Polyamory Blossoms
Synergy Newsletter - July 2003
By Janet Kira Lessin

"Don’t should all over yourself", I added as my favorite saying on my AOL profile in 1995. The wisdom and power of not "shoulding" has followed me ever since. For me "shoulds" personify judgments, evaluations and the "need to fix" what is most often not broken in the first place. I cringe when I hear shoulds, either directed towards me or coming out of my own mouth.

I witnessed the pain of shoulds in a relationship between a housemate (Marsha) and her new lover (Lionel). I saw the difference between the kind and loving treatment I received from my husband, Sasha when I was learning the ropes of polyamory and the shoulds bouncing between Marsha and Lionel when Lionel, the supposed poly expert, attempted to teach Marsha the "rules of polyamory".

Marsha, in reaction to Lionel’s rules, shoulded all over herself. She proclaimed she shouldn’t be jealous, controlling, manipulating, petty, childish, impatient, cruel, unkind. Then she violated every one of the shoulds. I thought she "should" be kinder to herself, as she’s human and a pioneer overcoming centuries of cultural programming.

I saw Lionel with his attitude of superiority, shoulding all over Marsha. He bragged he’s more evolved, free of jealousy, limitations and conditioning of society. Marsha should get off of it, grow up and be more evolved like him. "After all, Marsha, you’re poly, aren’t you?". If she expressed jealousy, he judged her.

Nine weeks ago Marsha and Lionel met at a School of Tantra communication class. Lionel’s the most polyamorous person you’ll ever met. He’s tall, handsome, brilliant, self-confident. He enters a room larger than life and all eyes focus on him. Most women drool over him, wish they were his next lover.Marsha and Lionel immediately connected, made love, moved in together. They pledged a no-holds-barred, open, polyamorous relationship with no limits on who, when and where they loved. Many couples in open relationships make similar pledges but most have a "tell me first before you make love" policy. But not Lionel and Marsha. Theirs was the most radical poly pledge I’ve heard–especially since they’d just moved in together. They promised to clear the crap from their psyches and relate consciously. However Marsha’s jealous fears soon emerged. The clash between the attitudes and emotions of her cultural conditioning and the reality of her watching Lionel in bed with Jacqueline without Marsha’s prior knowledge caused Marsha’s green-eyed monster of jealousy to rear its ugly head.

Things began to rapidly disintegrate between Marsha and Lionel when Lionel watched the movie Gandhi and launched himself on a quest for spiritual purity and pledged celibacy until he created world peace. He remained celibate for three weeks. But then as Marsha--crushed–watched in horror mixed with frustrated lust as Lionel chased and temporarily snared Jacqueline.

Jacqueline, a new Tantra School student who also came to explore joining our polyamorous community, was recovering from the realization that she was in love with her ex, Kevin, and Kevin didn’t care. She wasn’t in love with Lionel; she was curious, mysteriously entranced by his charisma and charm. Their tryst created trauma for everyone around them. Wistful Walter, a visiting student obviously in love with Jacqueline, watched silently whining, pining, broken-hearted as he witnessed her wanton ways. Each person, in love with another who was in love with someone else an endless circle of unrequited love which twisted, turned and sickeningly twined into one huge knot. Paradise’s Peyton Place ended like some sick, silly soap-opera, no one getting what they needed.

Everyone except me.

I lovingly recalled how my husband helped me blossom like a flower, gently kissed by morning dew unfolds petals to embrace the sun. With love, compassion and understanding, Sasha never made me wrong for my hesitancy, reluctance and fear. He allowed my emotions full expression, all voiced in total authenticity even if they were loud or angry. He held sacred space for me as I released deeply repressed pain in furious, explosive bursts of movement and sound, crying and screaming until pain lost all power over my being. Like a mother writhing in contraction Sasha acted as my midwife as I gave birth to a new, free, alive, joyous me.
Not everyone’s blessed to have a husband who’s a psychological counselor, highly trained and prepared for a wounded child like me--a spouse who’s both a tantra master and has been polyamorous all his life. Sasha knew how to lead me, with the love, patience and kindness I needed to give birth to the me I always wanted to be without going crazy or suiciding. Thank God I had the wisdom to follow his gentle guidance.

Sasha brought me back from the deepest depth of despair. He helped me recover from two long-term, failed monogamous marriages and a four-year, extremely dysfunctional live-in relationship with an alcoholic. I’d given up on love and life. I decided to become celibate. I felt I could not endure the pain of love even one moment more. I believed I was simply too screwed up to ever have a successful relationship. Maybe next lifetime, but this one was surely over, especially in the arena of love. All I had to do was coast on through death’s door gently held open by my parent’s who were preparing to proceed me. I was ready. I thought I was going home.

The Universe had other plans. When I least expected it, I met Sasha. I am in awe, truly blessed by the miracle that God and the forces of divine love brought to me in the dark night of my soul.

Almost two weeks later living with the results of Lionel and Jacqueline’s tryst, I think I would have lost it but luckily I can observe from a place where I’m firmly grounded, securely rooted by the love of my life. After six years of loving intentions and intensive therapy, I’m home, in my sweet husband’s arms, his loving embrace comforts me while all around me stormy relationships rage.

I feel such pain around love’s process when I see people project onto one another models of the "way to be" then suffer when no one can possibly be it. I despair when I see the horrid games they play on one another, with shoulds, judgments, analysis and attempts to fix one another, pointing fingers when the best place to look is within oneself.

For two weeks I’ve listened, counseled and consoled. Enough!

Okay, to each his own. Laisse faire, Laisse passe. Each path is perfect for the progress of each soul, each moment. Who am I to rob someone of the richness they must feel with the full expression of their emotions and the melodrama that results?

I, outside of it all, witness and prepare for adventures ahead. Sasha and I are off to see the wonderful, wise wizard of love as we begin our odyssey in the wild world of poly dating, mating, relating and co-creating. This summer we plan to date four couples we’ve been flirting with. We’ve pruned our list to these pairs and remain open to other possibilities. I’m excited.

I think Sash and I’ve stumbled into the most fun and exciting formula for love, bliss, joy and passion. We stumbled onto it or we’re pure geniuses. Together we play, laugh and cry tears of bliss and joy. We bring home to each other the energy and excitement we feel with others. Sasha and I stay together, connect next to each other. We titillate and tantrically touch as one as we move energies. We ride the passions of the sacred geometry of our group gestalt. Sometimes I’m afraid someone may pinch me and I’ll wake up, it’s all so juicy, rich and downright good.

Armed with creams and condoms, STD test results and HIV saliva test kits, We’re ready to sit down face-to-face, eye-to-eye, cheek-to-cheek in sacred rituals, look deep into hearts, minds and souls, merge, meld and become one with many. Super-charged unified chakras awaken kundalini. Blood pulses, bodies pulsate. Breath shared; synchronized, syncopated. Energy streams, rushes, races simultaneously through all bodies. Crown chakras unite, explode over our heads as a giant lotus blossom rains a thousand white petals upon us. Showered in golden white light, waves of orgiastic pleasure consume and caress us. We awaken fully, pierce the veil and witness the meta-cosmic void. Unity consciousness here we come. Free at last, Lord Almighty, free at last. Gee it’s good to be back home again.