A Ritual of Devotion

I have been thinking a great deal about ritual lately, especially within the context of intimate relationships and sexual work. In our culture, we have disconnected the heart from the genitals, the sacred from the body, to our detriment. As I think about the beautiful gift that I have been given with this deep love for Josh, and how our connection has helped me open to the divine and to heal many inner wounds, I want to do something concrete to express my gratitude.

The last time I was in Victoria, I stumbled upon an info sheet about the ritual of foot washing. The services advertised were based on the Christian tradition and were offered by a pastor. The point of the ritual is one of service and humility, of offering yourself to another with respect and devotion. Although I have deep issues with Christianity, there are parts of it that inspire me, and this ritual is one of those things.

In the context of a relationship, I believe that mutual service and honouring the divine within each other is so important. It is fraught in this culture of gender inequality and dissatisfaction within relationships to approach your beloved with a spirit of service and humility. Still, I think this is necessary in many ways for true intimacy and devotion to blossom. I used to think a lot, back when I was still caught up in the cycle of unfulfilling and abusive/dysfunctional relationships, how nice it would be if both people could approach the other with that spirit of service. Indeed, if both people look out for one another, no one is left wanting.

My relationship with Josh is a revelation to me in that respect. This is the first relationship that has lasted more than a few months in which I feel truly honoured and respected. I know that he is interested in doing things that make me happy, and he has approached me time and again from a place of service and devotion. I want to do the same, and I want to honour him in a ritual sense. I know it seems a little strange, but I want to do this.

When he comes back, I am going to invite him over for a ritual. I will cook him dinner, and after I have fed him, or perhaps before, I will wash his feet in a ritual bath with essential oils and give him a massage. I will take this time to tell him how much he means to me and how he has enriched my life, and how thankful I am to him for his gift of gentleness and sweetness and strength. I will tell him that I have decided to stop keeping my emotions close to my chest like a card sharp and am ready to express them to the people closest to me. Like him. I want him to know how much he means to me, even if I risk rejection in the process. Because what is life without a little risk, right?

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