Seeking Deep Affection in Our Soul Mate Relationship
Coffee Time Friday, 1/18/13
Pat: As you well know, I have resistance to embracing Pathwork’s proposition that the Life Force and Eros are directly related. The entire sexual side of our relationship is fraught with alarms in me, as we both know. The Pathwork Lectures speak holistically about sexuality as one aspect of the experience of Union between a man and a woman, and that spirituality is also an aspect of that Union. In the beginning of our relationship 13 years ago you were clear about US, and your energy sparked the beginning of our relationship – you were consistent in your holistic view of union. Your yearning or longing for living the Mystery of holistic sexuality – and always getting us back there – confronts my oppositional stance. My stance has been to live a good life but mostly in the spiritual realms. Having said that, I, too, long for a holistic relationship with you. Gary: What does our sexuality look like in each of us? For me it is frightening to face the unknown nature of the Mystery of Sexuality. I have the holistic language, but that is head stuff and far away from the experiential wholeness that I say my Soul longs for. We know couples who consider themselves Soul Mates – both homosexual and heterosexual partnerships. We consider ourselves to be Soul Mates, yet we experience awkwardness when we embrace the notion that the sexual component is a very real part and expression of our particular Soul Mate status.
Soul Mate status feels safe, lofty, spiritual, and true for us. Sexual Soul Mate Status, while it sounds grand and utopian to me, and is my longing, it is at the same time frightening and awkward for us. (We went on to explore our sexual feelings and behaviors, and I especially dove into my distortions and confusions about sexual energy and its expression in me, including my shame about my sexual energy and how is shows up in me) How do you feel as we tackle this subject with honesty? Pat: Safe. Clear. Balanced. Empowered, even. We have open access to what we have in the pot we are stirring here. I do not have to pull back. Gary: I feel relief in sharing some of my shame about my sexual behavior. Pat: Shame is in the field, it matters not whose it is.
Gary: I notice that it is a challenge to hold the emotion, to express the affect in my body, in my eyes, in my facial expressions as I share what I feel shame about regarding my sexual behavior and energy. My words become a mere intellectual confession of behavior and energies I do not like in myself, and I tense up my body, and tend to look away, in the presence of these feelings, all the while I am confessing them to you in my words — as if discussing the weather. Once again my words are my defense against truly feeling shame, guilt, and remorse. I won’t let you see my emotions in my eyes or on my face. Just noticing this defense against feeling what is going on in me: words, words, words. And the issue, too, is to stop moralizing with myself and rather just be curious where all of this sexual energy comes from in me and accept it as the Life Force in me, though it expresses itself in ways that in the end are distortions and in the end not at all satisfying to me. The entire sexual arena is fraught with danger for me. It is so challenging, and yet I am drawn to these sexual energies in me.
Pat: Our challenge is how to navigate in this territory of inner feeling and sexual experience. Gary: As you say this in this moment, I can hear our couple’s counselor Anthony asking me, “Gary, do you feel Pat receiving you in your shame and remorse, receiving you with love and compassion – just holding you in her heart? Pat: We are in the Big Heart! In the Big Heart nothing needs to be left out or hidden. Everything can come and be seen and accepted, and our love for each other can hold us.
Gary: This is a new space for us, a wordless space. The tsunami of my sharing came through here this morning, and we are now at peace. Pat: Noticing the interplay between us, the intercourse – no push/pull. What arises is the One Life. This is helpful. This opens me to see you, to feel into the way of it. Am I the open sea anemone in this sexual arena? Gary: And am I? Pat: The sexual energy that arose in you yesterday that in the end in its distortion brought you shame, embarrassment, and remorse was the same sexual energy that arose in me listening to the romantic music of Michael Bublé driving back from Louisville on Wednesday morning. This morning’s sharing, as we intend honesty with each other in these treacherous waters of sexuality, has been very rich indeed. Gary: I see how much my Soul longs for affection, not just sexuality. Deep emotional affection feels much broader and richer than the sexuality that can arise spontaneously out of affection. Such a new space for me, for us.
Shared with love, Gary