Life is beautiful, I thought, as Brad and Nora and I snuggled in an extra large loveseat at the movie theater last night. Really, really beautiful. And I really felt it, in every cell of my body.
The Kratom tea might’ve helped, but I felt as if time stood still as we nested together, our almost 4-year-old daughter sitting on half of each of our laps – Brad and my arms around each other and her. She was clearly eating up the much-needed attention from both Mommy and Daddy, attempting to whisper questions and spoilers into our ears throughout the entire movie – Inside Out – which she’d already seen with a friend last week.
The movie was perfect for her – a story about a little girl processing her emotions about moving to a new city and missing her old friends and life in her old town. It was perfect for Brad and I too, as the underlying message was that we need to allow ourselves to really feel our feelings, rather than run from them. If you’re feeling sad, feel sad. Give yourself time to feel sad. Embrace sad. Then, and only then can real joy come back into your life.
But in that moment, I had no sadness. I had only joy and peace, and the sense that, for the first time in my life, everything was perfect. Perfect! I had everything I needed and wanted and could ever hope for: A handsome – no, smoking hot – honest, loving, talented, hilarious boyfriend, who, aside from sharing all of my core values and being my best friend, cooks me amazing food all the time and is an amazing father. A beautiful, gorgeous, adorable, ingenious, imaginative, spirited and brilliant daughter, wh0 makes crazy faces – like her dad – when she pinches my cheeks and says “Aw… you’re so cute Mommy… I love you so much Mommy.” And – “wait, stop right there,” I hear some of you saying. “Isn’t that enough?”
No. No, it isn’t enough. It wasn’t enough a year ago, and it’s not enough now.
I can and do have the most beautiful, little nuclear family in the world, but without the freedom to expand that little family (and I don’t mean having more babies) unit and/or make connections outside of it, I was withering and dying inside, and I know Brad and Nora were too.
Life is not meant to be static, and it’s not meant to be predictable. If it is, you’re not living, you’re existing. I don’t want to live my life like Cinderella, Snow White or Sleeping Beauty – happily ever after, The End. I want to live like Pochahontas – on an adventure, never knowing what lies “just beyond the river bend,” but always knowing I have a loving, supportive tribe to come home to. I want to create new stories and make new discoveries about the world and myself, every step of the way, until I die and pass my knowledge onto the next generation of livers.
Now all of my prudish and religious friends are going to say – well, can’t you do all that without sex? No, no I can’t. Sex is at the core of this great adventure. I believe, as Wilhelm Reich argued, sexual energy is our “life force.” And I believe it is Pandora’s box to true spiritual awakening (as opposed to authoritarian religion). While I’ve learned volumes from “brotherly love” – or philia as Aristotle and C.S. Lewis call it – I feel I have so much more to learn through erotic love.
Even though the Greeks referred to Eros as a kind of madness or mania, Plato argued that Eros can be transformed into an appreciation for the beauty within a person, and even help the soul to “remember” the beauty in us all, and therefore contribute to an understanding of truth.
Carl Jung argued Eros is ultimately the desire for wholeness and unity. Although it may feel like raw, animalistic passion, it is more truly a desire for “psychic relatedness” and interconnection with other sentient beings.
Because in my experience and amateur research, passionate, erotic love cannot last very long between two monogamous people (despite claims that it can by people who have not succeeded in making it last for themselves) – the only way I see me being able to keep my erotic journey for truth alive is by remaining free to experience this kind of love – Eros – with as many people as rise to the occasion in my lifetime.
I’ll let you know what I learn along the way, but for now, I am so blissful just in the knowledge that I’ve freed myself from sexual repression and am able to enjoy – without guilt – each heavenly moment of my present life, here and now, rather than waiting in misery for the promise of an unreachable, sexless future “heaven.”
And who knows, maybe once I’ve gotten enough erotic love under my belt, that oh-so-high, unconditional, charitable and peacemaking “agape” love for all of my fellow creatures on earth, will come easier and more naturally to me. I’m betting it will.