Opening As Love When You Hurt

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When I’m Needy for Her Love

I hadn’t seen her for a long time. I missed her. My heart yearned for her. My body desired her. I knew she would be back from her trip this day, and I was waiting for her call.

She called. She told me she was back. She had a lot of work to do. She couldn’t see me until tomorrow.

She came over the next day. She was beautiful. We embraced each other and wept. We held each other for a long time. We lay down, she gave me a wonderful massage, and I caressed her gently. Then, abruptly, she told me she had errands to run and had to leave.

My heart was ripped. We were so open, so loving, why the sudden change? She told me she had just looked at the clock, noticed the time, and now really had some important things to do.

I knew that, like everyone, she occasionally popped out of her heart into her head and needlessly busied herself with tense and superficial thoughts and tasks. But, this time, I could feel my own neediness. I really expected her to fulfill me. And she would not. Could not. Never would, it seemed.

The next day she called and told me how much she loved me. Then she told me she would be spending the evening out with friends. Didn’t she know how bad I wanted to see her? Didn’t she know how much I missed her?

I decided not to insist on anything. Although she might have been avoiding love and intimacy with me, I most strongly felt my own neediness for her love. I felt my own need for a “mommy,” for a partner who would always be there for me, upon whom I could depend for love.

My heart was aching. When I finally did see her I did my best to give her love, rather than allowing my need for her love to collapse me. She felt my wounded heart and persistence in love. She opened into my rawness. Tears came to our eyes as she melted against me. We were totally undefended, our bodies merging into one, our hearts melding without separation. Our loving was original joy.

Of course, in a few hours, she got up and told me she had other plans for the evening. Again, I could feel a sense of betrayal welling up inside me. How could she be so cold when we had just so loved?

This cycle continued. Eventually, I was walking around heart-exposed, tender, expecting no fulfillment. My need for love that remained unmet was now obvious to me as a need that could not be met by any woman. The only “woman” who could meet my need for love was the one whom is always appearing. This “she” is the very experience of this moment. The form of this “lady” is the shape of this moment. “She” is always dancing as whatever sights, sounds, textures, thoughts, and emotions flicker in the field of consciousness. And love is the music that dances her.

My misplaced desire for perfect unity, for the realization of utter non-separation, had led me to believe that union with my lover could fulfill me. But no matter how deeply I might merge with her or any woman, in other moments we would be separate. Inevitably, we would hurt or close to each other in moments, and finally leave each other, if only at death.

Her momentary love for me, whether she expresses it a lot or a little, is not enough to quench my deepest need. My only option is to practice love itself: opening as love, being love, giving love, without chasing after the mirage of her promise. Opening as love most fully, I receive this moment as my lover, feeling through “her” in our unity, transparent in the space of love’s One. My heart is spread home and no longer waits for future relief.

Your Lover Will Never Fulfill You

One of the basic lessons of spiritual growth occurs when you realize that you will never be fulfilled for very long or very deeply by anything in life. Even things you work really hard for, when you get them, are just another moment. There are some tremendous moments of happiness in life, but they pass. And even while they last, there is always the tension and fear that they might not last too much longer.

Your lover is a concentrated dose of this lesson. He or she will never truly fulfill you—not for good, and not even that deeply in the best of times. The depth of love you might share is quite fragile, so that a wrong word or even a misinterpreted gesture can collapse the most sublime moment into a craven hole of hurt and need.

At first this seems to be bad news—a good excuse for having a few drinks, or eating a box of cookies. But getting this news is crucial. It allows you to stop wasting time in the hope of being fulfilled once and for all by a relationship. Instead, you can devote your relationship—and your entire life—to realizing the truth of this and every moment: this moment is spacious, full, aware, and luminous, regardless of the love you feel you are getting or not.

In any moment, even if you are not being treated like you wish you were, you can do love and give love because you are love. You are consciousness alive as love, dancing as the fullness of this moment. You are already one with the love you seek. By aligning your breath, body, and mind with this truth of love, your life becomes a vehicle through which love can enter the world and your relationship.

If you remain closed when you are hurt, love doesn’t have a chance. Your practice of openness, however, even when you are hurt, gives love a channel through which to infuse the moment, including difficult moments of relationship.

How to Open as Love when You’re Hurt

How do you practice love when you are hurt, afraid, or angry? First, relax your entire body. Let go of all your tension, especially any stress in the front of your body. While breathing fully and smoothly, relax your belly, chest, throat, and face. It’s fine if you cry or yell, just return to a full, open breath and relaxed body—especially a soft belly and chest—as soon as you are able.

If possible, look directly into your lover’s eyes. As you continue breathing fully and easefully, feel as if you are breathing your lover. Feel as if you are breathing his or her breath. Feel as if you are breathing through your lover. Be willing to inhale and receive your lover’s pain, anger, hurt, fear, and tension. Breathe it in and allow it to dissolve in the endless depth of your love. Then, exhale love into and through your partner.

It’s fine to cry or tremble, but do your best not to collapse. Sit or stand upright. Keep your body open and softly relaxed. Practice keeping your breath and body full in this way even if your emotional pain makes you want to close your heart and cave in your chest. Keep your heart and body open through the openness of your breath.

With every breath, feel the entire room—in front of you and behind you, to your left and right, above and below you—and use your breath to “carry” love outward from your heart in all directions, pervading and embracing the entire room and your partner.

In this way, practice receiving your lover, breathing love, giving love, and magnifying love, especially in the midst of your hurt. When your lover denies you and your heart is torn apart, make love by breathing love. Make love through your every action. Through each word. Through your tears and smiles. And, if the occasion should become appropriate, make love sexually in this way, through open breath and feeling.

This practice can be torturous. It doesn’t allow you to curl up into yourself and mope. It prevents your childish pout from taking hold. When your heart is really ragged and ripped, to stay open and give love feels like you are going to die. Nevertheless, the practice is actually to give love through your breath, body, and feeling even when all you want to do is close down and be given love, comfort, and adoration.

When You Need Love, Give Love

You will never be given enough love so that you no longer want more. You want love because you have misplaced your attention, and you are starving. You attend to events and relationships in the hope that they will eventually fulfill you once and for all. They won’t. Instead, attend through events and relationships until you notice what is always true. Feel through them until you can feel the ever-present openness in which they take place. Feel through your pain and your pleasure, feel through your day at work and your angry lover, until the openness of feeling is more noticed than the things you are feeling through.

What is the nature of your primal openness? How spacious does it feel compared to the release you wish for at work? How full does it feel compared to the love you hope to receive from your lover? How intimate is this openness compared to your lover’s body?

All substitutes dissolve when you rest open as love. They reappear, but with no need to fulfill. Rather, your work and your lover are either enjoyments of openness or tests of your capacity to breathe love and be love even when your personal needs are unmet. Your work and your lover are like your own body, the form of your life, the form you have been given to infuse with love for as long as it lasts. It all rots in the end, and it even stinks a little now. To expect it to fulfill you is foolish.

When your lover denies your needs, do not deny love. Open your body. Breathe love, radiate love, pervade all space with love. In doing so, you live the truth that you are love, and you allow love to continually infuse your relationship even if pain is the texture of the present moment. It takes time to work with the stuff that comes up between you and your lover. As the drama of your relationship (or your career) unfolds through time, remember that this practice of love is always available—and expressive of your deepest truth—right now.

For Him

When You Feel Weak, Relax As Fullness

Imagine that your woman is waiting for you to have sex. The look in her eyes says that she wants you badly. Her desire turns you on. Her sexual openness excites you. You hug each other and she rubs herself against you. She falls to her knees, grabs your penis, and takes it in her mouth. You ejaculate almost immediately. She’s upset you came so fast. You feel bad, too. What to do?

Practice fullness even when you feel depleted or ashamed. What your woman really wants from you sexually is to be taken to another place, to feel your presence and be filled by your love so she can trust you and surrender utterly in full-bodied bliss. You don’t need an erect penis to do this, although filling her with your penis—in addition to your consciousness and passion—is a delightful way to overwhelm her in love.

With or without an erection, you can find the fullness that you are already and transmit it through your whole body. It’s one thing to fake it and act strong even when you are feeling weak inside. It’s another thing to locate the depth of your being and relax as it. Allow its deep energy to manifest through your breath and body. Then, pervade your woman with this love-energy. Such practice is always possible, even when you are feeling physically defeated or emotionally down.

What to Do When You Ejaculate Too Soon

Feel each beat of your heart begin and end. Notice that “you” don’t cause your heart to beat; it goes on whether you are sleeping or awake, whether you are a sexual adept or failure.

Notice your thoughts about ejaculating so soon. Feel your thoughts moving through your mind like leaves in the wind. Instead of being wrapped up in your thoughts, simply notice them come and go.

Where do you feel your sense of failure? Is it in your belly? Your chest? Does it have the flowing amorphous energy of an emotion or the linear conceptual clarity of a thought?

How is your woman reacting? Does she seem open in love or closed and angry? Where in her body is she holding tension?

Witness the beating of your heart, the coming and going of your thoughts and emotions, the tensions in your body and in your woman’s. You don’t have absolute control over any of it. Who knows why you ejaculated so soon? Maybe you ate too much meat or salt. Maybe you were nervous or needed to release tension. Maybe you have a lot to learn about sexual loving. Right now, it doesn’t matter. What matters is whether your presence is full.

Your presence is determined by how relaxed you are in the fullness of your being. Are you shrinking, curling inward, caving your chest, shortening your breath, averting your eyes? All of these actions serve to decrease the presence that flows through your body—and this presence is the “erection” your woman wants most.

Three Stages of Masculine Strength

Men know they are “supposed to be strong.” It is an inner feeling against which they often measure their worth as a man. There are three stages to this growth in masculine strength.

In the first stage, a man wants to be strong in other people’s eyes. He tries to walk and talk in ways he thinks others will consider powerful.

In the second stage, a man seeks inner strength. He often tries to “do things his own way” because to listen to others would be to admit his dependency on them. He realizes that whether others approve of him or not, he’s got to be true to his own thoughts and emotions. He develops an inner confidence that gives him strength regardless of what others tell him. He no longer cares so much how he looks; he doesn’t act with macho posturing and stoic bravura like in the first stage. Rather, he is calm and equitable. This kind of inner strength is based on self-knowledge: He knows his limits and his gifts, and he lives as true to his own beliefs as he can, regardless of how others view him.

In the third stage, a man opens to the strength inherent in deep being. To do this, he opens beyond what others think of him—as well as beyond what he thinks of himself. Even self-confidence is an obstruction to relaxing as the force of open consciousness. His own beliefs and opinions—which guided his second-stage life—become as if transparent in the fullness of deep being.

This effortless strength is as obvious and recognizable as first-stage macho posturing and second-stage integrity and self-confidence. A man who is practicing third stage strength is trustable because his actions are not influencable from the outside or the inside; even his own sense of accomplishment or failure can’t derail him from living spontaneously as the love-force flowing from the depths of his being.

Three Stages of Sexual Confidence

Sex to a first-stage man is about “acting like a man.” Therefore, premature ejaculation is very embarrassing—not something he wants to talk about.

Sex to a second-stage man is about sharing and honesty. If he ejaculates too soon, he is not afraid to talk about it. He can find other ways to please his woman sexually, through oral sex, caressing, massage, and even using sex toys. He knows that he has other things to offer his woman besides sex, so his confidence is not deflated. She values his emotional sharing, care, sensuality, humor, and companionship as much as his sexual capacity. Besides, she secretly enjoys all the attention that he lavishes on her when he ejaculates too soon.

Sex to a third-stage man is about surrendering his whole body to the force of consciousness and allowing his depth of being to pervade through his body and breath, into his woman, and beyond, as love. If he ejaculates too soon, he and his woman may not even notice. The depth of his presence and the strength of his love are not depleted, for they are rooted in consciousness, not physiological arousal. His attention remains free of concern—his own and his woman’s. He can continue to ravish his woman, penetrating her heart and invading her body with his passionate love-force. Her orgasmic response may be just as full as if his erect penis was inside of her body.

In a first-stage moment, his energy would have collapsed in shame and his attention would have been occupied by fear that his woman may think him inadequate. In a second-stage moment, his energy would have gone into sharing with his woman sensually and emotionally while his attention was already concerned with how to improve his sexual capacity in the future.

A man practicing in the third-stage sometimes experiences shame and is also concerned with improving his sexual capacities to share love with his woman—but his energy is not lessened and his attention is not absorbed by these things.

His unwavering presence isn’t a matter of macho rigidity, a need to impress his woman, or self-confidence. It is rooted in the depth of being, rather than in an image of himself or a desire to connect with his woman. He may very well have an image of himself and also desire to connect with his woman, but these things do not compromise his practice of locating, relaxing as, breathing, and transmitting the consciousness or love that is deep being.

Be the Force of Love When You Feel Hurt

It hurts when your woman ignores you, closes down to you, or laughs at your weaknesses. But as you grow, this hurt becomes part of your practice. You can learn to feel through it and relax as the depth of being, allowing your breath and body to be moved by depth, not by hurt.

You won’t always be able to practice this with ease. Sometimes you will hurt too much. Your energy will collapse and your attention will get trapped in misery. At these times, do your best to relax your belly and chest. Allow your breath to deepen. Rather than allowing your attention to become locked into hurt, loosen yourself as the space around the pain. Feel your woman, widen your feeling, and breathe with her as openness.

Even if you continue to collapse and withdraw into your own sulk of shame or fear, practice just a little bit. Relax a tiny bit more. Listen to the farthest sound you can hear to help liberate your attention from your own strife. Breathe a tad deeper. Then, feel your woman’s emotions and energy just a smidgen more than you were a moment ago. Many tiny moments of practice add up to enormous transformations over time.

To be strong as a man is to give love even when you feel hurt. Not because you want to look good, and not because you will feel that you are growing if you do so, but because not to love is more painful than practicing to relax as love. As you grow, the love springing from the depth of your being demands to flow strong, regardless of how much you or your woman would rather slump and take a break or sit down and have a civilized chat. This tide of deep love is threatening as long as you hold on to the security of an other’s love or your self-love. But when you are ready to grow beyond the false safety of dependence or independence, the free force of unbound love is the river that will move you.   For Her

Chopping Off Your Man’s Head

Most men are not at home in their bodies or emotions. They need to be attracted into life and relationship, and you are probably the primary source of your man’s attraction. He is attracted into the openness of your love and the radiance of your feminine energy. Among his favorite forms of feminine energy are probably the nurturing energy of “mother” and the sexy energy of “whore.” He is attracted to many other aspects of you, but these are among the energies that most men feel lacking in their lives. They want to be sustained and aroused, rejuvenated and seduced.

But when your man does something that lacks integrity—when he doesn’t carry through with what he tells you, for instance—then you feel hurt, angry, and frustrated. If he doesn’t do what he says he’s going to do, then you can’t fully trust him. You can’t let down your guard. You won’t allow yourself to fully surrender with him sexually. Nor will you feel inclined to feed him with your mother energy or ravish him like a hungry vixen. You will probably feel more inclined to lop his head off.

This, too, is one of the natural energies of the divine feminine. In effect, this energy is saying to your man, “I know you are capable of greatness. I know how deep and strong you are. I won’t tolerate your lack of commitment and your lies. I won’t tolerate your backsliding. Live up to your own fullness or I’ll have no choice but to destroy you and your false weakness!”

When your man hurts you because he lacks direction, integrity, or clarity, you can love him without supporting his weaknesses. Loving your partner when he hurts you includes not tolerating his bullshit. Don’t surrender to his hurtful ways; surrender to the love that lives as you and him. And while you are flowing as love, you may also be very angry and demanding of your man’s best.

Giving Him Feedback

You are exquisitely sensitive to your man’s alignment with his own truth. You know when he is betraying himself—and you—before he knows. You feel the slinkiness in his posture. You hear the ambiguity in his voice. You know he is deceiving himself before he is aware of anything. Your feedback can be a great gift to him.

He will only trust your feedback if he feels your openness as love. You can’t disconnect from the love deep in your heart, tense your body in fear and anger, and then expect that he will believe what you say. He’ll think you have some kind of problem. He’ll either criticize you or try to fix you instead of hearing the reality of your communication. Your unlove will hurt him and he will close even more.

To help your man sense when he is “off” you must remain full in love or he will attribute your feedback to your own problems. When your man has hurt you, keep your breath full and deep, as if walking in a garden enjoying the scent of the flowers. Keep your body as relaxed as possible, especially your belly and chest, as if you were pressed against your lover’s naked chest. Feel into your man and find the deep place in him that you do trust, which you hope will come more to the fore. Tell him about this place in him that you trust. Show him your love through your open body and breath. Tell him how you lose some of your trust when he acts a certain way.

Remember that he probably doesn’t know what you are talking about. He probably can’t feel his own weaknesses as easily as you can feel them. He probably feels he is doing the right thing in the given situation. But what you are talking about is more likely how he is doing something rather than what he is doing. You can feel when his actions are no longer aligned with his truth. You can feel when he hides his weakness from himself, and that scares you. You can’t trust him. Nor should you.

An Anger without Hatred

Don’t tolerate your man’s bullshit, but always practice love by cultivating the fullness of love in your body. It’s very difficult to keep your body and breath open and full when your man has betrayed your trust. It’s also difficult for him to remain open and receive your criticism—especially when he can see that you are coming from a place of closure rather than love. So, practice communicating from a place of love, even if you are also, at the same time, screaming wildly with rage. When you are open, then your love can be expressed as compassionate anger, an anger without hatred.

With practice, love flows freely through your body and breath even when you are angry, frustrated, happy, excited, shut down, or feeling betrayed. Love embraces all emotions and shines through them, expressing itself through the full spectrum of emotional energy.

Gifts and Expectations

You and your man can both practice living as love while you are hurt. While doing so, you will learn how to breathe and relax as love even when you feel betrayed. Ultimately, as you grow in your capacity to live as love through your body, you will no longer depend on your man to “be there for you.” He will no longer depend on you to give him comfort and rejuvenation. These are real gifts when they are given and received freely, but when your ability to relax in the bliss of love depends on them, then they become expectations that limit growth.

If your man wants the energetic colors of “mother” and “sex goddess” to flow freely through your body, he’s going to have to learn to deal with all your other free energies, too. This includes your “wild woman” energy that won’t settle for anything less than a man willing to examine his faults, find humor in them, make whatever changes are necessary, and live a life committed to practicing deep love and undiminished presence—without collapsing when you don’t feel moved to nurse him with dinner or coddle his genitals.

Finding God through Sex by David Deida

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