Linda: Ecstasy means to drive out of one’s senses, to go out of your mind. Stacis is senses; ec is to go out of. Ex means out. Ecstasy is going for the transcendent, something that takes us out of our ordinary consciousness. Many of us have lost the means by which we experience the ecstatic, yet still long to be taken outside of ordinary reality.
Living a life grounded in joy and inner peace costs us something; we will have to practice diligently for years. The joy and rapture that we may crave is a natural manifestation of having used the relationship as a constant spiritual practice of being present with an open heart, making room for all experiences, and learning to relax into every mood and circumstance.
When experiences are tossed up by the relationship, we are challenged to just be with them, not grasping to hold on, or pushing away in aversion. Practicing staying awake to our own experience and awake to the experience of others results in natural ease and trust in the relationship. When we know that we are seen, met, heard, known, and respected, we rest into the certainty that we are accepted as is. The bliss and delight of finally being known, after what for so many of us is a lifetime of not having been known, can send us to a place of ecstatic joy.
“I am flawed, and I am loved. I am imperfect, and I am loved. I have made mistakes, and I am loved. I will make mistakes in the future and I am already forgiven. I have fears and weaknesses and I am still respected and admired. I have drives and ambitions and my partner doesn’t find them unacceptable and a turn off. I am free to be myself, and I rejoice that I can be who I truly am."
There is no way to soar to the ecstatic states without making the descent and showing all that which we have been hiding. Making the deep descent into the heartbreak, experiencing the depth of despair, hopelessness, feeling lost and alone like an orphan, can unfold into an upsurge of energy to reach transcendent states. The deeper we go down into the shadow realms, the greater the opportunity for passionate heights once we emerge from that realm. There is a most exquisite appreciation of having come through the harrowing dark passage with the relationship intact. There is a confidence in knowing the strength and resilience of the bond that results in comprehensive delight. Living with such transparency allows for the excitement of discovery.
Filled with gratitude to be loved so purely and comprehensively, both partners find themselves in a delightful cycle of scanning to find what would bring pleasure to other. We want to give in every way we can to bring pleasure to our partner and to show our love in creative ways. It feels good to give, and we find that our gestures to make our partner’s life easier, more full, richer and more satisfying cycle back to us. Our commitment to bring as much ease, joy, and delight into their life as we can invites reciprocity. The sweetness of the cycle is intoxicating. The giving and receiving of devotion brings a sense of inner peace.
The closeness of deeply knowing each other allows for a sense of merging, dissolving, boundaries blurring, oneness, not knowing where one stops and the other starts. Both of our thoughts, sensations, and feelings blur together for a period of time. We can rejoice in the engagement and connection. And then rejoice in the letting go, into the freedom to be a separate, unique individual, with a different history, set of tastes, desires, and style of being in the world.
Differentiation means I am separate from you, but I am still able to connect. When we get to this highly evolved state of mind, we no longer fear being abandoned or engulfed. The terrible anxiety that used to be produced by literal or emotional separation that was akin to the fear of death itself has been resolved. The fears that would be produced by closeness that we would suffocate or be taken over by the other are also laid to rest. At this point, we can be separate and know our partner cares about us, and also we know we can come close and know we won’t give ourself up. Out of this ease, comes an even deeper love and intimacy. I am a separate and distinct individual who chooses to be close to you. I can let go of my beloved to be myself, knowing that we will soon come back together again. Our practice allows us to become graceful in the dance of love and freedom.
The ecstasy of the dance makes us so delirious with happiness that we can laugh out loud. In rapture, we go through our days with the delight percolating right under the surface, so that smiles show through easily at the slightest provocation because the tank is so full of joy, abundant near to overflowing.
Would we be wiling to give a lot of our precious life energy to have the delicious bliss that accompanies great relationships? It’s not for everyone. It’s a demanding path, but it is a path we can choose. If we are fortunate enough to have a partner who is willing to commit to the growth path along with us, intimacy, ecstasy, and other ordinary miracles are well within our reach.