Surrender, Desire and Passionate Love

by butterfly on September 24, 2011


“Love is an attempt at penetrating another being, but it can only succeed if the surrender is mutual.” ~Octavio Paz

Surrendering to another person is an exquisite feeling. It is also terrifying. It’s been a part of my psyche and played its role in my soul’s growth. Being a submissive type of woman— only when I’m in control of that, mind you— I take pleasure in relinquishing all. In most cases, romantically speaking, I’ve been the one that’s sought after, desired, and taken. In the moment of the taking, I delight in the feeling of giving myself over to the passionate experience of love, lust or whatever you have in mind. Only once did I ever pursue and aggressively ‘take’ a man (to bed), and it was not exactly the kind of experience that suited my needs. You see, I love to surrender. (I do have a funny story about that moment, but that I will save for another time.) There is a deliciousness that builds from sexual tension. The surrender, then, is blissful, yielding, opening.

“This hunger of the eyes, skin, of the whole body and spirit, which made others criminals, robbers, rapers, barbarians, which caused wars, invasions, plundering and murder, in Djuna, at the age of puberty, alchemized into love. Whatever was missing she became: she became mother, father, cousin, brother, friend, confidant, guide, companion to all. This power of absorption, this sponge of receptivity which might have fed itself forever to fill the early want, she used to receive all communication of the need of others. The need and hunger became nourishment. Her breasts, which no poverty had been able to wither, were heavy with the milk of lucidity, the milk of devotion.

This hunger. . . became love.

While wearing the costume of utter femininity, the veils and the combs, the gloves and the perfumes, the muffs and the heels of femininity, she nevertheless disguised in herself an active lover of the world, the one was was actively roused by the object of his love, the one who was made strong as man is made strong in the center of his being by the softness of his love.

Loving in men and women, not their strength but their softness, not their fullness but their hunger, not their plenitude but their needs.”  ~ Ladders to Fire, Anais Nin

Surrender is ecstasy when you allow it. The loss of control, letting go of everything, and giving over to something or someone is a kind of freedom. When I gave birth the second time, I had to learn how to let go. Birthing is the biggest letting go one can do. My first childbirth experience was not like that at all. I refused to let go, and I suffered. So, the second time I gave birth I practiced the art of letting go. It was a psychedelic experience. My body knew what to do. The body itself has an innate and supremely ancient wisdom. Letting go is all about trust. Tension causes pain. I learned this the hard way the first time. The second and third time I gave birth, pure joy. By completely letting go and surrendering to the experience of childbirth, I saw everything sparkle. Colors were vivid, and I had a big “a-ha” moment. As I was about to give birth, I looked at my birthing doula and laughed quizzically, “I don’t know.” She smiled, seemed amused, and said, “What don’t you know?”

I laughed, “I don’t know.”

This was the funniest thing in the world, at the very moment of birth, I had no idea about anything. It was a riddle, and it was an answer. It was everything and nothing. It was complete surrender. Joy, of course, came after.

Soul meets soul on lovers’ lips. 
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Kissing is surrendering to another. In the first moment of giving in to a passionate feeling, the kiss opens us. We are tender, full of emotion. There is an eroticism in being vulnerable. Surrendering to passion is giving in to the moment of desire, letting it sweep you away. Being taken by emotion, the yielding is what happens, opening ourselves— mind, body, and soul. Being psychologically penetrated is a kind of surrender. Opening one’s mind to another’s—sharing experiences, telling tales and stories about one’s life— is a form of surrender. Letting another into our metaphorical hearts, there is actual physical pain in the center of one’s chest. It’s not pleasant; it feels like standing on the edge of a balcony looking downward— falling in love— and just may be equal to the sensation of jumping out of a plane. For some. For me, at least.

The feeling of opening one’s self, whether it be all at once or over a period of years, is surrendering to love. And what if the parachute is broken? Then what?

“Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.” ~Albert Einstein 

Ah, the mysteries of sex. Like a labyrinth, the mystery of erotic love is an adventure that takes me deep within my soul. There’s no reasoning, no logic. Life takes on a mythical and magical quality. I discover and decipher. I feel fine-tuned for creative energy. I see things clearly; I feel intensely. Alive, full of fire, music and the elemental and invisible wonders of life. During a passionate moment, I have seen the most beautiful things within my lover’s eyes. The invisible becomes visible within the heart. Sweat from his body smells good. I can’t kiss his mouth enough, and I want him like nothing else in the world. I want him, desire him. I feel it deep in my bones. There are no words. Everything that comes out of my mouth sounds cliché. The only thing I can do is express this feeling with active affection and passion. Grasping his hair during sex, squeezing his body against mine, biting his shoulder, kissing his mouth— hunger, fire. I write poetry, I paint, I write. I am in the moment, and I feel alive. Inspiration comes from the darkness. From the invisible threads woven through my chemistry, the power of sex is the seed of creativity. Sex becomes a spiritual opening, a doorway to the mystery. A passage through the labyrinth with a thread of red fleece. The pleasure of yes is surrendering to love, surrendering to passion and desire.

“I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he
 asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first
 I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so 
he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was
 going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”
 ~James Joyce

James Joyce wrote this letter to his beloved Nora:

My dear Nora,

It has just struck me. I came in at half past eleven. Since then I have been sitting in an easy chair like a fool. I could do nothing. I hear nothing but your voice. I am like a fool hearing you call me ‘Dear.’ I offended two men today by leaving them coolly. I wanted to hear your voice, not theirs.

When I am with you I leave aside my contemptuous, suspicious nature. I wish I felt your head on my shoulder. I think I will go to bed.

I have been a half-hour writing this thing. Will you write something to me? I hope you will. How am I to sign myself? I won’t sign anything at all, because I don’t know what to sign myself.

(James Joyce)

Passionate love overwhelms the senses. The lover is on fire. When in love, I can’t think. I can’t do anything but crave my lover’s touch, hear their voice, and, even in the daily routines of life, I am consumed by the flame of desire.

Love is like a friendship caught on fire. 
In the beginning a flame, very pretty, 
Often hot and fierce, 
But still only light and flickering. 
As love grows older, 
Our hearts mature 
and our love becomes as coals, 
Deep-burning and unquenchable. 
~ Bruce Lee 

Fire is a common thread among lovers past and present. When experiencing the feeling of falling in love, I have also felt the fire of passion wildly burning inside of me. Erotic love and all the colors of passion are full of fire and symbols of transformative yearning.

A letter by Napoleon Bonaparte to his lover Josephine:

I wake filled with thoughts of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil. Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart!

Are you angry? Do I see you looking sad? Are you worried?… My soul aches with sorrow, and there can be no rest for your lover; but is there still more in store for me when, yielding to the profound feelings which overwhelm me, I draw from your lips, from your heart, a love which consumes me with fire? Ah! it was last night that I fully realized how false an image of you your portrait gives!

 You are leaving at noon; I shall see you in three hours.

 Until then, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses; but give me none in return, for they set my blood on fire.
 (Napoleon Bonaparte)

Napoleon mentions that “a love which consumes (him) with fire” and that Josephine’s kisses “set (his) blood on fire” so he asks her not to give any kisses in return. He is already burning.

Another love letter by Victor Hugo to his amor:

My dearest,

When two souls, which have sought each other for, however long in the throng, have finally found each other …a union, fiery and pure as they themselves are… begins on earth and continues forever in heaven.

This union is love, true love, … a religion, which deifies the loved one, whose life comes from devotion and passion, and for which the greatest sacrifices are the sweetest delights.

This is the love which you inspire in me… Your soul is made to love with the purity and passion of angels; but perhaps it can only love another angel, in which case I must tremble with apprehension.

Yours forever,

Victor Hugo 

The transcendent aspect of passionate love is an erotic exhilaration for the soul. The eyes, the voice, the smell, the taste, and every bit of the beloved sends the lover into a rapturous moment. Delicious passionate sex, open-hearted and orgasmic, bring two people closer to the gods and goddesses of myth and legend, to angels, to transform them into fire and blaze into ether, where they return into the stars and the universe.

“At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.” ~Plato



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