“You’re leaking energy all over the place,” he said, over sour beers at the hipster bar. He proceeded to tell me about reiki, and chakras, and how my heart chakra was just overflowing with misdirected energy. Of course this was also an excuse to touch my heart chakra, conveniently located beneath my decolletage, but as he did so he told me, “you’re giving up your energy to all sorts of unworthy things, like other people.”
My first thought was: like you, on what only a very generous person would call a date.
I’d been on this date before, with the Intense New Age Guy(tm), who was really just an egotistical douchebag in hemp sheep’s clothing. For a while I was exclusively into that guy. But after being strung out on a guy that dressed like a hobo and ended up married to a yoga instructor named Rain, I get romantic PTSD whenever I smell patchouli. This guy is pretty easy to spot; you can tell by how he’ll start talking about the inequality of feminism and how so many women are sexually repressed, as though not wanting to have sex with him was a repression of anything other than my own self-loathing. At the end of the night, he leaned in close, and murmured “I know we want different things, but I still think I want to kiss you.” Well, swoon. Thanks for doing me the favor.
Now, this one wanted to balance my chakras, but plenty of others have wanted to teach me about Tantra, or the joys of non-monogamy, because as we all know, monogamy is not natural for primates. Yes, but so is suppressing the urge to fling feces at bullshit peddlers like you, and still, we manage. And frankly, I’m open to learning about all of these things, from people who are not so transparently using the language of healing and self-awareness to score.
What bothered me here, though, was the casual way in which he suggested that giving my energy to other people was a misuse of it. Now, I grant you, I am an extreme extrovert and empath, so it’s pretty easy for me to give every ounce of my energy to causes outside myself without noticing, but I don’t think of it as a drain. Providing for others, loving others, sharing with others is part of my emotional DNA. If you keep me locked up away from people for too long I get stir crazy. So the idea that I was leaking energy, that the energy would be better spent kept close to me, just made me wonder: for what? What purpose does that serve?
Is it so bad to have a heart (chakra) cracked wide open? Has that perhaps been the problem all along- that I’m walking around with my heart not just on my sleeve but beating in my outstretched hands, and the men I’m dating see that as a weakness? As something to be fixed and managed? I’m drawn to these austere, worldly men that always keep me at arms length, perhaps because it is so unlike the puppy-hearted person that I am, and I judge that part of myself. That puppy is constantly eating shoes and piddling on the carpet, upsetting the careful equilibrium of my life. And so over the last few years, as I’ve dated more and more in this city, I’ve felt myself learn to play the game, spackling over the vulnerable parts, become jaded and able to laugh it all off, even as I become more and more dissatisfied with the rules of it, because what is the alternative? A bruised and battered bag of rags that was once a glorious and juicy heart?
I don’t know, maybe the time has come to let the puppy back out. I’m going to get hurt either way, I might as well be authentic. And stop letting dumb poser boys do anything at all with my chakras.