Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash
My partner and I recently experienced our housing situation unexpectedly disintegrating. By grace, this uncomfortable circumstance turned into a gift.
A dear friend offered my partner and I a temporary house sharing arrangement in her home in August. We moved into her home and generally enjoyed our time together. The second week of November she had a change of heart and gave us less than three weeks notice to vacate. Initially, we were shocked.
This scenario had quite a few similarities to a major life explosion that I encountered some years ago. It was a pattern that was still unwinding and I was astonished to see it! It was the same story but with different characters. Act one: Someone I knew well and trusted made a generous offer, which I accepted. Act two: The offer is suddenly retracted. Act three: I am left in a vulnerable situation with little time to act. At first, I thought, “Oh shit, here I am again.” On second glance, I could see that even though this situation was similar, I was handling it with much more compassion for myself and the others involved.
Here was another opportunity to feel my emotions instead of spiritually bypassing them, as I had a tendency to in the early years of my meditation practice. According to Wikipedia, “Spiritual bypassing is a "tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.” As I gave myself quiet time to process and meditate; feelings of sadness crept into my heart. They were not asking to drown in a puddle of ‘poor me’ but simply requesting some of my attention and love. I did this with out blaming myself for getting into the situation.
What an eye-opener it was when I had the clear seeing that there really is no ‘other.’ Talk about self-responsibility. Therefore, there is no one to blame for anything! Life circumstances present themselves and we each get to choose how to respond. Very quickly, this sticky fly-paper of a situation became a fascinating inquiry; what was my part in creating this? What did I need to learn? What was the most authentic, loving response moment to moment? It continued to be a sacred process.
Gazing under my cosmic microscope, it was obvious that loving those places of sadness and disappointment was just what was needed. It was another opportunity to love the one within who felt sad and angry.
Right on the heels of this event, I participated in a non-violent communication workshop and learned that all behavior is an attempt to meet needs. We discussed our feelings and needs in a specific situation from our point of view and then from that point of view of the person that provoked the strong feeling within us. When I considered that my friend behaved in a particular way because she had unfulfilled needs, my heart softened a bit.
The situation was a lesson to use greater discrimination before jumping into complex circumstances. As I took the bird’s eye view, the whole scene appeared as a divinely orchestrated co-creation taking place for the benefit of each person involved. The game of Awareness waking up to itself in Technicolor paintball splattering splendor!
This is not too say, that as this drama continues to unfold, that any of us will get through it with out getting a bit mangled. Time will tell. Discrimination, specificity in communication, clear boundaries and surrender are being called for now. I see an opportunity to use my intellect and the Divine force within to navigate this rocky territory. It is a much better option than the laborious mind-dance of the past; trying to mentally figure everything out. Not only that, but as I encounter this possibility for disaster, the idea of surrender becomes increasingly attractive.
I am grateful that there is something in me that is interested in completely moving beyond blame as opposed to being chewed up and spit out by its gnarly teeth. It is a relief not to blame myself or the other person for life events. Blame is an energy sucking dynamic that only prevents us from being the powerful creators that we are.
The blessings keep coming. If I hadn’t had this experience, I wouldn’t have seen how much I had grown- and how much more I have to go. This is what awakening looks like at different points along the journey; letting go of blame and victimhood. And, there is something in me saying yes to this predicament! Hallelujah!