by Kara-Leah Grant
There is a man I was recently immensely attracted to – on all three levels, sacral, heart and wisdom.
It felt like that attraction was reciprocal. It felt like we had a similar depth and perspective on life, similar histories, values, vision and lifestyle.
So potential and possibility arose, and on my side at least, intense desire. He and I had several conversations around relationship, sexuality, purpose, life visions and purpose. It felt like we were feeling each other out as potential partners. I could sense that he wasn’t seeking what I was looking for… but there was a hint of possibility.
A festival threw us together, several times. Sparks were igniting. We end up at my place. He kisses me.
It’s… energetically extraordinarily aligned. But it’s already late and I’m presenting the next day and this must take priority. I want to spend hours delighting with this man – days, weeks! I say as much.
We pause at the kissing.
I attempt to sleep.
The next day, the easeful connection that had been blossoming has gone. He’s not present with me and I can’t be sure why. This triggers all my insecurities, doubts and fears and I feel intensely vulnerable.
In this state, I notice how my masculine wants to step in and take control and protect me.
I’ve never noticed this so strongly before. But close friend Pete Longworth and I have been discussing and playing with this for a few months now, as Pete’s held a safe container encouraging me to step into my femininity and be vulnerable with it too. We’ve done a photo shoot earlier this year which had allowed me to drop right into many aspects of my feminine and it was a powerful thing. (See image above).
So instead of retreating and allowing my masculine to take over and be in charge…
Instead of trying to control the situation and my own desires…
I take a big breath and take a leap of faith. I decide to trust this man and the situation and my own intuition, and roll with what’s happening. While still maintaining appropriate boundaries and being clear – speaking up (at least, I think I am).
It’s fucking scary.
Anther day rolls past and I barely see this man. Yet the connection is there and it’s strong. I know he’s not in a great space and he’s going through all kinds of things himself. Two different responses arise in me.
1. I want to be like a drill sergeant and demand he man up and sort out his shit. I want to challenge him. This is the masculine. And it’s me trying to get what I want through control.
2. I want to be understanding and supportive, loving him where he is and choosing whether or not I engage with him as he is. This is the feminine. It’s me accepting what’s actually going on.
Each way has it’s place. But in respect to stepping into romantic relationship, I want to enter from my feminine – not from my masculine. I realise, deeply, how vulnerable this makes me feel. Being in my masculine makes me feel in control, because I AM taking control. Coming from the feminine requires that I trust, allow and surrender.
Suddenly every single relationship I’ve had with a man is thrown under a new light.
I see how I’ve emasculated some men I’ve been in relationship with… I see how I’ve attempted to control others… I see how my parenting style is heavily weighted into the masculine and the way that is playing out with my son (another article in that!).
Later that day, I bump into this man in the flow. He’s present and connected with me.
I know you’re struggling right now. I am too. It will be so much easier when only one of us is triggered because we’ll be able to support each other through better.
It’s what I need to hear. I feel seen, loved, supported, held. I feel implied intent as to the unfolding of this relating.
Midnight, or so. I go to bed. But not without sending a text.
Come give me a hug goodnight if you’re on the way past.
Usually I turn my phone off when I go to sleep. I intend to wait ten minutes for a response and do just that. But for the first time all week, I fall straight to sleep and wake up at 2am with a response.
Just got back to my phone. Heading to bed now. Can swing by?
Fuck. I stare at the message. I can feel what this is… where it can lead… all the doubts… the uncertainty… the disconnection of flow over the last few days… the moments of intense connectedness… my own desire…
I make a choice in this moment to let go. To trust. To surrender. Not just to him, but my own intuition and body. At least, that’s how I phrase it to myself in that moment.
There’s no words when he arrives. It doesn’t feel like any are needed. I haven’t felt this with a man in so long and I’m going with it. After, we fall asleep in each others arms. It’s 6:30am when I wake up – time to get up and do my practice.
As he leaves, he bows to me slightly.
It’s an honour.
And he’s gone.
After all our conversations, the nature of our connection, my clarity around bramhacharya and celibacy and casual sex… it feels like the intent is clear. That he’s desiring what I desire – to step into an exploration of deeper intimacy and relating.
But I’m wrong. I’m projecting out of my own intense desire. Something which becomes clear over the next few weeks as we spend time together.
Finally I ask him – which is hard, but I continue practice speaking up:
Why did you sleep with me? It felt like there was intent there, yet that intent is obviously gone now.
It’s hard for him to answer. He’s not sure if he can explain himself. Then he ventures…
Curiosity? It doesn’t impact me then, in that moment. It’s not until a close friend calls attention to it later that I realise how I feel about that response.
Curi-fucking-osity? We have all those conversations and clarity around sex and context and relationship etc and you were simply curious?
In that moment, I feel like my trust has been abused.
I stepped out of my masculine – who seeks to protect me through control – and choose to trust. That trust was abused. A man who knew where I stood, and what I wanted, subtly implied enough to suggest he was on the same page…
I trusted the external masculine – the man – to act with integrity in the situation. And he didn’t.
When I realise this. I feel bad about myself. Real bad. As if I am worthless. These are feelings I don’t have very often at all so it’s a stark contrast to my default.
Why on earth does the man’s (perceived) abuse of my trust trigger feelings of unworthiness in me? What meaning am I ascribing to his actions to create these feelings?
No wonder I’ve been such a control freak in relationships all these years… I haven’t trusted men and their desires and who the hell wants to feel like shit when the man acts out of integrity?
I bring it back to myself again.
I’m the one having these feelings. It’s not his responsibility to make me feel worthy. I do this for myself.
I ask myself, was I out of integrity with myself, letting go in that moment? I could have waited until there was greater clarity. I could’ve waited until I was 100% sure of his intentions. I could’ve got a written statement signed by two witnesses and sealed with a ring. Oh wait – that’s marriage!
But fact is, I knew the reality of the situation. I knew he wasn’t meeting me in the way I wanted to be met and I went ahead anyway out of my own desires and fantasy. Out of my own attachment.
Maybe trust and surrender meant something else. Maybe it meant letting go of my desire because this situation wasn’t aligning with it, and trusting the desire would be met at another time. This is the cultivation of Vairagya or non-attachment on the path to self-realisation.
But I didn’t know that then.
And on the man’s side… there was enough implication coming from him to feed into and stoke the fire of my desire.
So in the end, who abused whose trust? And I ask myself:
What’s the liberated choice now?
I felt into that and realised all I had to do was pick up the phone and have a conversation with this man. Share with him my experience and perspective and ask him about his experience and perspective.
As soon as I realised this, and made a phone call to have that conversation, I no longer felt like shit.
I had claimed back my own personal power (Manipura Chakra, where feelings of worthiness or unworthiness arise from) and owned my actions.
I made the call – which was incredibly challenging for me. I had all kinds of sensations going through my body every time I picked up the phone to call, as it took a few attempts to get through.
He listened to me wholeheartedly, and I felt fully received. He shared his perspective – how his mind made sense of the situation, what was going on for him, the patterns he’s working with at the moment and what he was going through at the time.
It was powerful and I felt immense gratitude for our ability to dialogue like this. I can see how I’m still shying away from having the tough conversations even as I practice leaning into them. I can see how my strong desire STILL causes me to ignore the truth that’s right in front of me.
Learning to let go, trust and surrender was powerful. It feels good. In that respect, I made the right choice on that night. What was missing was my own internal acknowledgement of what it meant – I held onto projected desire rather than sat with actual reality.
So as one pattern dissolves, another is revealed, again.
When I want something badly, I interpret reality to fit with the unfolding of that desire. I step out of integrity with myself and the situation.
So it plays out. Over and over. One day, I will make a different choice. My desire will align with reality. Or reality will align with desire. Vairagya will become my default mode of operating.
For now though, I’ve had the honour of riding this wave with a man I care deeply about and love.
Very grateful for that.
And I learned how to shift into my feminine and trust, surrender and let go. Now to practice trusting, surrendering and letting go of desire.