Vulnerable Moments

There is something so incredibly wonderful and beautiful about moments of vulnerability. It’s 4 a.m. and I just hopped up in bed because these words want to land on the page.

Last night I had one of those vulnerable moments. In the middle of doing what I do the most comfortably and confidently, I found myself doing probably the one thing I do with the least comfort and confidence. I sang a few lines from a song I’m working on. Long story short, the painter in me doesn’t want to make room for the singer. The singer is an insecure, timid little thing that hasn’t fully accepted his voice or found his groove yet. Blah, blah, blah, I could go on. Basically, I get terrified at the idea of being seen in any way other than amazing — hence the anxiety!

So I woke up thinking about all of the vulnerable moments people in my life have shared with me and just how beautiful those were for me and how intense they might have been for them. Some of those moments may not have been acknowledged as deeply meaningful in real time for any number of reasons. I would like to take the opportunity to do that now. 

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If you have ever personally or publicly shared a moment of vulnerability with me, THANK YOU!!! Thank you for counting me among the people and places where you feel safe, or where you feel brave. Thank you for allowing me to experience that part of you. I cherish those moments dearly. 

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If you have something on your mind that you want to share, something you feel you want to express,

  • a song to sing
  • a story to tell
  • a bone to pick
  • a moment to celebrate 
  • a position to try
  • a poem to read
  • a confession to make

If the idea of that moment makes you feel a little tingly inside or makes you feel frozen and faint-hearted, find somewhere or someone that makes you feel safe enough or brave enough to be vulnerable. Friend, family member, or lover, find them and have that moment. Chances are high that it just might make you feel amazing inside. 

Just something I felt compelled to share!

Love them as they are, have amazing sex, and communicate with intention. 

David

Compersion

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So, you know how I like words. I came across a new one recently. It perfectly describes a feeling I have experienced all of my life yet never had a word for. Language is incredibly important in the matters of love, sex, and communication. (Hell, in life in general!) Our understanding of love as a society is so deeply rooted in a singular model or perspective. Our culture is by and large not just pro-monogamy but anti-anything else. Jealousy is often regarded as a qualifier for the intensity of attraction desire or love one feels for another. But what is this feeling I feel? In the situations where the often expected response is jealousy, I have most often felt something completely different. It felt like the antithesis to jealousy.  

Compersion: noun

    The feeling of joy one has experiencing another’s joy. The feeling of joy associated with seeing a loved one love another. 

    A feeling of joy when a partner invests in and takes pleasure from another romantic or sexual relationship.

    Often referred to as the opposite of jealousy.

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I was given that little gem of a word in a great conversation I was having about love relationships. I have been sitting on it for two weeks now, trying to really let it find its way into my lexicon of love. (Let’s just say I've been quietly giddy about it.) Now that we have compersion defined, we can look at it a few different ways. Are we going to talk about the mental, emotional, or the physical expressions of love and joy? I am really interested in thinking about the romantic implications this kind of thinking has and what having a word to describe it makes space for. 

The language around love is often filled with concepts of singularity, possession, and hierarchy. I have been asked on multiple occasions and at many stages of my life, “What happened to change the way you feel about love?” NOTHING! I have felt the way I do, that love is infinite, not bound by possession, and not subject to a system of hierarchy, since as long as I can remember. Now, have I questioned my own feelings and thoughts about it? Absolutely. At every turn, the world tells us what love is supposed to look like. It tells us what to expect, what it feels like when its “real” and when it’s not. Our notion of love as a culture is inundated with conditions.

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Imagine for a moment a world where it is the cultural norm for people to engage freely in multiple love experiences and connections without possession. Now imagine in that world you want to keep a love or lover all to yourself. Imagine the opposition you might face from that society. You would undoubtedly face all sorts of rebuttal for your selfish act of restricting this love experience and making it unavailable for anyone else. How would you explain to the people that have your best interest at heart that there’s nothing wrong with how you feel about love? That jealousy was a perfectly normal feeling and it was okay for you to feel it? How would you ask your beloved to choose you and forsake all others? Welcome to my world. (and that of all the other folks that just constantly find ourselves defending our feelings around love and relationships. 

How can I say this plainly?

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It feels really good to know you feel good even if it’s not me making you feel that way. I find joy in anyone that brings me pleasure or that I care about having pleasure in their lives. I don’t want to be responsible for all of the pleasure that comes into your life. I will go as far as to say I don’t want to be responsible for all of the romantic pleasure that comes into your life nor do I want that from one person for me. I get off on you getting off. 

This how I see, how I live, and how I love.  While you’re out there finding new language to incorporate and share….

Love them as they are, have amazing sex, and communicate with intention!

David

Fear

You may or may not know this about me if you don't actually know me, but I have spent a great deal of my life managing fear. Fear is a peculiar thing. It is our own creation, but we often respond to it like it is actual danger. 

Fear 

1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

With all of the beauty in my life, there has still been a great presence of fear. I have historically allowed it to govern so many of my decisions. Fear can creep in and affect romantic, parental, and platonic love. It has been a force that affected both my career and my personal life (which, to be honest, are often indistinguishable). It can be a powerfully debilitating force that will set you on a path of rationalization of ridiculous choices. 

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I have burned bridges and broken hearts in fear. 

I have fled and fought in fear.

I have manipulated in fear.

I have abandoned in fear.

I have missed life in fear.

I have lost love in fear.

I have suffered in fear.

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No great epiphany happened to lead me to realize this. It’s something I have been aware of for some time. Fear often keeps the company of denial. Together they pack one hell of a punch. I have often denied the fear both publicly and to myself. I won’t say it’s all gone or pronounce some great declaration that from this point on fear will not rule me. I will, however, acknowledge a grand leap in that very direction. I will be grateful for the realization that owning and releasing some of that fear literally opens doors in the universe and myself immediately.

Overcoming or surmounting fear lifts such a great weight from one’s shoulders. It’s not that it just stops existing (trust me, the fear is still there), but it does seem to diminish with every subsequent interaction. It is a different type of bravery to speak my truth directly in the face of opposition than it is for me to sit here at my laptop and type it into the ether (and hopefully to an actual audience reading these). It feels good (really good!) to stop spending so much energy trying to manage a loved one’s emotional responses. There is freedom in being able to always speak openly about everything. 

I love you.

I desire others and will pursue that desire.

That doesn’t mean I desire you less.

I need the room to be able to do the things I want.

I miss you.

I fucked up.

I need to do better.

I’m sorry.

I’m not sorry.

I refuse to be anyone but me.

I want you to love me as I am and not for who I could be.

I lied.

I am afraid.

I know I am risking everything but I have to so I can live honestly.

I have been absent.

I want to be present.

I want what I want.

There is a sense of freedom that grows each time we face one of our fears. It is in that space, that I intend to flourish, that I seek to remain. 

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Even when you’re afraid to…..

Love them as they are, have amazing sex, and communicate with intention.

David