If divorce were a marathon, I’d peg myself at about mile 2. I’ve never run a marathon, but I know that when I start a hike I’m pushing myself those first few miles. The legs feel a little fuzzy, a little peeved that they have to work so hard out of the gate. I imagine they think they do all the heavy lifting…little do they know it’s the heart that works tirelessly to carry me on. But I love my legs. Even the jiggly part of my inner thighs. (Truth be told, I have to remind myself to love that part. Daily. Hourly. When I’m not reminding myself to love my feet. Or my stretch marks.)
As I reflect back on these last several months I am amazed at all that has transpired. It seems impossible that I could maintain this pace for the duration. Then I pause and realize my life has always been this rich, this full of experiences. I just wasn’t paying close enough attention before the Pocket Call. And now that I am, I am blown away by the levels of details, experiences, and meanings that are available to me if I choose to access them. If I choose to live my life by being present and fully open. It’s not a pace I am maintaining, it’s a cadence by which I am choosing to live my life.
The ride back home from Yachats is a great metaphor for what I’m coming to understand. The car was flying, but I was stationary. Emotions, scenes, and energy, both light and dark, were all buzzing around me, but I remained centered so I could look at them and see them with clear eyes. Life can move at dizzying speeds, but if I get out of my head and live in my core, I’m in the eye of the storm, where it’s calm, and not whirling around the outskirts, end over end, trying to hitch a stabilizing ride on the bumper of an airborne pickup truck.
So many recent encounters could have resulted in me putting the talents of the Cirque du Soleil acrobats to shame. I want to understand why they haven’t. It’s not because I’m all of the sudden some sage who emits nag champa with her every delicate move. Somehow, by adding the extra step of looking for the meaning behind the encounter, I’ve simplified my experience here on the blue marble. Yet I’ve made it more complex, in a delicious, energizing way. And I’ve created a place to be that allows me to allow others to be as they are, without judging them. Which provides me with opportunities to learn and to support those beings that are kind enough to come walk with me for some time.
I’m going to borrow from K. some of his words in a comment he posted about the reactions by some here at HGM to the recent experiences I’ve had with The Genius and Mr. Jackpot.
“None of us is above reproach, and rashly judging one another, instead of seeking to understand, is not the path to contentment. Men and women are different, in the way we see the world and how we communicate, especially in relationships, and double-especially in how we communicate our fears, anxieties and insecurities. It’s a godawful mess, frankly, and it takes a whole ton of work to puzzle through it. But it’s worth the effort, in my view. I appreciate the women in my life who have given me patience and the room to grow and learn to express myself in ways that work for them. I hope they appreciate how I’ve provided the same for them.”
As has been K’s modis operandi, his comment was ultra timely. It is exactly this idea of being compassionate with those who join us on our path, allowing them the opportunity to be imperfect, so that we can learn from each other, that I resonate with most. But here’s where we differ:
“It’s a godawful mess, frankly, and it takes a whole ton of work to puzzle through it.”
For me, it becomes less messy and not work, but rather an exciting endeavor, when I seek the meaning behind the encounter, the interaction, the experience and not simply react to what is transpiring.
I feel as if I live (sort of) comfortably in two worlds these days. I was tooling around the web to find a way to describe how this feels to me and read these words: “The higher planes are about pure energy, love and truth; the lower planes are about manifesting them.” (The site is www.michaelteachings.com – I haven’t fully perused it but seems like there’s some interesting ideas there to ponder.)
By knowing that all actions, words, thoughts, deeds are born from a place of love and truth, I am better able to be compassionate with their manifestations on the blue marble. It brings me right back to my school analogy. We’re all students here. We are being given daily opportunities to explore the absolute kick of being a human being. Our lives are ripe with encounters that urge us to go beyond, to ponder, to seek the underlying meaning. We have access to all the tools (compassion, love, intuition, joy, intelligence) we need to ace this course. We just have to remember to open the kit.
I spent a grand total of 5 minutes on the Michael Teachings site and, along with the beautiful morsel above, I was delighted to read this from Joya Pope:
“Some of us intellectual types have an easier time loving everyone once we acknowledge that people exist at all kinds of level of development…it was easier for me to stop trying to nudge and push people to GET IT and move along. I have a LOT more enjoyment of people with these ideas about levels in my head. I love myself more easily for understanding these patterns too – – and forgive myself more easily for being lazy about the material world. Or for feeling like I don’t fit in some social or business setting.”
I don’t know Joya Pope, and I wouldn’t describe myself as an intellectual type, but perhaps I read that differently than she meant it to be read. To me, seeing that people are on all different levels of development here is a heart-centered view. Not an intellectual one. And it makes so much sense to me. We often reference chemistry, or lack there of, when describing an encounter with another person. Sometimes we have ‘chemistry’ and sometimes we don’t. Maybe that chemistry we feel is the result of our levels of development being in sync. Not equal, per se, but complimentary. Mutually beneficial.
So, while my experience with Mr. Jackpot on our Yachats adventure could easily be described as uncomfortable, intense, chaffing, irritating, or unnecessarily complicated and lacking joy, I see it as a perfect manifestation of our pure energy, love and truth. As Joya says, “I have a LOT more enjoyment of people with these ideas about levels in my head.”
How’s that for spinning s…tuff into gold?
The idea that we are on different levels of ‘soul maturation’ reminds me of a theory that I learned way back when I launched my post-college career. The theory is often referred to as the Four Stages of Competence. In short, we begin at the Unconsciously Incompetent stage, progress to Consciously Incompetent, then to Unconsciously Competent and finally graduate to Consciously Competent. When applied to the acquisition of a skill it fits perfectly. And when applied to our experience here on the blue marble it is a home run.
Wow. I didn’t expect tears.
They spring from eyes that see the beauty in our imperfections. Trust me when I say that to genuinely embrace, love and give time and space to my own imperfections and those of others is an epiphany that is massively potent for me. And such a dramatic shift from where I once was stuck. It frees me up to slow down and love, love, love.
Which is a good thing because I’m about to do my first open water swim in the bay this week and have already felt the eyes of the sea creatures upon me as they lick their lips. (Do they have lips?) I’ll be envisioning swimming with grace and endurance and not splashing around like bait, fighting the tide and losing the battle. I will love each and every shark that patrols the bay that night. Let’s hope they do the same for me. I will have a guide, Mr. Been-There-Done-That. I don’t want you to think I would just dive into the bay and swim off. Well, I would. But my Mom won’t let me.
(For the record, I do meet women, just in case you are wondering where all these Mr.’s come from. It seems that women are coming forth to support my soul and men are coming forth to teach me about the planet. I’ll remain conscious of this idea because I find it intriguing – the way the maternal is cradling my soul and the paternal is showing me the ropes.)
PS: Did no one see what I saw in the drift wood pictured here?