Since I remember myself, I had this unquenchable longing for a kind of love that was a 'je ne sais quoi', that – I thought – the right man or the right circumstances could fulfill. I made any single relationship mistake possible (I'm so glad I had them all covered by now) and tried everything short of sitting on my head to find true, fulfilling love.
I always found something – a spark of care, a friendship, or sizzling hot passion – but there was always something else missing. Adrian was caring, but he didn't like dancing. Cesar danced but he was secretive and emotionally distant. Benny was affectionate and emotionally available, and a creative, generous lover, but culturally and intellectually, we were worlds apart. Then came T. T was intellectually and culturally on the same page as me, but we could not light the fire of passion between us, if our lives depended on it. I was still hungry and longing for something deeply fulfilling, wondering how to get to it. Been there?
This quest for fulfilling love and belonging had me search and research, reflect and question, and do a lot of growing as a person, and as a lover. I stopped looking for perfection, but instead, I have been simply looking for fulfilling my potential.
If the human potential to love another is 100%, then that's what I want to experience and express, and maybe even expand that potential too. If my ability to relate to a man is like a piano keyboard, then I want to play a symphony of love, playing all the keys. My quest is a symphony of love, or a full-spectrum love, vibrant, colorful and alive.
Loving Adrian was half an octave or two colors. Cesar: half an octave. Green and blue. Benny: one octave an a half, red, blue, yellow. One-night stands: index fingers playing two notes ad nauseam, on grey.
So here is what I found: Love is a flow that permeates all that is. Just like ice, fluid and vapor are all different forms of water, love too can take different forms. At one end of the spectrum there is Eros, at the other: Agape.
Erotic love is to Love what Ice is to Water. Erotic love is the hot, sizzling passion that lures the Masculine Yang and the Feminine Yin energies in the embrace that possesses, haunts, takes over one's nights and one's appetite, consumes and creates.
Agape – Greek for 'spiritual love' (Metta in Sanskrit) is the all embracing love, love that uplifts, liberates, relinquishes. Agape can be found in your own heart, through meditation and other spiritual practices, through parenting and community work, through selfless, generous giving. I found Agape through Reiki, after my first ever Reiki training and attunement.
Eros identifies and possesses; Agape relinquishes and embraces; and the hunger is for both, because one without the other is as incomplete as Earth without Sky, form without Spirit, human without Soul.
Connecting through Eros, then letting go into Agape, then holding on again in erotic passion is how we grow; and how many teachers are there to show us the way? The Buddha of compassion, the Dalai Lama teaches us spiritual love, but he can't tell you and I the first thing about sex. Ruth Westheimer and Sue Johanson, on the other hand, are masters of sexual function and they can tell you exactly what to insert where, but all that stays skin deep.
This is how the Love Workshops on Monday nights were born. I decided to create a venue to share all that I have learned and discovered. In this blog I intend to share with you my experiences and insights, and I look forward hearing from you with your own wisdom, observations, experiences and questions on Love.
To find out the topic for the next Love Workshop, visit the calendar at www.tanasaler.com
With Agape :-)