesty in standing up for myself and what I need and being able to communicate that effectively. And if that isn’t met by my partner then I need to be honest with myself that valuing myself in self-love is more important vs valuing the process of the other. I don’t need to be focused so heavily on mirroring anyone anymore because that leads to a false sense of self and eventually the real you comes out anyway and then basically a new person in a new relationship emerges which can be super confusing for everyone involved. It can be easy to just “go along” in relationship with someone. The sex is good and they’re attractive, their friends are cool, their family is good, they present themselves well on social media, they’re a good cook, they have money, they’re exciting, it can be anything, but with emotional honesty we can really be less misleading about what we want and what we’re doing. I need to take steps to understand what is really driving me in a loving connection with someone and communicate that and with my partner doing the same we need to see if it is a workable situation. I need to face the reality that this won’t get me what I want in the moment but it will lead me to more health and what I want in sustainable relationships in the long term. This could mean a relationship ending when it symbolically looks good or is in the honeymoon phase where we often ignore things about ourselves or the other, that later will present themselves as super problems. That is a hard thing to really be honest with yourself about because it can feel so good in the moment to just keep going with the stimulation, the companionship, the sex, the newness, etc.
This new era of love and connection has to come with the understanding that the true nature of love starts with giving and needs to be free from expectations related to attachment. Just as important is the power of being able to effectively receive and recognizing that giving is receiving. Matching appropriately with someone as such makes you feel you are able to be in natural flow of union, communication and overall connected and good. It should not be a total struggle. If it is, your body is trying to tell you something through the stress you’re feeling. It should not include walking on egg shells around yourself or others nor anything resembling passive approaches. Good love is a daily intentional act. Being passive or forcing love on others does not lead to desirable results. Loving someone because you think they’ll change and eventually become “better” does not lead to desirable results. Loving someone with the expectation that they will return it to while they constantly don’t will not lead to desirable results. These kinds of loves breed desperation and bonding through insecurity. They put us in trauma cycles establishing new norms for how we think we deserve to be treated and they are very hard to get out of. If you have to let lovers go because you are not getting what you need then that is okay. After all, you need to be in balanced union with yourself first as you come first and it will be the most important relationship you will ever have. If you cheat on yourself with others it will catch up to you. Growth and expansion come in all different forms and a wise woman once told me, “the love of lovers are in each other all along no matter if they are together or not.” In this way, a loving relationship can look many different ways as it doesn’t have to produce kids or marriage or a house or even be together in a relationship status. A loving connection is one that is just felt because it is just consistently there and there is natural connection that feeds on itself and leads to growth. You feel dynamic just being around them. The feeling is just there as a powerful and unique form of unconditional love. You either have this with someone or you don’t. The endurance and marathon journey of a true loving connection will come to you, or back to you, in a lover if it is meant to be. The flow and organic nature of true loves have a way of people remaining in your life if they are supposed to as the consistency of the match will keep presenting itself as valid.
There is no way desirable way to be passive in your life when it comes to love, but when you decide to love someone and it comes from a place of self-love and a true desire to get to a higher place with a person who is on a similar path, there is no bounds for what that love can accomplish and gain. In this sense, it is a continuation and beyond what any type of honeymoon phase entails. You can have the honeymoon phase for your whole life, not that there won’t be problems and difficulties, but that those problems and difficulties will be opportunities for higher growth and loving connection. You won’t be fighting yourself. You won’t be fighting your partner. You will have decided that this is going to work because you, yourself, are worth it and your partner is similarly capable and in this sense you both are one unit, but also both separately whole units, coming together to create a higher sense of self.
My heart is heavy. I have no choice but to walk towards making these changes in my life. I’m quite sure the Ayahuasca medicine relayed that to me and I felt myself having a heart attack later in life because of the stress of implementing my old paradigm of love. Something has to give and I don’t want it to be my heart. I want to change for the better and sustain a wonderful quality of heart felt connection in my life for as long as possible. I am committed to it for my own hearts sake and I will be only paired with a partner who is also committed to it. The potential is far too great for what can come from this new paradigm of love. There is a new higher awareness and transcendent sense of self that comes through sharing a love with a partner that is on such a path. I look forward to the growth and the active intention and practice of implementing this daily into my life.