“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” — Rumi
So let me tell you about how I fooled myself the other day. My Katy calls me after I spend the afternoon at Applebee’s. She’s doing her normal Katy thing that she knows I hate, but it’s her thing so who cares how I feel about it. Anyway, she calls me and I have my normal “I HATE THIS” reaction and get all angry and blow up at her and all that good stuff.
So I’m doing that and the Me that’s better than me is watching all of this unfold, just shaking its head at my behavior. I hastily hung up, looked in the mirror, and laughed and laughed and laughed. How ridiculous! I’m getting upset about absolutely nothing. So upset that I was no longer in a peaceful, loving, excited place. Just one little phone call and my need to defend my ego became greater than my need to be compassionate and in love.
I had fooled myself, in that moment, into believing that my anger was justified, tangible and necessary. That this fantasy I had created around my ego was worth fighting over. How is it that we create such an importance around who we have decided we are that any disturbance to that projection will be met with fierce objection?
This is not
“The ground submits to the sky and suffers what comes. Tell me, is the earth worse for giving in like that?”
In the movie “Monster-In-Law” Jennifer Lopez wore a Question Mark pendant throughout the film. When prompted to explain the purpose of her choice in jewelry her character says (while shrugging her shoulders), “Oh, ‘cause, I just don’t know.”
This is a wonderful place to be in: Not-Knowing. Much of our suffering stems from our attachment to things we have decided upon…the things we know. We figure out a couple of things about being alive: like this is the right way to give respect, and this is the right way to drive, and this is the right way to dress at work, and this is the right way to shake hands, and this is the right way to love. Then we have our boxes of knowing that include the right cities to live in and the right television stations to watch, the right kinds of people to hang around, the right music to listen to. But then the sky rains down a reality of dissonance: experiences outside of the arbitrary rules we have set up in our world to live by. So our duality kicks in and we feel frustration, annoyance, anger, depression, fear, hate. But then the sky sends us experiences that agree with our rules. And so our duality produces happiness, joy, contentment, excitement, love, passion, faith.
This is us, involved in an up and down existence, trapped within the illusion of importance and knowing. Whereas the ground, never knowing what the next day will bring, sits; waits; and loves everything the sky deems appropriate for the time.
So I continue to work on not being fooled in an effort to be a better receiver of Life’s blessings. Yup.
All love everything.
2014 Update: Wow. I had forgotten about all of this before reading it just now. What an important lesson I learned that day and have unconsciously implemented in my life since then! The “fantasy” projection of who I am that needs to be passionately and fiercely defended is slowly dissolving away. I’m happy to have read this today, as I give myself a hard time for not being “better” at all of these things; but to see how far I’ve come in a relatively short period of time is relaxing.
Very good things.