Dearly loved Pala and Al,
I arrived home a few hours ago, and my heart is so full to bursting that I just had to write and tell you about my weekend.
I was more than a little apprehensive when I realized that you knew me from CFC days, and I nearly cancelled a few times. I used to wear so many masks to those coordinator’s meetings, that I was hiding myself from everyone, including myself. My heart and soul were so unsuited to that job, and I was too ashamed to let anyone know that I couldn’t do it. I stayed for four years, and I was so glad to get out from under it, even though my route out was to go on disability for post traumatic stress. I’ve been off work, and on a healing journey ever since. I’ve been so ashamed of the forms my healing has taken since then, and I didn’t know how to explain it to you. I was so afraid you’d ask, and I’d be judged.
But you put me at ease from the moment we walked into your home. No. Even before we got there, by returning my phone call that we would be late and reassuring me that it was OK. That call helped me to know that I could relax and be me. I didn’t have to be perfect. Didn’t have to wear a mask any more. It was such a relief!
So much healing took place for me this weekend, you have no idea!!! And so many yardsticks by which I could measure my progress.
And fun! I had fun like I have never had. Ever. In my whole life. My senses, usually so easily over-stimulated, were awakened and soothed and bathed in love. Everything was so joyful and playful and magical and full of light.
And there was so much information. Every sentence pregnant with new thoughts and ideas. But it wasn’t hard to digest. Everything moved so smoothly and effortlessly from one event or activity to the next. I’ve been a facilitator of many groups and I know how much work goes on behind the scenes to make something flow so well. And you did it brilliantly!
My life has been blessed with many wonderful men, who’ve helped me progress further along the path to recovering my self, and I’ve been praying for women would help with the next part. Pala, you were an answer to my prayer. So incredibly forthright and self assured.
And I wish I’d taken the time to get to know both of you, as people, as fellow human beings, all those years ago. I’d love to count you among my friends now.
And your partnership! WOW!! It absolutely blew my mind! The two of you embody everything I want from a marriage. Al, you asked me to think about whether it was marriage I wanted, or a relationship with Brian, and seeing you and Pala together clarified for me, that you two have what I want. And it’s so incredible to know that it’s not a naïve ideal. It’s both possible, and do-able.
I love the commitment you both have to each other and to monogamy and I admire the way you understand how important it is to check everything you do for its effect on the unity of the marriage. I didn’t have that the first time around, but now I have the ideal, and I’ve seen it put into practice. You’ve shown me it can be done, and how to do it. You’ve given me the tools and now I want it more than ever.
And what a tool kit!! So many simple, easy to incorporate ideas, from dressing up for each other, to dance, to creating a sacred space and so much more. I loved the bubble bath and the foot massage, and the accupressure and feeding each other, and on and on the list goes!
And language! You gave me a language for things I couldn’t have spoken aloud a year ago. And the words and concepts just flew off your tongues like silk.
Pala, at lunch on Saturday, you said something about letting go of shame and guilt. Just do it. And it sounded so simple, but I didn’t know how. And I wanted to ask you, but didn’t get a chancel. When I got home tonight, two of my Bahá’í friends were here, and I debriefed the weekend with them, downlplaying the sexual aspect of the weekend and focusing on the communications, trust, intimacy, emotional release, accupressure, good food, great role models . . . (you get the picture) But they were the people who had asked me to bring back brochures, and maybe they would judge me for not living up to the standards of the Bahá’í Faith. And for a moment, when they asked if I’d brought brochures, I felt the fear and broke through that shame and guilt. Took a breath and shared the whole thing and gave them the brochures, and told it like it really was. One of them for sure is going home to talk to her husband about doing a workshop with you, and you will probably meet them soon. The other one wants to come desperately, but she’s single and is afraid she might feel intimidated being the only single in a group of couples (have you thought of doing singles-only weekends?)
So, the point is, although I didn’t get to talk to you about how to let go of shame and guilt, I have done it anyway.
And I have to tall you how much your focus on sexuality and spirituality have helped me become a better Bahá’í. Absolutely everything you embody and teach is in harmony with my understanding of the Bahá’í teachings. And I can’t wait to see you teach wave upon wave of Bahá’is, who have the teachings but have no idea how to embody them and make them come to light. Your impact on the Bahá’í community and the world, will be quite profound!
It was so thrilling to hear myself share the screams and panic which arose for me when doing the energy focus meditation, knowing that my experience was different from the others. Normally I would have kept my mouth shut and just felt alienated and different from everyone else, but in sharing I really knew that I existed. They had their experience, and I had mine, and it was all OK. And I knew how to take care of my needs by naming the experience, going back to my room for the rescue remedy and making some hot water. Pala, you affirmed my strength by suggesting that the Sexual Fire Breath might help, and by holding my hand to help me reground so I could keep participating. You handled it brilliantly!
And again, when the Gregorian Chants were incorporated into the music for the Sexual Fire Breath exercise, and I went in to flashback and deep distress. I saw it coming, knew what was happening and instead of lying here, staying stuck, I was able to stop the exercise, sit up and again, take care of myself. A real yardstick by which to measure my progress! It’s so wonderful to live life in the moment, without needing to dissociate. And then, Pala, your presence and discussion with me was the icing on the cake.
And the sexual techniques! WOW! Brian and I tried them out and he kept thanking me, over and over! It was wonderful to witness his transformation from believing he had to always be the giver, to knowing that he could get pleasure from just receiving. His wonderment in the pleasure he could feel in his body without concerning himself with ejaculation was such a joy to witness!
And my shame at not being married, or not living together. Man! That was acute! And I didn’t want you to know, but it came out anyway and so what? Who cares? The world didn’t end! It’s the reality of my life, and I want to be real and it didn’t seem to matter to you, so why should it matter to me? Another load left behind.
And then there was the Kundalini Meditation. I’ve been needing to do a lot of healing of my relationship with my mother, and in the first stage I was having a lot of flashbacks, so I expanded the movements of my shaking, and made them bigger and exaggerated them and let them go. In the second stage, during the dance, I was able to lift this off my shoulder and to ask God to bathe my Mother in His abiding mercy. I was sending my love out to her. Another major healing for me.
And in the emotional release, those screams that filled my body yesterday come out. And it was great!
And thank you, bless you for the blindfolds! I love to dance, to move my body like that, but I never do. Ever! But with the blindfold on, I could. Another piece of shame left behind. Al, I knew you were watching, but I didn’t care because I knew I wouldn’t be judged, so that made it safe. And being able to ask you to move me by the shoulders instead of lower down on my body! That was brilliant! Inspired! A few years ago, I would have chosen to not participate at all because of my terror around being blindfolded and of being touched unexpectedly.
And everything happened so easily, effortlessly! You probably took it for granted that I was just me. And it was me! But my behavior was so unlike the me that I’m used to, that the changes seem so profound. And permanent.
Major, major shifts happened for me this weekend, and my life will never be the same. The gratitude I hold in my heart knows no bounds. “Thank you” is so inadequate! But it’s all I know how to say.
And the video of the G-spot orgasm and female ejaculation: thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Some of my sexual abuse involved being stimulated to pee, and the shame I’ve experienced at having had G spot orgasms is immense. What a relief to see it explained and demonstrated and to know what a wonder it is to be able to have them at all! To be able to turn something I thought was shameful into something exciting and worthy of celebration. Oh, thank you!!!!!
And Sex-Ed 101: I don’t know if you know that that was part of your curriculum, but that’s what I got. A language and understanding of human anatomy and a language I can now use almost as easily as you do. What a powerful thing, language is. And how, by just being able to name something, I can be free.
And then there was the hate-love exercise. Seeing how much my hateful thoughts towards Brian’s reluctance to marry was hurting ME is the piece I’ve needed for months! And being able to feel how closed my heart is to receiving his love, and how much I’m afraid to trust him! WOW! That was big too! Believe it or not, that too is progress. A couple of years ago I described my heart as being a stone. Now it’s a heart that’s closed to love. What a remarkable transformation! A closed heart can open, but what can you do with a stone?!
And telling Barbara (and the group, and you, who knew me then!), about my lesbian relationship. Another shameful secret brought into the light of day. I’m not sure why I needed to share that. I would have liked to have checked it out with Barbara later, but didn’t have time.
And Al, you reminded me that Barbara’s desire to come to dinner topless was not hurting anyone, and that she too needed a space to explore her sensuality in a safe way made it easy to let go of my discomfort around this.
And when we were sharing our objects in creating the sacred space, why I told the group about wanting to die, and choosing to live: I’m not sure what purpose that served either, but at least it was real.
I’ve attended many workshops in my life, but I can’t ever remember giving a score of 10 all the way down the list. I am awed and grateful. Profoundly grateful to God for leading me to you, and for all the healing that took place. I face the future, with all its uncertainties, confident that it will be glorious.
Much love to you both. My love surrounds and includes you, and we are one. May your light shine easily, until we meet again.
May your hearts be enlightened, your faces radiant, your spirits illumined!
May your thoughts find wider range of vision, and your spiritual susceptibilities be increased.
May the realm of God surround you both, and may your hearts become the treasury of heaven. This is my hope for you. (Adapted from the Bahá’í Writings)
July 10, 2000