Falling in love again

Submitted by the CEO of an NGO

I had experienced ecstasy in a party context and was amazed – and impressed – by the intensity of the experience and the heart opening that accompanied it. I had been told it was an excellent tool for developing relationships, so I took some ecstasy with me on a quiet family holiday with my wife and two small children. It was truly incredible. During the day the four of us connected, enjoying the space of the holiday. After the two children were in bed, my wife and I engineered three evenings of ritual and ecstasy, using communication tools, eye-gazing, dancing and sex, a powerful suite of tools and activities that we seamlessly and joyfully moved between. As with most of our later experiences, we began by setting our intentions for the evening, and identifying some ideas for activities that we would use if later they would feel appropriate. The following day we would review the experience and think about how we can best integrate those experiences in our every-day lives. This was highly effective in focusing our experiences and in ensuring the expansion of self-awareness we experienced had a lasting benefit.

The ecstasy played a crucial role in opening our hearts in such an unambiguously YES to each other, and ensured that we entered a place of radical honesty. We were able to speak our truth with an unfamiliar clarity, and to hear each other at a deeper level without the usual judgement or resistance. We saw beyond the need to justify ourselves, but instead had an intense curiosity to understand. This became a common theme for our ecstasy experiences. On this occasion it was as if a big heavy metal door opened that had closed on our relationship, caught up as we had been in the logistics of busy careers and still unfamiliar parenthood. Looking back on it we wondered whether we might easily have slipped gradually out of love with each other had we not had this wake-up call. As it was, we fell in love again that holiday, but this time with another that we knew so well... indeed another that was so transparently part of ourselves. We felt in touch with a tremendous truth of connection, the energy flowing between us.

That feeling stayed with us a long time - for months. I had been taught that while drugs could give you an amazing time of an evening, you paid the price later on - in the hang-over, the come-down, the distorted values they gave you. None of this happened for me with ecstasy... though the physical come-down later in the night and several days later did with my wife. Indeed, the positive effects around the opening of the heart, and the way in which we used that to deliberatively explore our connection stayed with us permanently.

The downside, or rather the come-down, was experienced by my wife. At some point several hours after taking ecstasy she would catch herself and scepticism would take hold. It was as if her real self would emerge under the influence of the drug, only to be overcome later by the normal sceptical self. She would also experience the classic downer several days after our experience, but not to any degree that put us off.
Over the next couple of years we re-entered that space with the help of ecstasy. We would come to see it as an excellent tool to drop into intimacy, so that we could then go deeper with intention. The experiences were always positive, though some were better than others, and none were as intense in their own right as those first few.

Before finishing I want to give another concrete example of the way in which a drug experience has enhanced our relationship. On a couple of occasions I have combined ecstasy with artificial mescaline. The ecstasy ensures the experience is open-hearted and positive, the mescaline opens up new ways of seeing the reality in front of me. I remember one experience when I was on this cocktail and my wife had taken ecstasy some time earlier. We were using a structured communication process – known as a dyad - and my wife was on the verge of coming out of her euphoria - the doubts were due to kick in. In this dyad process my wife had asked me the question, 'tell me something you think I should know', and it was my task, as part of the process, to absorb that question and voice whatever came up; hers was then to listen without judgement or responding in any way. I absorbed the question and looked into her eyes. And rather than focused on my own thoughts and reactions, I saw my wife's face as a mask – one that hid an underlying pain and fear that in turn was suppressing her underlying beauty and greatness. And it seemed to me that her fear was somehow connected to what she thought I might say. I found myself experiencing an overwhelming desire to reassure her. 'It's OK', I said, breaking the rules of the dyad, 'there's nothing to worry about, I'm not hiding some great deceit from you...' Her mask cracked, it was a breakthrough. It emerged that this had been a pattern – of her fearing that I was withholding something painful from her. The mescaline had changed my perception and enabled me to break free of the constraints of the process and see my wife in a different, deeper reality. We had, even though temporarily, broken that pattern and met each other in a new place. This also meant that in future I might be able to see the emergence of that mask, and to see beyond it and provide her with the reassurance that she needed. These insights and realisations have stayed with both of us and ensured that even in times of stress we are able to make deep contact and work together solving problems.