Epiphany! Loving with Your Shields Down
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree and Rising.
It turned out to be wonderful. I got caught in the rain. Without an umbrella.
I didn’t mean to. I’d tried to plan ahead so I could run to the car for my umbrella early in the day, but I got busy with work and overtime and then there I was heading for the car in the early evening rain. I could have run for shelter but the car was a good 10-minute jog down the street.
Given the sudden cold snap and the fact that I’d been chilled all day, I was nervous about getting caught in the rain. I feared it. But instead, it was actually warm rain and pleasant. Just a warm, gentle rain. And I felt like I was walking in it with my “shields down,” just enjoying every aspect of the moment.
That magical 15-minute walk in the rain conjured up a forgotten conversation from several months ago. Every so often, I run into a counselor whom I call Qui-Gon Jinn, similarly to how I refer to others who occasionally counsel me either knowingly or not. Qui-Gon and I had talked about relationships where you have your shields down and how freeing that feels to live your life with someone you love and not have to put all your energy into protecting your inner core from those whom you want to be most supportive of who you are.
By “shields down,” I mean that sense of not having to be so guarded around your partner or family members for fear of ridicule, isolation, anger, disapproval, disappointment. I think most people in relationships live with their shields up, walling off those vulnerable parts of themselves and never truly sharing themselves to the core because they just can’t risk not being accepted at that level. It takes a lot of effort to live that way.
Qui-Gon told me it wouldn’t always be that way for me. You see, Qui-Gon sees patterns of energy around people. He can explain it scientifically—in the same way that communication signals are heard or energy disturbances remain after a violent crime—but most people who actually see energy (I’m not one of them) don’t really care about the science of signals and communication energy because the ability is just as much a part of them as Rover’s ability to hear a dog whistle.
Qui-Gon saw me at a social event in early February and took a step backward. “Oh, hon,” he said, ushering me to a private spot, “you’re hurting.”
I told him I’d had some recent disappointments and he nodded. He proceeded to tell me about a man’s energy all around me. He never gave me a physical description of the man, but rather, an emotional description. He told me some surprising information about this man’s secret vices, his emotional unavailability and why. Everything clicked and I applied his interpretation of the male energy pattern around me to my most recent anguish. And Qui-Gon’s disdain for this man was fearsome.
Recently, I confided in a friend. “So which man in your past was he referring to?” she asked.
Wow. I’d thought I knew, but the epiphany came in realizing that the traits Qui-Gon described in this man from my past were present in every man I’d ever let hurt me. I honestly did not know which man of several who had all seemed so very different. It was scary to realize that that pattern was there, to some degree, in the men I attracted to me, even though in some cases it was temporary. For the most part, they all had issues that they wanted to work through and talked a lot about working through, but they never did anything to work through. And that includes my own recently deceased father. To my knowledge, none of the men in my past have ever worked through those issues and they all still have their shields up. So I really do not know which man’s energy Qui-Gon saw around me.
But Qui-Gon wanted to cheer me that day, so he mentioned another energy pattern becoming stronger around me. He gave me a physical description so I won’t tell him to get lost when I meet him. A man coming into my life in the not too distant future and becoming a partner to me on every level. Someone open to me, nature-loving, appreciative of me and the way I think and my openness and introspection, and who will make me smile and make me happy while loving that we don’t restrict each other’s independence or dreams. Someone who will share a level of intimacy far beyond the physical, though—Qui-Gon started blushing furiously at this point—the physical will be pretty damned good, too. Truly both a lover and a best friend. The communication between us will be deep and powerful, accepting. The shields will be down between us.
So if you see a guy who’s 5’9” with reddish or brownish hair, no more than 38, loves the outdoors, and is truly emotionally available, tell him there’s a barefoot girl over here dancing in the rain.