Years ago working on a show in NYC. I was assistant director/production manager for a production of Romeo & Juliet, on Off-Off Broadway. I had a big time crush on one of the actors. We clicked both on and off the set. The chemistry was absolutely delightful. We were both young. He was a gorgeous and charming flirt. I was shocked when we sat down after rehearsal one day at a New York diner for a meal and he told me he was married. “You? Married?”
He proceeded to tell me the story of how he met her and how that relationship unfolded. As he shared, it became clear, he loved his wife. And it was clearly undeniable we also had chemistry, although neither of us mentioned that part. The boundary was unspoken. I was not going to attempt to intrude.
At the time I worked part time out of a chiropractor’s office doing massage therapy. He came to see me for treatments several times. THAT was challenging, to stay clear and clean while massaging his naked body. The connection was so deep and so strong that after he left I broke down crying. That night as I sat in meditation about the experience, I asked myself, why I had such strong emotions about him. I had had other boyfriends in the past, charming, handsome…what was so special about him?
In my meditation I had a realization. The emotional pull felt so irrational that it seemed more like a mother/son bond then a romantic one. I flashed on a past life memory…was this real? I had a vision where I saw him as my son, he was a baby and he had been kidnapped from our home. The memory was so vivid I jolted out of my meditation and found myself hyperventilating. Yet it seemed somehow to explain the unexplainable feelings I had for him. I kept that truth quietly within me.
He and I would stay in touch from time to time, several times a year. It was nothing but joy and play whenever we’d meet up. Then a job opportunity opened for me to move to the west coast. I called him to say goodbye. We met again at a New York diner. He was telling about the show he was in On Broadway. Playing opposite the leading lady, they had a rather intimate love scene together. He shared about the challenge of working with her. Apparently she was quite insecure and didn’t know what to do with her physical attraction to him.
After he turned her down for a personal date, their rapport was never the same. As a result, in rehearsals, before and after every performance she found small ways to be rude, insulting and belittling of him. He wanted to be free to express his art as an actor but her attitude with him off stage made it challenging for him to feel free with her on stage. He understood her attraction and that behind her rudeness she was falling in love with him. She fell in love with the wrong person and proceeded to express it indirectly, passive aggressively in hurtful ways.
As we talked about it he looked me straight in the eye and said something I never forgot. “Laura, I can bake a cake with someone, and it can come out really nice…but I’m going to take that cake home and offer it to my wife.” I couldn’t help but feel he was secretly talking to me, about us, rather than the actress in the play. It was a bittersweet and beautiful parting gift. I took it deeply and respected him for it.
As I walked to the subway to catch my train, I ruminated on what happened. I loved him even more for what he shared with me, his values and loyalty to his wife and the indirect way he told me of his love for me. I also felt that familiar grief, the feeling of losing a child, yet oddly combined with this incredible sexual chemistry. It didn’t get acted on. It didn’t get spoken about. I heaved a sigh of relief. He took the high road with me and the reward was a richness I could never have imagined happening.
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