Did it! I'm a PAX graduate. Through the curriculum for the first round. Absolutely life-changing.
The coup de grace of PAX programs is their Sunday panel of men, where they bring in ordinary, non-prepped men for us to ask questions of...and their answers always stunningly verify everything we've been understanding/listening/learning. It's always so pure and inspiring, and a room of 140 people ends up crying and thanking each other and it's a big appreciation lovefest.
The panel of men this afternoon was beautiful, stunning. They're always so thrilled to be there contributing to us, letting us celebrate them, providing for us. Love it.
Men's reactions to me all weekend have been amazing. I'll blog some specific stories later in the week.
I'm pretty tired, and obviously didn't explain what the workshop was about very well in the last PAX post. It was a class dissecting marriage from the historical perspective, the DNA-driven compulsion, from men's wants and needs and finally from a paradigm of partnership. All so you could have a real choice about if you ever want it for yourself (I need committment/partnership, but not necessarily a piece of paper).
I was given tools to separate all the chatter and judgement and righteousness that's been thrown at me as a woman since I was three. I was shown a marriage I could emulate. I let go of failing to live up to my grandparents' hopes that I would marry young and well and conform to what is "right". I was given choices and empowered, and fell in love with men all over again.
Don't be freaked out by the word Mahwage.
We're committing to partnerhsip with ALL the men in our lives; brothers, co-workers, friends, all of 'em. They're getting empowerment space from me no matter what. No sniveling; they get to be their best selves around me and all the PAX women. Seen and appreciated and accepted.
And finally, after five months and five classes, I was given peace about why things went wrong with Jeremy. I feel like I can forgive myself. I was doing the best I could, and wow did I have the wrong information and training.
The good news is, I actually met a man who had the minimum requirements of a partner to make me happy, and that I had the 12 things he and all men are looking for. He just didn't know I had #8 because I was trained to hide it by a stupid romance coach from the internet. Flat out hid #8 from Jeremy to not scare him off, when it's the thing that would have told him we could be together.
Okay. This is good news. Really. Especially for a woman with a head injury who had given up on every being able to be a man's partner. The reality is, I met one man who I loved the ME I was around him, and I'll meet more. I don't have to live in a scarcity model. There's no "The One". By definition, if there was only One and he was THE one, how could we not be together?
Looking at my past relationships, I don't know that I've ever been committed. It was all so wrong. What a healing. I just can't wait to get my life in freaking order so I can do this, be a fantastic girlfriend/partner. Meet my Lifetime Playmate. Partner in Crime. Avengers United.
#8. Wow. I was that close. Should've known. Self-expression is a value of mine. I should never hide anything I need or want.
Not even that I wear a retainer every night because I grind my teeth. Sexy, huh. Well...someone out there just might think retainers are cute.
Alright, Jeremy ruminating over. Now that I know how it happened that we were such a great connection and why it didn't go all the way, I can recognize a great potential partner next time and be at cause in committing. That's all I wanted. To understand. I fell into something great accidentally, fell out of it as accidentally. Felt disempowering to not be at cause. But now? I understand.
"If you cause it, you can cure it" is an old medical saying. I have a blueprint now for a lifetime of happiness.
I am content. I can have compassion for myself now for where I frakked up.
Can I share one last thing I've never told anyone?
It's...I don't know WHAT to make of it, except that it was radiant, and I want it to happen again for the rest of my life.
Jeremy was a really amazing human. A total hero.
Arranged his whole life so he can do grassroots political work for underdogs. Goes to D.C. as a totally regular young guy to change laws. He never asked my age or where I grew up, but he wanted to know what charities I volunteered for, how I was using my life to make the world better.
He's a good man. I was behind him 100%. I would have arranged my life to make our partnership #1. I still support his dreams, his vision for the future, and think we could have been fantastically happy in a little green apartment in San Diego riding shotgun in a 25-year old Asian car (I drive one myself and love it), travelling together to the Middle East to fight for their rights and making documentaries. I accepted every part of him and his life and respected him and wanted to be a part of it.*
And I was a queen around him. Just totally at ease, confident, self-expressed, fun empowered. Glowy. He made me the happiest I've ever been in my life. Best sixteen hours ever.
Okay, so that's the part I havent't blogged.
Here's the part I haven't told anyone. Because it's just so...I don't know. To have done this and then been dumped the next morning like a one night stand...too vulnerable of a thing to admit. But I liked who I was, no matter what judgement you have about it and me, so here goes:
When we were together that night, all night, the whole time...he would lay this string of kisses on my body. Worshipful. Totally sacred. And whenever he paused, I would do it back to him. And each single kiss, I thought:
I love you.
*That would be #8. The thing relationship "experts" out there often tell women to hide. That I would be happy to be in the man's life and thrilled to make room for him and give up the Hollywood career and things I'm doing while biding the time until I meet my partner. Because partnership is my value and my #1 committment, and independence is what I do in the meantime to survive in this world. (And I can make dissident guerilla films ANYWHERE.)
If you want to learn the other 11 things men need to have in a relationship in order to marry a woman, TAKE THE COURSE!
It's one of the top five most important things I've ever done. I am SO PROUD of the work I've done and who I can be in the world now for everyone I love.
Lisa Tenzin-Dolma's "Union" 6 of Chalices card from The Glastonbury Tarot Deck