The chapter it's a bit long, but bear with me, it's worth it.
As much as I love you, we are not alone. Through loving you, I have learned to open my heart and feel everyone's heart. Their love is my love, as is yours. Their suffering is my suffering, as is yours. Just as I am committed to loving you open to God, I am compelled to claim the world as my lover who I must do my best to enter and open to God. I am afraid, at times, to enter you and the world. I shrivel and seek refuge in private comforts. I can feel your response to my offering or my lack. When I shrink and hold back my gifts, your face shows pain. When I feel through my fear and offer everything I can for the sake of opening you and the world to God, then your face shine's with love's brightness.
I see everything in you. I see my fear and courage reflected in your face, but I also feel everyone's resistance and invitation reflected in your body. You are so sensitive, dear lover. Your body is so ready to open into the shape of your surroundings. But with me and others you have often been encircled by love's lack. I can feel years of love's absence still hardened in your body, and I so want to feel you open and receive my love.
The fairy tale has asked you to believe that if you find the right man and give him what he
wants and needs, then he will love you forever. But it doesn't work out that way. You can't depend on his love. He either wanders to women he finds more attractive than you, or he stays with you, but doesn't continue to enter your heart deeply. He may even want to love you deeply, but he doesn't know how.
Your lover probably isn't aware of the constant suffering you experience due to his shallow presence. He is sitting next to you--or lying on top of you--and still he is trapped in his own thoughts, his own sensations, his grid-like world of projects, goals, and plans. His emotions seem so narrow--he's happy when he's succeeding in life and unhappy when he's failing--and your emotions seem so full, wide, and extreme. He runs away when you allow your emotions to flow unconstrained. He can't really deal with your full emotional strength and sexual desire for depth. He might even think you are crazy.
In the end, whether the two of you separate for what you both hope are greener pastures
or whether you stay together--seemingly satisfied on the outside but dying, yearning for
more, on the inside--you eventually settle for less than your heart knows is possible. You
adapt the minutes of your day to working, taking care of your family, and talking with friends. And at the end of the day, in bed with your lover or alone, you are exhausted and stressed from living a lie, your body not undulating in pleasure, your heart not blown-open as all-light. Your deepest love is waiting, waiting, fading.
Men become ambiguous and less present.
If your man's heart is surrounded by shells, then he loses touch with his life's truth, his deep heart-direction. He begins to live a lie. He knows he isn't giving his deepest gift to you or the world. He knows he has sold out on his real dream. He has settled for comfort and security.
Nothing hurts a man's heart more than feeling that he does not know his deepest purpose--or if he does, that he's afraid to live it. So, if your man is like most, his deep heart is suffering tremendously--not because of a lack of intimacy in his relationship, but because he feels lost and he knows he is wasting his life.
He is afraid to potentially lose the comfort and security of his family, home, money, or health, so he holds back from doing the only thing that will cure his heart's pain: He is
afraid to commit his life to discovering his deepest truth, uncovering his deepest gift, and
giving his deepest love without compromise to you, his family, and the entire world. He is
afraid to be free of fear since it will cost him everything he has ever acquired or known.
The only way for a man to be free is to die in every moment, to let go of everything, feel
the deepest truth of his heart, and offer himself to you and everyone without holding back. His depth of consciousness, expressed through his unique gifts, is all he has to offer, and it is all you really want. You want his undivided presence, his true and genuine love commitment, his heart exposed and wide open to feel yours.
When your man is offering you or the world less than his deepest truth, you can feel it, and you suffer the stress of his ambiguity and fear. When you are intimate with a man who is living this kind of lie--acting out a pretend life of comfort and security yet ungiven from his true heart--how could you open to him sexually?
How could you open your heart and body fully to a man who doesn't even know what his
heart truly wants? Naturally, your heart and body close to such a man, protecting your deepest openness from being violated by a man's ambiguous poke. Even though you may truly love your man, you are also disgusted by his false face, his lack of depth, genuine commitment, and heart-direction.
To survive, your man has probably numbed himself to the horrible pain of not knowing his deepest purpose. He has spent years in trivial pursuits of shallow goals, and has settled for whatever success he has managed to acquire. Yet, you can feel he is lost, no matter how successful he tells himself he is.
You are exquisitely sensitive to his deep potential--his genuine gifts and fully-offered
heart--and you are equally sensitive to his self-deception, the way he lies to himself, the
distance he creates between himself and his own heart's desire, and between himself and
your heart's desire. This distance hurts you. His false satisfaction hurts you. His numbness to his own suffering and to yours frustrates you, eventually evoking your anger.
You want his fullness--not only for you but also for his own sake and the sake of all beings--and he seems unable to even feel what you are talking about.
When your man lives behind shells of fear rather than opening and offering his heart's
deepest offering, his consciousness becomes weakened and shielded in numbness fed by lies sustained by shallow ambition. With time, your man's presence retracts into his own little world. You can't feel him with you, even when he is entering you sexually. Of course your sexual life is shallow--your man has become shallow, and he can't even feel it anymore, so thoroughly have his shells encased his heart.
Women become bodily stressed and heart-closed.
To protect your own heart from being inadvertently raped by your self-centered lover's
lack of feeling and awareness, you have put up your own walls. Your deep vagina is resistant to his mechanical thrusts. Your heart is shielded from his disconnected words of criticism and insult. Every time you try to open to your man, he diminishes your experience, as if your feelings were wrong, sick, or your problem.
He asks you how you are feeling, but your feelings are too huge and complex to squeeze into a simple answer. So he abuses you with more questions, convincing you that you are too dependent on him, that you need to be more responsible for yourself, and that your
"emotional problems" are your own and have nothing to do with him.
Your experience is that his heart is yours; how he lives his life--even the nuances of where
his attention goes, if he fidgets, or his subtle changes in tone of voice--affects your heart
intensely. He seems to be able to live in a self-enclosed world where he can pursue his goals apart from whatever is happening with you. However, your heart is directly linked to his, as if threads of feeling were connecting the two of you, so your heart soars or sinks with his heart--and so does your trust.
This is not a weakness on your part, although your man may try to convince you that it is.
Your feminine heart is much more sensitive to the flow of energy and emotion than his masculine heart. In fact, your heart is much more responsive to the depth of his consciousness--how present or not he is with you and in his life--than he is. He is numb to his own lack of presence and blind to how he actively shallows his heart, wrapping up his attention in trivial but all-consuming projects and thoughts.
Your heart-sensitivity can be a great gift to him. Your suffering, fully and responsively
expressed, can teach him much about how his self-enclosed and unfeeling consciousness is paining the entire world. Your heart's vulnerable strength can inspire his deepest gifts and evoke his commitment to open and give his love to you and the world without fear--which is the freedom he most deeply desires.
But you can only help him if you are open.
Chances are, after years of shallow men, you have closed to protect yourself from constant heart suffering. Otherwise, you would have gone insane. Every time your man drifts, scratches an itch unconsciously, wastes time in front of the TV, pretends to be intimate with you but actually is preoccupied in his own thoughts and sensations--every time your man is less than fully present with you or betraying his own depth, holding back his gifts in fear and numbness, your heart is crushed.
So, you have probably trained yourself to feel less. You can lay beneath a man while he
humps you and at least derive a bit of shallow clitoral pleasure--amidst the tragic heart-pain of not being ravished open to God by his feeling-force and deep presence. You can sit and listen to your man talk about his stupid projects without shouting and screaming, "Wake up! Open your heart! You are wasting your life and killing me with your mediocrity!"
Your hurt and anger are hidden beneath shells of civilized stress: You pursue your own
interests, spend time with your friends, and try not to complain too much to your man. If
you let out what you really feel about how he treats you, you would either scare him away with your churning anguish or chop his head off with your rage.
But at least he is willing to share a home with you, at least you share a decent life, so it's
not worth risking what you do share for the sake of what you most deeply desire.
You are betraying your deepest heart as much as your man is. You are settling for shallow love just like your man is settling for shallow purpose. You both know there is a deeper way to live, yet you are both holding back your deepest gifts of love, not offering yourselves fully to each other or to the world.
His shallowness expresses itself as ambiguity, purposelessness, and lack of presence. Yours shows itself through your body. Your shells of protection literally enclose your heart, your vagina, your belly--all the most vulnerable and soft parts of your flesh are hardened against the barrage of insult, abuse, and rejection that your man's aimless thrusts cause you.
The most feminine parts of your body may become diseased, or at least closed down to
pleasure. Your energy becomes blocked, your emotions suppressed. Your true heart's desire gets buried so deeply that you may no longer even hope for anything more than a decent relationship. Your deep desire to be taken, ravished, opened, and blissfully offered to God as unbounded love has all but disappeared behind years of devastation, frustration, and betrayal.
You and your man are no longer hoping to be fulfilled by someone else. You have grown
beyond dependence. But you are probably stuck in a phase of self-reliance. You have
probably become trapped in the belief that you can only make yourself happy: You are
responsible for your own happiness, your lover is responsible for his, and to give your heart without holding back any in reserve for yourself is a sign of weakness. This results in a terrible and constant sense of separation.
Beyond the needs for dependence and independence, you can learn to love so your shells
soften and you grow open without protection. Your deepest heart's desire can be allowed to percolate up from your depths and express your genuine love outward through every part of your body.
As you learn to tenderly open your shells of protection, you can actively receive the ravishment you have always wanted and fully offer your love as a gift to all.
When you are ready, you can open beyond the safety of self-responsibility for one body.
You can merge open in two-bodied sexual devotion. You can open to feel and breathe all-your lover, your family, your friends, everyone--in the full offering of your heart's openness.
You can live as divine love, opening and breathing as this entire moment. You can offer your life as if this moment's presence were entering you deeply like a lover's intense claim, your body danced by love's unblocked currents, your heart open as an offering, breathing as far as you can see and feel.
You can open as the love that lives as all."