I woke up this morning -startled awake- the GNG didn’t want me to miss this. I’d been dreaming of the connections I have to people, places, things, all the beings I love and have grown from connections with. Relationships, it has taken my whole life to understand, are the real key to knowing myself. Everyone has been as a mirror for me, as I have for them, and I am finding this such a beautiful thing. The illusions that I have had -those repetitive thoughts, beliefs, projections and blames- are just that: Illusions. My husband has done the most for me, whether he realizes it or not. Sometimes those closest to us can arose us to the height of anger, and in one of those moments, I also saw him with the eyes of love. Ever since that enlightening moment, I strive now to see him as I am: A human being doing his best.
We’re not always at our best, are we? Yet it helps to remember that maybe, just maybe, even when we are not at our best, we are still doing the best we can – in the moment we are in. Many things can trigger us, but when I remember to be forbearing, and when I can manage it, forgiving, those moments pass, and maybe I have avoided doing or saying something hurtful.
So this morning I woke up dreaming of all the connections I have to people, places, things, groups, ideas, values, and I drew a circle. For each person, place, thing, group, ideal, what have you, I drew a circe and a line connecting the circle that was me. Soon the page had filled up. Other thoughts crowded in.
I am what I eat. My husband served our Sunday morning breakfast of Huevos Rancheros. The children of a chicken, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, a corn tortilla, refried beans – these will break down chemically through the digestion of my body into essential proteins, vitamins and other nutrients. The eggs, probably from a factory farmed chicken, touched my heart, and I gave some consideration to the life of that animal, a mother like myself. Children come into this world, but they are not ours, the poet Kahlil Gibran wrote so eloquently, but are born of the longing of life for itself. My son is in the military, serving a cause larger than himself, and I miss him. How I miss him! But I had to let him go answer the calling of his own soul.
At that moment I bowed my head with reverence, because I could feel the far reaching connections to the farm workers whose labor provided the food I was eating, except for the tomatoes which came from my own garden. There was the sunlight and rain and soil that fed the plants and now feeding me. Every little bite of this, every tiny piece represents a tinge of awareness of the fabric of the whole awareness making up the vibratory frequency of the Earth, Sun, Moon, Stars, and me and you, and overarching Awareness of whose life force we all take part. Think about that for a moment. A tinge of the awareness of the Absolute of whose life force we all partake, is inside of me and you.
I am what I see, I am what I perceive, and what I perceive forms the thoughts I think. I watched my husband prepare that breakfast as I made my first coffee of the morning. Every move was deliberate. He had prepared all the ingredients ahead of time, and as he layered the tortillas with each type of food, he was mindful of his actions, and his preparation of breakfast was full of love. That love went into the food. The only habit he has that could rile me if I let it, is that the entire time he is cooking, a cigarette is in his hand. That part of my mind that is critically judgmental began to cycle blame and the thought that I don’t need cigarette ashes seasoning my food, but that other part of my mind realizes how much he suffers from that habit which he cannot break, and I thought: If everyone who knows me wrote down one of my sins into the book of life, it would be a miles long list. As I don’t want to live with blame, I chose to let it go, and focused on the love instead.
In the Gurdjieff school we learned that digestion is not only about the food the physical body takes in, but the air we breathe, and the perceptions that feed us the impressions for our mind. I have seen this idea reflected elsewhere too, for example in some of the writing of Eknath Eswaran, who has since passed from this world, but whose Blue Mountain newsletter I used to enjoy reading. The quality of our attention to life and our work in life apparently changes our bodies so that we take in more rarified substances from air and impressions than science has yet recognized – or if it has I haven’t learned about it. But my point here is that the thoughts we think, the experiences we choose to give attention to, all of these influences define our character. We are what we think.
At one point in my life I had a significant other with a son addicted to heroin. While my heart went out to the young man, all he could think of was the next high. We talked a lot. I did not have what he needed to help him, although I tried to help him find ways to change his thinking. I eventually left the relationship feeling burnt out, unable to give anymore emotional energy to a sad situation, but it taught me a lot about the importance of healthy boundaries and not enabling other people. Even so, there is a touch of enabling in doing things for those I love, and if I don’t, I feel somewhat disconnected. So the only answer I have found to that one, is to ask whether the things I am doing for the people I love are in their best interest, or serving another purpose. When I am honest, sometimes I am simple serving my own self interest.
I bumped into my former “step son” one day. Although we were never officially tied by marriage, we had that type of relationship for seven years. We hugged. I could perceive that his struggle continues, but he is doing better he says, and I am left with hope.