Meeting our Unwanted Lovers
In the middle of my meltdown, a good friend recommended that I read the last chapter of “The Path Is Everywhere” by Matt Licata.
Here is the passage that inspired my healing exercise:
“It is so natural to long for deep relationship with another, for a fellow traveler with whom we can explore the mysteries of intimacy. Someone you can walk together with into the uncharted lands of the body, the heart, and the psyche, unsure where the journey will lead but driven by passionate curiosity and the love of the truth.
“I want to share the burning,” you call out! The tenderness, the shakiness, the joy, and the aliveness of what it means to enter into partnership with the holy other…
In response to this primordial cry, alas, the “other” appears. Sadness rushes quickly onto the scene: “But when will you practise intimacy with me?” Loneliness is next, pleading for a moment of your undistracted attention. anger, despair, grief, self-loathing, confusion, jealousy, fear, and shame: “We as well! Please do not abandon us! Please do not forget and relegate us to the dark, cold forest. We are here, now, and longing to share our essence.”
Later he says, “It is important to remember that these ones come not as enemies but as true lovers, seeking just one moment of your presence, your compassionate communion, and the light of your holding and care. While they remember the ways in which they have been rejected in the past, they continue to come nonetheless, never giving up, never losing faith in the undivided condition of your true nature.
… You will never be able to be more intimate with another than you are with the unwanted lovers within. If you have not provided shelter for the unmet within you, how will you ever contain the wholeness of the beloved?”
As I sat with this, I was so uncomfortable. I didn’t want any of these emotions. What did this have to do with a loving relationship. What did these have to do with anything?
So, I took out a notebook and one-by-one wrote down each emotion and asked how I could be their lover. Instead of rejecting them as they arose, could I embrace them and be thankful for them? I couldn’t imagine it at the time… so I just got started.
Sadness: I have avoided you for sure. If you came up, there were many times that I didn’t listen to you. I didn’t honour you. You were irrelevant. I didn’t want to hear you… But now I do. If you come up, I realize that you are important. You are telling me something is wrong. I must listen.
Anger: I have definitely stuffed you down too. I have turned you away so that no one else was uncomfortable… Yet you are so strong and here to protect me….
And so on…
I went on to do this for all of them: sadness, anger, loneliness, anger, despair, grief, self-loathing, confusion, jealousy, fear, and shame. They weren’t all the same. I just let whatever come into my head get written down on the paper.
Afterwards, I was so raw. It was like there had been all of this unfinished business and real sadness inside of me that had never been dealt with and now were in the process of healing back together.
I invite you to try this exercise. To find a quiet place and time when you won’t be interrupted.
To sit with these aspects of yourself and become lovers. Connect with them. Understand how they serve you and the wisdom that they are offering.
When these are all integrated within us, when other emotions rise, they aren’t quite so complicated. We are able to look at them in the moment and therefore honour them for what they are.
This helps quiet the voices that say that we are being silly and childish and that our feelings don’t matter.
It helps us honour our truth, to stay in the game, and to ask for what we truly desire.
About the Author
Katrina Bos is the author of three books: “You Don’t Have to Eat the Eyeballs: A Story of Travel, People-Pleasing & True Self-Love”, “Tantric Intimacy: Discover the Magic of True Connection” & “What If You Could Skip the Cancer?”. She shares the teachings of tantra, yoga, meditation and grounded-spirituality through online courses, workshops, and private sessions.