This morning I had a flash of inspiration, when I realized that something I’ve worked on for years in my sex life would really benefit me in general. I guess sex and life really are intimately related. Basically, I’ve been meditating on being present, being here now.
Even during sex, being present can be difficult. I struggle with letting go of the past. Occasionally flashbacks hijack my experience. I try to acknowledge the feelings and remind myself that I am no longer trapped in that situation. I don’t have to respond as I would have in the distant past, or yesterday. This is so huge – I can affirm that as a constantly evolving person, what really matters is not then, but right now.
The future is even harder to come to terms with than the past, though. If I’m thinking of initiating sex, I worry about all of the things I ought to be doing instead. My everyday worries rob me of the joys to be had right now. Even when making love, thinking too much about what comes next can put a damper on my pleasure. I find that I only truly lose myself in sex when I am wholly in the moment, not limited by who I was or who I think I ought to be.
I’ve worked on being present during sex for years. I think it’s why I’ve been able to enjoy myself so much. So why haven’t I seen that the same concept could be applied to every other aspect of my life? I find myself constantly focused on next steps rather than where I’m at. That can be helpful, but not if I can’t let myself be happy now. Not if it is a distancing technique.
The main thing for me today is that I feel bad over things that are in the past, from childhood abuse to the fight that Harold and I had a few nights ago. Everything is basically resolved, but I’m holding on to the emotions. The events are sticky. I need to remember that I am not a child, not a partner with hurt feelings. Those things are part of my past – they contribute to the person I am – but I am constantly expanding. Everything I experience makes me bigger and gives me more resources with which to act in the world.
Related to this idea is the concept of forgiveness, something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I finally understand that forgiving someone is something you do for yourself, not them. Forgiving a person means you can let go of the sticky parts – whatever that person did to you can’t hurt you any more. Forgiveness means you can be present in the now.
It’s woo-woo, but I’m finding it helpful. Remembered hurts and the fear of future pain can sometimes distract me from everything else, which is sad when I’m surrounded by beauty and joy. The next time I’m feeling stuck and struggly, during sex or otherwise, I am going to breath deeply and remind myself to be here now.