“Desire consists of three stages. First, getting clear on what you want. Next, communicating it. And last, being available to actually receive what you want, and recognizing it when it comes.” ~me
Often, this process breaks down for people in one of these stages. After a number of failed attempts, we subconsciously learn to push away our desire, as it has become the source of pain. To be truly intimate, we must reclaim our desire. We can practice each of the three stages. When we learn to consciously and actively receive, we begin to realize that our desire is not all encompassing. We begin to know that it’s okay to be hungry, because sometimes we are full. We begin to allow the yearning that brings us closer to Spirit, because sometimes we know the feeling of one-ness, of not-alone-ness.
Receiving is an Intimacy Technology skill. Perhaps receiving seems like the most intuitive part of the process. Perhaps you are saying to yourself, “Pavini, I TOTALLY am able to receive what I want.” I believe you. And also I invite you to consider the following.
It’s my belief, that beneath our cool exterior, most of us feel a sense of profound inadequacy. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Tara Brach, Brene Brown, and many others link our chronic suffering with a deep-seated sense of being unworthy. In fact, the Dalai Lama has ‘”expressed astonishment at the degree of self-aversion and feelings of unworthiness reported by Western students.” And he’s hanging out with the kids who are actually working to undo that particular belief!
When I was first falling in love with my partner, I was deeply worried about what must be horribly wrong with my partner, since they were falling in love with me. How could I possibly actually receive love and care when I believed that the giver was deeply flawed? And that I was deeply flawed? If I am not worthy of love and care, I can’t actually receive it.
So yeah, somewhere along the way we swallowed a bunch of crap. Unpacking and rewriting the unworthiness story is crucial. And it can be a long road to recovery. Feeling worthy definitely takes practice and repetition over time.
Once I’ve been working on the worthiness thing for awhile, then I can turn my attention to receiving. Even if if I can receive love and care, doI notice that I am receiving long enough to feel satiation? If all we ever feel is hungry, we lose the sweetness of dancing along the spectrum between full and empty. We numb to the subtlety and nuance of our experience when our ability to move between binaries is stuck.
When I first left my marriage, and I was living on my own, I spent an entire Thanksgiving weekend painting my living room the color of sweet potatoes. I listened to Lauren Hill, danced, cried and made my space gorgeous. After the long weekend, when I was standing looking in the front window to my home, and all the lights were on, I had a curious sensation. I couldn’t place it at first. And then it hit me: I was content! I had never had that experience before. I luxuriated for months in the satiation of all of my work of leaving, moving, and creating. It was a wonderful way to receive myself, with love.
One way you can assess how well you are able to receive is by asking someone to give you a massage. (It’s in the name of research, tell them.) As you are being touced, notice how deeply you can allow the touch to soak in. Do you feel it just at the skin? Can you allow it to absorb further in? To your muscles? Bones? Heart? Can you actually feel the love pouring through someone’s hands and into your body? This month’s Intimacy Technology class is on Receiving. On how we can practice being available to receive more of what we want intimately, and how we can recognize it once we have it. I hope you’ll join me on Monday, May 20 at 7.