Someone I knew just died. He died a horrific death, one that I would not have wished on anyone. I can only hope that his fear was comforted, his suffering brief, and his ending swift. I can also only hope that his family is able to find comfort in the lives they shared, and joy in the moments they remember.
I do not want condolences for me. I didn’t like the guy, issues stemming from high school bullshit that it seems I haven’t gotten over. Yet, as I read the story of his death, and saw the pictures of his loving family, the memory of anger began to be replaced by the experience of love. His young son will cry tears of great sorrow, tears that will effect him his entire life to come. His beautiful and devoted wife will miss her husband, her partner, and she will find an empty space beside her for some time to come as fate has dealt an ugly hand.
I don’t know his family, and I didn’t know the man, now.
He seemed to be an accomplished man in societal terms, having built a business doing what he seemed to love. There were mentions of his athletic prowess, his volunteering in working with kids develop their own athletic prowess. It appears his son has the same skills, and the same passions.
One can only hope that light is not dimmed, and that what inspired this young man continues. Yet, we know that loss can be a harsh teacher. A boy without his father is not the same boy at all.
The man seemed to have been a church-going man, and was described as a man comfortable in knowing his soul was prepared for whatever end that was coming. I think our souls are always prepared, it’s our minds, disconnected from the awareness of divine confidence, that aren’t. It seemed he had found some connection there, a connection I am sure served him well when the time came.
The reason I am sharing all of this is because the experience has offered me a vast realization. Regardless of how present we may normally be, or how enlightened we may feel, or how peaceful we may see ourselves as, there is always something to remind us of our humanity. There is always something that reminds us of this dream we call life, and our power within it.
I sat with my decades-old anger. I replayed scenes over and over again as the child in me raged with the wounds newly exposed. I could feel the salt rise, the passion replace the compassion, the fantasy overtook my reality.
I didn’t’ try to stop it. No, resistance is not only futile, but gives the beast great power. Instead, I allowed that river to flow, staying out of its way while compassionately observing it. I sat, firm, in the resolution that I needed this experience, and I would honor it for what it was going to teach me.
And teach me it did. Anger is now gratitude, chaos is now peace, and the rage of then has now been replaced by the love of Now.
I don’t seek accolades for this. Instead, I just wanted to show the great power of loving Awareness. We can heal ourselves, but first we must love ourselves without questions. We must stop vilifying ourselves for our thoughts, our reactions, our humanness. We have to embrace who we are, lovingly observe who we are, and sometimes do nothing but allow the natural change that comes. A change that will come quite naturally if we just stop hating ourselves and trying to restrain who we are.
I don’t hate the child in me, so I let him have his turn. I marvel quite joyously and his anger, and give him due. He deserves his moments, for he’s lived enough to have them. I realize, though, that his influence on the Man I Am cannot be long. I hear his voice, and I feel his reactions, but ultimately the Man I Am decides what the present moment will bring. So, I figuratively love the boy I was as the Man I Am, and from that springs all things.
So, in this morning’s meditation I was able to hold the man I once knew in high regard, and forgive the boy he was. I realize neither of us truly exist anymore, so holding onto such a low standard is my fault, not his. I suffer at my own hand, no one else’s.
He who does not know himself cannot truly know others. In this moment I can hold the man’s family in such loving compassion and do whatever I’m called to do to comfort. I can freely move within a world not always friendly, but always loving in wisdom. I can love openly having loved despite myself.