By Christopher Tydeman
Romance has always been triggering for a part of me. I wasn’t really raised with a template of a healthy romantic relationship. One that included both sides of passion. On one side, the random acts such as notes put in a hiding place to be found later or the hot passionate kiss in the middle of crowded street without care for the peering eyes upon you. Or the other side, which includes the loud clash of conflict that is still held in respect and not reduced to energetic violence. The place where there is a vulnerable and heartfelt, “I am sorry.”
In my personal experience, my template was a withhold of need, a projection of resentment, and an eventual eruption of anger with barbed-wired shrapnel. The sweet moments were few and far between, and even those consisted of half-baked sentiment with an obligatory stale crust. Were there moments of genuine love? Yes, absolutely. More than I count on my fingers and toes. But certainly not enough to show a young man what real love is all about.
So, am I screwed? Never to feel authentic desire, lust, and passion? Of course not. I am not a victim to my experience, I am informed by it. A part of me could easily close up heart-shop by blaming it on my conditioning, and never allow love to enter its fortified walls. It’s what part of me learned by my father as the ideal way to relate to love. However, even he hasn’t done that. He, too, desires a life surrounded by love. He can’t help himself because it is the ultimate human need above our survival needs. This part of him, and now a part of me, can protest all they want, but it is not our nature to resist love in absolution.
My templating gives me a starting point from which to launch. I don’t press off of it like a swimmer does off the side of a pool. I go into it. I feel it. I ache with it. I cry with it. Then something new emerges. Desire. Risk. Energy. Passion. Something different than before. Something unlike a part of me could ever imagine as being possible. I am honestly not writing from that place in the moment, but I can sense it. I sense it because it is in me. It is me. I would have not known that unless I had someone else to reflect that to me.
For the last two years I have been in relationship with such a person. A beautiful woman I never saw coming. A woman who could see a “me” I hadn’t been able to see myself. Now that I say that, I feel my romantic history has been such a dynamic. There is this reflection of bigness, of courage, and of strength. That picture, as desirable as it is, gets intercepted by my unworthiness and is flat-lined. Not to be resuscitated for fear of rejection and pain. ‘The higher you climb the harder it is to fall’. That is the mantra of self-protection.
This is the trigger I referred to at the beginning. But it is more than just the reflection of my bigness that frightens a part of me, it is that someone else actually cares enough to fight for it. That I AM worthy of the kind of love that is more than I ever believed is possible. A part of me is used to a healthier version of the type of love I grew up with, but is uncertain, even confused, about this ground of sacred love. Authentic love. Transactable, palpable, relational, passionate love. Lots of wounding that needs healing. Lots of conditioning that needs re-experiencing.
So what about this woman? After a few incarnations and explorations, it has come clear that Kathleen and I may not be mates in the way we thought we could be. She has passion that yearns to be matched and seen by another. I have a passion that yearns to be discovered by me, in me, and through me. It is possible that romance is not meant for me now. Maybe the romance is in me first. But I could not have come to that if it wasn’t for her. Her passion, her love, her desire for her own self-worth. She may very well be a soul mate, just not in the way I have thought of ‘soul mate’ in a romantic context.
We have been through much, Kathleen and I. My love for her remains as tender as the first time we hugged. That is what is real. That is what cannot die no matter the circumstance. We will continue to be what we have signed up to be for each other this life, for however long that is. She is a big reason I will heal towards self-worth and maybe even sacred romance. It is because of her I will know true love, both for myself and from another.
Christopher Tydeman has been embracing the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life since August, 2010. He is a SoulFullHeart facilitator-in-training, author on this blog, and he hosted the SoulFullHeart Experience Radio Show.