Philanthro-me: Part 6 (Age 38)
In the days that followed, an excited curiosity took up residence in the space that had once been filled with frustration and self-hatred. I went about addressing the needs of the family without engaging in any mental or emotional drama of what it was that needed done. “Everyday life”, especially the most mundane activities, became a source of fascination interlaced with joy. I found myself one day washing the dishes and not hating that I was the one who had to always wash them. I felt the warmth of the water, the soft playfulness of the bubbles, and drank in the sweet fragrance of the soap, all as if for the first time. What else had I been missing?
I felt as if I’d gone insane, and laughed at myself for how much I was enjoying these basic and necessary activities which I had been grumbling about all this time. Folding laundry, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, making dinner: These were all doorways leading to deep experiences of joy and resounding peace which had been unsuspectedly at my fingertips for years.
Three months later, at four in the afternoon, I experienced a radical spontaneous awakening. All at once I saw the perfection and necessity of all things good, bad, and imperceptible. Every experience that had seemed so harsh and wrong was seen and understood for what they were. All the dots connected seamlessly.
There was no longer any need to argue with “what is” because everything was exactly how it needed to be to support the evolution of perception. I had to stop the internal argument first, though, before I was capable of learning that truth. Disengaging from the drama of my personal life opened up the possibility of seeing life from this new vantage point of “all time”.
I saw how in trying to be what someone else needed me to be for them effectively nullified any possibility of sensing any intrinsic worth or value of my own. The thing of it was, in trying to be a source of peace and refuge for someone else, I was unable to be that for myself. This left me with no foundation on which to stand, and the most I could hope for in life was to find someone to allow me to occupy a little space in theirs. “Someone”, however, is an extremely low bar to set.
I could see how my inability to love myself was also the key to my spouses inability to feel my unconditional love for him. If I considered myself to be worthless, even unconsciously, than any love I offered would, by default, be just as worthless. It would have taken a saint to see through the lies I held as truth, and to love me in any meaningful way in spite of my inability to love myself. Perhaps a saint could have shown me how to unfold my love through a more open and safe experience.
But that was not to be part of my journey. Instead, it happened amidst bunkers, bombshells, and the bilge of treasonous warships. It happened, though, and that’s all that really matters.
In a pivotal moment out of time, I would give up ideals and gain a wealth of insight. Compassion became the lens through which I viewed the world, and perfection stood revealed where once I had only seen empty hardship.
(to be continued . . . )