This experience is kind of embarrassing to share, but it's so rich that I can't even begin to help it! I swelled with such a joyful sense of power that I rushed here immediately to celebrate!
There's a dude I used to hook up with every now and then several years ago whom I've reconnected with online - mostly playing cyber-tag - the past several days. Tonight we finally got to chat - and it was the best, most awkward conversation - it was perfect!
First of all, let me say that this is a person I've never been completely at ease with on a personal level. We're attracted to each other, we have nice conversations, but we've never had much of a spiritual or emotional connection. I always had the sense I was being judged and not really seen, not good enough - which I fully admit could have been my own projections all along. I can't recall or put my finger on what it was back then that left such a sour feeling with regards to him - but when he reached out to me online a few days ago, it was still very much there: a vague, lingering sense of distrust. Anyway, it was never anything more than a superficial dance between us. And that's cool, it is. Nothing wrong with hooking-up; it has its place. But after my recent experiences with people I've met online, I'm growing a little w(e)ary of the superficial and flimsy. So when I started chatting with this guy earlier this evening, there were (from my standpoint) already barriers between us.
We met on Skype and the first thing he asked was for me to turn the cam on. I said, no. He asked why. I said, I feel ugly today. Then, trying to move on, I asked him how he had been and he said, busy. After repeatedly asking me online to chat with him and after at least a three-year period of not speaking to or seeing each other, all I got was "busy." So I said, "Yeah. Me too. Like now. See ya." And I signed off, irritated.
I got off the computer feeling cross and nervous. Immediately, I reached for the book I'd been reading and tried to lose myself in that, but the uneasiness I felt in my body wouldn't subside, and I just couldn't concentrate. The book, incidentally, is about past life regressions and the working-out of karma. As soon as the irony struck me and I realized/remembered that this discomfort was here for a reason - a real, live karmic message come to be tended to (which, of course, has been my prayer) - I put the book down and decided it was something I obviously needed to address.
The truth is, I did want to get on the webcam and say "hi" - but equally as true, I do feel ugly today. My body is one of the greatest things I wrestle with. My body image is pitiful. And when homeboy asked me to get on cam, I knew it was going to get sexual and I didn't feel like dealing with that. My body image mixed with the dis-trust/taste I have for this person led me to not want that kind of connection tonight, and certainly not with him. I would love to be a big ol' whore, believe that! I'd love to be more sexually adventurous, but (un)fortunately, there are fears in operation; there is an armor that's in place. I'm working on it, but it's still present. So until that changes, I can't go around fucking everyone that crosses my path or suits my fancy. I have to feel an emotional connection. I have to feel special. And I have to feel safe. None of which I have with this person. Still, I felt crappy for the way I just blew him off, assuming I knew his character and motivations - so I logged back on to Skype to "work out this karma" while I had the chance.
I was embarrassed. I really didn't want to explain. I didn't want to apologize. For the ego, it was easier just to assign him the role of the thoughtless jerk with the one-track mind and wash my hands of him. The Heart, however, was calling me to open up and apologize for treating him in a way that wasn't true for me. I was terrified of simply contacting him online from the safety of my room. I think that might give you a clue how deep my issues run. Such an inferiority complex! So afraid of judgment! But I put it out there, anyway. I explained to him my fears of being less than, my assumptions that he thought I was weird for not wanting to get on the cam, that after such a long period of time all I got was a two-syllable summary of his life since I knew him last and that it irritated me, and that it felt like to me because he didn't get me naked on camera, didn't get what he wanted, he wasn't going to chat or engage with me anymore. I admitted that they were my issues and I apologized for being unkind. It was scary and uncomfortable. And I did it anyway. Success #1.
After my apology, we made some small-talk, things seemed cool. We talked about meeting up sometime. I felt good. It felt good opening up and owning up to my nonsense. It felt good that my initial story of him seemed to be untrue...until he asked me to get on camera again. I tried to be nice. He asked me again. I said, no. He asked me again. I said, no. I tried to explain that once we hung out and I felt more comfortable, I would be thrilled to get sexy with him, but not tonight. He peppered his pleas with sweet-sounding words until, "Jeff, I won't ask you again. This is your last chance." Or something audacious along those lines. I said no and he told me to take care. I said, "So, basically, because you're not getting what you wanted, you're saying goodbye?" He said, "I don't like this going back and forth, this I want to but I won't." I said, "You don't like this going back and forth and I don't like not being listened to. I said no. And if this right here isn't enough for you to be in your life, then I'll happily not be in your life. I like you, but I like being respected more." To which he said, "You can delete me." To which I said nothing - I was preoccupied deleting him. Success #2.
I know in the grand scheme of things this isn't that big of a deal. But to me, it's everything; it's my Work. I followed what I felt the Universe was encouraging me to do in the moment - which was be my best, honest self. And to stay in my integrity. Which I did...even though I was afraid to.
I feel empowered. And real. And equipped to be vulnerable again and again if that's what it takes to crack this fucking armor.