There was once an ideal so great it seemed indestructible to me. It stood tall in the landscape of my life, and dominated my horizons even in those moments when I felt small and cold in its shadow. I measured my worth in its presence, often wondering if I could ever stand as tall as the person who had dominated my life.
Ultimately, I failed her and her me. It is remarkable what one can discover when the velo di amore is lifted from the eyes and replaced with la nebbia di avidità.
That is often where we find ourselves when a great promise becomes a lost ideal. I found myself a rudderless vessel unsure of each footstep and lost in an abyss of yesterdays, tossing and turning in a vast sea of uncertainty often sailing against the winds of my own heart. The very moment when you watch everything you once cherished and idolized become consistent with everything you wanted to remove from your life is the very moment when the ideal is lost, and often the very moment when you realize your life is no longer the dream you once held dear.
I had no idea what I was in for in that holy instant when the rains came and the flood waters descended upon my world. The walls closed in on me, and my heart sank into the black depths of despair. Gone are those who said you were their son. Gone are those who only hours before had said they loved you. Gone are those who called you brother, and gone is the one who promised you an eternity.
Everything goes. Everything vanishes. Everything returns to the dust on which it was built. Your life ends, or so you think.
I felt as if I was helpless, alone, and that I’d been left hanging in a place of which I had never been, in a way in which I had never experienced. I cried tears so salty that they dried my body of its substance, and sobbed so loudly that I had stirred the gods from their deepest slumber. I searched for reasons, and although I was told why from her, I realized that nothing I had ever believed in was real. I soon lost my sense of who I was and what I was doing.
It is, however, a moment of great opportunity. Some of us seek distractions and support from religion, others seek the same in substances. I simply wanted to watch and to learn. I wanted to seek out the illusions I had constructed in my life and end them. I wanted to suffer in order to end my suffering. I wasn’t going to find my joy in a Bible, or in a bottle; no I would have to find my joy in a place few of us journey into deeply in a way I had never tried before.
That is what I had decided to do. Search. Watch. Learn. Most of all I worked hard at not interfering with the process. Soon I began to see patterns that failed to serve me at my highest place. I saw my consistent need to blame myself for the failures. I saw the mistakes I made in not standing up for who I was and what I wanted in my life. I saw the error of not loving myself, and in not simply accepting my fears, my desires, my needs and my loves as wonderful manifestations of who I am. I allowed myself to be suckered into living a lie; her lie, their lie, and my lie. I followed my heart that said “I love you” without testing the waters in her mind to see if they were too shallow, too cold, or simply not aged enough to dive into. I allowed myself to believe her lie, and soon began living it as if I owned it. Worse, I began admitting to it as if it had really happened.
I began seeing the pedestal I had constructed to place her and them on. That pedestal was a dangerous construct, it puts others in a place of being worshipped unjustly while placing me in a place of worshipping others unfairly. I failed to see my worth, my value and my sense of divinity. It was no wonder I couldn’t see them for who they were.
Mere dust. Nothing more.
There came a time, though, when the proverbial flood waters receded and my ark came to rest on a mountaintop. The rainbows appeared and I let my cargo go free to wander those places I had never seen. It is there that the veil itself begins to unravel, and it is there that the pedestals crumble and the dust blows away. I began to see less with my heart and more with my mind all the while beginning to see it all with something I once searched for but had never truly found.
That part I was always seeking was, truly, that part that was always seeking me.
I began to see that there is truly nothing more valuable to a human Being as the relation I have with my Self. I began to see the things I once held so dear as nothing more than illusions. I began to let go of those swirling dust-devils I once held as gods upon a pedestal and they, in turn, began revealing their truth. I was never what I was told I was, and I was never what I wanted to be. Because I wanted to be it so badly I believed it so easily. In the end the lie was revealed, as was the truth. There is only I, and I am beautiful in every way.
They are just people, and not always just people. They are having their own experience as they have every right, and I have no real need to interfere with that which does not interfere with me. I don’t need their love to feel love, and I don’t need their acceptance to feel accepted. That was a losing proposition that I started years ago, and the faux me could never live up to the ideal that the real me had never agreed to.
So, now all I promise is me…in the flesh and in the spirit without pretense and without some false sense of what you want. You will either love me or not, and I don’t pretend to be able to make that choice for you. I love me, sincerely and without hesitation, as a man with perfect faults and incredible potential. I love what I am doing right now; taking a whirlwind of feelings, translating them into words, and sharing them with anyone who has the fortune of reading them. I love exploring parts of me that were once oppressed and hidden living up to ideals not mine and am often ecstatic about what I find in the process. I love jumping out of proverbial airplanes and free-falling, often unsure if the parachute I packed will ever open even while being sure that I was the one who packed it and no one else. I love being alone when I want, in great company when I can, and in exploring the liberation I’ve found in the broken shackles that now lay littering the place where the pedestals once stood. I. Love. Just. Being. Me.
I love writing about what I want to write about without worrying about being censored by someone who doesn’t accept me and who will never defend what she can’t accept.
I love that I am no longer afraid.
I love that I can experience this life in the way I wish to experience it without caring about the judgment of others.
I love that I no longer see the “old me” as bad because I no longer see the old me at all.
I love that I can now live in the present moment whenever I choose, undaunted by the desires of others to resign me to the box they created years ago.
I love that I can explore my journey while looking in the rearview mirror, unafraid of the judgments some will place on my experience, and without needing their approval.
I love the fact that sometimes I am deeply saddened by missing those I once called “family” even as I am extremely happy in the knowing of the love I have for them.
I love my children and the relationship I am forging with them. I love that they love me, and that I am acutely aware of the awesome miracles that they create in so many moments, in so many ways.
I love the friends I have discovered, both new and old alike. I love seeing the world with them, and in having our experiences together when the present themselves.
I love that I can be alone for days without worry and without despair.
I. Love. Just. Being. Me
Oh yeah, I said that already. Oh well, I hope to say it many more times before my time here is through. After all, there is no better proof that I love myself then in my ability to love you even if I can’t be “with” you. I love the fucking rain. I love the humidity. I love the cool breeze now lightly caressing my back through my open sliding-glass door. I love my cat who is now rubbing her body on my leg. I love the other one who is watching to see if I’ll pet his sister (they are competitive that way).
I love the fact that I am pro-peace and not anti-war. I love the fact that my oldest wants me to teach her meditation. I love the fact that I love.
And, of course, I. Love. Just. Being. Me.
As you can see, the experience of suffering can be a great friend. Losing something you love can also be a wonderful experience. Seeing what others are doing while also seeing who they are can be a wonderful experience. You soon see that they are just like you, having an experience, and even if you don’t like how you feel in what they are doing you can always find love for them because they are just like you. Even if they pretend to be better.
Take care of yourself and let them go. Those who don’t serve your purpose will drop away like rotting fruit from the tree to serve another purpose. Remember, that fruit is only rotting to you, to others that fruit will be a deserved feast, a welcome meal.
In the end what will only be real is the love you have for you. In the end, the only reality you will have is that you are a wonderful part of the Universe designed to manifest Its beauty. Adore yourself, and become your best friend.