By Carista Luminare
Published on YourTango.com (http://www.yourtango.com/experts/carista-luminare-ph-d-lion-goodman/depth-man)
I was greeted this morning by a love note from my beloved. He had woken up, watched me sleep, and then wrote an essay about love. He read it to me, speaking sweetly about his love for me, saying, “It is deep and profound, like the ocean.”
I felt undulating waves of affection rise up through me as I heard his words. I embraced his tenderness, his love, and the depth and glory of him. Every woman wants to be loved this way!
He shared how our love was unique – unlike any other – sweet and special. We share these feelings of profound depth in our lovership. This depth can only come from the deepest commitment to each other and to the relationship itself.
He also acknowledged, in a tender way, that he still feels love for women from his past, each of whom had their own unique feminine radiance. He said, “Love is not the same. Each love has its own quality, worthy of appreciation.”
Touched by his reflections, I asked myself, “What makes this man so extra sweet and special to me. Why did I choose him for my life partner after so many twists and turns with other men?”
Pondering the relationship dance I’ve done throughout my life, I recognized my movement through both the light and dark sides of love. In many relationships, my childhood wounds were unearthed, and I had to work through those old traumas. In a few cases, new traumas were added! Memories flashed through me, accompanied in some cases by sharp pains. I saw how our sudden reactions to the other closed us – from love and from each other. We didn’t even know what might trigger a reaction in the other. And then, during healing times, we opened more to love and to each other.
No one taught us how to love. Well, that’s not quite true. Our parents taught us, unconsciously, what love is. Unfortunately, their version of love was alloyed with their own confusion, anger, and resentment. Whatever their form of love appeared to be, that’s what we learned love was supposed to look like. So we repeat their patterns in our later relationships, to our detriment. Our parents didn’t really understand love. It’s no wonder that we’re all so confused!
There are some universal needs, such as safety, kindness, and loving gentleness. In order for our heart to open fully, we need to be held with love.
Most women I know want a man that runs deep. He’s not just attracted to her surface beauty. That beauty is temporal. It can be hijacked by a bad mood, a menstrual cramp, a hot flash, or the sun’s impact on her aging body. Her shining radiance can be dulled by hard work, or a sleep-deprived night driven by worry, anxiety, or a deadline she can’t complete.
Men: I’m sorry, but we can’t always be the perfect Love Goddess for you. We have moods, and we have unfulfilled needs. Learn to love us anyway, in all of our shifting glory. We are the wind, the ocean, the ever-changing weather. Your love must transcend your own needs at times. Love us for the fullness we are.
Dear Sisters of the Heart: You may have been taught to become some idealized version of yourself, like an animated Disney character, or a beauty queen, or a TV actress portraying the perfect wife. But we are much more than those 2-dimensional cartoons. Own the fullness that you are.
Again I asked, what is it about this man that touches my soul, my body, and heart? How does he touch my wounded self, and make me want to go deeper with myself and with him? When we feel safe with each other, we can both crack open our hearts, and more love pours out.
It’s his OPENNESS to Love. He is open to the possibility of loving more, moment to moment and year to year. He knows that Love is an unlimited resource, and the only thing that limits its flow is the limits we place on ourselves. He is dedicated to un-limiting himself, and opening more. We each take responsibility for opening ourselves and each other.
I feel the depth of my lover as if it were manna inside my heart, fueling and feeding me with joy. This is the joy of being loved, and being Love itself. When we cause each other pain (and we sometimes do), we open to the cause: the confusion and pain within ourselves. Our early childhood wounds get triggered, and we react. But as quickly as possible, we stop, repair and restore. We call this “ReSet,” and either of us can call for it, just by saying the word. We stop talking, take a few minutes to breathe. We remember our love for each other, and our intention to be loving and kind. Tenderly, we examine what got triggered, using compassionate communication techniques. We hold our confusion in a tender embrace. We commit to raw and vulnerable openness. We ask, “How can we help each other heal? We know that this is a collaborative effort – it requires both of us.
He CARES about his impact on me. I am learning to trust his care, and that settles me. He is willing to look into his depths, to find the cause of his anger, his shame, his upset. He listens when I speak. He stops what he’s doing when I really need him. He owns and repairs when he has hurt me. Do I need perfection from him each moment, throughout our days and dances? No. We understand that, like everyone, we are just confused about love.
Whenever our childhood hurts get exposed in the light of day, we choose to co-create safety and healing, rather than escalating into further pain. We clear the reaction as quickly as possible, then re-focus on our mutual need for care. We use the three non-verbal love languages to connect back to our hearts and each other. We pay attention to your needs, my needs, and OUR needs.
As we soothe our fears and reactions, our connection becomes succulent with mutual desire. We feel downright yummy and whole. Passion rises up through me, and love pours through, with delight for this cosmic dance. My Feminine Essence blossoms, and the scent is sweet, attracting him like a bee to a flower.
When I don’t feel connected to him, I don’t just wait for him to choose to open to me. It’s not in his DNA. I use the wisdom of feminine love to navigate through the terrain of his defense system. As I reveal my love, he opens, nestling in the safe place I offer. He meets me in the Mystery of Love, which rises up through us, spontaneously, without fear of love’s majestic power to heal, unite, celebrate, and deepen us.
We are all subject to the madness of our wounds, haunted by our memories of betrayal, abandonment or pain. We are simply confused about how to love each other. No one is to blame. Take a step forward, further and deeper, into love’s majesty.