When I was going to the retreat a few weeks ago I decided to grab a book with me: The Zahir by Paolo Coelho. I have read the book a few times already but intuition told me to read it again.
I hardly read at the retreat, it was one of those times where people talked to me and I talked to them. Feeling easy even though I hardly knew any one I enjoyed telling them about my life. I never asked them about theirs; when I did it just felt like I had to but I was not interested. I realised though that I am passionate about my life, yet complain a lot about it.
My husband always tells me so and it is true. Last night he kindly got me a mug of hot chocolate and some strawberries. I did not thank him, I complained that he got me more strawberries then I requested and that he washed them when I had already done so. Why did I do that? Out of habit more then anything else because I knew as soon as the words started spouting out that I was being insensitive and unloving but I did not stop and I did not quite try to remedy after.
This morning I woke up and was led straight for the book. A lot of things shone brightly to me. And it always feels amazing that a book like this continues to teach me about love and my marriage and my life.
……discovering, in the process, that there is nothing worse than the feeling that no one cares whether we exist or not, that no one is interested in what we have to say about life, and that the world can continue turning without our awkward presence.
Isn’t this true? we want to be heard, listened to and loved and to feel alone is the worse feeling in the world.
Yet they sense that something is wrong. they can’t quite put a finger on the problem. As time passes, they grow more and more dependant on each other; they are getting older; any opportunities to make a new life are vanishing fast……they can see they are growing farther and farther apart, but cannot understand why.
Most of us cannot understand why we or how we get so far from each other despite living together for many years. We sense it but many a time are afraid to voice it, explore it, pursue it; because we are afraid of what will happen then.
That is why it is so important to let things go. To release them. To cut loose…..sometimes we win, sometimes we loose. Don’t expect anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle, not out of pride, inability or arrogance but simply because whatever it is no longer fits your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and start being who you are.
This is so difficult for us to do, yet so essential. We have been taught that we need to be recognised for our efforts, to be understood, to expect something for something. It should not be so. We should live to please ourselves and full fill ourselves in a sense.
In failed marriage when one person stops walking the other is forced to do the same. And while he or she is waiting, other lovers appear, or charitable work, there are the children to worry about etc It would be much easier to talk openly about things, to insist, to yell: Let’s move on were dying of tedium, anxiety, fear.
But spouses are not always willing to listen. They are too afraid of what all this will mean. We have too much fear in our hearts and lives.
…let’s suppose two firemen go into a forest to put out a small fire. Afterwards, when they emerge and go over to the steam, the face of one is all smeared with black, while the other is clean. which two will clean his face?….the one with the dirty face will assume that he looks like him and vice versa…….I came to realise I was always looking for myself in the women I loved. I looked at their lovely clean faces and saw myself reflected in them. They looked at me and saw the dirt on my face and ended up seeing themselves reflected in me….
This is absolutely true. We reflect each other without noticing it. And even when we do we tend to brush it aside because learning more about our own dirt is quite a confrontation to the self.
It is so easy to overlook the signs and pretend that all is perfect. It is easy to pretend that through life we have remained unchanged. That the person I was 10 years ago and with whom I decided to spend the rest of my life are same and one. When the anxiety, problems, fear, thoughts come to mind we make our best to extinguish them and bury them deep. Because we are too afraid to let go of the past and live in the present. We are afraid we changed or the person with us changed too much and we will need to take separate paths. Despite saying many times that we seek and love adventure, the only real adventure – life- we are terrified to live it. And doing so only hurts us more. The struggle is real, the fears are real, but living a lie is even worse then what the outcome can ever be.