Obsession. Control. Desire.
by OneTaste Living Library Apr 13, 2012
nnBy Amy J. nnI know control and obsession well. They have been close companions of my desire for sometime. Not friends exactly, but they always travel together. I can't tell you exactly when they kicked in, but it was early in life. Like the water a fish swims in, they just seem to have always been there. Determined not to get too big, want too much or be too offensive, dare I spark people's disapproval and be 'inappropriate', I clamped down what made me vibrant and effervescent. And in it's place came control and obsession. I became a cunning and skilled study of other people, experiences and personality. I watched and noticed people in so many ways I understood the most finely tuned intricacies of human behavior, that when spoken to others, had me sound just a little whacky. I watched and obsessed over them because I had decided that if I couldn't be myself directly, if my desires were too much, then I could learn how to play people, namely men, to meet them for me. I learned to control the parts people found to be too loud, too wild, too chaotic. But I should also say, I have never really been that good at controlling it. Its like the flood you're pretending isn't coming to sweep your house away; you try to ignore that the water is rising, but it is and it eventually takes over, destroying the foundation of your house. I didn't really want to control myself, I hated the conditioning that told me I should, but I also hated the loneliness I felt inside. I thought that loneliness was there because I couldn't get men to stay close for very long and thus more obsession built. What I realize now is that the loneliness I felt was from leaving myself; from pushing down that vibrancy, that orgasm, so deeply, I checked out on really knowing myself directly and instead began to know myself through the contortion of shame, desperation and obsession wrapped in the cloak of control.nnI've heard it said that your purpose in this lifetime is also the crucible of your own awakening, and so I spent the better part of last year crawling my way through the most intense, desperate and obsessed place I've ever found. A few years earlier, I had found big, amazing, soul-rejoicing-love. Finally! My control had won me the jackpot; I had finally found a man who was over the moon to deliver my desires to me. Until he wasn't. And my obsession suddenly ramped into overdrive. I grasped and cried to maintain control. I scraped and groveled and pleaded with god. At every turn, I begged that I not have to face myself and all the ways I had abandoned her: my orgasm, my desire, my power. All the ways I had placed those things on other people, hoping to connive, convince and control them to give me my desires, those ways now slipping through my fingers. I can only truly say this now, having made it all the way through the passageway: It was the richest experience of my life to date. And I learned that my experience of obsession is really my unwillingness to name and express, hold and approve of desire, thus becoming obsessed with another person or thing, hoping they are the ticket to this unyielding desire I feel.nnHere's how the cycle happens for me: I have a desire for something. Almost in equal and perfectly synchronized measure, my control kicks in, says no to that desire, and obsession takes over. Through obsession, I still get to work for that desire by trying to play and control another. I have been quite good at it, but it's a tricky thing trying to control something that doesn't really want to be controlled. The other problem with this is that it has significantly diminishing returns. The energy it takes to maintain that level of constraint is exhausting.As I began to OM, I came to know myself more intimately. More intimacy means more desire. And for me, that simply meant more obsession. More control. My system couldn't keep up. So I stopped OMing for awhile. But like an anorexic surviving on saltines alone, I began to waste away. So back came OMing. And back came the desire. I did this cycle throughout the course of the year and slowly I began to come into relationship with my desire and the accompanying cloak of control I wore over it. Lucky for me, I have now surrounded myself with people, particularly men, who also understand themselves and desire through the practice of OM and have crystal clear sight as a result of it.nnAnd as god would have it, there is one I like. One that I have so much desire for it shoots my control meter off the charts. I have on and off for the past few months been able to relatively stay in control around him, dancing in and out of one another's lives, experiencing the intimacy that is available before my desire gets so big that my control takes over and I can barely stand to look at him. And so, after one such experience, we go to breakfast. I, attempting to act calm and serene, hoping to be able to withstand anything he throws at me and top him with my prowess and understanding, find that this particular morning, control is not in the winning seat. He says to me in his most stern, endearing, fatherly voice, 'You are not fooling anyone; everyone knows how much love, how much sex, how much desire you have in there. Would you stop trying to manage and control it and let it out already? And your arrogance? You can drop that off too.' I am beyond flummoxed. I hate him. I want to walk out. I am completely destabalized and can't even fake control. And I feel like the pressure has been drained from my overly inflated bike tires. Finally, a man I can't exert my tired game on. Someone who won't play with me inside my facade of control any longer. Someone who has seen me at this place and isn't running but is asking me to let it all out. To play with me in that place of loud, wild, chaotic desire! I feel giddy and uncertain and relieved all at once.nnI have, through my own internal work, been building to this peak. I have been invited out before, but there in that moment, on that morning, I realized it's time to surrender. Through OM, all that desire, orgasm and power have swelled behind the cloak of control, it's now ill-fitting and very, very tattered. So I begin to do it. I text him one desire after another. Or I see him and move in the direction of what I want. Some desires get met, some don't. But it finally. Feels. So. Good. To say them ALL. Then I realize, it isn't just him I desire, it is the pure expression of my desire in the moment it arises, that has that feeling of loneliness lift (and the having of the desire, okay okay, that's pretty good too).nnBy not abandoning myself through the denial and control of what I want, by naming and approving of it, I get to meet myself. I get to know myself in the place I tried to control and obsess about others knowing me.And then, I recognize, I've learned something else about obsession. It is actually the energy of desire. Or at least, it is intimately entwined with the energy of my desire. In it's toxic form, it has me sift through my ex-boyfriend's trashcan, watch him when he doesn't know I'm there, do devious and invasive things. In it's potentiated form, when I am listening to the still small voice of desire, I begin to feel obsession change. No longer is it this garment that has me feel stiff and controlled, desperate and starving. It is like rocket fuel for my desire. Now, my obsession is working for me, with me and my desire. The same sort of felt sense is still present in my body, a low pulsing throb that consumes me, but now that I am moving with desire all that feeling moves to. That pulsing now feels good, it fuels me, it is the expression of my orgasm coming full out, letting the sensation saturate the desire I am having. It wants and it wants bad, and it is finally moved by surrender, not control.nnFor me, at this location in my unfolding around desire, surre nder is an advanced pose, one I've only just begun to get into. I remember reading on a teacher's facebook post (yes, the oracle of all wisdom) that surrender was a woman's most potent place of engagement. I didn't at the time even compute what it meant to surrender, I simply didn't understand what surrender could actually look like. I am still not sure I could describe it to you now, but here's what I do know. The impulse to control still rears its head when a desire, so deeply held back for so long pops to the surface and I am convinced that I cannot, there is no fathomable way I could possibly, have that. But my OM practice has taught me so much about the range and feeling my body is capable of, and as an analog for my life, I think, 'Well, just maybe that thing is possible.' And so, I surrender to wanting, to expressing this deeply held desire and I stay with myself the entire time. I don't abandon or clamp down or try to control that place inside of me anymore. The more I am willing to meet myself, willing to say yes to who I am and what I want, I find surrender trumps all. It is the key that unlocks the rich, delicious saturation we all seek. It quells the monster of control, because when you're surrendered, you're fully engaged with your desire, rather than pushing against it. And in that pose, you can't help but feel good and full and connected to the pulse of life. To your desire. To yourself.nn nnPart of the practice of OM is permitting ourselves into our desire. Stroke by stroke, moment by moment, we feel what it's like to be touched, to be seen, to be heard; all the while staying connected to ourselves, even in the most embarrassing of vulnerable moments. We learn, OM after OM, to let go, to surrender to the natural movement of our bodies, and to relinquish control. And that's when it really starts to go our way.