I have a friend who is the distinction “passion”. Five years after she began a relationship with her man, she is as entranced as she ever was, and he with her. They have seven children between them from previous marriages, and they make the whole thing work, and with ease. When they’re together, the rest of the world drops away. We become onlookers.
Yesterday, she shared with me how she does it. In the beginning, she says, I just had absolute trust in him sexually. From the first moment, I trusted him in that area. I didn’t trust him in other areas, but in our sex together, it was absolutely right from the start. Then I started to bring my feeling about him in the area of sex, that trust, to other areas … You know, there were many humiliations I had to overcome. When he’d speak about L (his ex-wife), and he’d say he had to do this for her or that for her, or he’d race off to do her bidding, I had to find a way to deal with my feeling of humiliation. And he’d feel guilty about L, and also he’d say thoughtless things to me and I had to find a way to deal with that too. I remember one day he said, “If I hadn’t known you before, I would never have gone out with you. I never would have been with a single mother with kids,” and it was really hurtful, and I just had to remind myself again and again that he loved me. I’d tell it to myself, and I’d write it over and over in my journal, “He does love me, he does love me.”
This area of passionate life has always been important to me, she says, including in my marriage and before that too. When we’re out walking or going somewhere in public, we both notice couples holding hands, or kissing, and we compare notes when we get back home, “Did you see those two? Didn’t they look adorable?” When we were in Europe last year we both spotted a couple in their 60s, and we fell in love with them from afar; they were cuddling and kissing, and we liked seeing them and their love.
My friend is a clearing for passionate love. When she goes out, that’s what she sees all around her: passionate love. Who she is, who she be, has the world show up for her in a certain way. The world shows up for each of us according to who we be.
What are you a clearing for?
Image: Girl with a Pearl Earring, c 1665 by Johannes Vermeer