Tunnel-of-Love Vision

Back in the Garden of Eden, back in the drivers seat of my experience,  I was doing my best to steer myself consciously toward love and awareness. I wanted so much for Quinn and I to love one another and for our love to grow, to flourish, and to nurture each of us and our yet unborn baby.

It felt SO good to be in a place of allowing myself to desire and dream again. The simple embrace of hope allowed me to fantasize, which allowed me to tap into the feelings I wanted to feel, right then and there. And once I had come into the place of feeling the feeling of having whatever I wanted to have or being whatever I wanted to be, I would consciously remind myself that it was the feeling I was after, after all.

This did much to improve my experience of living day to day with Quinn and Shellie, as did the influx of interns who were to live and work at the Garden of Eden. We were up to seven adults, one child and three cats. I don’t recall exactly when everyone arrived, but I do remember that it was much more enjoyable for me to live there as part of a community, rather than an imbalanced and awkward threesome, as it had been for a few weeks after my initial move.

I had scheduled a trip to visit friends and family back in Rochester, New York, the city where I grew up and where my parents still lived. When I first made the plans it seemed like a great chance to escape the stress of acclimating to so many new aspects of life, and to really step back and consider whether all this was really in my best interest. By the time my scheduled departure date came around, I had mixed feelings about going.

On the one hand, I was a bit afraid of what might happen in my absence. Would Quinn forget about me completely in his full-on, full speed embrace of the ever-changing, eternal now? Would Shellie make her super-secret special move to surreptitiously “steal” him back? Would someone else enter the picture from among the many, many, many other women who are both openly and secretly in love with Quinn, both at home and abroad?

Putting these fears aside, I decided to focus what was important to me, and loving Quinn was still high on the list. Loving myself was also high on the list, and I did need a little break from the emotionally hectic environment I was in. I had been having trouble sleeping, even still, even despite my best efforts to get a grip on my fear-based thoughts. I kept finding myself on the brink of sleep and waking with a rush of fear when it crossed my sleepy, half-conscious mind, that Quinn might be exchanging intimately with Shellie. I hoped that being away would help me to completely tune out of Quinn and what was going on for him, more fully let go of my many attachments regarding him, and finally relax a bit.

The guilt I felt when I considered that I was incubating my unborn child in stress hormones was another major motivating factor for me to find a way to chill out, ASAP. I mean chill out both literally and figuratively, as it was at this time mid July in the hottest summer even Texas had seen in a long time. We had gone over forty days in triple digit temperatures, and being a very “green” home, we did not use air conditioning, just a few fans. I had a stash of hand towels and a crock of water by the side of the bed that I called my “AC towels”, which actually were quite effective at keeping me cool when placed wet on my body with a fan blowing on me. Still, a break from the heat was quite welcome at seven months pregnant.

So I went, without a return ticket, to stay for as long as I felt like staying. I knew when I left that it would not likely be for too long, and that I would almost certainly return. Yet there was a part of me that wanted to let Quinn believe that I was really considering not coming back, so that he might realize that he could possibly lose me. The possibility of loss, I had hoped, might trigger some deeper sense of appreciation and actions to support that. Of course, I was not willing to acknowledge this aloud to him or anyone, but kept it my own private agenda.

The time and space away from Quinn and everything that was a part of our life back in Texas gave me a nice little bubble in which to meditate and consider deeply what the hell had been going on for the last few months. It had been really intense, making such a major transition- moving to a new home in a state I had never even visited, in a new relationship, trying out a completely new relationship dynamic, all the while pregnant with my first baby. Holy shit! It was so much to process and digest, seemingly so fast, way more than I had been able to keep up with. I was thankful for some reprieve.

Lying in bed, alone for the entire night for the first time in a long time, what felt most important for me to consider was how I had been responsible for the degradation of my own experience of love, and also therefore how I could empower myself to also be responsible for an improvement in my own experience. I became acutely aware that I had allowed myself to spend a huge proportion of my time to be dominated by these  fear based thoughts and feelings, which overwhelmed my being and therefore my life. I realized that I had been blowing things way out of proportion.

When I began to really consider what I had actually seen, I realized that the reality was that there was much evidence that the love Quinn was sharing with Shellie was of a very different nature than that which he shared with me. I had feared that he was “getting back together” with her, falling in love with her all over again. But when I removed the fear goggles through which I had been viewing all their interactions, I could easily see that that was not what was happening. And I had been making a mountain out of a molehill.

The reality was that Quinn had been spending almost all of his nights and down time with me, going to visit his parents with me, sleeping with me, watching anime series with me, kissing and hugging me, flirting with me, not with Shellie. Trying to be more objective in my perspective, I saw that Shellie was more and more openly loving and adoring Quinn every chance she got, and Quinn was lovingly allowing her to do so whenever it was convenient for him. He did not appear going out of his way to make time to be with her.

While I had been spending every night and much of the day thinking about Quinn’s involvement with Shellie, he had actually spent very little time with her. He had disappeared into the privacy of her bedroom only once about every couple of weeks or so, for a few hours or so, usually at times when I was asleep. In fact, when I thought about it, I could at that point actually still count on both hands the number of times that Quinn spent any time alone with Shellie at all, since I had moved there a few months before.

I had felt so much like he was choosing her over me in a general sort of way, and felt very hurt about this. But when I considered it from the perspective of time, in a specific way, the instances of this actually happening were few. It had happened only once or twice that I was awake and wanting to be with him and he chose to go and be with Shellie instead, and even then he came back to bed a few hours later, still very obviously in love with me, as I had feared would not and could not be the case if he also loved Shellie.

Mostly I had been focusing on the fact that they were being so intimate, and going out of my mind about it. In all my fear and frenzy, I had not really considered why and how these moments had come about,what it meant to each of them, and what that meant to me. I was so focused on the form that I forgot to pay any attention to the formless energetics from which these forms were manifesting, which is the far more important matter.

Quinn, for his part, seemed to enjoy her affections, but not to really return them, at least not in the same way. I had seen them flirt only once, in a very playful manner, during an impromptu wrestling match int he kitchen. I had never once seen them kiss, and when I asked Quinn if they ever “made out”, he gave a slight chuckle, almost a scoff, and replied that he and Shellie had not “made out” in years.

I had seen it many times that he would be sitting in relaxation or on his computer, and she would go over and sit close to him, and massage, caress or embrace him, and he would usually surrender into her adoration. Upon receiving her touch, he would simply go limp, as he usually does when receiving a massage, consciously choosing to go into a deep state of relaxation to receive optimum benefit. He was just doing what any sane, self-loving person would do and saying “yes” to being adored and served. It now seemed that it was very clearly she who appeared to be initiating contact, and she who was actively touching him, she whose energy was pulling for his.

Once I really thought about it, I could not recall seeing him initiate any intimate contact with her in front of me, nor even ever return her loving caresses with much more than an arm around her or resting on her body.  The most actively intimate I had actually witnessed Quinn being with Shellie was when he would lovingly gaze into her eyes for many minutes at times, in a vortex of love. But this is not at all unusual for Quinn, as he does this with complete strangers, men and women alike, and therefore is not reasonable evidence, in and of itself, of him being more in love with Shellie than he is with everyone/me in particular, as I had feared was the case.

What a relief! I was the one who had been making things so hard on myself, all through the power of my focus. I was so happy to realize that my worst fears had NOT been coming true, right before my eyes, not yet anyway.

Sure, I was still very insecure and giving lots of power to ideas, attachments and expectations, true. I still had lots of ideas about Love, and sex, and major attachment to Quinn and our relationship, and loads of expectations on that. I was still feeling very insecure about my future, our future together, and lots of attachment and expectation surrounding that too.

But at least I had found a perspective that felt better, that served my immediate well being. At least I had found some power through taking responsibility for my own focus and also for what what I was bringing to the table.

I realized too that all the separation I had been feeling from Quinn since moving to Kennedale was primarily because I was the one who was not in a state of love. I was not loving him. I was the one in judgment. I was the one trying to manipulate and control him.  I was the one putting conditions and restrictions on love. I was the one who was allowing fear and jealousy and lack to dominate my vibration. I was the one shutting out love.

How wonderful! Yes, WONDERFUL!

Responsibility is the key to empowerment.

By taking full responsibility for all that sucked-ass about my experience, I simultaneously empowered myself to create a new reality. And that felt SO GOOD!

So, if all my experience was created by my focus, all I had to do to create a more enjoyable experience for myself was to focus on what did feel good, on what I did want. Duh. So simple and yet so c0mplex.

I resolved to narrow my focus and concentrate on what really mattered to me, which was the flourishing of love between me and Quinn. I decided to stop thinking about Quinn and Shellie all the time, to stop asking him all kinds of questions about their relationship all day and night long, to stop focusing on their love and start focusing on ours.

In fact, I would stop thinking about Quinn’s relationships with anyone else at all, particularly those that I felt were a threat to our relationship. There are about a million women in love with him whom he connects and interacts with primarily through the internet. So in my consciously narrowed focus, I would also stop looking over his shoulder when he was chatting or messaging on facebook, stop wondering if these women would decide to embrace the importance of being with him and come to be with him, stop fearing that he would welcome and love them to my exclusion.

I would focus as much as I possibly could on looking for all the evidence I could find that he was totally in love with me, and that I had every reason to feel secure. I would tune into the feeling of our love as often as possible. I would tune in to the feeling of trusting in the truth and power of our love as deeply as I was able, and shut out fears and doubts that anything would happen that I did not want to happen.

I would create a vortex of love in my own mind and view my life through this tunnel vision, only, as much as possible. Fantasizing, for the purpose of conjuring a feeling, was easy and fun. Finding true belief, cultivating real faith, would still require some time and dedication, but I was clear that it would be fully worth the investment. My previous step was coming into the belief that I could create the life and love that I desired for myself. Now my task was to envision and feel my way to that reality.

I was clear and firm within myself that Quinn and I were the ONLY ones who would hold the power to make or break our relationship, and that nothing and no one else would come between us, unless WE allowed it to.

Feeling optimistic and empowered about my relationship to Quinn, I returned to the Garden of Eden, to try again to love, Truly.

Summer Spiral

I was getting used to living with Quinn and Shellie both, all three of us together. My experience of this unique three part dynamic was getting better, as I tuned in to True Love and importance.

And then, it was getting worse. And worse. And worse.

I hated the place we were living. Hated it from the start, but had chosen to “make the best of it”. I had made some small changes to the space itself that helped make it tolerable. But I was overwhelmed by all that I did not like about it. The odd colored wall to wall carpet that was everywhere, even in my bathroom. The country-kitsch- patchwork-deco wall that dominated the kitchen. The absence of lights everywhere. The obscure pathways into and around the house. The piles and piles of unorganized, long accumulated stuff that literally filled every room of the house but the kitchen. The heat, the humidity, the MOSQUITOES.

I was still judging Shellie a lot, looking for all the ways that she clearly did not deserve to be loved, all the ways that I was better than her. Although I had made the decision to love her, and to embrace her, I was really challenged at this. I was scraping for things to like about her, clinging dearly for any small amount of genuine appreciation that I felt. Even with that, I was sometimes utterly repulsed by certain aspects of her personality and behavior.

And I especially hated how I felt about what I had thought was True Love, and was now seeming like a fiction of my imagination, and a huge mistake. I had left a life I really enjoyed in a place I LOVED, for this. Living in what seemed like a cross between episodes of  “Hoarders” and “Sister Wives” in all the worst ways.

I was in major decline. A constant rampage of negative thoughts and feelings flooded my waking experience, and also kept me from sleeping. I would jolt awake after almost having fallen asleep, with the wonder about where Quinn was and what he might be doing. I was incessantly thinking about Quinn and Shellie, and how the way they shared and interacted with one another essentially voided the love that I had thought Quinn and I shared. I was afraid that at any minute, Quinn would dramatically shift, and stop loving me altogether, and be totally in love with Shellie, and that my life would then suck forever.

Of course it is easy to see when we are in connection that our fears are irrational and baseless. Yet when we are disconnected, they seem so reasonable and real. I was in major disconnection, with no light in sight, mired in misery.

There was an aspect of me that hoped that at a certain point of my feeling bad enough, Quinn would look at me and say, “Okay baby, this clearly isn’t working for you. You are the most important person in my life. What is important to you is important to me. We can do anything we want. Let’s go somewhere else and live just you and me”.

This was not to be. One day when he came back to our bedroom from a private session with Shellie, I told him plainly that it made me feel  really bad that he had left me alone to go be with her, intimately. His reply was simply “That’s fine, but I am not going to let that stop me from feeling good”. And that was his stance. Nothing I could say or do or feel was going to stop him from doing whatever he wanted, whatever he felt like doing, whatever he enjoyed. Nothing.

I couldn’t fathom how he could “love” me and have such little regard for my feelings. Here I was, the most vulnerable I have allowed myself to be since childhood- hopelessly in love, pregnant, in a new home, at the mercy of my lover. And he had no compassion, no inclination to restrain or restrict himself in the slightest for my sake. He was utterly unfazed by my heartache.

Each week we went to his parents house for a day. His mother showered us with delectable foods and treats, and his father, a highly skilled massage therapist, gave me my weekly massage. Usually, we went alone, without Shellie. She had come along a few times, but was slightly less than welcome since Barb had never really liked or approved of her former best friend hooking up with her son. So these weekly visits had become for a time a little Shellie-vacation for me. A time when Quinn and I were adored and appreciated as the loving couple we were, without anyone vying for Quinn’s attentions.

But my anxiety and hurt was overwhelming me to the point where not even this haven was enough to make me feel good and safe and in love. I felt sad and lonely. As we drove back home from one visit, I was numb with depression, speechless and without expression. Quinn showed genuine concern for what seemed like the first time. He said, “Baby, are you okay? I mean, I know you are okay, but are you okay?”.

I replied that I was, and I was not. And, really I was not. I could talk about it if he wanted, but I could only share if he were really willing to listen. I was not able to withstand any of his usual “sword of truth,” telling me sharply how it was all my own responsibility that I felt the way I did, and demanding that I see the light or that I deserved to continue suffering. He agreed to be gentle with me, and to listen.

Yet I really had nothing to say. I had given up on the hope that he would ever love me the way it seemed he once had, just a few short months ago. I had relinquished any claim to happiness with him as my lover. I had abandoned the fantasies of us loving one another so much that even without promised we kept ourselves solely for one another. I was left with nothing but depression and despair.

Overwhelmed by the complete shattering of the idea of this great Love that I had believed was mine and Quinn’s love, I cried hard and long. I was heartbroken, the worst I had ever experienced, by a lot. And lying in bed sobbing, the knife in my bleeding heart was twisted by the feeling that even though Quinn was there with me, ready to hold me, available to love me, I did not feel safe with him. I could not be consoled by him. I could not let him embrace me because I knew it would only make more apparent and more painful the void I felt between us.

I felt I had to leave. I felt there was no other choice if I were to have any chance at love or happiness. And for a few moments, I felt perfectly clear in this. Yet, when I stopped crying and he asked me if I had come to come clarity, I fell back into a dull fear. I was too afraid to say what I had felt, and too afraid to leave him. I felt I had no where else to go, no where that I wanted to be. I rationalized that even though I didn’t really want to be there, it was still the best place for me, because at least it was the most free.

So I decided to take a little space from this place and from Quinn, let myself breathe a bit. I figured that I would have a better chance of sleeping  too, if I were not in our shared bed, either alone because Quinn was with Shellie, or wondering if I might wake up to find him amiss. I went to Barb’s house with an overnight bag packed, prepared to stay for a day or two.

She was as supportive as she was able. She wanted very much to help me to feel better, to have the life and the relationship I thought I wanted to have, the things that would “make” me happy. She also very much wanted Shellie out of Quinn’s life and made that very plain. Although I had felt like this was a problem that was mostly mine and partially min and Quinn’s, she emphasized in our conversation that the problem was essentially the Shellie factor, even announcing to her husband and other son “Inok is upset because she does not like living with Shellie”. They looked at me somewhat sympathetically and almost puzzled, as if wondering why I had chosen to move there with her in the first place.

After a time of anti-Shellie talk, I decided that it was not helping at all. It was part of the problem, but not the entire problem, and anyway, focusing on the problem is no way to find a solution. So I shifted my focus and asked Barb to help me get some momentum of positive thinking generated. She directed me to her computer where she pulled up some youtube videos of Byron Katie, a motivational speaker and philosopher of sorts who has a system of examining one’s beliefs to feel better.

This seemed to help immensely, yet really it was all because of the simple decision I made to feel better. I watched many videos and went to bed with a pen and paper to do some of the suggested videos and some free writing.

I realized that, amongst the many factors that were playing into my grief, the most devastating thing I had done to myself was to give up hope that I would ever have what I wanted. I had stopped allowing myself to even want what I wanted, a mode which was all too normal for me.

That night I mustered all the hope I had left in me and began to allow myself to believe that it was indeed possible I could have what I wanted to have, that I could feel how I wanted to feel. I started there, with the simple possibility, and worked my way up in thought and feeling.

“It is possible that the meanings I have attached to Quinn’s actions do not have the same meaning for him, and were not intended by him. It is possible that I am now already more loved than I know. It is possible that I can be in love and loved in return in the way that I truly desire.”

Up and up I went until I was really having some fun fantasizing about how awesome my life could be, how great I could feel. It felt SO good to embrace my desires! To acknowledge and declare that I loved myself, and that I deserved to feel as good as I possibly could. To realize that life was bringing me the fulfillment of all my desires, and that I had only to trust and allow them into my life.

I went back home the next day, thankful to be in a state of love for myself once again. I was open to seeing the ways that I was already loved and appreciated. I was hopeful that the love that meant so much to me would flourish once more. And most importantly, I was committed to feeling good. I was consciously holding space for myself to feel better and better, continually checking my thoughts and steering them towards ideas that felt good.

It was the low point of my adult life, and it had passed. I had pulled myself out of the darkness. Love came to me from the place where I had not been looking for it- within myself.

I had previously become so disconnected from feeling good, from my own well being, that I was even disallowing my hopes and wants for the future. So disappointed in the recent now of the unmet expectations and painful attachments I had brought into my relationship with Quinn, I had been projecting my dejected state into the future as well, even playing out an ever downward spiraling drama in my mind. I hit quite a low before wresting control of myself and choosing to feel better NOW, and that meant getting a grip(!) on my rampant mental energy, which had run amok, and was ruining my experience of life.

The choice was powerful and simple. Once made, everything shifted, because I decided it would. I remembered that my experience of life is an experience of my self, like feedback from the harmonic output of my being, resonating through time-space. I had been resonating unconsciously, and the feedback I had been getting was letting me know loud and clearly, that I needed to change my inner tune. So I did, very deliberately, change the tune I was playing in my mind as often as I could remember to check myself, lest I wreck myself.

Instead of thinking about how unloved or unappreciated I felt, how my dream true-love story was unraveling I would consciously tune into the possibility of being more loved and more cherished than ever before. I would imagine and fantasize about what that would feel like. I would consider how it was possible that I was already more loved and cherished than I knew. I would contemplate the infinite nature of the universe, and how everything that is, was and ever would happen was simultaneously existing in this very now, including the reality where I felt like a Goddess- loved, adored, connected and super empowered.

I was tuning in, consciously, to the possibility that all my hopes and dreams were already awaiting me, right here and now. Thankful for hope, I breathed again.

“Love Ever True”

The Story of How Quinn, Shellie and I Came to Live In Love Together