What does ecstatic mean in love and relationships?

Shockingly, or maybe not, hearing the word ecstatic can send people running for the hills as if it were obscene. It is not. Others who may not completely understand its meaning, feel the power and potential of the word vibrating deep in their souls. The capacity to feel ecstatic is not just powerful but truly life transforming. 

Still others know they don’t understand the word, but find the possibility intriguing. Finally, a blessed few know exactly what ecstatic means in their life and their relationships, and therefore actively seek it. 

What remains clear is that the true definition of ecstatic is frequently, regularly, misunderstood. It is not what most people imagine. 

In hopes of making this exquisite breathtaking experience accessible, and to bring its gifts and blessings to you, your life, and your relationships, this article will allow us to explore the meaning of ecstatic from the boardroom to the bedroom and everywhere in between. Yes, for the skeptics, you can absolutely feel ecstatic in the boardroom and it has nothing to do with inappropriate behavior. Diving in further, we’ll also answer the question of how to be ecstatic in your life and in your relationship. First, let’s define this sometimes intimidating word. 

What does ecstatic mean?

Did you notice that we haven’t mentioned sexuality yet? The reason so many people cringe when they hear the word ecstatic is that most people directly associate ecstatic with sexuality, making the two words synonymous. Yes, we can of course share ecstatic moments in our sexuality, but it is so much more than sexuality. The good news is sex is not required for an ecstatic life. However, a long lasting, healthy romantic partnership will include a good dose of ecstatic physical pleasure. Let’s go deeper. 

Ecstatic means having a profound emotional experience rooted in great pleasure. Feeling ecstatic has a quality of intensity that may be internal, external, or both. Externally it usually has a bolder, wilder, and louder expression. Internally, it often offers a subtle yet strong vibration of profoundly quiet, breathtaking euphoria and bliss. In other words, the feeling of ecstatic is one of an indescribable overflowing joy felt within and beyond you. 

When we feel ecstatic, we are actually encountering, within ourselves, an intersection or union of the 5 primary Divine Feelings – peace, joy, love, passion, and beauty. Often we’ll share this incredible experience with another. Yet feeling ecstatic certainly does not require another person.  

Now for a moment, let’s simplify our definition of ecstatic. When you first start out on your exploration of what it means to feel ecstatic in life, love and relationships, you might consider your journey to ecstasy as a ladder you could climb beginning with the simplest of “happy” emotions. From there, as you climb the ladder, you can build your comfort with, and capacity for, higher and higher states of joy and ecstasy. We’ll explore this “ladder” more in a moment. 

The prerequisites: Overcoming the fear of being ecstatic 

Our explorations of the prerequisites for feeling ecstatic are, as you’ll see, really about eliminating the barriers we have against the feeling. We’ve already discussed some of the reasons people feel resistant, if even unconsciously, to the word ecstatic. We want to consider two other reasons you might avoid this beautiful human experience. We’ll call them “vulnerability” and the “fear of losing control.” 

Truly letting ourselves feel immense experiences of joy can easily remind us of our natural human vulnerability. We quickly realize we could truly lose the object, person, or experience that inspired our feelings of delight and wonder. Brene Brown calls this “foreboding joy” and it’s one of the reasons we push away or won’t allow ourselves to feel too good. 

Additionally, some people fear that if they let themselves feel their greatest ecstasies that they will lose their sense of control over themselves and their experience. While we know ecstasy isn’t all about sex by any means, have you ever heard a news story about someone having a bad experience because they allowed their natural pleasure to feel too good

Others fear an “addiction” to feeling ecstatic, imagining they’ll never be responsible or productive ever again, if they let go into exquisite joy. Fortunately, being ecstatic is not addictive, at least not in the way we think of paralyzing addictive behaviors. It won’t render you irresponsible. It might just make you more responsible as a matter of fact. 

You can trust that our human essence is not hedonistic as some people fear, feeling shame within themselves or judging others. In truth, our essence is pure light, love and joy. We will do, accomplish, be, and contribute so much more from this state of ecstatic being than we ever could when moving from a place of endurance, guilt, striving, efforting, or even discipline. 

Our minds make up all kinds of stories in an attempt to protect us. Yet fear-based stories only serve to limit our hearts – our love and our joy. So before you start trying to explore being ecstatic, you may want to look more closely at the fears you have of it – so you can learn to let go and trust, allowing yourself to be blessed by this incredible feeling. 

Overcoming guilty feelings

As you conquer your fear of feeling ecstatic, you may then have to overcome your guilt. It can seem tempting to feel guilty or ashamed of our good feelings when others are hurting. Yes, the world is filled with much challenge. Without a doubt there are those who are suffering or experiencing injustice. 

While many of us are working to change that, the problems will not go away overnight. Does that imply that in the meantime we should not be truly joyful, ecstatic, blissful? We think not. 

Here’s the thing. If we’re honest, every single person walking around in a human body, on some level, craves happiness, craves connection, craves joy and would welcome ecstatic moments that take their breath away and stop them in their tracks. We simply all want to laugh and play joyously as much as possible. We just do. It’s in our genuine human nature. 

With that, consider, if we all walked around unhappy right now, can you sense the exponential increase in the world’s pain we would all experience? Everyone suffering would serve no one. Those who are struggling need others who are not. Those who hurt the most need reminders and inspiration, as well as encouragement and support, that helps shine a light for them as they find their way back to their own joy and ecstasy. If we were all dour, our world would not last long. 

We see this in our romantic partnerships in a similar way. 

Too often, if a partner isn’t feeling great, isn’t happy, then we easily make up that we should keep our happiness or joy under wraps. Nothing could be further from the truth. You don’t need to say “Ha ha. I’m happy and you’re not,” of course not. Yet, if you stop your feel-good feelings in order to protect your partner, not only do you marginalize yourself, you also assist to collapse the inherent vibrancy and endurance of the relationship itself. Additionally, you establish co-dependence patterns, which only further deteriorate the strength of your relationship. 

Your access to and capacity for ecstasy feeds and nourishes your relationship. Yes, your willingness to feel ecstatic supports and blesses you, your partner, and your connection. 

How to feel ecstatic?

As we’ve been indicating here, feeling ecstatic starts with you, starts within you. Surprising to many, feeling ecstatic only happens when you are being yourself. In other words, you can’t feel ecstatic when you’re striving, performing, perfecting, or pretending. If you live your life trying to be something so that someone will love you, if you hide parts of yourself so that you won’t be rejected or judged, or if you overdrive and overdo so that you’ll get that promotion or recognition, ecstasy will remain elusive.  

Like moths to a flame, as humans we feel drawn to authenticity and ecstasy. We’ve all heard the phrase, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Again, it’s not about sex, but it’s about letting go and enjoying our joy. It is actually a privilege and pleasure to witness another’s genuine ecstasy. You, enjoying your joy, offer a gift to those around you.

“You, enjoying your joy, offer a gift to those around you.”

~ Joanna Shakti

In our Soul Love program series we explore your capacity for ecstasy, first, through the embodiment of ecstatic authenticity. With great development, our joyous authenticity leads to experiences of ecstatic ecstasy which then avails us to the deepest of connections, pleasures, intimacies, and joys available on this human journey.

We define ecstatic authenticity as an experience of being wholly yourself that says, “It feels so good to be me. I know who I am. I know what matters to me. I know what lights me up. And, being me feels so good that I don’t ever want to again twist myself into a pretzel, settle, or sell myself out for anybody or anything.” This commitment to self is truly a healing balm for our struggling intimate relationships. Ecstatic intimacy – how we relate to those we love – builds the bridge between ecstatic authenticity and ecstatic intimacy. 

So, if you want to know how to feel ecstatic, then embark on the journey to discover or rediscover who you truly are. Then give yourself complete permission to be that true self. Do whatever it takes to find this freedom and authenticity within you. Every relationship in your life will benefit immensely. Most find that their professional lives expand beautifully too. Who doesn’t want to work with, be in the “boardroom” with, someone who embodies true passion, genuine ecstasy for what they’re doing and contributing to the world? 

For contrast, remember  that when we don’t honor ourselves, when we are the opposite of ecstatically authentic, not only do we feel terrible inside, the ensuing self abandonment truly harms our relationships

What does ecstatic look like in love and relationships?

Being ecstatic in love and relationships has a many dimensional landscape. First and foremost, we want to develop the capacity to enjoy ourselves and our relating so much that it feels almost unbelievably good, deeply blessed, truly ecstatic. This takes some skill and courage. 

We also want to create a space for ourselves and our partner to explore climbing the ladder of emotions that lead to ecstatic living and loving. As you integrate the guidance offered here, you’ll expand your comfort zone and capacity for real joy, genuine bliss.  And, you’ll feel safe allowing a partner to do the same. 

Using the ladder metaphor, you can start by getting acquainted with and embracing less intimidating feelings like happy, content, and enjoyment. As those become more natural, from there you can explore feelings of delight, blessing, and elation. Finally, as you feel “at home” feeling good, then you can expand into feelings of joy, bliss, and ecstasy. If you and a partner take this journey together, or meet each other while you’re on this journey, you will share frequent moments and experiences that both take your breath away and leave you speechless. 

Where courage comes in 

One of the key premises of the Path of Soul Love and one of the greatest gifts of romantic soul connections is the opportunity to turn conflict into communion. Wait, did we just bring conflict into a conversation about being ecstatic? Yes. We did. Here lies one of the greatest misunderstandings of love and soulmate relationships. Soul-based relationships offer the direct pathway to ecstasy but only if we’re willing to do the hard stuff, only if we’re willing to be messy and imperfect, only if we’re willing to forgive and repair. 

Having an ecstatic life or relationship doesn’t mean we don’t feel and do hard things. We do. As a matter of fact, the bigger our courage is to feel uncomfortable emotions, the bigger our capacity to know joy, to rest in bliss. We shed tears of joy, and we know that tears of sadness can spontaneously become tears of joy. 

Allowing ourselves to share all of our feelings – the good and the “bad” – with our partner, having the courage to stay present in an upset, and having the fortitude not to blame when we so want to, offers an alchemical mixture of living and loving that completely changes the nature of an intimate relationship. 

Those couples who navigate hard times together – who share with each other the vulnerability that other couples run from – know that they have found not just a love that goes beyond description. They also share an extraordinary way of relating that they could never have begun to imagine before they had the courage to explore ecstatic loving. You know these couples when you see them. 

As we close, remember to start simple. Remember that ecstasy is really a bigger version of happiness. It’s a bigger version of joy. Realize that feeling good in our society is something we’ve been conditioned in many cases to avoid and that perspective can make the journey to ecstatic love scary – for you and for a partner. Yet, if you find the courage to walk the full course of this path, whether currently single or partnered, you won’t regret it. 

Ecstasy contributes to our life force. It rests in the essence and at the heart of the joy that we are all meant to experience. 

Ecstatic is a way of being. 

Ask yourself, who do you want to be in life and love? Ask yourself, who am I not to be ecstatic?

*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.

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