Gratitude, Joy, Oneness, Service, and Purpose (Day 983 – Day 1013)
I am grateful to Terrence and to Tonia who gave me the themes of today’s post, because I was struggling to get outside of myself and find a thread on which I could hang a narrative.
I was reminded recently that it has been just over six months since I came ‘home.’
If you have been reading this website, you will know that ‘Home’ is a difficult concept for me. I have lived away from my family and my country of origin for most of my life and certainly, nearly all of my adult life.
By the time I was 12, I had lived in something like 10 different homes. I lived in a nuclear family and by the time I was six that family started to disassemble itself, like a jigsaw puzzle that was completed for only a moment before being taken apart. And slowly, the picture crumbled. First a sister left, then a father, then another sister. And soon it was my mother and me, alone. And then my mother died.
‘Home’ has been a longing of mine and simultaneously a place I felt was always just beyond my reach.
I found myself loving a young man, and we shared a longing for a sense of belonging and a romantic sense of family. For a flash of an instant, I thought we had found an eternal sense of homecoming with one another. Some might call that the recognition of a soul mate; a memory of someone within someone in a time beyond time.
The thing about time is that there is the time that is measured in the lifespan of a body and the time that is measured in the lifespan of a soul.
I walk a spiritual path that demands we remain in this world, but not of it. We keep one foot in the time that is corporeal and the other in the time that is eternal. And, in a sense, we are in all times, at once. But knowing how to navigate this, if our eyes and our hearts have been opened to another world, is not easy.
I knew I would be leaving London but I stalled, because the young man had promised he would return home to London and I could not bear the thought of never seeing him again in this lifetime. I waited for the young man while the old man waned, and in the end, he never came. So, I came ‘Home’ to Canada to spend time with my father and found a way to rekindle a long-distance friendship with the young man.
We have so many expectations of family and what it means to be family. We change, we grow up, and we grow apart. Inside of us is that child that we once were, or that parent that we want to be. But we are so much more. Nobody tells you that you have to live with all these ghosts as you try to live in the here, and dwindling moments of the now. We want to say and do all the things we need to say and do before our time runs out.
My father’s heart is delicate – not just emotionally – but simply by virtue of his age. I wish I could be his little girl again, but that time has gone. He has grandchildren now and they are his light and his life. I try not to burden him with my troubles. I’m not his little girl, and I’m not his grandchild. But, time with him has allowed me to be tender with him in a way that a parent is with their child. Time has a way of turning things around.
When the young man suddenly ended our relationship, I was on my way to my father’s office. I grabbed hold of my startled father and cried.
As my tears watered my father’s starched white shirt, I was, again, his little girl. I hadn’t been his little girl since I was about five years old. Following the example of my teenage sister, I told him I was too old for hugs and cuddling and I didn’t let him hold me any more, despite wishing I didn’t have to be a big girl to gain my sister’s favour. We take for granted so much in life and if only I had known how short my time as daddy’s little girl would be, I would have held on tight to him and let my sister go play with the big kids. And, had I known how short my time with the young man would be, I would have done all I could to complete my purpose in his life and our karma together.
But, for just an instant – in what was possibly our last Christmas together – I was able to come home again to the little girl who ran away from her daddy, who ran away from ‘home’ and who has run all her life into the arms of men who could not or would not hold her. For an instant, I came home and found a man who had once loved me, held me and given me a home.
I am grateful that I got to return to being my daddy’s little girl and to crawl into his lap one last time.
We also have many expectations of what love should be. When we feel drawn to someone and it feels karmic, we can so easily place a narrative on it, and take that magnetic pull for granted, believing that nothing could tear it apart. Karma can only be resolved if we work at it with intention. We may be given the opportunity, but free will is the catch.
About a month ago, I had a session with a long-distance healer that came highly recommended by a friend. She told me that she was removing the karmic debt between me and the young man. For a few hours I felt a joyful relief and I was grateful for that respite. But, in my heart, I just feel that there is no short-cutting karma. In Buddhism and Hinduism, from which the concept of karma comes, nobody can remove our karma but ourselves. It can be removed by Grace, but if there is such a thing as Grace, I am pretty faithful that it comes only from the Divine.
In my heart, I know THIS is not over. I don’t say that with hope. I say it with painful certainty. Despite wanting to release one another, new karmas have been created that, without intentional work, will be binding. Whether it resolves in this lifetime or not, whether it happens in the flesh or only in spirit, I will know that THIS is complete only when it is completed.
Ideally, for those of us on a spiritual path and those of us who believe in the concept of karma, we would like to complete as many relationships as possible in this lifetime so that we neither tie ourselves, nor our loved ones to a cycle of death and rebirth. And, it is for this that I have come home, after all these years. I know my relationship with my father is also not complete.
Yesterday marked the start of Lent in the Christian tradition. The story goes that Jesus went into the desert to fast and to pray and to face trials and to be purified for achieving his purpose and death. Following in that tradition, I have chosen to go home to the solitude of the deepest chambers of my heart and to a sense of Oneness with the Beloved that dwells and burns within the heart of hearts. One of my highest purposes in this lifetime is to love. Love does not hold on to another. Love, if it is love, frees the beloved so that they can move on in this life or beyond it. Dedicating this time to meditation and contemplation around my relationships is service to that purpose.
The only homecoming that truly has meaning is found in the deepest chambers of the heart that, broken, burning and bleeding, continues to beat with love, now and throughout time.
For what are you most grateful, right now?