Gestures of Love: The Greatest Gift of Love is to Let Go

Afraid to bite back when there is nothing left to do, afraid to try the new, fear to stand up, afraid to speak up, speak against, sick stomach, butterflies
— Excerpt from Women Who Run With Wolves

THERE IS SILENCE ALL AROUND ME.  MY BREATH IS SHALLOW.  MY HANDS ARE ICE COLD.  

AFTER RECENTLY WITNESSING THE LIVES AND STORIES OF MY FEMALE PEERS, I AM NOW INSPIRED TO SHARE MY MANY TRUTHS. IT IS WITHIN OUR STORIES THAT WE WEAVE A STRONGER VOICE AND GAIN THE COURAGE TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST OUR TANTALIZING TRUTHS.

A SPIRITUAL WORD I OFTEN HEAR TOSSED AROUND IS “CHAKRA” WHICH IS A SANSKRIT WORD FOR WHEEL. OUR CHAKRA INVOLVES VARIOUS ENERGY POINTS ALL OVER OUR BODY DEPICTING CERTAIN DEVELOPMENTAL ISSUES. FOR YEARS I WAS TOLD I HAVE A THROAT CHAKRA ISSUE AND MAKES SENSE SINCE I USE TO BE SCARED OF THE SOUND OF MY OWN VOICE. FOR WOMEN, THIS ISSUE CAN BE SO DAMAGING. I HAVE HEARD THAT IT CAN DAMAGE THE HYPOTHYROID, LYMPH NODES, AND EVEN CAUSE THROAT CANCER.  I WANT ADDRESS MY THROAT CHAKRA TODAY BY SHARING MY STORY, AND I SINCERELY HOPE IT INSPIRES OTHERS TO SPEAK THEIR TRUTH IN TURN.

WHILE MY TOPIC FOR THIS ENTRY MAY SOUND LOVELY AND ROMANTIC (GESTURES OF LOVE), THIS TOPIC HAS BEEN WEIGHING ON MY HEART FOR A FEW WEEKS NOW.  I HAVE PUT IT TO THE SIDE SINCE MY HEART HAS BEEN HEAVY AND GUARDED. THE IMAGES THAT COME TO MIND WHEN “GESTURES OF LOVE” FLOAT TO THE SURFACE ARE IMAGES OF ROMANCE – SMALL IMAGES LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES, A DOZEN LONG-STEM ROSES, EVEN A FACEBOOK “RELATIONSHIP UPDATE.”  BUT RECENTLY, I’VE REALLY HAD TO RE-TRAIN MY MIND ON THIS TOPIC.

A friend of mine has just been dating a guy that paid six thousand dollars to fly her on an exotic, all expenses paid trip to Thailand.  She even planned to move in with him a few weeks ago.  But shortly after, his true colors revealed that he was emotionally and verbally abusive. I feel blessed to be surrounded by friends like this one, who teach me daily through their own actions not to settle for a relationship like this one, even if it has financial or status perks.

Unfortunately women in other parts of the world are not as lucky to learn these lessons as quickly as my friend has. Growing up in a “sit there and look pretty” family structure, I grew up watching the Mexican women around me doing everything they could to “cook the world’s best enchiladas.”  But, around the table, sadly, the only feedback they received were complaints that the food tasted bland.  And most of my cousins are getting Kardashian-like upgrades on their bodies to please their potential suitors.

One of the women I once admired has now been loveless marriage for decades. The only “gestures of love” she has received is an allowance, GPS tracking system, and isolation from her family and friends. My mom tells me how she cries late at night at this reality.  And what’s so heartbreaking is that while she can’t afford certain things for herself, her husband has saved enough money for her daughter to get plastic surgery. What hurts the most in hearing this is that she is in a loveless marriage where she cannot share her dreams of cooking.

SOMETIMES WE BELIEVE THAT GETTING A BOOB JOB, CHANGING EYE COLOR, AND BUYING THOUSANDS DOLLARS WORTH OF MAKEUP WILL ALLOW US TO RECEIVE THE BACHELOR VERSION OF LOVE, AND THAT IS A LIE.  HOLLYWOOD HAS MISLED US.  EVEN AS I WRITE THIS, I REALIZE THAT I HAVEN’T YET SHARED MY RECENT LOVE TALE…

JUST AS I STARTED WRITING THIS ENTRY, I WAS INTERRUPTED BY A LOUD NOISE OUTSIDE MY WINDOW WHICH HAPPENS TO BE A COUPLE MAKING LOVE SO LOUD, THE GUARDS NEARBY WERE STATING HOW MUCH THEY MUST REALLY LOVE EACH OTHER…

MINE IS A CLASSIC TALE OF WHEN AN EMPATH MET A NARCISSIST. AFTER SEVERAL YEARS OF NOT DATING, I DARED TO EXPERIMENT WITH THE CHALLENGE OF BEING IN AN “OPEN RELATIONSHIP.” LAST FALL, I FELL IN LOVE WITH A MODEL, AND WHAT MADE ME FALL FOR HIM WAS DEEPER THAN HIS HAZEL EYES, ARTISTIC LOOK, AND CONFIDENT APPEARANCE. WE ARE TOLD THAT EYES ARE THE WINDOW TO THE SOUL, AND I WAS INTRIGUED BY HIS “I’M BROKEN” STORY AND HOW HIS MOTHER HID HIS FATHER FROM HIM. I WAS MISLED INTO THINKING HE WAS A “SPIRITUAL AND ENLIGHTENED ARTIST” WHEN, IN FACT, HIS SPIRITUAL PRESCRIPTION WAS XANAX, HASH, AND HOLLYWOOD FAIRY DUST.

UNFORTUNATELY, HOLLYWOOD HYPNOTIZED ME FROM REALITY.  TO BE HONEST, I MISTOOK THE HOURS OF HEAVY 50 SHADES OF  SEXCAPADES, THUS SLOWLY SEDATING OXYTOCIN-VENOM INTO MY BLOODSTREAM, AND MISTAKEN IT AS LOVE. THAT LOVE DRUG CAUSED ME TO TAKE A 180 TURN WITH MY LIFESTYLE. I WENT FROM BEING MONOGAMOUS TO ACCEPTING ABOUT HIM WITH OTHER WOMEN. I WENT FROM GOING OUT SALSA DANCING EVERY FEW NIGHTS TO LEARNING HOW TO TAP-HIM OUT IN JIU JITSU. I WENT FROM FOCUSING ON MY PASSION PROJECTS 100 PERCENT OF THE TIME, TO EMBARRASSINGLY BEING A YES-GIRL IN DOING  TASKRABBIT FAVORS FOR HIM LIKE DRIVING HIM AROUND TOWN (SINCE HE DIDN’T HAVE A CAR).

THERE’S A URBAN DICTIONARY SAYING CALLED, “HONEYCOMBED” USED IN THE MOVIE, THE INTERVIEW, WITH JAMES FRANCO AND SETH ROGEN, MEANING FLIRTATIOUS AND MISLEADING.  SHORTLY AFTER I WATCHED THAT MOVIE WITH THIS ARTIST, WHO HAD DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR, SOMEHOW CONVINCED ME TO HELP HIM HAVE A VIDEO SHOOT AT MY FRIEND’S PLACE TO RAISE MONEY FOR HIS KICKSTARTER THAT HE NEVER REALLY STARTED.  WOW.  THAT ALL HAPPENED.

THE ONLY THINGS THAT SHOOK ME FROM MY HYPNOSIS WAS THE FIRE IN MY BELLY, ICY COLD HANDS, AND UNCONTROLLABLE CRIES AFTER BEING DISRESPECTED ON VALENTINE’S DAY.  WHY DID I GET MYSELF INTO THIS UNNECESSARY MESS? WHAT CAUSED ME TO BECOME SO CO-DEPENDENT THAT I BENT OVER BACKWARDS? WE CAN ASK “WHY” SO MUCH THAT WE END UP GETTING NO ANSWERS, A MIRGANE, AND A SHATTERED EGO.

MY MEDITATION TEACHER TAUGHT ME THAT “EVERY RELATIONSHIP IS A NEW SYLLABUS.”  IN THIS RECENT SYLLABUS I LEARNED THAT, IN AN OPEN RELATIONSHIP, IT’S IMPORTANT TO COMMUNICATE TRUTHFULLY ABOUT ONE’S BOUNDARIES, DESIRES, AND INTENTIONS. AT FIRST IT SEEMED WE COMMUNICATED ABOUT HOW WE WERE ALLOWED TO DATE OTHER PEOPLE.  BUT I WAS BLINDSIDED WHEN EMOTIONALLY IT BEGAN TO FEEL LIKE “FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS” BECAUSE UNFORTUNATELY HE BECAME CLEAR THAT HE DID NOT WANT COMMITMENT.  WITH ME, AT LEAST.

SO ON VALENTINE’S DAY, AT 5AM, I PICKED HIM UP AND AFTER A NIGHTMARE OF A CAR COLLISION,  I BEGAN TO REALIZE THAT THIS RELATIONSHIP IS DOOMED TO FAIL.  WE WATCHED A CLIP FROM GOOD WILL HUNTING AND AT THE END OF THE CLIP, I ASKED HIM WHAT HIS THOUGHTS WERE. HE REVEALED HOW HE THOUGHT THAT IT WAS STUPID THAT THE MAIN ACTOR CHOSE THE GIRL OVER HIS CAREER. THE DAY GOT WORST WHEN HE PERSISTENTLY TEXTED THE OTHER GIRL HE WAS DATING IN FRONT OF ME. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO ME.

MY TRUTH EXPLODED AS I WAS READING A PASSAGE ABOUT “JEALOUSY” IN THE BOOK SEX AT DAWN, AND HAPPENED TO SEE THE CLASSIC PICTURE OF THE FEMALE GIRAFFES WITH RINGS AROUND THEIR NECKS. THAT POWERFUL IMAGE SIGNALED TO MY AMYGDALA, THE REGION OF THE BRAIN RESPONSIBLE FOR POWERFUL EMOTIONS, TO OPEN MY MOUTH AND TELL HIM I WILL NOT TAKE THE DISRESPECT ANYMORE. HOURS AFTER I DROPPED MY  ARTISTISTIC-MODEL OFF AT WORK, I WENT HOME AND REDECORATED MY PLACE BY TAKING DOWN HIS PAINTING.

A FEW DAYS LATER I CHOSE TO REENACT THE TYPICAL SCENE OF GIRL BREAKING UP WITH BOY BY GIVING HIM BACK HIS THINGS. I RECENTLY LEARNED TO TAKE ON THE MOST DIFFICULT TASK FIRST THING IN THE MORNING, EVEN IF IT MEANS LETTING GO OF SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T SERVE YOU, AND IT WAS TIME TO ACT. KNOWING I WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE IN THAT RELATIONSHIP AND THAT HE WAS DATING A YOUNGER GIRL DID NOT EASE MY MIND AT NIGHT. I FACED MY FEARS THAT DAY BY NOT ONLY GIVING

HIM HIS STUFF BACK, BUT ALSO BY READING HIM A LETTER I HAD WRITTEN, AND I REMEMBER TELLING HIM, “HOW DO YOU LET GO OF SOMEONE WHO WAS NEVER YOURS IN THE FIRST PLACE?”

AFTER I READ THE LETTER, MY BODY WAS INCLINED TO SIT ON HIS LAP AND GIVE HIM ONE LAST EMBRACE AND HE THEN STATED WITH HIS PIERCING HAZEL EYES, “CAN I BE HONEST WITH YOU?” ANSWERING WITH MY EYES YES, THEN HE RESPONDED, “YOU’RE EMOTIONALLY WEAK.”

IN THAT MOMENT OF MOMENTS, I STOOD UP AND SAID, “I’M NOT WEAK, AND IN FACT, I’M STRONGER BECAUSE I’M TELLING YOU EXACTLY HOW I FEEL, AND IF ANYTHING, THAT MAKES ME STRONGER AND MORE CREATIVE. ”  SHORTLY AFTER, WE LAUGHED AND EMBRACED.  BUT I LEFT OPEN THE CHANCE OF A FUTURE HOOKUP.  IT FINALLY ENDED A FEW WEEKS AGO WHEN I HEARD HE FELL IN LOVE WITH THE OTHER GIRL AND THAT THEY ARE NOW MONOGAMOUS.  OUCH.

THE SILVER LINING OF THIS TALL TALE IN THE CITY WHERE DREAMERS WANT TO BE THE NEXT BIG STAR IS THAT I WAS INSPIRED BY MY GORGEOUS ARTIST TO BE HONEST WITH WHAT I WANT.  I REALIZED THAT I WILL NEVER RECEIVE GESTURES OF LOVE FROM A NARCISSIST. HE WILL NEVER ASK ABOUT MY WORLD. HE WILL NEVER ASK ABOUT MY PASSIONS. AND HE WILL NEVER ASK HOW MY DAY WAS.

IT REMINDS ME HOW A LOT OF MY FRIENDS TALK ABOUT A BOOK I NEED TO READ, “THE FIVE LANGUAGES OF LOVE” AND HOW THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS THAT A PERSON RECEIVES AND GIVES LOVE. WHAT I LEARNED FROM THOSE CONVERSATIONS IS THAT WHAT I NEED IN MY FUTURE RELATIONSHIPS, ARE CONSISTENT SMALL ACTIONS. I DREAM OF A RELATIONSHIP WHERE WE NOT ONLY HAVE INSATIABLE LOVEMAKING THAT PEOPLE CAN HEAR IT OUTSIDE THEIR WINDOW, BUT LAUGH UNTIL EARLY IN THE MORNING AND  GEEK OUT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY, NEW WORDS, AND THE LATEST VIRAL DANCE VIDEO.

AND TYING THIS BACK TO MY FRIENDS, I RECENTLY HAD A CONVERSATION WITH A NUMBER OF MY FEMALE FRIENDS THAT THERE IS A CRISIS RIGHT NOW WITH THE EGOS OF MEN AFFECTING OF THE LIVES OF MY FEMALE COUNTERPARTS. I HEARD THAT THERE ARE SOME WELL-KNOWN DANCERS THAT ARE NOT ONLY CHEATING ON THEIR GIRLFRIENDS AND WIVES, BUT THEY ARE DOING IT IN A WAY SO UNCONSCIOUS THAT MESSES THE REPUTATION OF WHAT OUR DANCE SCENE IS KNOWN FOR, AND IT’S FOR THE INTENTION OF SELF-EXPRESSION AND DANCE THERAPY.

HOW ARE WE LETTING THESE MEN GET AWAY WITH SUCH BEHAVIOR IN EVERY SUBCULTURE? HOW CAN WE TEACH THEM LESSONS OF EMPOWERMENT SO AS TO NOT CAUSE WOMEN TO FEEL SO AFRAID OF THEIR VOICE? HOW CAN WE TEACH MEN TO OFFER CONSCIOUS GESTURES OF LOVE? HOW CAN WE AS WOMEN NOT ONLY EVOLVE AS BEING GREAT LOVERS AND PARTNERS BUT TEACH OUR MEN HOW TO LISTEN IN A WAY THAT THEY CAN UNDERSTAND OUR YES AND OUR NO?

THE BIGGEST GESTURE OF LOVE WE CAN GIVE OURSELVES IS LETTING GO OF A RELATIONSHIP THAT DOES NOT SERVE US. AS I ENTER INTO MY 30S, THE BIGGEST LESSON I HAVE LEARNED IS HOW TO LET GO. SOMETIMES WE FEEL SCARED THAT IF WE LET GO WE WILL FOREVER BE ALONE AND NO ONE WILL TAKE CARE OF US AT THE END OF THE DAY. THAT IS A MISTAKE ROMANTIC MOVIES AND CODEPENDENT ROLE MODELS HAVE TAUGHT US TO LIVE IN OUR DAILY LIVES.  HOW CAN WE AS WOMEN LIVING IN THE 21ST CENTURY HACK OUR BRAINS TO LET GO?

WE ALL HAVE TOOLS TO END A RELATIONSHIP THAT BLOCKS OUR THROAT CHAKRA. MY SEXY SOUL FORMULA WAS A SPIRITUAL PRESCRIPTION OF MEDITATION, EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE, THE OCCASIONAL 4AM KUNDALINI CLASS, SALSA DANCING, AND SURROUNDING MYSELF WITH A FIERCE WOMEN WHO KNOW HOW TO SAY “”NO!” WITH INTENSE BRAVADO.  AS I TYPE MY LAST FEW KEYSTROKES, ANOTHER PASSAGE FROM WOMEN WHO RUN WITH WOLVES COMES TO MIND AS I CLOSE MY EYES.

A HEALTHY WOMAN IS MUCH LIKE A WOLF: ROBUST, CHOCK-FULL, STRONG LIFE FORCE, LIFE GIVING, TERRITORIALLY AWARE, INVENTIVE, LOYAL ROVING. YET, SEPERATION FROM THE WILDISH NATURE CAUSES WOMEN’S PERSONALITY TO BECOME MEAGER, THIN, GHOSTLY SPECTACLE. WE ARE NOT MEANT TO BE PUNY WITH FRAIL HAIR AND INABILITY TO LEAP UP, INABILITY TO CHASE, TO BIRTH, TO CREATE A LIFE.

CREDIT

PHOTOGRAPHER: MIKO AQUINO (INSTAGRAM: @MIKOWASHERE)

HAIR/MAKE-UP: JAIME EDENILSON DIAZ (INSTAGRAM @ EDENILSONCREATES)

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PRIVATE COACHING, WORKSHOPS, OR MEDIA PLEASE EMAIL ME AT SEXYSOULMATRIX@GMAIL.COM

 

 

Erika Briones