There’s someone I’d like you to meet today. His name is Philippe Lewis, and I’ll be honest with you, we did NOT always get along with each other. To give you a bit of background, Philippe is a pretty remarkable person. In addition to being a husband and a father, he teaches authentic communication, polyamory, and facilitates what I am told are some of the most amazing and intimate sex parties on the planet.
A couple years ago, Philippe and I had a bit of a “run in” on Facebook, and I defensively distanced myself. But you know, over the past couple of years, I have done a lot of healing. And I realize that a lot of times when I was defensive, it was just because someone had touched something painful in me and not because we couldn’t ultimately get along beautifully. The healing I’ve done has also been so effective that I honestly do not even remember what I was upset about in this situation with Philippe. So as time and healing went on, I would see Philippe’s posts in my newsfeed, and I would look for the good in him. Occasionally, I would even chime in and post a friendly comment.
Then this week, I saw a status update on his Wall that blew me away. It was so vulnerable, so powerful, and so disarming that I practically wanted to jump into his arms and give him a virtual hug and a whole bunch of kisses. His status update went like this:
Every once in a while comes the time to ask for feedback.
Have I impacted you negatively in any way? Are you left incomplete by an interaction we had? Please let me know here or message me privately.
What you should know before you share: My goal is to hear you fully and get the impact so I can care for you better in the future. And, if needed, to make amends.
The road to learning and grace is paved with mistakes and unfortunate accidents. I’m here to learn and be a better man, person, friend, husband, father and so much more.
What courage to open himself completely to NEGATIVE feedback. What courage to offer to make amends if necessary. What maturity to understand the importance of completion in relationships. What absolute responsibility and impeccability.
And, as I began to think about it, I thought, “my God, if all of us were willing to be this accountable, this open, this vulnerable … the world would be instantly transformed.”
I thought about posting this status update on my own Wall, and I’m not going to lie to you. It feels vulnerable. It immediately got me thinking of any relationships that might not be complete. When you post something like this, you don’t know what is going to come back to you … that’s where the courage is.
My next line of thinking went like this: “I need to learn from this man. Here is someone who is not telling me he can help me have better relationships. Here is someone who is showing me, by living it.” There is no greater persuasion than that. Here is someone who knows how to love, and how to teach love.
If you really think about it, too, a man would need to have skills like this to do what Philippe does. Can you imagine facilitating these intimate sex parties, with all the potential for hurt feelings and misunderstandings and conflicts – and being able to do it in a sustainable, long-term way with ease and grace? Let’s face it, those are communication and intimacy skills that most people don’t have yet.
So with Philippe’s permission, I have re-posted his epic status update here. And if you would like to connect with Philippe on Facebook, and see for yourself this maestro of intimacy and sustainable polyamory …
Are you brave enough to post something like this on YOUR Wall?
PostScript: unfortunately, it turned out that he doesn’t practice what he preaches so I can no longer endorse this. Being open to feedback about impact means being open to feedback about impact, and when push came to shove, he wasn’t. Ah well.
Erika Awakening, High Priestess of Miracles at TAPsmarter