I killed a deer once. I do not treat or reflect on this act lightly. In fact, it is one of the most profound acts. We all “take” life in order to live. Whether or not we did the actual killing ourselves, a life was taken on our behalf every time we eat food. I believe our role is not to feel ashamed or to shrink from living, but rather to live in gratitude and to have our existence be meaningful. Our obligation to the lives that were given up on our behalf is to contribute / add value to the world – to reflect light and love.
I begin with this concept to help illustrate how I feel about my woman. She is giving me her most precious possession – her life. She could be doing any number of activities with any number of people, yet she has chosen to spend her time with me. She has chosen me to love. Time is not ever recovered later. Our youth (and every age) once spent, does not return. And we don’t know how much time we have.
In the Native American tradition (in which I’ve been deeply immersed) the hunter earnestly prays for the arrival of an animal that is willing to sacrifice it’s life in order for the hunter’s people to live. The hunter tries to be worthy and to offer respect to the slain animal’s spirit. This is done to respect himself and to assure that other animals will view him and his future requests kindly. The hunter is keenly aware that without the ongoing gifts of animals, his people would perish.
I feel an obligation when I eat food that my life be worthy of the land and beings that contributed their energy to me. Likewise, I want to live my life in such a way as to honor my woman’s great love, which is freely given. She is not a draftee, but has volunteered to serve as my companion. She gives me innumerable gifts of time, consideration and caring. I want my actions to honor her, and I want to respect the gifts I receive from her. I want her to feel valued by me.
For example, I communicate that I want her to feel heard and validated. She also deserves “good phone,” that is good communication by phone, as much as she deserves good communication in any form. So when I call her, I give her my love, presence and attention. When I hold and touch her, it is not to take from her, but to co-create a beautiful experience together. So I notice what’s important to her and what lights her up. Sometimes that’s different than what she may have imagined she wanted. Sometimes I mis-read her and I adjust. Sometimes she is happily surprised.
I want to lighten her heart by being a good companion for her. At the end of her time on earth I want my woman to say to herself: “I did well by choosing to be with him.”