“You will know you are on a journey with a Shaman Lover if you feel a sudden loss of control, a fearsome sense of abandon, and especially an air of foreign-ness…If you thought you would be attracted to someone with money, he is broke; if you wanted respectability, she’s a gypsy; if you longed for sweet romance, he’s mean; if you wanted deep peace, she’s trouble.” Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open
Elizabeth Lesser calls him the Shaman Lover. Katherine Woodward Thomas refers to this experience as the Lightning Bolt moment. For me, it was The Awakening.
I was in a marriage for more than 11 years and was physically numb. I was sleepwalking through my marriage, my life, my career, my relationships with family and friends and I had created a life for myself that was incredibly lonely. I did this; I had created it all.
My husband was a good man and I tried to convince myself that he had enough other good qualities that I should just simply be able to live without affection, connection, passion and intimacy in my life.
In the end, I could not.
Michael was 9 years younger than I. He was handsome, athletic, well known and very charming. His dark eyes lit up when he saw me and I was like a moth to a flame. He said I was beautiful, he said he loved me and I believed him. Our love was passionate and intense and Michael brought feelings to the surface that I never even knew existed within me. It felt as though I had woken up from an incredibly long sleep; everything went from black and white to full color.
But the one who awakens us is rarely the same person with which we create lasting love, so that passionate, but destructive relationship ended rather painfully.
The person or situation that awakens us is never as important as the awakening itself.
Once we’ve been awakened, we can’t go back to sleep. We can’t un-know what we’ve come to know about ourselves or unlearn what we’ve learned. We can’t put all these feelings, passions and sensations back into their small little box and simply move on with life.
I have spoken to hundreds of women in this situation and almost without fail, they are tormenting themselves with the question of “Do I choose the man that I am drawn to or do I stay with the man I made a commitment to?”
That’s the wrong question.
It’s the wrong question because it’s not about either of them.
The real questions are:
- Where did I abandon myself and my own heart and my own needs?
- What is the pattern in my relationships and what is the source of that pattern?
- What was I believing about myself that allowed me to make the choices I was making?
- How can I recognize, forgive, accept and honor my own needs?
- People are brought into our lives to teach us what it is we need to learn. What is it I learned?
- How do I put the pieces of my life back together and emerge more loving, more aware and more authentic?
- How can I become the kind of loving partner that I am seeking for myself?
Those are the real questions and the answers are all within.
My awakening both changed and saved my life. Looking back, I am not proud of the experience, but I am grateful for it. I now know that inside the answers to those questions is where we can find and welcome the deep, soulful, passionate and lasting love that we deserve.
I did this and I did it before I ever had any life coaching tools. Now I combine my own experience with powerful tools to help guide women through the real questions and answers of their own lives.