As a young man, I killed a deer. It was one of the most profound moments in my life. I did not take this act lightly in any way. My purpose was food for the upcoming winter. Whether directly or indirectly, we all ‘take’ life in order to live. A life of some kind was taken on your behalf every time you eat. My attitude was, and is, not to feel guilt or to shrink from living, but to be grateful and add meaning to my existence. My accountability to lives that were given in order that I may live is to add value to the sentient world.
This acknowledgment and accountability is similar to the commitment to 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 time with me. She has chosen me to love. Time once spent, does not return. None of us know how much time we have. The top section of our personal hourglass of life is hidden to sight. There is no greater gift than time.
In the Native American tradition a hunter earnestly prays for an animal that is willing to sacrifice it’s life in order for the hunter’s people to continue on. The hunter aspires to be cognizant and worthy of this sacrifice and offer’s respect to the animal’s spirit. This is partly done so that other animals will view his future requests kindly. A subsistence hunter is keenly aware that without the ongoing gifts of animals, his people would perish.
I feel an obligation when I eat any food that my life be worthy of the land and effort that contributed to my meal. Likewise, I want to live in such a way as to honor my woman’s great love, which is freely given. She is not a draftee. She volunteered to serve as my companion. She gives innumerable gifts of time, consideration and caring. I want my actions to honor her. I want to acknowledge and respect the gifts I receive from her.
For instance, I demonstrate to her that she is heard and validated. I do this by acknowledging what was just spoken by her BEFORE moving on in the conversation.
She also deserves ‘good phone’ as much as she deserves good communication in any form. So when I call her, I endeavor to bring my love, presence and attention.
When I touch her, it is not to take, but rather to co-create a beautiful experience together. I notice what’s important to her and I look for what lights her up. Sometimes I mis-read her and I adjust. Sometimes she is happily surprised by what I bring. I want to help lighten her heart by being a good companion for her. I want my woman to say to herself, “I did well by choosing to be with him”.