He told me, “I’ve met all kinds of women — women with advanced careers and rigorous professional lives, women who specialize in pleasing men, but you are different. You live in your soul.”

Yes, I thought. I guess I do.

Compassion washed over me as I began truly listening to him. It was only then I noticed the subtle cracks in his baritone, almost imperceptible. His fragility was in his hardness, and I felt tears forming in the bottom of my throat.

I forgave his compulsive defensiveness; he’s just scared. And I’ve been scared before. I know that.

I forgave his fixation with himself; he just wanted to be seen. And I’ve longed to be seen truly my entire life. I am that.

I forgave his flirtatious ways and incurable appetite for women’s attention. He needed to know he mattered. We all do. I feel that. Sometimes I breathe on the mirror just to make sure I’m not a figment of my own imagination. He couldn’t imagine how deeply the understanding grew. 

His breath clouded over as he asked, “Pleasure me this curiosity dear, I only want to know, I’m not being presumptuous: what would you do if I gave my body over to you, full surrender?” 

Before, I would have cringed at such a question, but not this time. Gentle like water…find the way and keep flowing, the Voice had said. Fantasies are the soul’s way of mending what’s been torn, and getting some pleasure while doing it.

I know this; I, too, have fractured parts. It was why I was here, entertaining this man and nursing his wounds.

I closed my eyes, and let my lips soothe his heart, knowing my hands would never touch his body. And I hoped it was enough to begin the patching of some broken thing within. 

Before getting off the phone he asked, “How is it that your touch feels like this? I haven’t felt that before. I’m a soldier, accustomed to always being on the defense. Your touch made me want to give it all away to you…”

I knew what he meant; it wasn’t me, it was Love. That was her trademark. She was paradoxical that way — we surrender to her what we’ve fought most to attain or keep. And yet, our cup is always filled, and so we keep giving pieces to her as an offering, until we become afraid of losing. 

Then suffering begins.

Love inspires surrender to win, gentleness as strength and togetherness to clarify the purpose of our individual identity. She blasts what we think we know, leaving what is true. 

I couldn’t bring myself to answer his question truthfully, so I remained silent. It wasn’t awkward though. I thought to myself, “Every great courtesan knows that her one great unrequited love is what fuels the fire that warms so many others. Because she can not express with one she truly loves, she has plenty of love to share with those that she doesn’t.”

Every good courtesan knows what it is to feel unloved, and her compassion is her super power.

(excerpt)

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