Replacing the bad love pattern with the good keeps your heart open
Understanding men was not the problem. The problem was I only understood them if they were in the safe zone of being like a brother or father figure, regardless of their age. My first forays into healing my heart with BodyTalk began with Heather Strang’s series on Manifesting Love, the Romance Matrix, Align with True Love, and Become A Love Magnet series. Each session chipped away at the iron curtain fortress around my heart until the encore BodyTalk event she held in March 2013 aptly titled “Understanding Men”.
Prior to “Understanding Men”, I had individual BodyTalk sessions with Shelley Poovey and Lyn Delmastro, around the time they too were experiencing higher levels of blissful love in their lives. Whatever was resonating among the three BodyTalk goddesses in my life (Heather, Shelley, and Lyn) clearly was preparing me for a heart test in spring. It was during a session with Lyn that the emotional residue of my first love experience with Patrick first came to surface. What was interesting for me was that I thought it was done. Not only had Patrick and I finally cut ties as adults but thanks to EMDR the thought of him generated no response from me. Furthermore, in 2013 when I had participated in Debi Berndt’s “Engaged In A Year” program, Debi had brought up Patrick and her work as a hypnotherapist really did clear him out. So I thought.
What was left to address through BodyTalk when it came to my first love’s emotional legacy were the fragments of locked feelings in my emotional body. There is a theory that our physical body holds the memory of trauma just like muscle memory can remember maneuvers performed over and over again. Whatever the case, Lyn had identified the stuck places in my emotional body that held pieces of an old heartbreak. By resetting the beliefs that resonate with old wounds, and do not serve us, BodyTalk sets in motion a return to our real selves.
In Lyn Delmastro’s article “Peeling the Layers of the Onion” she writes about how the modality of BodyTalk was about becoming more of she really was at her core. I concur with Lyn’s sentiments because our BodyTalk sessions did help to melt more of the “Jackie” mask I created in reaction to an adolescent heartbreak. At 17, I didn’t just lose my first love. I also lost my close friend, confidant, and constant companion. The world had been scary and hostile before Patrick and when he was gone it was even worse in my eyes. Those old emotions were holding me back subconsciously no matter what my conscious mind was thinking.
Before I continue, I want to explain why I work with more than one BodyTalk practitioner. The reason is simple: because sometimes it may be perfect timing for you to have a session but your practitioner is away. Having three in my arsenal of healing resources just makes practical senses. Besides, three BodyTalk Goddesses are better than one!
Shelley Poovey worked her healing talents too when she combined her Radiant Heart Meditation practice with BodyTalk to pry me heart open. Our individual work seemed to focus on the beliefs that I carried around regarding relationships and my sense of identity. The beliefs that resulted from my first love had evolved to some serious self-programming in me against partnership. Shelley’s expertise was valuable in helping evolve my thinking to seeing partnerships with an open heart and simultaneously embodying a sense of authentic safety. Several sessions over the past year with Shelley reinforced and integrated my own ability to feel love and safe together.
All this led to the litmus test moment that soon occurred after Heather Strang’s “Understanding Men” BodyTalk event. What culminated from all the BodyTalk sessions was a moment where I could prove to myself I had broken my own pattern. Which was, always the female friend, and never the leading lady. There is much truth in the statement that the toughest critic to convince is oneself. Certainly that was true in my case. Although I understood men who had platonic relationships with me, those who did not were a big mystery, and one I previously couldn’t avoid being distracted by to my detriment.
Prior to “Understanding Men” it was easy for me to tell the platonic guy pals that they were attractive if a moment of insecurity hit them on the dating scene. For example, in 2012 I told a friend of mine that he was so handsome in that Michael Fassbender way that he should model. He took my advice and almost landed a Ford Modeling contract two months later. I can spot talent and tell them so bluntly and honestly as long as there are no feelings of attraction. The funny is was, men who did trigger attraction within me, experienced me as a cold stoic Ice Queen who was bored by them. Not good.
Then the litmus test made it clear that the pattern of playing it safe was broken. Heather had told me several times that putting men in the “brother” or “paternal” category was sometimes a safety strategy. She was right and I couldn’t fathom how to break the pattern. Turns out I didn’t have to. BodyTalk simply reset and integrate the beliefs that were aligned to acting attracted when I was indeed attracted.
Fortunately, Heather’s “Understanding Men” session worked, a little too well. I went from boring to brazen in an instant when the litmus test arrived shortly afterwards. It came in the form of a man who, in the past, would have had my head spinning with confusion.
A month later I met Michael and he didn’t get frozen out by the Ice Queen response when the attraction got triggered. Along the way, before I met him, I had developed the ability to turn off attraction at will like a light switch. However, this skill was still being solidified, and with Michael, it was flickering. Eventually I told him to order me to stop because it was the only way I’d be able to turn off the attraction for good. He didn’t. I don’t know why.
What I do know was that suddenly I was talking to a man openly without him having to trick or coerce me into disclosing my thoughts and feelings. There I was speaking to him the way I would if I met my favorite actor, Michael Fassbender, and didn’t care what he thought. By that I mean, if people who knew me could have listened in on our conversations they would not think it was me communicating. Quite simply, I never talked to men like that, especially the ones I felt attraction to. Patrick and I never ventured into that territory. Nor did I talk that way with Alan, Ryan, Jonas, Jason, Brett or the dreaded Ronan. The last two men had tried to get me to talk like that with them and all they got was silence and sarcasm. What was happening?
Between the pillow like talk with a living breathing version of my very own Michael Fassbender was also another surprise. I had thought that the only reason why Patrick was able to be best buddy and puppy love simultaneously was due to my age at the time. At 13 I had none of my adult defenses and wisdom so of course I was an open book. Patrick’s dual emotional roles in my adolescence was simply a matter of timing. I thought it could only happen once to have someone who could be best buddy/brother/beaux all at once. Wrong. Michael easily felt like that bundle to me and we were only talking as acquaintances!
So there I was engaging in conversations that would make Anais Nin or any seasoned Tantrika like my Tantra teacher Devi Ward proud, at least in my mind. It didn’t matter whom I was communicating with before Michael would send me a message. I went from blunt business-like with an old colleague to Geisha in a nanosecond. What kind of magic was causing me to tell Michael that he reminded me of an actor whom I consider as having the natural sexiness of a Tantric Sex Priest? Not only was I sounding like a slut but I was slut shaming myself and not really bothered by it. Oh dear.
The pattern had to be broken. Men and women cannot be friends. Sorry, correction, they can’t be friends if there is attraction lurking underneath either of them. Why? Drama is a certainty. I’m not interested in being the Miss Moneypenney to his James Bond. Those two characters have spent five decades co-existing with sexual tension but have never touched each other. No thanks. Being a double Scorpio means its black and white, either the pillow talk is real, or let’s stop talking to me. Sure the characters of Derek Morgan and Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds engage is faux sweet talk but neither is carrying any attraction for the other. That’s not a recipe for drama. Michael never gave me the order to shutdown my attraction so the call was mine. I called it pattern prison break time.
Patrick had enjoyed my attention but I was one of many. Women love Patrick. They love Michael too. The parallels between them were enough to make me clearly see that if I didn’t put on my black boots and start walking in the other direction, no looking back, I’d be pulled into a vortex of the same old pattern. The pattern I call “dangling a carrot in front of her” and being “one of a million admiring eyes” which puts me or any female at the mercy of the man with the upper hand.
So yes, I finally understood men, and in a nutshell it’s this: If he knows you are attracted to him and it’s not mutual he just may play it for all it’s worth. His self-esteem will rise but there is no guarantee the same benefit will happen for the female admirer. Men like this, the ones who don’t outright reject you, are the ones who are far more dangerous to a loving heart. Why? They occur safe and are safe but they play on your sense of hope until you are addicted to it and to him. No thanks.
To be clear, Michael was not the bad guy, Patrick was. Miichael was just being himself. Some people can be playful like that in an innocent way. I can't. It's not my nature or wiring. Ceasing communication was not a response to anything negative. Simply speaking, I knew I could confuse myself and I have no right to control or demand Michael to be anything other than whom he is. My choice was about being clear and honoring my preference that I'll only engage with a man that way if we were not just friends.
The next time I speak “pillow talk” there really has to be a pillow between the man hearing it and I. Best thing about finally proving to myself that I broke a pattern that formed when I was 13 was, this time my heart is still open to life. You know, this living with an open heart thing is pretty great!