He saw me dancing on the beach. “You must be a dancer. When you dance I see you are commanding the light and moving the shadows. What is your superpower?” As I sang to him an answer without words, the broken sparkle in his delicious brown Italian eyes stitched itself back together as he cried at my feet.
So the Italian and I walk the beach. He says he wants to see me the next day. I say “ok”; curious and resistant as I am a courting my own space. We meet, we play, we laugh so hard my belly aches. For this I am grateful. For too many moments this winter I could not find my joy and if this man needs my love to cry so be it. I needed his for a day to laugh and be in my bliss.
He sits in front of me and I look into his gorgeous face and he breaks open his heart to reveal a grief that has been haunting him. His sister killed herself at the age of 27, or maybe he said 28, and “I don’t know who you are or why you make me cry but I have never told anyone about this and I have been carrying it inside. Your love is so strong. I don’t know, but I needed to cry, thank you.” Hermano Italiano with a soul so deep he drowns himself in things that don’t feed the seeds nesting at the bottom waiting to meet love - to rise above the anxiety and the noise and the fear in the background of his life.
Later we topple into each other’s bodies even though I knew through his drinkin, smokin, young woman chasin lifestyle that he could not meet me in my desires. He is uninitiated in the ways of Life. I lay there listening deeply to my own incongruencies and how many times I have broken my own boundaries. All of the voices competing within me. “Just let it go and be loved now, here and now. My body needs this. His heart is good. Everybody else is doin it. Don’t you want sexual liberation.?!” And all of that is true. I am here to surrender “should’s and supposed to’s” and my rigid edges. AND, I am here to love myself to the core and honor what I stand for. And it is not misogyny in any form- the oppression of the feminine, of women.
We kiss, we are naked (because we are always practically naked living on the beach) and his hand immediately goes to my yoni, my sex, my pussy, which lets me know he is not in his body or listening to mine. My heart sank into my feet. I stopped him and stood my ground and said that there are a thousand other parts of me that hold sexuality and arousal and a million ways to create intimacy. He froze. All of the sexual energy drained from his body. I got to sit and witness all the wobbles between us.
The old pattern rose within me that wanted to make the discomfort go away, to take it back and try to turn him back on. The old feelings that I did something wrong and I should let him do what he wants so that I don’t have to feel rejected or unattractive or unsexy. The old indoctrination that women are here to serve men’s needs. The old impulse to touch his sex and get him hard, seeking some old validation for my worth as a woman. I let it burn and eat the poison between us that is not our truth, not my truth. It was a powerful moment.
I was willing to let him leave and be with his own feelings because my attachments are now to a primary Love that will never abandon me. But he stayed put, although deflated, and listened best he could as I explained that I can’t be with anyone sexually unless they know how to run their sexual power with awareness, or at least be willing to explore the pitfalls of attraction. And that can be in a hot moment of raw, yet conscious, fucking or a slow meander through light touching, eye gazing, cooking food.
He is stuck in what I was stuck in most of my life…
Meet, get a little drunk, kiss, get naked, you touch me, I touch you, you go down on me, I go down on you, penetration, orgasms with no meaning, or no orgasm (typically for the woman)- all to feed the aching gap where true intimacy with God, with our pure power, with the blessed current of Life and Love should be. This is how the majority of people are having sex- through their uninitiated teenage selves. But we don’t know any better and it is the most vulnerable area of our lives to address.
My body literally won’t do it anymore. None of it turns me on. Needing to reach for someone’s body in these most unconscious and programmed ways is based in addictive impulse, patriarchal wounding and misogyny. The fears behind those wounds are real. What is he as a man if he doesn’t get to release the tension and perform in the only ways he knows how in the moment? What is a woman if he isn’t turned on and hard and therefore desiring her? What is love if there isn’t this sex? Where does that frenetic energy go?
I will tell you where- drinking and smoking out of balance, all addictions, massive consumerism, war, false power structures, hunting down young women who are also stuck in the game of perpetual misogyny- objectifying themselves and draining their life force, their creative power.
And it is no one’s fault entirely but it is our homework, as one of my medicine sisters says.
I care for this man. This deeply soulful, heartful Italian brother trying so hard to allow the voice in his heart to come through, but he keeps looping into these patterns the closer he gets to the core of his pain and anxiety. His only initiation was being told as a boy that this money, this kind of woman, this cologne, this car, this kind of sex, this look, this life of stuff- is love and shows that you have power and worth. And his sister killed herself all in the name of it. I don’t want that in my life or my body because all of it almost killed me.
I am a challenge for him to be around. The mirror is strong. I don’t do much more than reflect what is true about him while standing strong in what is true about me, my worth, power and sexuality- that it comes from a Well within me that is deeper than anything that can be given from an external source. But he is drawn to me from a place within him that is different than his impulses and it confuses him. I told him that there is only love here for him and I realized that no one has ever said that to him- that he can be loved for who he is in his deepest hidden away heart.
He looks at me deep into my eyes, laughs uncomfortably at my gaze and then reaches for a drink and a smoke because love and addiction, love and power are twisted in him. He doesn’t know how to be with my love without having me as a “lover” to conquer the anxiety of being seen and unraveled. He is bewildered and stuck between worlds. I just witness him.
I have had to work through my judgements of him and that disastrous old wound of women wanting to harbor resentment towards and punish men, which rises from women not knowing how to translate the wisdom of their bodies, get what they truly need to move the unmet rage that has been passed down and by breaking their own boundaries around sacred needs- it’s a worth issue. And the only way to heal this is the deep journey of facing my existential fear of rejection.
There are two conflicting truths I sit with- I need nothing from him and I deeply desire for him to be initiated. For him to bring forth the man behind the wounded boy running parts of his life. For him to live into the potential of his soul. Yet, the only thing I can do is honor myself and live into my own soul while bidding him well and trusting that he is perfectly on his journey. But it is so hard to stay quiet when I see things standing in the way of loving ourselves, of Love.
And who am I to tell anyone how to live?! I am no saint. Maybe he’s totally at peace inside with his life. I wrestle with this when I know what lives behind the addictive impulses and how much of our unmet grief and society’s nefarious messages about worth drive addiction, abuse and desecration of all Life. I suppose the way I choose to live is message enough- fully alive, fully feeling, fully willing to love all the pain free.
He is a great teacher for me. As I let all the feelings roll through, I came to the awareness that there are few things more harmful to another than to project that I wish they were somewhere, something, or someone other than they are -which only perpetuates shame culture. I can pray that the Love that heals all things finds their pain. But sticking around hoping someone will change by my love is a shadow, a sweet little girl inside seeking to be seen and validated.
I don’t meet anyone, especially men, by accident. All of them, despite their wounds, always carry good medicine. The psyche is strong and when it has had enough of what blocks the divine will of love- will seek the mirrors it needs to reveal those soul seeds that did not come here, in that body, to lay dormant. So we find one another to wake up and crack open. Even if for a very brief, impactful moment in time.
And ok, not to objectify- thank you Goddess for sending el Italiano in a body that’s sooo and with eyes that are sooo and who speaks 5 languages, one of them from the stars, that make me sooo (what?! I am human). Really all of that would not grab me and he wouldn’t be on my path if it wasn’t for his soul’s present and ripening readiness to evolve. Yet, I must be steady and sober to the space between me and other to know my own shadows at play and create boundaries that honor my truth- which typically honors the truth of the other.
So, what is attraction really? It is so convoluted and confused in most of us that even the most self aware can easily slip into the old loops of misplaced sexual current and power. And how are we attracted? Mostly through our wounds seeking the medicine to heal the pattern that has played out too long. Why do we come into each other’s lives other than to learn about love? And if we are conscious, become more love. Make more love.
We have incredible power. Our actions are not benign. They shape our lives and thus our collective story. One of the most powerful actions we can commit as humans (if not the most powerful) is in the container of intimate sexual connection. We can literally make a new human through the union of man and woman. Everything that happens in that moment of procreation, all of the shadows, and the lies and the fears and the missed initiations and the NO’s that came out as YES, and the hurt and the passion and the attachments - all get downloaded into that new life. We can literally write a new creation story or perpetuate the drama from the bedroom (or the back seat of an old car or a deserted beach- just sayin)
The caveat is that even if we are practicing conscious awareness and tantric love making in our lives we are not going to be perfectly healed humans in that container. We are brought together for our common ground in love, desires, dreams and in wounding. The key ingredient in making medicine from our shadows so that the repatterning of those wounds can begin to imprint beauty in what we birth together, whether another human or not, is conscious awareness and a willingness to heal and evolve past the wounds. And that usually requires reclaiming the rites of passage lost to us which inevitably address worth, rejection and abandonment wounds by imprinting right relationship and belonging.
Initiations and rites of passage teach our youth about honoring Life and our bodies, which is teaching our youth about the life sustaining power of the feminine body. Misogyny can only exist inside of an ignorant culture, purposely made ignorant to uphold the oppression of feminine, life inclusive, wisdom.
We need women to learn about their bodies, the power of their wombs as life givers, water bearers, wisdom keepers, and how the portal of life is literally inside of us and will guide us down the most miraculous and ecstatic path when we listen to its messages. That anytime women alter their bodies, minds and lives for “love”, manipulate for love, turn against their own soul for love- they are literally creating more of the oppression they are trying to free themselves from. That is not love. And that through a woman’s orgasm, her womb body, a whole Universe of wisdom and bliss opens for both partners when sex is engaged as sacred medicine. Also it needs to be taught that when a woman opens her body to anyone through her most sacred places, because she is in the position of receptivity, she takes in everything that is within that other human.
We need men to learn about their bodies and claim their power as life tenders, protectors, fire keepers- he with the heart for the sacred hunt in service to Life. He who knows who and what sustains him and gives him life, and the more he honors his loving heart born for devotion the more abundance he receives. Any man in service to Life would inherently honor and help the women in his life listen to their bodies, hold space as they unravel the pain, because he would know that if any woman is laying down with doubt in her soul and wounds in her womb then his life and all of Life will contain those same illnesses.
This requires a slowing down to be present to the tension in the space between two people that we have been conditioned to collapse by going for “sex” to avoid what is really alive inside of the container and the cues of the body, driven by the body, rather than rote of the mind. The only way to heal any of this is to stare our rejection wounds and their many faces- in the face- get to know how they travel within our psyches and our bodies, how they influence our actions and above all hold steady in the spiritual practices that help us reattach ourselves to that which can never abandon, betray or reject us- Mother Earth, Mother Life, Father God, Father Life, Mother God, Father Goddess- and the bees.
Very few of us have ever experienced what love making can really do because to teach the population about the power of Love would mean we would exist in a whole different paradigm and creation story than the one we are living under. We would inherit the true story, the One Truth where all are supported fully and equally in their giving and receiving of Love.
The power of sacred union (even if for a night or 4 days) between two beings, two polar forces, is where new life begins and therefore it is where God lives. When entered consciously it is more psychedelic and transformative than any plant medicine we have- because this energy created those plants and all of life. I mean you literally get to make medicine for the Universe by learning how the Universe moves through, entices, enlivens, enraptures and LOVES you. We can for sure do this alone, and must do this alone in order to bring that consciousness into a relationship. And it is so much more fun with another body. We have bodies with desire for a reason. We are meant to touch and kiss and penetrate and honor and support and enliven and wrap our arms around each other as we all brave this powerful human experience. We are also meant to have healthy attachments.
Everything is attached, connected in order to thrive and tickle life into bloom. If we zoom out and observe nature, everything is attached to some force that keeps the wheel turning and “the turn on” burning. Mother Womb attaches to Whale song which attaches to a crystalline grid at the surface of the Ocean which attaches to a ripple that attaches to the shore which attaches to an orgasmic ripple that attaches to a matrix of mycorrhizal tendrils that carry that song to the bees and the trees and hopefully the ears of the human heart to hear and sing out in praise for how all of these attachments attracting themselves to one another, make more life, more beauty, more bounty for our lives. When we attach ourselves through complexes that perpetuate wounding, we silence the song. And, well, we can all see the aftermath.
When I zoom out from it all I can see that the mess of confused attraction between us is love seeking itself to be revealed in the light of conscious awareness. That the wounds attract the medicine and the medicine for our deepest wounds is always Love. It is the only thing that heals- I don’t mean bandaids. I mean healing all the way through, back to the root so we can all rise in our truth and deeply love this life and take one another into each other’s arms with reverence for the force that made us and only wants for us to feel sexually, sensually, ecstatically alive.
Thanks for being with me on this rambling about through sex and shadow.
~Oh, and as for the Italian- he gave me permission to write this which says a lot. Bless this wild path as a Love Warrior, water bearer, life giver to all who come to my altar.
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I really took this all in as a young woman, thank you.
Wow Shira ♥️... Your piercing poetry of truth is an elixir for human healing ! Thank you darling for ur divine deep dives into sensuality ￼, intimacy & healing humanity ♥️🌻