The house is quiet, the window open and I can actually see my neighbor’s house next door. Funny, in the past 5 years we have barely said hello even though we live 10 feet away from each other. It’s moments like this that makes me realize how much of my world is present to me yet I am absent from it. Reading the book Taking the Leap by Pema Chodron (thank you Santoshi for this amazing gift!) has made me understand that I am have been asleep and letting Shenpa (attachment or being hooked or stuck) rule my world. It’s as if I am all reaction even when I try to slow down. At some point, the apologies have to desist, and real action has to take place. I need to practice the 3 things we all carry: Natural Intelligence, Natural Warmth and Natural openness. I know that there are things I need to do especially towards a few people who have hurt me deeply unintentionally. As much as I talk about real friends and family, I know that I need to have a conversation with those dear to me. I see now that I am pushing them further and further away by not opening up to them and letting them know that I need them in my life. Too often, I have let my ego rule my world, and while it has proven satisfying for the moment, like poison ivy, that satisfaction has spread the rash all over my mind and soul. In my quest for the temporary release, I managed to do some long-term damage that I may never be able to repair.
I have the ready excuse that my wife has cancer, or that I am recent stroke victim, yet I know that I have made this all about my pain and myself in general. Shit happens. Life happens. Get over it. Actually, I don’t mean that in an angry way. I am just tired of fighting, of alienating people, and hurting the people close to me. I see now that I need to be better, do better, be the person I can be. I have let my emotions become me, and that has led to me being even more alone. So I need to follow the 3 steps (easy to describe but extremely hard to do). 1) Acknowledge that I am hooked, 2) Take 3 Deep breaths and lean into the energy, experience and taste whatever it is, take it in the waft of anger, pain, hurt, breathe it in, make love to it, play with it and then Step 3: Relax and Move On. Again, I come back to the realization and advice to STAY PRESENT, BE AWAKE.
It is so easy to drift, to dream, to look at the past, the future but so incredibly difficult to experience the Now. So now my birthday resolution makes sense now because writing forces me to stay present, to observe, to relish the moment, lean in experience it whole-heartedly. But, (and there is always a but). I know now how much I am loved, and how much I have hurt others. However, no more apologies, just being present, using my natural intelligence, warmth and openness can now save me. In other words, be who I am, not what others want me to be.
- Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart (onebookafteranother.wordpress.com)
- Rabbi Alan Lurie: The Spiritual Power Of Admitting Our Faults (huffingtonpost.com)
- Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.: 4 Steps to Get Unstuck (huffingtonpost.com)