A day late, but it takes a lot to think about freedom. Someone said, but are we really free when we enter into a relationship and long for intimacy on all levels? It was enough for me to start thinking about it. As the actress Haille Berry said at some point, and at least I know it’s true for me, “I’m not done with love, but I refuse to settle. I am a hopeless romantic. And I won’t stop till I get it right.” So here we go, let’s talk about it.
What do I really know about intimacy? Was there someone in my life who told me how to love? How to care? Why is it a subject that we want for it to be so much a part of our lives yet when the time comes, it always seems that true intimacy escaped us and the experience was less than it could have been? When we talk of it, we smile, perhaps, laugh a little, and realize that we’re still uncomfortable with the subject.
It’s not that we don’t try. We might even learn what ancient technologies talked about when describing a satisfying intimate relationship. If we are studying yoga and its origins; the idea of Tantra is both interesting and seductive. It is the merging of two souls in an ecstatic merging of oneness where thought and physical union come together. Can we become united in sexual union for an extended period of time? Do we even want it? That is the question. If you are a man and you know about now and then not being able to satisfy your partner, then the idea is interesting and holds hope for greater satisfaction on all levels. Then there is the Tao approach to sexual union and there are things to practice. Root lock or Mulabandha for one. And of course meditating at the highest point of your consciousness. Stay in meditation while blood is rushing and hormones are gushing – a daunting task at best.
I wonder if it’s not all too mechanical in the end? I was told and the wise will say to think about the act 72 hours in advance and, of course, don’t do it too much. What? How can we think about the perfect situation, the perfect union, when we barely know where each of us will be in 72 hours, much less having the mental freedom in advance to devote to the other person? As we know, everything begins with a thought including the sexual experience. The honest approach would be to say to each other beforehand, can we? Do you want to? Let’s start thinking about it because I love you. Still too mechanical?
The busy lives we each lead are, of course, an important deterrent to happy sexual bliss. If you’re thinking about work deadlines, how to get the kids to school, what to buy to keep the household flowing, then you are not exclusively thinking about your partner in a special and intimate way. If you add the financial challenges that inevitably come up in any relationship, it’s hard to find the right kind of emotion to even think about being close.
If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.
How would I be if I was truly free? Can you imagine yourself free of your hang-ups, the crazy ideas you have of yourself or even the other person in your life? Can you leave behind ideas of how you think intimacy should be especially if the conscious and subconscious have been infiltrated by weird images everywhere depicting romantic bliss, sexual union and even more bizarre behavior? And then there are our parents and what we learned about love and intimacy in a very subliminal way – not really wanting to learn in that way but it happened and the patterns somehow found a home inside of us.
Ideally, you would live in a cave or a cocoon or a species of an “air chrysalis” as Haruki Murakami talked about in his book 1Q84, where the soul of a person is in its pure form, aware of the qualities that make it unique and alive.
The month of November, with its grayness and dreariness, is a time for the heart to reflect and to feel its depth. If you are not alone with yourself, how can you feel the eternity that is there waiting for you? I find myself rebelling against my aloneness but still welcome it. After all these years, maybe I am beginning to accept it.
A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.
Most of us run equally from wanting to be alone, like something strange and fearful to us, and at the same time, perhaps, from freedom. As I am not free, I expect you too not to be. And my love is conditioned and, therefore, so is what I am able to give to you. I cannot give you of my sense of freedom, of pure unrepentant and unrelenting love; but rather, only of a wanting that is hopelessly unfulfilled. Our union is like trying to climb out of a deep chasm in the earth where our loss of innocence from the past is all too evident and has conditioned our sense of wonder for the future. The sad thing is that you probably see things in the same way.
If I were to be free, I would walk with my head held high and a bounce in my step. Each time we’d meet, you’d find a smile on my face that extended from ear to ear and was just my heart’s reaction at seeing you again. You would hear words that sprung from the same heart telling you of who we can be and who we are right now. You would feel the tenderness of my touch on your arm or the small of your back and you would understand how much you mean to me. Our communication would be just as much silent as filled with words, and yet neither one would be weaker or less important to us than the other.
My sense of freedom would not be a harness for you holding you back, but rather a road ahead untraveled and a clear blue sky free of clouds. If my heart was genuine and you could feel it, I know you would run to catch hold of it because two hearts beat stronger when they are together.
Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.
The heart is funny; it needs blood to circulate through it so it can give it back again. It is the feeling of life and love that nourishes it and keeps it strong and vibrant. It is the force of life. Maybe I could breathe in deeply in order to feel it. If I could find its source that keeps it alive, I know it would be overflowing and contagious and easy to feel.
If I was truly free, I would treat each moment together as something special, a moment to treasure. The smallest measure of time would be filled with kindness to one another showing the extent of our love. There would be nothing I was incapable of at least in my willingness to listen and to be there for you. I would share in your tears and feel your fears and my heart would be there to calm yours. And I would look inside myself for the answers to questions that are troubling you, for I believe I am here to do just that. With you I can be a healer of the soul and with me you can too.
True love stories never have endings.
Somehow I know my intimacy with you is tied to my sense of freedom. To be intimate is to be forthcoming, so that you can see things as Erich Fromm talked about: to be able to see the totality of my personality shining through reflecting in all of its glory and excellence the person that I truly am. Intimacy then becomes a dance of complementary forces where union and harmony are felt. Intimacy is reciprocal in that it extends from me to you and then back again. It is the law of nature and it is natural that it should be that way. It is of giving and receiving. And just maybe, it is the highest expression of that freedom we so long for.