“There is in a man an upwelling spring of life, energy, love, whatever you like to call it. If a course is not cut for it, it turns the ground round it into a swamp.”
– Mark Rutherford (William Hale White), More Pages from a Journal, 1910
With its focus on energy and the chakras, the heart gets a lot of attention in tantric practice – a place in the body to and from which energy can be sent, stored and mindfully transformed. Love is only one of the many emotions that radiate from the heart and understanding our emotions is the key to creating long-term love that lasts.
How many different feeling words do you have in your vocabulary? Being able to talk about your emotions isn’t just important, but absolutely vital to a healthy relationship. If you only have two or three words to work with when trying to explain your feelings, you are going to struggle to be understood clearly. “Angry” can mean a lot of things to a lot of people – do you feel frustrated, annoyed, furious, anxious, hurt, tired, overworked, betrayed, ignored, or disregarded? Where is your anger coming from and how severe is it in relation to other similar feelings you’ve had in the past? Are you furious, very angry, or a little bit peeved? If you want to be able to talk about how you feel, it’s important that you qualify these emotions so your lover can get the clearest picture possible.
Most importantly, don’t just focus on expressing your emotions when you are upset or hurt! Your lover needs to hear you tell her when you are happy, hopeful, loving, excited, relieved, turned-on, impressed, ecstatic, amazed, trusting and optimistic. If you can’t talk about your positive emotions, she will assume that the only things you are feeling are the negative emotions you do express.
How often do you affirm your feelings and roles in your marriage? Aside from telling your wife that you love her (which you should be doing at least every day!), do you bless each other and take the opportunity to connect as friends, confidantes and lovers? If not, this is a daily ritual you should implement right away!
Look at your lover carefully every day as you come together, either first the in the morning if you will be spending the entire day together, or as soon as you and your lover come home at the end of your work day. Can you see in her face the traces of her day – worry or hope, exhaustion or excitement, frustration or relief? Kiss her gently as a friend first, showing her that you care about her feelings. Kiss her second as her confidante, someone she can come to for comfort and love whenever she needs. Finally, kiss her as a lover, holding her hands tightly and letting the passion flow between you.
Don’t just tell her that you love her – keep on going from there! Tell her she is a Goddess, she is beautiful; she is an inspiration and a wonder. Tell her how sexy she is and how hot she makes you, how seeing her body makes you feel. Encourage her to explore her sexuality by touching herself while you watch, allowing you to witness what really makes her feel good.
Figuring out just what to say can be really difficult, whether you have hard topics to discuss or only great praise to give! If those words just won’t come, try using this simple formula:
- When: tell your lover what exactly has happened to precipitate this emotion.
- Why: don’t focus on your emotions just yet, instead communicating to your lover what has been difficult for you as a result of the previously mentioned actions – exactly why are you feeling the emotions that you are experiencing?
- How: now it’s time to name your feelings – how do you really feel about what’s happening in your lives right now? Be specific as possible.
- What: if you are addressing something that has made you feel bad, is there something different that could have happened to make you feel better about the situation? What could your lover have said or done differently to change the situation? What could you have done differently to change the inevitable outcome?
Pay attention to things like your body language and your tone of voice – they should match your emotions as closely as possible, because so much of what you communicate comes through these non-verbal cues. If you say you are anxious or afraid, but you are yelling like you are furious, you will only confuse her. If you are explaining to your lover how proud and excited you are for her, but you are speaking in a low, quiet voice with your arms crossed around your chest, your message isn’t going to make it through.