I used to have intense, never ending emotional pain. I was grieving. I was lonely. I was angry. I was hurt. It was constant.

Gradually I also became happy.

The two have coincided for a long while. Until about two years ago, I was constantly in emotional pain from loneliness. Then it would come in waves and when the pain abated, there was joy and it was loud and clear. It might have been tinged by some of that loneliness pain, yes, but all the happiness was loud and clear and I could ignore the pain as a result.

Last spring, a spiritual teacher helped me to keep myself focused on that pain no matter what so that I could grow. I as aggravated at her, but I knew what she was doing, so I cooperated and I followed her direction. I kept up my practice. I made decisions to be celibate and to make my practice my priority. I faltered a great deal with that plan, but I was as consistent with it as I could be.

This summer, despite great stresses, I felt secure enough to remain happy, peaceful and joyful nearly every moment.

The waves changed. Its like low tide all the time now. There’s just the tiny ebb and flow of low tide, not much big movement….lots of equanimity. No real intensity in terms of the pain. It is there, but it is relevant and I can point to the source of it and quietly attend to it and watch it pass as if it never was there.

In the past few weeks, physical stress has created a narrowing of viewpoint. I can feel myself feeling irritable, feeling unfocused, feeling resentful and fearful about things in my life. It is not huge or overwhelming. It is still a very small wave in low tide times. But now that I am more aware of the state of my being, I notice the flow more acutely. I am more attuned to peace and joy and I become intensely interested in addressing the source of it. Not to change it, but to befriend it…to acknowledge it and love myself and the world better.

So here I am doing all of this. And at the same time, I am trying to love someone else too. I am trying to have relationships and to do moving and chores and school stuff. It is a distraction to these other things…and also I see that it is also the stuff that I’m doing. It is the task. I can focus more on my practice when interacting with inanimate objects, but when dealing with people or animals I seem to loose the thread of mindfulness more.

And what’s this to do with a sexual relationship or a poly one you might ask?

Everything really.

I notice that this increase in dis-ease has me wanting to nest. I has me wanting to hide from pain. It has me wanting to have attention. It has me wanting to have commitments. It has me wanting to hide out in the next person and the next. It is another, far quieter face of loneliness.

I am sitting with it today. Being friends with all these feelings…and the happiness too.

I am listening to myself mulling over stuff about my relationships…mulling over goals…Just listening.


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