It’s Just Lunch – A Rational Defense

Fifteenth in a series [gs *]

So where were we?

I had done TK, [gs TK] uncovered more of my own stuff, got a sense of where it comes from & how to think about it for the future, and had a few moments of feeling clean.

But none of that meant the lunch-guy business was done. He couldn’t even wait a few hours to let my email settle. He wanted a phone call and he wanted it now. But his unwillingness to engage in a cooling-off period was part of the problem, and I wasn’t about to indulge it. I didn’t feel like talking to him live anyway. He was going to take some time to reflect whether he wanted to or not, because I wasn’t going to respond by phone, ever.

You can almost feel his panic about waiting in the opening line of the (also quite long) email I got from him later that evening – mere hours on the heels of mine:

Since I don’t know if / when you will call me, I will attempt to respond to your long (and welcome) email in written words.

But like many modes of communication, written words have their limitations – but I will try.

I, personally, am a wildly impatient person. Still, I know when it’s time to just sit with something. When I compared what felt, to me, like a frantic pursuit of ego-damage-control (relative merely to one old lady who meant nothing to him a week earlier) to the family life he probably should have been engaging in that evening, or the business tasks that might normally have taken up that time, I felt I could rightly say – that was a moment in his life when he’d have been well-served to restrain his impatience. He was getting all out of proportion. He really needed to sit still. It annoyed me that with all his spiritual mumbo-jumbo he couldn’t even do us both that simple favor.

Especially given that I’d said I didn’t want to hear from him at all.

So what came of his rush to communicate? First his email contains the typical spiritual lecture, as if I don’t understand the meaning of his mumbo jumbo, which, believe me, I do:

As I mentioned, I had a heart-opening experience of sorts only a few months ago. For the first time, I feel this tremendous Love coming from the core of my being. Unlike other types of “love” I have experienced in the past, this Love is pure, unbounded and free. It is delicate and fragile, but at the same time infinitely resilient. It is remarkably self-sufficient and self-regenerative. And different from spiritual experiences of the mind, Heart Love reaches out and seeks to connect, serve and give itself up over and over again. Miraculously and paradoxically this Love is both vulnerable and invincible.

There is a desire for this Love to find itself in the world and in other people, but not in a sexual way. My heart feels wide open and ready to welcome anyone who would like to come in and share in open-heartedness – in Love.

That is what I think we were sharing when we connected at [the cafe]. You were so willing to look straight into my soul and I was fully willing to reciprocate. In that moment, no words were necessary – we were connecting on a deep spiritual level by honoring each other’s Divine Presence. How often does that happen between two people, let alone married couples? To me, that is true intimacy – but maybe I have my terminology mixed up.

So, one moment I’m this amazing goddess of love, and the next I’m the novice to his monsigñor.

In fact, I am an ex-whore whose trust in humanity was completely destroyed by the age of 10, who has spent 30 years learning to love whole-heartedly as a fully erotic woman, through the trauma inflicted on my body, my sexuality, and my spirit by a sexual-woman-demonizing culture, and dicks who suffer the same confusion as he does, and he’s going to lecture me about love? After a lifetime of ‘being in his head’ and finally having his first heart-opening experience? Seriously?!

This love he sees in me is no accident, but the result of 30 years of gut-wrenching work, and he thinks he’s the expert on the broken-open heart? No.

It’s not about who’s the expert, but – who the hell does he think he’s talking to here? Some kind of bimbo? I’m not here to one-up anyone’s understanding or experience of love here, but that was offensive.

An outrageously experienced old woman, whom he claims to adore, tells him he seems to have confused himself and thinks it best to have no further interaction, and he chooses to explain away her objections with a spiritual lecture about love – to correct her thinking so that she’ll understand him properly. Really? That’s how he wants to proceed? Not even trying, is he?

Ok – so, the lecture about pure love – whatever. I’ve been subject to this before. It’s not that I entirely disagree about the concept. It’s just that it felt to me at the time like that was more about what he wanted to think he was feeling, what his head was telling him he should be feeling, but that in fact, he was really feeling a complex not-pure mush – which frankly, I’d have preferred to receive. I can generally respond well to honesty.

I do know what he’s talking about.

The words, they do sound lovely, but I’ve heard words like that before, many times in many contexts (in fact, you’d be embarrassed for me if we replayed the catalog of times I’ve sat on the other side of that table – I’m no stranger to the ‘I understand this spiritual-love crap better than you do’ lecture mode, why else would I find it so annoying?) (read my memoir for more of that catalog) – and I’ll tell you, the talk is easy, but the practice is hard. And while it sounds nice, I ultimately find it inadequate. There’s a whole world of the feminine missing from that stuff (or worse, being crushed) but that’s a whole ‘nother rant. And in fact, it’s often a prelude to taking advantage of someone.

In any case, one simple and obvious piece of that tremendous love would be to slow down when you start to feel frantic. Another elementary one would be to listen to and validate the other person’s reality.

My cynical part is wanting to tell him to shove it right up his ass at this point. I’m not the broken-open-heart neophyte here. I’m also not lecturing anyone on what that means, or what license that gives me, or why that proves to the other person that their experience is false. What does he think I was talking about that I’ve been working on learning here anyway? I’ve been in the trenches, working through the muck, not lecturing about some newly-discovered (self-serving) and un-practiced theory (at least, not for decades).

Then we get to his next paragraph:

That said, when we connected, I did feel a lot of energy flow downward into the “lower chakras”. While that surprised me, I took comfort in the fact that the feeling was never lustful in nature. It was energy that caused a physical reaction in my body, but I had no desire to harbor it, follow it through or stay in that place. That is part of the reason I asked you “what is in your heart?” and I was somewhat perplexed by your response. I was expecting you to say “Pure Love and Light”. Was this downward energy I was feeling in response to something you were feeling / projecting?

Ok – this is his first awareness that I might exist as a separate individual in this interaction, and he’s suggesting I’m responsible for his ‘downward’ energy?

Now, I’m no longer just tolerating irritations and trying to wrestle my own cynicism out of existence. Now I’m getting seriously pissed. First, if he doesn’t want to harbor it, why the fuck was the woody in the email? Putting words in another person’s mind does not top my list of not-harboring behavior, so he can get off his high-horse fucking bullshit pseudo-innocence. I never once said directly or indirectly anything remotely personal about having any feelings whatsoever about him. I put no words or images into his head – I didn’t swear then like I am now, nor did I refer to body-parts or sex-acts (he did both). I never said there was love for him in my heart, did not gush about the eye contact, did not say I found him attractive or beautiful (all of which he said to me several times). I know perfectly well how to introduce sneaky confusion and took care not to do any of that. I smiled mildly, listened and kept my expression under control.

And now he’s implying that I CAUSED his ‘lower chakra’ energy!

When I confused him by not saying ‘Pure Love and Light’ (i.e. by not using his jargon, and not confirming his interpretation of me in that moment – which, in my practice, whether you call it love or otherwise, would be the time to seek deeper understanding, not jump to conclusions), what I said was ‘I feel normal, this is my normal mode.’

What I meant was, I often am wavering in this state of openness and not-openness. The openness just is. Sometimes it feels like love and sometimes like sheer agony, I don’t tell it what to feel and I don’t give it grandiose interpretations. My openness, like my eye contact, is the moon, and your pointing finger does not bring it any closer. In fact, it’s pushing it away.

The not-openness also just is, I note it and try to understand what triggers the closure. This is just me, my practice, my usual presence. This is not worth getting worked up about – that’s what I meant.

What I also meant, gently (in an ultimately ineffective emerging-from-the-mirror effort), was, ‘I think you’re in an inflated state right now & I’d like for us to remain grounded’.

How did he get that I might be turned on from all of that? I mean really? The dynamic I felt throughout was one of a very small boy giggling up at a vast and powerful old woman. Grandma Bess, I assure you, does not get turned on by the two-year-old in her lap diddling his wee-wee. The idea boggles my mind.

Then he proceeds with more lecturing, as though perhaps I was the one with the sexual confusion, while he is so far above it:

Regardless, I know that Pure Love from the Heart is far more orgasmic [and who FUCK was talking about orgasm? Not me!] than any sexual experience I have had and I intend on keeping my awareness and attention there [well then, get started buster]. The way in which you engaged with me, I was certain you were coming straight from the Core of your Heart. [Oh, and your certainty about my heart trumps what I’m saying to you about it?]

Either way, I really do see Divine Light in you. It is there in everyone [no, really?]. In a sense, you are just a clear reflection of my own inner Light [you don’t say? why so grabby then, kiddo?]. And, while this Light seeks to merge, connect, bond, play and unite, it is not co-dependent or exclusive in nature. As much as I would love to enjoy your presence on an on-going basis (and learn from your tremendous wisdom) [now, that was never on offer. And if playing erotic-nanny/marriage-guru to infantile men was my calling, you’d feel lucky to sign on to the end a very long waiting list right now instead of pretending you know what the fuck you’re talking about – plus if you think I’m so wise, why are you lecturing me? Quit trying to blow smoke up my ass.], it certainly would be dangerous if I failed to see that the Power in you resides within my own Heart [yeah, buttbrain, this is exactly what I was warning you against in my go-away email – because I could see you’d already slipped way over that line, even though you’re still pretending to yourself that you know where it is. And now your pompous ass is trying to turn that one on me.]

He goes on. Of course, he says, he will work to achieve this intimacy with his wife. He also implies that his having spent 14 years of his marriage bottled up and not knowing what intimacy was, and now that his heart is open, his wife is stuck in the past and that fact somehow makes it understandable, acceptable even [oh, the boyish spiritual superiority that justifies violating the woman. . . ] that his heart seeks to connect wherever it finds an opening.

He says that his wife:

. . .thinks my heart-felt hugs, desire for eye-contact and warm smiles are fake and ‘gay’. [gee – how poorly informed of her. . . ]

He proceeds with more blather about his intentions to be a good husband, all the while excusing his, supposedly, dick-less communing wherever he finds an opening.

He concurs that ‘what we did was somewhat “sneaky”’ but he excuses that with:

it was really born out of the feeling that we could pass one another’s Divine Energy through each others hands and into each others Hearts [So I repeat – what’s to hide?]. I think it is possible if both hearts are open and it doesn’t have to be sneaky [then why was he trying to make it so?] or adulterous in nature.’ [And now he’s talking adultery. . .]

I never implied adultery was remotely part of the discussion – by suggesting he’d betrayed his wife I meant with this energy, divine love, attention crap. I’m no more impressed with a heart that, when met with resistance by one’s supposed beloved, slides off to find an easier crack to slip into, than I am impressed by a dick that behaves similarly.

There are only so many hours in a day. If you’re making goo-goo eyes at a stranger, while failing to remain present with your wife and kids – I don’t give a flying fuck what you want to call that, and I don’t care if you chop off your dick beforehand. If my husband did it to me, or if I did it to him, we’d both call that betrayal. But literal adultery is many steps beyond anything I was referring to.

In my mind, all that open, unattached, trans-personal loving crap he’s talking about is graduate school. If you can’t love your spouse with all his or her immediate challenge you’re bullshitting yourself that you have love to offer, and you’ve got no business gooing on strangers. Go find a hooker if that’s where you’re at, she’s a professional, after all. She’ll make sure everyone’s boundaries are kept clean – she’s paid to be the adult.

He finishes up with:

But thank you for reminding me that the real journey of Love begins from home. And I promise I will honor that and meet my wife in her happy place [oh, gag me. . .] and hopefully through Loving care open her heart back up like it was before I met her [or, how’bout just learning how to stop shitting on it, with your superior prescriptions, and trust it to open organically? Hearts do that, you know. Their natural state is open. They only close when they’re fucked with. But then, that takes decades, and surrendering the theory, to learn] Your wisdom and guidance is welcome and would help me tremendously! As we all know, men will never fully understand women [no – they generally don’t but it’s not impossible. They could if they wanted to so don’t give me that pathetic ‘it’s the way things just are, I can’t help it crap’], but I find that you are pretty good a pointing me in the right direction, so thank you for that.

I loved that you took the time to articulate your reflections. The only hurt and pain I feel is that I caused confusion and misunderstanding. I am upset that my behavior / words raised questions in your mind about my integrity and intentions. I do need to be more careful. If my desire to connect at the heart-level is misinterpreted for something more, then I am in trouble. Likewise, if my desire to connect causes another to want to become physically intimate with me, then I am in trouble [oh wow. Abject delusion. Now I want to slap him silly – that or puke].

So, thank you for keeping me out of trouble.

And for closure, he adds a Rumi poem about love that ends:

You know what love is?

It is all kindness, generosity.

Disharmony prevails when

You confuse lust with love, while

The distance between the two

Is endless.

What you seek is seeking you.

To be continued. . .

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"For a woman to explore and express the fullness of her sexuality, her emotional and intellectual capacities, would entail who knows what risks and who knows what truly revolutionary alteration of the social conditions that demean and constrain her."

-Louise J. Kaplan - Female Perversions