Archive | Spirit Matters

The Letter

This is the goodbye letter I sent to my long-time favorite person–the one I actually sent, not the 2,200-word tome I read and burned at the river. The latter remains sealed between his highest self and mine out of respect to the 45 years we’ve shared. But below is what his waking self deserved to receive, or at least what I needed to send him. I share it as a tool of my personal accountability, with great gratitude for your forbearance.

“…available people are the ones who are dangerous, because they confront us with the possibility of real intimacy and spiritual awakening…”

I have loved you for a very long time and, this round, was more committed than I have ever been to fostering our many-tiered connection with patience, compassion, and care. But I am taken aback that you would still describe me as an ally after that April 10 weekend.

I am long accustomed to you preening for female attention, but not to you overtly neutering our relationship to maintain the appearance of your sexual viability to a pretty, young woman in my presence. I am long accustomed to your hostility when you feel threatened, but not to how incontrovertibly cruel your words and actions were over those 24 hours.

It has forced me to get more real with myself about our dynamics. And here’s what I have realized.

I do not trust that you will treat my intuition, emotions, and sexuality with the respect, appreciation, and honesty they deserve. I do not trust that you will be in relationship with me except on the vacillating, undefined terms that serve your needs at the expense of my own. I do not trust that you will privilege our highest good over your ego. I do not even trust that you crave the intimacy I crave—the sort where you sleep limbs entwined and in fact entwine your physical and erotic and creative and heart selves as you build out your life.

So as much as I mourn a future stripped of my favorite person, all we were building together was a sand castle. Sustainable structures are never built to only one person’s specifications.

Given our recent exchanges, I have no faith you will metabolize these words right now, and I accept that. After some debate, I am typing them anyway to the best self you may someday more fully embody. The stand-up friend who would never tolerate anyone treating me badly and who has given me so many tools to love myself and him. The lover who would squeeze my hand over the significance of the dove settling next to me on my fire escape as I write to you.

With that man—clear-hearted, gorgeously vulnerable, and, no doubt, furry as ever–I would be free to share all the intimacy in the world.

I will never forget the many ways you have saved me from myself, and do not doubt we’ll be in touch again. But after years of rigorous self-reckoning and healing, I am finally living with an open heart, and there is no indication you are willing to meet it halfway. That matters above all else.

Metaphork in the Road

On Tuesday I was receiving back treatment from my craniosacral healer A., a lovely Italian (not Italian-American) woman who boasts a decidedly un-American unflappability. I was still fresh off The Breakup and on Day 2 of a period that really had wings, as my punny British beau used to call days of extra-heavy flow. (Sanitary napkin joke for those not in the know.)

“Are you feeling crampy?” she asked, and I shook my head. “But then I’m not feeling much of anything,”

She raised her eyebrow. “My sense is there’s quite a significant uterine release happening.”

“Why not?” I said grandly. It was true I was having my heaviest period in years, but that dovetailed with my theory that, post-age 45, periods are more triggered by strong emotions than hormones. This was a decades-long relationship I was releasing even if, after more than a week of crying and storming, I’d slipped into a comfortable numbness.

A second later, I heard before I felt an enormous whoosh—an electric current running through my body as if I’d been shocked. It shot from the top of my head (the crown chakra, the entrance point of heavenly consciousness) to my pelvis floor before it spread to my hips.

“Wow,” I started to say when A. interrupted me. “I’m sorry, Lisa, but I think I’m going to faint.” A second later she crumpled to her knees Continue Reading →

She Speaks, but Still Has Nothing Nice to Say

I really feel like typing out why my fella and I broke up this time. So here it is. He and I were at his studio when he started flirting hard with his young female pretty assistant right in front of me. I let it go–male egos are male egos (boring but true), and him preening for female attention is no new story. Then he introduced me to her as his cousin. I said, “oh, cousin?” As in: “You fuck all your cousins?” In fact, we are cousins–third removed, nothing to the British Royals, and sometimes I think it’s funny when he announces it. But there was no earthly reason to introduce me this way to this other lady except to preserve the appearance of his romantic viability. “Also confidante,” he clarified. I picked up my purse and left.

I waited a day to ensure I’d cooled down before giving him a chance to redeem himself. I have a long history of loving this man, and wanted to express my hurt with a heart open enough that it would give him space to meet me halfway. Instead he bore down, said my feelings were bullshit (literally used that word), and that I was gaslighting him and being low-level, un-self-aware, insecure, and (this is rich) not respecting his professional dynamics and women in the workplace. There was so much I could have said, so much Machiavellian manipulation to unpack, but instead to my chagrin I began weeping, not because I thought he was right but because I knew right then we had to be done–that I had to stop making myself vulnerable to this self-serving emotional arsonist. He told me to leave, and began working on an accounting spreadsheet on his computer until I did, sobbing and stumbling.

Sometimes I feel the language of trauma is overused–that what passes for trauma in this day and age was business as usual throughout the history of humankind. But that exchange exemplified how you can be abusive without raising a hand once.

Anyway, two days later he texted that he was sorry I was so upset and a bunch of other actual gaslighting malarkey. I’d written a 2,000-word letter (“You have sacrificed me to the altar of your ego for the last time”) but merely read it to the river before ritualistically burning it. To him I wrote two words: We’re good.

In general it’s been quite a week even for this decade of overwhelm. War overseas worsening, fascism surging everywhere, and a huge shooting in the Brooklyn subways, 22 injured, not to mention a big tax bill coinciding with a weird drought in my practice. The latter I can only chalk up to the blockages in my own field–no energy source anywhere, just drains. I will say this: My back continues to heal, which suggests I am learning to support myself no matter what the circumstances. Good thing, too.

For just once when there was a NYC disaster, I’d love my Boston-based parents to ensure I was ok. They didn’t check that I was ok on 9/11/01 (I wasn’t; two friends were killed, including my boyfriend’s sister) and they still haven’t checked on my status since the subway shooting. I thank all who did check in, and in fact am fine and so are my people, but we’re also fearful and sad and angry. NYC really feels scarier as the hatred and chaos liberated by Trump and covid (and late-stage capitalism) keep spreading in a place where so many different people from so many different walks of life share space, usually beautifully.

I know it’s unseemly to put up such a self-pitying post at age 51 but lately I haven’t been saying anything since I haven’t had anything nice to say. Honestly though? Fuck nice. I value kindness but the hegemony of niceness mostly exists to reinforce a problematic status quo. My clan’s silence distills their pathology perfectly in a culture that upholds the biological bond above all else, and my choice of love object indicates I’m still working through that legacy. My chosen family—including you—is spectacular, and for that I’ll always be grateful. More than that, I am grateful for every impetus to expand my own compassion, healing, and insight. But boy o boy Massholia can really be a state of mind.

*message me if you want to read the letter. I just may post it as a matter of record.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy