“More of us are learning to transform pain into love.
One day love will be the only thing left.”
On July 23, 2007, my life was endangered by my intimate partner. I survived a near-fatal car crash complete with a head injury that temporarily impaired my cognitive and executive functioning. Overnight my academic career was shut down. Two years later, I walked away from my sexless marriage plagued by domestic violence, and lost my home and life savings in the aftermath. Sound familiar? There are literally millions of stories, just like mine. How do I know? They keep bubbling up from the shadows, spilling over into the zeitgeist.
I know you have a story too.
Whether it’s filled with the seething rage of betrayal, the grief-filled abyss of un-requited love and loss, or the quiet disappointment of unfulfilled dreams and desires, we all feel the pain of relational breakdown. What if there was a different story of intimate relating in our lives?
We live in a broken, dying culture that force-feeds us the fast-food version of human connection and sexuality through online media, all for the sake of commerce. Ultimately, it’s unconsciously disconnecting us from the very essence of what it is to be human.
Right now, you’re reading this post on your laptop or smartphone. Convenient, for sure. Yet we’re not meant to be isolated and alone, with our devices and in our boxes. It’s an unhealthy distortion of life that’s actually killing us. And it doesn’t have to be this way. We’re all yearning for belonging. Intimacy. Touch. Connection. What we all want is to feel alive. And we get that vibrant feeling through face-to-face interaction with other humans. In real time. IRL.
It does takes a village — not only to raise a child — but also for every single one of us to become healthy, generative, mature adults. To become fully human. So how do we redeem human culture if we’ve never been taught the skills and given the tools to create regenerative shared experience with other people, particularly in our intimate lives? What if we learned how to awaken and express our relational and sexual selves in intentional, life-affirming ways?
Mindfully. Respectfully. Compassionately.
Not in a rah-rah, hyped-up pseudo-empowerment kind of way. Not by desperately feeding the hungry ghost of self-gratification. Not by turning a blind eye to the ravages and legacy of rape culture. But by deeply accessing and redeeming a primal aspect of our humanity that’s been co-opted by modernity — Trust.
“To become capable of love, we must learn to participate in the world. Participation is part of the secret of love… Participation means trust, resolution of fear barriers, overcoming prejudices, and throwing back the bolts with which we have locked our hearts.
To become capable of love, we must develop a system of life in which real trust between people arises and grows. It is this trust that opens the heart and the body, dissolves the body armour and heals the soul.”
~Dieter Duhm, co-founder of Tamera Healing Biotope, and author of the forthcoming book Terra Nova: Global Revolution and The Healing of Love (September 2015)
Our love-starved lives are in reality, trust-deprived lives. How do we heal this breach?
The answer is likely one you’ve heard in yoga class many times: Practice. Practice happens at the intersection of your intention and participation. It’s not rocket science. You intend to show up, and then you do show up. Yet to rebuild the breach of trust in our intimate lives, we must show up and practice agility — not with flexible limbs in our favorite yogawear — but with the heart-centered, empathic asanas of curiosity, vulnerability, transparency, and compassion.
This is how we begin to cultivate the healing power of trust.
Posted by: 8 Limbs
Jenny Ferry is an emerging leader in the field of conscious relating and sexuality. Creator of the ground-breaking workshop, INTRO TO SOUL SEX™, taught exclusively through esteemed yoga studios throughout the U.S. and Canada, she is the author of Soul Sex: A Field Guide to Redeeming Our Primal Desire to Connect (forthcoming). Jenny returns to 8 Limbs on Saturday, June 6 from 12:30 – 3:30pm to facilitate the 3-hour flagship workshop, Intro to Soul Sex™ at our West Seattle studio. To register, please visit: https://introseajun.eventbrite.com