I follow Ghandi’s quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Imposing my belief of what another person should do with their life confuses their journey with mine, and leads us both down an insincere and karmically dangerous path. The beauty of freewill is the ability to decide, and deciding to instigate change from internal motivation is very powerful and profound. I don’t know where another person may be on their path, and asking them for change could lead them astray. However, if I live my life in the most kind and generous manner I can manage, I may inspire another to do the same. Or not. It will be their choice and they will take that step when their soul is ready for it. I believe in being supportive of change and growth, as long as their journey does not impede mine. I also believe that if one must change another to have them in their life, there is something dissatisfying with the one asking for change and self-reflection would be more fulfilling.
Yesterday I was talking with one of my besties (Fury) and the subject of attachment came up. I mentioned my disdain for attachment and Fury asked why. My response was simple, “Attachment comes with strings. Strings can be pulled. I want to be a river, not a puppet.”
I’m basically saying that I want to be able to ebb and flow as life commands it, without attaching myself to anyone (or thing) and allowing myself to be manipulated by another person or shallow desire (for things). This is a new endeavor for me. One of the Buddhist texts I’m reading states that an important meditation to spend time on is the meditation on death. It states that when we die we lose everything collected in this consciousness. We will no longer have any possessions we’ve acquired, knowledge we’ve learned, or relationships we’ve cultivated. Letting go of possessions is easy for me. Everything deteriorates and possessions don’t contain memories, facts, or anything else of great import. Letting go of knowledge is a little more difficult for me to accept. Knowledge is light and understanding. Accepting the loss of this light and understanding is like letting go of a lantern in a darkened hallway. The most difficult thing for me to let go of are my relationships. If knowledge is light and understanding in a darkened hallway, my relationships are the roof that keeps the rain off of me, the walls that shield me from the wind, the floor I walk on, and the air I breath. Without them I am exposed to the void.
Knowing that every relationship I’ve ever had the privilege of developing, including my children, my parents, and my chosen family (Fury, Purple, Country, Eureka, Traveller, and Amazon) will one day no longer exist is a stab in the chest. Coming to terms with these impending losses is a trial. All of these people are part of who I am. Letting go of them is letting go of parts of myself. But I suppose that’s the point. Let go of who I am to become part of the nothingness and oneness of the universe. I try to realize that during this particular life I have the joy of knowing them and accept that joy in the moment. I can cherish those I have around me but not become attached (knowing that attachment leads to loss and loss leads to sorrow) and help them and myself move to the next rebirth with as much good karma as possible.
As difficult as the Death Meditation can be, it does put things into perspective. We really only have a short time in this consciousness. It is our choice to look within and learn to love, give, and rejoice in life spontaneously or not. There is no joy in putting another person down, losing our temper, becoming fearful of loss, or succumbing to greed. We can find joy in the smallest of spaces, accept it for what it is and know that one day it will be gone. Knowing the end result allows us to try and live in the moment and truly appreciate the beauty of the world around us.
You were there when I dreamt.
I was in an enclosed courtyard without a door or a ceiling. The only opening was a large, open window. The courtyard felt like it was mine because it was decorated and furnished to my comfort and taste. There were large, soft pillows scattered about and overstuffed chairs tucked into corners. Dark linens and tapestries of blue, purple, and green hung from the walls. The open ceiling showed a night sky filled with stars, providing the only light. The general feeling of the courtyard was of the ocean at night: deep, comforting, cool, quiet.
Upon further examination I discovered that the window led not to the outside, but to a room made of wood lit with many candles. The wooden room had a low, cozy ceiling and worn, wooden tables and chairs that spoke of their years of use. In contrast to the courtyard, the wooden room seemed to be decorated in the essence of warmth. Reds, oranges and dusty yellows were the palette for this room, and the walls were bare except for the sconces holding the flickering candles. If the courtyard was a soothing ocean, the wooden room was an inviting fire.
And there was you. With a half-smile you opened your arms to embrace me and I indulged our common desire to do so, as much as was possible over the ledge of the window. When the embrace was over we simply smiled at each other and sat on our shared ledge, leaning our backs against the others’ and talking about our lives. You stayed in the wooden room and I in the courtyard, each graciously accepting the comforts offered. We had a confidante to lean on, the luxury of the richness and warmth your wooden room provided, and we savored the light of every star that passed over my little courtyard.
Thinking about it today I fondly remembered when I received a late night text from you to look at the sky. When I opened my window I saw a cloudless night and a large, bright moon.
Every one of my lovers has a monument of gratitude and remembrance in my heart, because I am thankful for what they could give me at the time. When I am at the altar of your monument, I find comfort in the memories of our time together and stillness when I feel myself begin to spiral. I try to be part of your life now, but you live in a place I cannot enter. You are trying to hold your fragile world together, and I would rather be part of it’s reinforcement than part of its failing.
While we live miles apart, in different ways, with different goals, I hope that we can continue to find comfort in the courtyard and bridge the gap of our lives in whatever ways possible.