Gratitude, Joy, Oneness and Service (Day 678 – Day 692)
I’m not going to talk politics this week. I think there is enough of that going around and we are all in our heads much more than our hearts. Even politics, if we could be honest right now, is all about a sense of what should be, and our deep feeling of betrayal that it is not. Betrayal, as I define it, is that feeling that comes from a circumvention of our entitlement to the world being the way we expected it to be, given the promises we made and that were made to us. Infidelity is the classic instance of betrayal.
I was ‘unfaithful’ once. I was 14 and I kissed another boy over the long summer absence from my boyfriend. It had happened the night of my grandfather’s burial and the start of a 3 day wake. I felt so guilty that I told my boyfriend about the indiscretion as soon as we met. In the face of betrayal, he modeled commitment, faith and forgiveness.. He chose not to see my behaviour as a reflection of my love for him, but rather as the act of an emotionally distraught young person, ill prepared for the intensity of a wake that goes on for days.
I know it is perhaps naive in this neo liberal world of individualism and ‘me first’ thinking but I take people at face value and I believe the best of them. As an adult, I don’t make commitments lightly, but when I do, I am fierce about keeping them. When I say ‘I love you,’ I mean it. If I say it to friend, family or lover, I mean it. And what comes with my expression of love is the commitment to continue to love, despite what comes.
I see the best in people even when they hurt me. What I cannot bear, however, is lies. Whether they are overtly stated, come under the heading of topics-avoided, or they come in the guise of second guessing and judgements, all are a fabricated story designed to avoid discomfort.
I remember that in writing school, some classmates and I were out for coffee and the topic of ‘why do you write?’ arose. Aside from the obvious – ‘because we have to’ – we all had reasons. I said that for me, it was the pursuit of Truth. They looked at me as if I was from Mars.
I guess my top values in life have always been Truth, Justice, Love and Beauty. And sometimes, those values can seem to come into conflict. We want justice when we are lied to, or when our love is betrayed by ugly behaviour. It is natural, but it is a false sense of justice. Ego wants to act out of entitlement and expectation. We are hurt. We must have restitution. But sometimes we can’t go back and make things the way things once were. And that is where Love can bring us to Truth.
Right now I have a friend who is behaving less than ‘respectfully’ or ‘open’ towards me. I have no idea why, and I cannot know unless he tells me. I could jump to conclusions – and other friends have done this for me, and they are angry with me for continuing to have faith in him. I don’t know what to make of the situation. My intuition has been pretty strong on this friendship in the past and now it is like the signal has been turned off completely.
Instead of jumping to conclusions, I am choosing to live with a question mark that cannot be answered by me. Sitting in this is painful. The question may never be answered, in this lifetime. I am desperately human and so I want jump to conclusions so as to fill in the story and complete the narrative of this chapter. And, I could easily do that and move on. But that would only be a cheap literary mechanism of Deus Ex Machina (God in the Machine). It would be a fabrication to avoid the discomfort and mess of epiphany.
And Truth is my highest value.
A few weeks ago, I saw a friend that I love. We had a sudden split over something that was said in jest and which was taken to heart. For him, it was a betrayal. He cut us all off, shortly after. For some reason, he has forgiven me for what I said. Perhaps it is because I just never stopped communicating and in that, he came to know me. I don’t know if he remembers that I am the one who said the comment, or if he has rewritten our narrative, in his own mind. Whatever the case, I am very grateful that we met after all this time. I love him, and hurting him had been painful for both of us.
For me, a meeting with him was one of the two unfinished relationships I had in London. I thought about him a lot and I was about to go to some length to get my closure of this chapter. It would have been a form of Deus Ex Machina.
But sometimes the Universe enters the machine in its own way if we just open our hearts and love fiercely enough.
I had spoken about him, with love, on that spot where I was when I met him again. I had cried about not seeing him, on that very spot. And within a week, after wishing him there – there he was. He walked up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder.
I was shocked. Sometimes I actually have problems accepting the gifts that the Universe manifests for me and the signs that something deeper is going on here. But after a few seconds, my joy was clear as I leaped up and hugged him, over and over and over again.
We had a special, soulful, beautiful, and unexpected evening – very intense – and we talked about everything. I came to see the Truth of the situation. I saw him again a few days later but that was on a different level than the soul. I don’t know if I will see him again. My intuition says that I may not, in this lifetime. But a chapter in our story is now complete and it has written itself in the time and in the way it needed to be written. And if there is another go round in another lifetime, I am sure that we will find one another again and we will open a new chapter.
As for the first friend I mentioned in this post, I don’t know what is happening with him. What is in my hands, is whether I choose to see some strange behaviour as a betrayal of our friendship, or not.
I think that the world is full of opportunities to be offended, if we want to take them. Most of that is manufactured in our own minds. I am grateful that my mother always tried to teach me not to take other people’s behaviour personally. I am also grateful that she never wanted me to be a doormat. Sometimes, those two principles can seem to be in contradiction with one another but by taking care of ourselves and also being loving to the other, we can walk even the finest of lines. If we really believe in Oneness then we know that ego is the source of feelings of betrayal and this only adds to our feelings of being separate. I think that right now, my service to the world is to live by example and to try to access my own intuition in whatever I do. Sometimes that may leave me isolated. Sometimes the process is painful. But, I suppose that the real meaning of commitment and of faith – whether it be in a deity, a person, or in our own internal knowing – is that we are able to stay the course of our commitment and sit in our discomfort without throwing that false God into the Machine. If we heed the soul’s call, I believe that eventually, we will come to the Truth.