Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
In their book, The Ethical Slut, Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy dedicate a whole chapter to jealousy. The section is dog-eared, because I know I will benefit from reading it over and again. I turned to it tonight to pull out a quote about feelings.
"So here you are, shell cracked, with waves of pain washing over you. What do you do? Get as comfortable as you can, and see how you can learn to ride those waves instead of drowning under them. Gather up the courage to feel what you're feeling. Explore your feelings, nourish them, treasure them -- they are the most essential part of you."
What an amazing thing it is to have those intense emotions encouraged, justified, celebrated. I admit I am an intensely emotional being. I feel. Deeply. Part of my polyamorous make-up is that I desire intensity, seek out strong emotional connections. I have learned that incredibly overwhelming happiness also means a balance of intense pain and sorrow. I would rather feel... deeply... than let fear keep me from risking love.
Which brings me back to tonight.
In overview, I've met someone who is quite amazing. He's been a friend for four months, and a while back we decided to move ahead and explore more than friendship. I am filled with the excitement of new-relationship-energy, and also with the security of a solid friendship as a base to build upon. Honestly, my feelings for Shepherd are intense.
Husband knows about Shepherd. We have spent several weeks talking, sharing, listening to each other's heart about this new relationship. Husband is adjusting to the reality of me loving others. Though the progress seems arduous and sometimes slow, he is making great strides toward understanding and acceptance. I am amazed and grateful.
Things were rocking along so well, I took something for granted. Husband had a trip planned this weekend, and so I thought it would be a good time for me to go visit Shepherd again. I was thinking if Husband had a fun weekend to keep him busy, it wouldn't be so hard to deal with the emotions of me being elsewhere with someone.
The truth of the matter is that Husband is beginning to struggle with the reality of all these changes in his life and our relationship. When he learned that I booked a flight, he reacted. He communicated. We've been communicating about it on a daily basis since. Don't get me wrong, the communication has been healthy, even our arguments are resolved with eventual patience and efforts to understand both sides. We are learning this process. The result is that I reluctantly told Shepherd I needed to postpone my trip, and focus on the growth that is happening in my marriage. He responded graciously, generously, lovingly. He is disappointed, but understanding. I am a lucky girl.
Which brings me, once again, to tonight.
It's nine o'clock on Friday night, and I am sitting alone at the desk, staring at the laptop. If my plans had gone through, I'd be on an airplane about now. I am not. Shepherd has had a busy week, filled with longer-than-usual days at work. He has a life too, and that's our reality. He has been very good to touch base with me via text throughout the week, and I feel very much loved because of it.
Still, I am disappointed and lonely tonight.
Husband is enjoying his trip. He checks in with me to make sure I'm okay. He has acknowledged how hard this is for me; thanked me for understanding. I'm sure he will check in later to say goodnight and remind me that he loves me. I feel very much loved by him as well.
So I sit with my emotions. I remind myself that it's good for me to know what it will be like when Husband is home feeling lonely, and I am out having an adventure. I am tempted to have a glass of wine, to just go to sleep and avoid the pain, but I don't.
I 'gather up my courage' and 'feel what I am feeling'. I follow Dossie and Janet's advice, and explore my feelings. I nourish them and treasure them.
They are the most essential part of me:
a girl traveler.
I wish you well, and hope you'll take something from my experience here.
Mind your feet--and your hearts,