Repairing Relationships with Radical Self-Ownership
Welcome to Devotional Anarchy, a podcast about intimacy, attachment, sexuality, spirituality, self expression and other relational themes from a trauma responsive somatic energetic lens, and with a queer polyamorous twist, of course. I’m Isha Vela trauma psychologist somatic intimacy Alchemist shadow doula love at our guest, intuitive channel and sovereignty coach. You’re here because you understand that integrating intimacy wounds build safety and trust within your body. And that safety and trust is what allows you to fully own and direct your erotic and creative lifeforce in your relationships and purposeful work. My intention is for the conversations and tools shared in this podcast, to light a fire in your heart and under your magical ass while supporting you on your kinky human journey to owning all of yourself.
Hello, and welcome to this episode of the devotional anarchy podcast, where I’ll be talking about repairing relationships through radical self ownership. I love me some alliteration.
Isha Vela 1:09
And this is a really vulnerable episode for me, because I’ll be sharing some of my personal experiences and observations around self ownership in the context of relationship, rupture and repair. And the truth is, is that I’ve experienced a shit ton of relationship ruptures this year. So I wanted to come on here with some, just my own truth and my own sharing of what self ownership is, what it looks like, more importantly, what it feels like, what are the critical elements of radical self ownership, right, so that we’re all on the same page. So we really understand what the fuck we’re talking about, right? And I feel like, rip, I want to talk about repair, especially because it’s so important. It’s, it’s like, the part of relationships that we sort of under emphasize that we don’t talk about as much. But where there is so much richness, and where we need the most help, frankly, right, because it’s like when we’re activated, when we’re having a conflict, that we really need the most guidance, because our nervous systems are just like flared up, our intimacy wounds are activated, right, all of this stuff is happening. And we’re not able to, to sort of make the way to the executive functioning part of our brain to be able to like, actually do the important repair work and come back into deeper intimacy. Right. So we like, we miss the opportunity for deeper intimacy, when we aren’t able to take that walk from, from sort of a more reptilian limbic brain place to the executive functioning that we’re capable of. Yeah, and relationships are messy, right, conflicts are going to happen. And like I said, there’s opportunity for intimacy and those conflicts, like I don’t ever want you to think that, you know, I’m conflict free, or anybody should be conflict free, like conflict will happen, you will make mistakes, like look forward to them, because it’s an opportunity for you to deepen the intimacy. And, and there’s more opportunity for intimacy when there’s self ownership and truth, right, those are part of the conditions like, you know, critical conditions, I would say. So, I have to just say, before I start that I my body is hating doing this episode right now. Because of how vulnerable it feels. And because hurricane Fiona is moving through Puerto Rico right now I am feeling the collective pain of colonialism, of land being ravaged of people being desolate, even though I know we’re fucking resilient as fuck.
And I’ll do a future episode on like collective consciousness and bodies collective consciousness with my mentor. But I need to integrate some of this pain first. But I did make myself some broth, some vegetable broth from my community garden which feels like a connection to land. And so I’m feeding on nourishing myself nourishing the part of me that that that needs comfort in that particular way. So and there’s no there’s also a part of me that is loving doing this episode because I really get to take my time sharing it with you in detail. You know, each episode is for me, like, like a class like a I don’t like to call them master classes, but I don’t know what else to fucking call them right now, but really is sort of like where I can dump I can do like a brain dump of what I know. Instead of doing it live on social media and just you getting a little sound bites in between all this other flurry of information that’s being thrown at you. So first, let me define self ownership as I conceptualize it. So it is taking full responsibility for your thoughts, your emotions, your behavior, this includes feelings, sensations, experiences, reactions, as well as stuff related to your history to your childhood, wounding all of that stuff, right? Even like the collective stuff, like you’re responsible for that right? In your body, in your experience. But self ownership also includes joy, and pleasure and happiness, like you are responsible for your pleasure and happiness, and your turn on and your joy, and your limitlessness. Right, that is on you. And so this is where self ownership, sort of, like dovetails, it’s sort of hand in hand with sovereignty, right. And self ownership when we come into relationships, and I include here work relationships, partnerships, connections with clients. This is where we have the power to sort of reduce blame, blame externalizes responsibility, right? When we say when we blame someone, we’re telling them, you’re responsible for me feeling the way that I do. And so ownership, self ownership says, I’m responsible for the way that I feel, and this is how, like, this is what’s happening in my body. And, and let’s share these experiences and see where we can, where we land. It also reduces victimhood, right, because blame and victimhood sort of go hand in hand, right? When we blame somebody we’re sort of in our victimhood we’re like out of, we’re in a collapsed authority, right, your sense of agency is not activated. So you’re like in a in a, you’re in a victimhood position, even though you may not be a victim or even though you may have been victimized in that moment, you are making a decision to sort of go on that on the victimhood track and say, like, Ah, I am like, you’re the one to blame, I don’t have control over this, right. So your sense of authority and agency is not activated. So self ownership is really a place of activated agency, it focuses on what you’re in control of, which is how you respond to situations we we don’t have control over a whole lot of things, right. But we do have control over decisions that we make with our energy. So the hardest part of self ownership is containing relating to your inner experiences, to be able to talk about them. Right, so you have to be able to hold. This is what I mean by containment, we’re able we need sort of a bucket, to be able to put all of our experiences in that bucket, the size of that bucket is the size of your nervous system capacity. Right? This is why embodiment is important, right? Because when we may have intellectual knowledge about our shit, our baggage our stuff, but if we don’t have the system, right, the body system to hold it the capacity to hold it, it’s just we will flood, we will overflow, we will overwhelm that we will do all those things, we will burst. It just you can’t pour a pitcher of water into a thimble it doesn’t work.
So the other hard part about self ownership is being willing is where willingness comes in, will center behind the heart. Be willing to look at how you are contributing to a dynamic and it can be a tiny part. Right? But it requires humility. It requires self forgiveness, a gentleness, right. Which is, you know, part of mindset, right, deciding that we’re going to be gentle with ourselves deciding that we’re deserving. being congruent with the belief that we are deserving sort of this this what I call heart aligned embodiment, right? We’re just going to be we’re just going to be you know, we’re just gonna be gentle with ourselves. We’re just going to be nice. Right? Let’s give ourselves some fucking grace. We’re human. Because oftentimes, what we do is we make ourselves wrong, we shame and I’m gonna get into shame later again, because this is it’s a huge piece. So now, I’m going to share some of the experiences I had this year around right Shouldn’t repair, including an integral piece, the critical element or a critical element that’s often missing when people want to take responsibility or accountability for something they’ve done, or said. So, one of the experiences I’m going to share with you is one rupture where there was no repair. And it actually resulted in cut off spoiler alert. And the other one was this beautiful healing experience, like an ending of a relationship or an ending of an aspect of a relationship. That was actually a beautiful healing experience because of self ownership. Okay. So I’m not going to use names or gender, just to protect the identity of, of these lovely people. So one of one of the one of the people is someone I was seeing for a few months. And over the time, we were getting to know each other, like things develop pretty quickly there was there was something about our connection that felt really like exciting, because they were really open. And I like to be open, but people normally aren’t. And so I’m just like, ooh, somebody who’s open yay, right? So we’re getting, we got to know each other pretty quickly and sort of we entered into, like a very deep connection very quickly. And over time, as we were getting to know each other, I was feeling more and more overwhelmed by this person’s way of being in the world. I felt sort of a missing energetic mismatch over time, initially, that was strong match, felt like a strong match. And over time, I was feeling less and less of it, I also felt because of the energetic mismatch, I felt my attraction waning. But I also really liked them. I also really, really liked who they were, as a person, in a lot of ways I was, I was sorting out sort of aspects of my romantic feelings, my sexual identity, my gender identity in, in relationship to this person, so and I didn’t bring this internal process to them. Because I didn’t want anybody else’s input into something that felt so private to me that felt so like, connected to my identity, like, that’s not something that I necessarily want to process with somebody, as it’s happening. And I did process tiny pieces of it with them, but not the really deep stuff that felt very much like it needed her meeting around. So when we were finally in person, because we, you know, it was long distance, and we would see each other, you know, twice a month. So when I when I was finally in person with them, again, I shared with them my feelings about you know, my attraction waning and my desire to transition the relationship into a friendship. And this person felt betrayed, for good reason, because I had not been fully honest with them about what was happening for me internally as I was relating to them. But more importantly, and this is where I want to take self ownership, my explanation for why I was not radically honest with them, was devoid of emotion. There wasn’t really like I, I, it wasn’t an apology, because I wasn’t sorry. And I felt like they wanted an apology. I don’t know if an apology would have helped. But what I was sort of anchored into was this understanding and deeper knowing of that’s what I needed to do. I felt like I needed to be internal with this.
I would have liked, like, my values are being radically honest. But I I didn’t, I my behavior did not align with my values. And so I was I was uncomfortable with the fact that my behavior didn’t align with my values. So I felt kind of like, right, but I wasn’t willing to feel that in that moment. So instead, I was defensive in that way. And I was not and because I was in my protection of the part of me that felt like ooh, incongruence yucky. Possible. Shame, alert, tingling. I wasn’t really attuning to their pain of betrayal, even though i i like it was watching it as it was happening. I knew that was that was what’s what was happening, but I didn’t. I wasn’t willing to feel the shame and I wasn’t willing to feel the feelings. Again, I’m not sure an apology would have helped. I’m not sure any of this would have helped because they were so activated. And I also noticed because they were activated around their wound of being betrayed. I’m being lied to, which I totally get because I hate fucking hate that shit too. So they were an activation around that and I noticed my nervous system going into a freeze response. And my freeze response isn’t like a typical freeze, it doesn’t look like typical freeze, it looks like, I get very quiet internally like my, my, I feel like my, my energy gets, you know, those little, those little matryoshka dolls where there’s like a little, all these dolls with nesting dolls, I become the tiniest doll. And my I’m still, you know, I’m still my, my big old self, but my energy is very, very tiny, I get very calm and quiet, my energy gets pulled down, my voice goes down like this very slow, because I want to calm the other person down. And that is my appeasement mode, right, I get energetically lower than the other person. So that I don’t present as a threat so that I’m not activating any, any more, I’m not activating them any more than I already am. So in that dynamic that we were happening, you know, what I like to call a Spanish natural skin color, like rice with as it was like a shitty situation, it was clear that we were not going to be able to dip down into the level of vulnerability required to do repair work, right, because, and I’ll share this a little bit later again, but like, you know, the repair process involves three steps it involves right there, usually we there’s the defensive mode, this is where we usually stay. And then this is where I stayed in this dynamic. Then there’s the vulnerability where we sort of like cop to our shit, right self ownership, and then we move into connection, right, that we can soften, we feel safe. And then we can soften into the connection and right, like, express our desires and our needs more. So we were both in defensive mode, and the basic safety and trust wasn’t there in order to be able to move into that, into that vulnerability and ultimately into that connection mode. So what I decided to do then was just let them decide what they wanted to do to keep themselves safe. Because they didn’t, they didn’t feel safe. I knew that I was going to be okay. So I said, Okay, I’ll, I’ll sacrifice my feeling of safety right now. Because I can, I can create that for myself pretty easily. And so eventually, you know, they left the situation in that moment, didn’t come back, and also didn’t decide to come in to repair and they decided to cut off contact with me altogether. And that didn’t feel good. That felt pretty shitty. And I think that, you know, looking back now it’s been it’s been some time, and would I, you know, I would prefer to have a friendship. As you know, it wouldn’t be it wouldn’t be a very deep friendship, given sort of the insights I have now of the power dynamic, and what I believe they’re capable of in terms of their nervous system capacity and our ability to hold their intimacy wounds with responsibility. But they’re a good person to know, right? They’re, they’re an awesome person. So yeah, I don’t like I don’t like cut off, right, that makes me feel really uncomfortable. So I had to deal with that discomfort for a while. So me take a drink from my delicious broth.
So the second person I had a rupture with that felt actually, like a healing experience was, I had a reparative experience with them. And this was someone who has been a friend of mine for a very long time, we’d gone to school together, we knew each other knew each other at a very deep level, there was a lot of affinity. We had acknowledged our attraction to one another a long time ago, but had totally like never acted on it. Because the time and conditions were never right. But many years later, the time eventually became right. And it was awesome. During the short time it lasted. And it only lasted a short time because they realized pretty quickly that they weren’t able to balance their work life with their marriage life. Plus me plus themselves. It was just like, it ended up you know, not being the right moment, I guess, right? But the way this person had this conversation with me is the important part of what I want to share with you. So this person invited me into a conversation and provided all of their backstory like they put every fucking thing on the table. They shared what they were struggling with emotionally, what the complications were, and what direction they needed to go in in order to feel like they were showing up. For the things and the people they needed to show up for, they were vulnerable. There was no defensiveness, there was no justification, none. They were vulnerable. They were truthful, I could feel them, I could feel their frustration and their sadness at having to share this with me at this not being able to work out in the way that they wanted to, I felt wanted in being able to feel that so I knew, like I didn’t feel experienced as a rejection of me. Not that I would have believed that story anyway, right? Because I just, yeah, it’s not something I would hold on to a story I would hold on to, but there was zero blame. I, it wasn’t about me at all, I could feel their love for Me. Right. So I was really anchored in that. And they didn’t even have to tell me that they needed to end our sexual partnership, they didn’t even need to say that it was so clear from the evidence that they were presenting, and the emotional material, that this was the necessary step. This was a necessary action to take. Because I also wanted them to be well, because I could feel my love for them. And, and I was like, yes, go to you take care of yourself, I want you to show up. I want you to be the person you want to be in your life. I don’t want to get in the way of that. You know, and at some point, they said, you know, after laying it all on the table, they said, I feel like I’m talking so much is there any way I can support you? And I paused for a moment in that and was like, How do I want to be like, do I have needs and I checked in with myself like do I have needs? And what I said was true for me was that, like, my need for honesty? For radical honesty had been met. Right? The I was having a healing experience. Through this ending of this aspect of our relationship. Because of the radical honesty and self ownership. There was no defensiveness. my nervous system was totally fucking chill. I was receiving the information. I was like digesting it as we were having this conversation. Mind you. I fucking hated it. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like that this was ending, you know, I could feel a part of me it was like, oh, no, no doubt, right. I felt sad about it. I was like, fuck, right. I could feel the part of me that was like, and then of course, later after this, you know, after this conversation was over, and
I felt my grief about it. I felt disappointed. Not so much in the person but like disappointed with like, Fuck Venus, like, what is the deal? Or hey, universe, like, come on now Throw me a bone. But eventually, I came to a place of acceptance of like, okay, this, this is the right thing. And I you know, I don’t like it. But you know, here we are. And I’m just like really anchoring in there was there was an I had an experience at a healing experience. And that’s what I focus on, right, any relationship. I want it to be a healing relationship, and it can fucking last two weeks, or it can last a couple of years. But what have you gained from it? Right? That this is where the relationship anarchists and me is like, totally like, two thumbs up? Yes, I got some fucking healing experience from that. Like, that felt fucking good. So in conclusion, when we enter repair conversations, whether they’re with a lover, or a partner, or a client, or even with your fucking kid, right, like, let’s not pretend that shit doesn’t come up with our children either. If we’re somehow defending our point, our perspective and not embracing not like not owning the moments, we made missteps that where we stepped out of our values alignment, when we’re when our behavior was out of alignment with our values, perhaps because of shame and guilt. Right, the usual suspects, we lose the opportunity to have a truly reparative process because, right, we’re, when we’re defending a point, obviously, we’re in defensive mode, and we’re not willing to shift, right, radical self ownership shifts us out of defensiveness and into the vulnerability that is necessary to have to come back into connection. Okay. And our defensiveness is so often I would say, like, I don’t, I can’t give you a percentage here. I have anecdotal evidence that it’s 100% of the time rooted in shame and guilt. Right? We feel bad because either we did something bad or we are a terrible person, right? Whether it’s having a conversation about you know, the way your whiteness came into something right? Like I have a whole bunch of whiteness that I like I noticed all the time and I’m like, Fuck man, that was The Karen moment Oh, right. I don’t feel good about it. With my child like, Yep, that was a total power over dynamic I was using little one. You’re so right. We feel shame and guilt. And that’s why we we protect, right? We push back and we say no, but it’s you and I did it because you did this right, we justify it. And something that I want to say about shame, my work, embodiment work is so much about D shaming, I, I’ve only recently realized that this D shaming is what the fuck I do with people. But what I want to say about shame is shame is not a feeling. It is an experience in the body for certain, right. But what I want to say it’s not a feeling it’s not inherent to you, we don’t like inherently feel shame. It’s society societally constructed, it is taught to us so that we can function in society so that we’re not like, fucking wild crazy, right? This is how it’s justified, the use of it is justified in our society, well, we need to learn, we don’t do this in this family, or we don’t do this in our culture, right. That’s how it’s transmitted. And it doesn’t have to be like, super harmful, but we do learn shame, we learned, I’m wrong if I do that, right. So shame is not a feeling. It’s societally constructed. But we hold it, we hold it in our bodies, even when it’s not ours. It’s it’s never been ours. And then we do everything to avoid feeling it, right. And so in that way, it just kind of sticks around. And it’s like, having all of this effect in our lives, it’s having all of this, it’s playing out in all these different ways, right. So, and we hurt each other, we hurt each other in order not to feel it, not to feel badly about ourselves. When you can allow yourself to feel the sensation of like, Oh, I feel like a horrible person. But with the mindset of, I know this, I know that I’m not a horrible person, like I can hold myself and my quote unquote, goodness, right and my divinity. Right, then we can allow that to sort of unravel, we can sort of let that unwind out of our body because we know it’s not true. We’re not, we’re not hooking into the belief that, yeah, I’m a fucking bad person. Right.
So move me moving towards radical self ownership. And I say moving towards because it’s like, it’s not a finished process. It involves the shaming, and right, it’s, it’s the path is a D shaming path. It’s a, it’s a reclamation process of the self, embracing all aspects of your humanity. And when I say all aspects, I mean, like your identity, including your, you know, your core self, what
people call the Source self, or quote, unquote, the higher self, although
Isha Vela 28:03
I don’t like the hierarchy.
Definitely the shadow self, which has like that’s sort of the most, our most protected and tender parts. Your primal animal self like the part of like the tiger in you or the tigress, right? That could like fucking kill somebody. The child’s self like that your innocence, your playfulness, the part of you that wants to remain a victim, like, yeah, I want to I want to sit here and just blame the fuck out of everything, right? Being able to claim that in a conversation is so powerful, right to be able to claim the part of us like, yeah, I
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don’t want to give up my power right now. Or I, I want to blame you because it feels so much better than having to feel this. Right. It’s like, what would it be like to hear that in a conversation, right? So the point is, radical self ownership is being in aligned relationship in right relationship and loving relationship and compassionate relationship with each of those parts of yourself. Right with all of the, the multiplicity of who you are, right?
It could be queerness related, it could be culturally related. It could be, you know, related to ego identity. It doesn’t matter. It’s all part of you. So that’s it for today. I hope this was helpful. I’d love to hear your feedback. You want to send me an email if you want to send me a message over DM? I welcome you to do so definitely share with someone if you feel called to love you all, and I’ll see you on the next episode. Thank you for listening to today’s episode. Remember to hit the subscribe button to get notified of new episodes dropping on the new and full moons in each month. And if you haven’t already, leave us a five star review on iTunes to make sure that everyone who needs this transit She receives it until the next episode I’m sending you fierce fierce love