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Does whole-hearted love still matter?

Does whole-hearted love still matter?

I’ve been thinking about love today. This is unsurprising because I’ve been working on my next play and of course, like most of my writing, it is about love and all that goes with it – the good, the bad and the ugly.

The question of whole-heartededly showing up for love in a partnership is coming up and I wonder if many people still believe in that concept.

I see so many relationships that are not based on whole-hearted love. Instead they rely on obligation, financial security, fear of being alone, convenience, public image and even that old deluded adage about staying together for the children’s sake. Why people are still using that last excuse is beyond me – isn’t it abundantly clear that when people stay together for the wrong reasons they sentence their children to an adulthood where they will repeat and then try to break those negative relationship habits modelled by their parents?

But I digress. Back to whole-hearted love.

Whole-hearted love to me, means showing up openly and vulnerably. It means coming together with one other person and connecting in a way that is sacred to you both.  

My play explores this concept of whole-hearted love and more controversially, love in open relationships. I have to say, when it comes to whole-hearted love, I find the open and polyamorous dynamic problematic.

To be clear, have sex with whoever you want, with however many people you want and of whatever gender you desire. As long as it’s between two consenting adults – who cares. It is certainly none of my business or anyone else’s for that matter.

But it’s the whole-hearted piece that plays on my mind.

Whole-heartedly loving someone else, to me at least, means showing up for one person and proudly too. It’s not about giving a bit here then giving a bit over there and then returning back here. That isn’t whole-hearted love.

And before you say, but it’s just sex and only a physical act, I have to say no – that’s not all it is.

You can’t get any closer to someone energetically than when you have sex – there is a merging of your energetic fields and when you detach, part of that other person’s energy stays on you. Then you take it with you when you return to your other lover. Then you end up with someone else’s energy in your bed with both of you.

Is that whole-hearted love – to carry energy from one to the next and contaminate the sacred space between you?

I can’t believe that it is.

This brings me to my next question – do we not desire whole-hearted love anymore? Is it considered a mute point in society? Is it redundant and perhaps unneeded? Is it old-fashioned?

I can hear that song playing in my head by Iva Davies when he sings,

“I don’t know where to be begin
Don’t want to hear it again
I don’t believe anymore
This is all I know
I know I’ve heard it before.”

Have we simply stopped believing that whole-hearted love is possible?

Now, I’m not saying I believe whole-hearted love is easily found or easily kept. Sometimes it arrives for a limited period of time then disappears as quickly as it came. I’ve lived long enough in the world to understand that whole-hearted love doesn’t guarantee longevity.

But I do believe it demands through its very nature, exclusivity.

Part of me wonders if some people have given up on it altogether because they don’t believe they deserve it in the first place. If you don’t believe you deserve something then why would you expect it? Certainly, from my own personal observations and conversations, it’s clear that some people agree to polyamorous partnerships because their partner convinces them it is necessary for their relationship to survive. So one gives in to the other because they fear losing them altogether.

I even read an horrendous article recently that gave instructions on how to convince your “unwilling partner” to change their mind – it read like a narcissist’s handbook by encouraging the person to persistently undermine their unwilling partner’s values and beliefs until they finally gave in. I found this horrifying and deeply disturbing.

Now I’m definitely not suggesting this is how all people approach polyamory with their partners. But I have noticed people who give in or are pressured to be in these types of relationships because they fear losing their partners are devastated as a result. The impacts on their self-esteem, feelings of self-worth and being deserving of love can be emotionally catastrophic.

Sex is an amazing and wonderful thing. It can be liberating, fun, stress-relieving and great exercise. It can also be a divinely intimate and sacred act between two people who are showing up whole-heartedly for each other and that connection.

I can’t help but feel sex in a polyamorous dynamic, can’t co-exist easily or at all with whole-hearted love.

But perhaps it doesn’t need to.

Did Shakespeare change the world?

Did Shakespeare change the world?

A friend of mine is a beautiful writer. As yet unpublished, she finds herself compelled to blog about her life and her experiences. Increasingly this involves writing about loving men, toxic masculinity and the changes that are needed.

Tonight she asked me if there was any point. She is but one woman, sitting alone in her home, writing about some lofty aspiration she would like to see realised. What could sharing her thoughts possibly change?

My response was, “Did Shakespeare change the world?”

Whether you love Shakespeare (like I do) or loathe him, there is no doubt his stories changed the world. His plays were artfully composed commentaries on daily life. His words shone a light on the tragedy and comedy of the human experience.

I daresay Shakespeare doubted the power of his work. What could one playwright change in the world? I’m sure he changed quite a lot.

Our words are powerful when they reach the right people. But we can’t always know who the right people are because so many of us hide our true struggles behind a nicely-presented and socially acceptable façade.

If you feel compelled to share your stories, your perspectives and your passions about how we can make this world a better place, then don’t hesitate.

If you feel compelled to share stories that will entertain, explore or challenge, then share those too.

My friend feels compelled to share her stories because they are meaningful and reflect her experience. You can be sure they will resonate with others too.

Real stories are like that. They reach the right people who need to hear them at the right time. But, as storytellers, we may never know those details. We can only assume that when we feel called to share our story, someone out there needs to hear it.

If you are hesitating to share your story and speak the truths that others need to hear, reach out and let’s talk. This is one of the things I specialise in – helping Anonymous Storytellers to share their stories with the world.

Why Memoirists Can’t Hide

Why Memoirists Can’t Hide

I sat in a café today fighting back tears yet staring determinedly at my computer screen. Part of me wanted to run away while the other part thought, no, I have to do this.

I’d begun pulling my poetry collection together and as I began revisiting each piece, one by one, all the emotions they held rose up again within me.

A year a two ago, I found myself working on the same floor as a specialist I had first met in my 20s. As a man with a curious and active mind, who remembered me from way back then, he was keen to read my book as soon as I mentioned it. I still remember the look on his face afterwards. He looked at me intently and said, “It must have been very difficult to write a lot that.”

I nodded and said, “Yes. Yes it was.”

When you’re a memoirist and you write from real life, your life, it’s extraordinarily difficult to hide from yourself and the experiences of your past. You must look at yourself, study where you have been, unpick the threads of your life, then somehow sew them back together.

It’s not an easy journey to undertake. It’s often emotionally challenging. When you write about yourself, you cannot hide from yourself. This is why I frequently use journaling activities with my mentoring clients – what better way to uncover your true desires than to pick up a pen and begin recording your brutal self-honesty in writing.

Just like my first book, my poetry collection is autobiographical and traverses my relationship landscape with all its pain, heartbreaks and disappointments. There is a little humour in there too and this time, I also begin exploring the complicating influence of being psychic.  

I’ve found that being highly intuitive can work for and against me in romantic relationships. Yes, it may provide an extra level of insight about the person you are interested in but on the other hand, when your emotions are involved, your ability to easily to discern between your intuition and what your heart would like to happen can fly out the window. Factors like soul contracts and past life connections (or past life hangovers as I call them) can also mess with your head, a lot.

I am not one of those women who can put her emotions in a box. In truth, writing my first book was very much like my own personal version of therapy. It was only through writing about my experiences, editing it then revisiting it again, that I was able to finally clear a lot of debris from my psyche. With the birthing of that book I was able to step back and see where I had learned the lessons I needed to learn, and then let the rest go.

I find that my poetry is far more raw than my prose. It always knows what it wants to be when it arrives. It has a clear intention and energy of its own. Once written I can only change a word here or tweak a phrase there. Further self-indulgent editing inevitably destroys the life of the piece leaving it a bedraggled and shallow version of its former self. So I leave most of the words as they arrive.

The memories in my poetry are vivid. They are unavoidable and, judging by my emotional response today, I still have a lot to process about their contents. Two hours was about all I could manage today before I needed a break. But I am going to persevere. There are other books waiting to be finished and released.

Interestingly the themes of relationships, love, and energetic connections are increasingly showing themselves in my work. I guess my Muse is determined that I learn the lessons that are being delivered to me and I continue to be her reluctant yet committed pupil.