So I realised a couple of days ago that there is a part of me that wants to be owned… a part that wants to hear from my partner “you are mine…I want you and no one else.” Depending on your slant you may read this as romantic or you may see it as the inherent dis-ease that sits not only within me but in many women and men. It is both… and where this desire comes from is the BIG difference.
For me the awareness of this desire showed up in connection to my clear choice to be in an open style of relating and all that this brings up for me. There are many labels for this and for the purpose of this story I’ll simply go with non-monogamy as this is part of my story but this story extends way beyond my choices of relating... it is a story of the masculine and feminine energies that exist within us all.
As a friend pointed out to me, this desire can be part of the natural swing of these masculine and feminine energies. It is the masculines natural inclination to claim in the context of direction and purpose and the feminines to flow, to be receptive, to surrender. This can be the case however this desire I feel within me, this part that wants to be owned, feels like it comes from a deeper and slightly darker place. It is tainted with self sabotage, old patterns and societal conditioning.
I realise this urge as a dis-ease because a larger part of me squirms when I see this part that wants ownership… possession. “I am a strong independent woman who chooses her own path… no one owns me!!!!” I scream. Well yes but not entirely true I’ve discovered!! I have let myself be owned in so many ways that I was unaware of and discovering this… discovering that as an adult I have still been subconsciously choosing this is both scary and amazingly liberating. As with this awareness I now have the power to choose differently. Phew… now the question is “How do I do this and walk even more firmly upon my path?”
You see, once upon at time there was a little girl who so wanted to be loved by man that she bowed her head and obeyed. Her voice became small and she did what she was told. She gave herself over for love. She let go of her voice for love. She gave her body… tremoring… for love. She walked along a path that she didn’t carve… for love. She gave her sex… without question… for love.
I allowed myself to be claimed in many ways… for love.
Back then, as that little girl, I wasn’t even aware of what I was doing. I didn’t sit and ask as a 3year old if this was mine to give away. I didn’t question at age 8 “do I want to be quiet?” I didn’t take a moment to reflect at age 14 on “do I want to put my hand there where he’s telling me to?” “does it feel right for me to allow him in?” I wasn’t even part of the equation and tears of sadness well up in me as I see and own this as part of my experience.
I was all about pleasing him, serving him, unconsciously allowing myself (choosing perhaps??) to be owned by him.
It simply was the natural thing to do to be claimed. No one showed me any different. No girls or woman were claiming their space… their own bodies… this must be what you do… right? All around me I experienced men making demands and women bowing their heads whispering a passive “yes”. This part of me learned that to ‘have’ the masculine in my life I had to be ‘had’.
So here I am now at the age of 41 with an awareness of a part of me that still feels that desire to be owned… claimed. It is still there as I have not until now been fully able to look it in the face. It was ingrained in me at such a young age that it has become a part of me that feels familiar and has created a (false sense of) safety in my life that I had no idea was there… until now.
As for now I (begrudgingly) can see and own that part of me completely. I have seen parts of her but not all. I have had the ‘ah ha” moment… the ‘oh my god I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to realise this’ moment… the ‘shit!!! I have to own this too’ reflection… and from this place of awareness I can choose to release myself from this. And in releasing myself from this I release all men in my life from meeting me there.
In realising this I also realise the irony of it all – that in my desire to be possessed and owned in order to feel loved and safe I am actually perpetuating a much deeper pain; the pain of staying small, the pain that quietens my voice, feeds my unworthiness and sees me falling in as I curl up in a ball over and over again… rolling with it!!
This is one of the painful dances of the wounded masculine and feminine. The dance of unhealthy possession… as there is a healthy and light side to all of this too. It is also a story of how these wounds can be healed by the willingness to really listen to all parts of ourselves and how this dance can shift from a fumbling to a flow when we listen to what speaks to us right NOW!
Right now I believe I have been able to see this as right now I am a woman who is willing to look and I journey with men and women who are willing to see. In particular I am dancing intimately with a man that I can openly talk with about this part of me; a man who can hear this story without thinking or feeling less of me. To the contrary a man who loves that I am willing to look at and own all of these parts of me and who is willing to journey these with me.
A man who can hear my question “if I have this part that needs to be owned then what in you my love needs to own in order to meet me there?” and is willing to look within himself knowing that it takes two to tango.
A man who is willing to dig with me, through the soil, the broken glass, the rubble, through to the roots of this dis-ease and to turn these old patterns into compost where healthy seeds may be sewn.
Seeds that are grown from the healthy feminine soil rising towards a nourishing masculine sun… Seeds that see me consciously choosing to surrender deeply into the masculine… to be taken by the men in my life from the place of a full and bold “YES… take me!”… and not before I have fallen deeply into myself through my own expansion and growth. Not because I need to hide parts of myself… because I want to show all of myself.
I want to be taken from a place of mutual consent with a smile of joy and delight on my face.
I don’t want to be owned from a part of me that feels unworthy and needs to hear the words “you’re mine”. And so, this is my new declaration:
“I choose to claim myself…. All of myself as worthy and loveable and to hear his “I want you” because he sees my amazingness.” I can still ask to be held, ask for open arms to fall into as I choose to own and heal and accept and love and claim and adore myself….
And I leave you with this question:
“How do you allow yourself to be claimed and how can you reclaim yourself?
With love and gratitude…
PS. This story is from the perspective of the feminine – the masculine has his own experience of being claimed and feeling owned… As a woman I feel this is not my story to tell but it is certainly one to be told….
It’s easy for personal growth teachers to say, “Be open.” Be open to what life is dishing out for you. Be open to the pain. Be open to what’s possible. Be open to other ways of seeing things.
It sounds easy. But it can feel impossible. In the face of pain, or subtle fear, or the disorientation that change can bring, being open is anything but easy.
Openness is not a passive exercise. You actually have to “do” openness.
(Excerpt from Danielle LaPorte's new article titled "A few thoughts & actions that will help you open up more." click on the title for a link to the full article