We don't live in the universe; the universe lives in us.

Photo by    Josh Gordon    on    Unsplash

Photo by Josh Gordon on Unsplash

I remember exactly how it felt.

Provocative. Alluring. Bold.

I had the word ORGASM on my tee shirt and the world was my oyster.

I was in the best shape of my life.

My body had been specifically attuned to feel the S-E-X sex in the world around me, and I was getting off hard on it. On the voluntary objectification of my newfound fuel-source. On the subtle energy I could feel gushing through my veins from the tips of my fingers to the tips of my...

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I was sure I had found freedom.

And in a way, I had.

No longer bound by any pre-determined form of convention, my first step into this particular abyss once the allure of eroticism wore off was to get messy.

A necessary process of removing the layers that were blocking my true essence from freely expressing itself, I leaned in hard to messy. I found my second taste of freedom in letting go of control.

I threw things. I had tantrums. I disconnected and enjoyed it. I disconnected and felt victimized. I let myself be overcome by paranoia I had somehow kept at bay for years. I allowed myself to feel crazy, volatile, emotional, sensitive. I wept for five days straight. Multiple times.

Like a dam that had just collapsed, all parts of my inner world flash flooded my immediate environment.

If “getting messy” could be graded, I would’ve been a straight-A student.

And then I dug deeper, far beyond my sex and relationships with others. I went into the underbelly of my psyche. I learned that everything I abhorred, rejected, hated, was repulsed by, judged, were all reflections of me. I allowed myself to recognize my own tendency toward narcissistic behavior, addiction, manipulation and control. I set myself free once again in feeling the shame of that reality.

Any moment I felt superior turned into a slap in the face. A wake-up call that my experience of superiority was actually the tendrils of subtle dysfunctional coping mechanisms that governed my unconscious mind. Messages from my ancestors of further healing to be done.

I prematurely adopted an unapologetic mindset that came off as arrogant and condescending. Premature because I hadn’t anchored in deep enough into my own compassion yet to practice loving, intuitive, boundaries.

I used stoicism to manipulate and feign responsibility.

I lost myself trying to figure out how to be an adult while also learning to feel for the first time in my life. I learned how to find myself over and over again.

I looked at all of it with my eyes wide open, both humiliated and humbled by what I thought I knew that I clearly didn’t know.

What I thought was freedom — each time I encountered it — was barely scratching the surface. Freedom of expression is only the beginning.

True freedom — or what I now know as sovereignty — came years and lifetimes later, after dozens of these moments rocked me to my hands and knees, my own tears quenching the earth’s thirst for me to embody myself wholly, time and time again. Facing real-time experiences of betrayal, abandonment, vulnerability, grief, disgust, heart-break, shame, until the sting in the felt experience of it all was fully metabolized.

Somewhere in there I reconnected with joy, also missing in the shadows of my lineage for generations.

I lost my preoccupation for provocation and allure as quickly as it came amidst all this. Suddenly, having sex felt like a primal, sacred, necessary violation that evoked a growling, flailing, tender, mighty, sensual animal in me that was both eternally new and completely familiar.

My essence, at long last.

And I knew — as though it had been divinely etched into my flesh — we don’t live in the universe; the universe lives in us.

This is why we embody. This is why we painstakingly learn how to feel at deeper and deeper levels and never stop. This is why we are here.

We all follow different avenues to get to the same destination. But all of it — the polarity, the sexuality practices, the somatic therapy, the meditation, the rituals and ceremonies, the addiction, the manipulation, even the numbing — all of it exists so we can learn how to feel.

Because it’s only through the portal of feeling that we can truly know the nuanced and infinite space of the universe.