I’m not sure there is a bigger question than this. It bears repeating:
what…is…your relationship to life?
I was in Kauai in the fall and read Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth between beaches. And this question of his became my walking, rambling, meditation. “What is my relationship…to LIFE?!” Daunting. Spectacular. Galvanizing. Perhaps my favourite question of all time.
It opened the floodgates of inquiry for me. I spiraled it backwards to look at my relationship to my man, my child, my families of blood and soul … my portals of connectivity and on good days, communion. What was the majority experience of me showing up in the world? How is it that I am vulnerable? What feels pure and steadfast within my cells?
One question led to another. What do I bring forth from the well of my essential self, and what do I keep in reserve, locked, frightened, greedy, proud, and practical? When I engage with people what is my motive? How do I greet strangers and friends with whom I have history?
What is my most regular waking thought?
What is my favourite feeling? Who am I trying to impress? How do I stand in crisis? Where does my generosity stop? What gets to the core of my core?
I actually didn’t need to delve into the deep recesses of my psyche. It turned out to be a remarkably basic exercise – one that I bet you could find your own answer to by the end of today. It all got down to this simple sub-plot question:
How am I with people?
I saw the pattern of truth emerge, a through-line to ALL of my interactions with people … with everyone, every one. Whether it is my lover-companion of ten years with whom I can be amazing or pathetic, or it’s the dude sliding my tea across the counter, there is a consistent energy and attitude that I bring to them. I can see the rhythm of it in my mind. It goes like this: I give off a honey-golden love warmth, an “I love you, we’re in this together” declaration. It’s pure and it’s innocent and is graciously global.
Then out comes this acuity, a kind of “I get you, I see you, and I’m very serious about it.” I’m not sure if it’s a natural intensity or if it’s a protective reaction that roots in fear, but often, my next level of vibe is either something along the subtle lines of “don’t fuck with me,” or “you do your thing, I’ll do mine, and all is well.”
When I looked at my relationship to the humans (and my dog counts as a human,) that I relate to, it became clear that I am a planet of love with a hair-trigger drawbridge that closes without much warning. I am, and this was somewhat heartbreaking for me to realize…I am somewhat reserved with my love.
And thus, my relationship to life is: Big Love. True Smile. Tricky Lock.
It’s a long term relationship. My vows are a work in progress.