Living through the vagaries of life I move on an inward journey. A solitary journey that is unique since there is neither anyone I know nor any strangers on this trip with me. The vehicle is my mind and in this vehicle is my own mind - the one I am only now discovering. It leads me along various paths and as I move forward I am oblivious to where I am being taken. This mind is full of secret cracks, crevices and caves and although it appears to be out in the open it is really hiding somewhere in a small hole from where it is watching everything happening around it and reacting according to its 'acquired nature.' The ride is not just interesting but rejuvenating. The cracks and crevices hold wonderful secrets that are liberating.
The choices I have made through my life have been based more on what I have learnt than what I truly want. The first thought that comes to mind with any task I undertake has been about how the outside world will react to the result. This world maybe one other person or a community. Sometimes it has been to impress others and often times it has been about not being looked down upon. It was about seeing myself through the eyes of others. I am aware of this trait, I have acknowledged that this is completely my trait and have also accepted that is how I behave. I now am attempting to raise myself out of this self defeating trait. Just to say I will not look at myself through the eyes of others is not enough. I have to relearn how to know me through myself. I am learning about my own true nature through my own likes and dislikes that arise intuitively. It is not easy to just give in to a feeling and not analyze it before saying or doing something. But to ascend the negative trait of comparison of my feelings against those of others I must begin to honor my intuition. It is a process I go through in my mind.
Social norms makes some demands from me - again it is not about what I want but more about what society demands. Someone is in the hospital undergoing surgery. I spend a few minutes each day saying a special prayer for her speedy pain free recovery. I care about her but I do not see the need for me to express this concern each day, or even disrupt her schedule by visiting her at the hospital. I do not need to know how she is doing each day. This is not about me - only about her. I know it is a surgery that will relieve her from years of pain and discomfort and I just want her to have a comfortable journey through this process. So I continue to pray but refuse to vie for her or her family's attention by calling, or visiting her. I have sent out my best wishes and my availability to help if I am needed. I feel good about my decision and so have sent out a positive energy into my environment.
I have found that those who really care do not demand my time. They know I care and am available. These are loving people with whom I can be me. Some great friends and my boys fall within this category. I have been physically away from my sons for a few years now. They live in a different country. I do not call them every day neither do they. I never expected them to do so. Yet I feel as closely connected to them today as I did when they were babies. Even though I do not know about their daily activities I 'know' everything about them. There is this sense of oneness with them. I know that if I had spent my time waiting for their calls this connection would have been weaker. It is the same with my good friends. We may not be in touch for months but when we need one another we pick up where we left off and simply move forward. They have my shoulder and my back and I do theirs! It is a deep connection that does not require any work to be maintained. It just is.
Through my life I have known many people with whom my connection is superficial. It is difficult to cultivate a lasting trust. This is a connection that is constantly being tugged at. I try to hold on when I should really just let go. I can love them and be there for them but these relationships require constant attention and are draining. They are vying for approval and are dissatisfying. It is best to leave such relationships for social good times. Going too deep with them eventually end up in disasters. They are easier to maintain for short stints of time only. My challenge is recognizing these relationships and differentiating them from the true ones. My belief that inherently everyone is good makes me move forward with every relationship trusting that it will be a true one. Then one day I get kicked to the kerb. I pick myself up and I move on. I am now learning to pull myself away before I get thrown out with the bath water. I continue to give of myself, hold them in my prayers and good wishes - from a distance. The kerb is not where I deserve to be.
I had learnt that being alone is a sad way to live life. I know now how untrue that knowledge is. Being alone can be joyous and fulfilling. The silence of being with oneself gives me the chance to reconnect with me. A connection that had been torn because of the din that I kept myself surrounded by. I reflected what others saw me as, instead of reflecting who I really am. I was more about my ego and less about my spirit. It is only with time spent with myself that I have recognized this. I am slowly reverting back to being one with me. The demands of others, their needs, their problems, and their sad stories at their convenience ruled my life. I hurt myself in the process. Now I am still available for others but only if I am ready and if it is possible for me to be there when they need me. If I do not feel replenished I do not give of myself anymore. When I give on an empty tank I feel I am being had. This is good for neither of us. There have been times when I gave too much and each time it was as if everything around me collapsed. They were good lessons to have learnt. I paid a hefty price but it was worth it simply because it has brought me closer to me than I have ever been before.
Replenishing the tank - this can only be done when I am alone. It is not about what I get from others just as being empty is not about what others get from me. This is all about what I do for me. Meditation, contemplation, writing, reading, these are activities that replenish me. When I do not give enough time and energy to these I drain myself. When I am surrounded by the presence of others be it through the telephone, the computer, TV or in person there is no time for these vital activities. The more time I spend in silence the more vibrant and energetic I feel and the more connected I am to myself. I choose to distance myself not to run away from others but to run towards me. I want to know more about me and less about the world out there for now. I recognize that when I know me I will have known the world too.