I deleted the well meaning email. It was filled with the things I wanted to say. Emphasis on the WANT. Sometimes people do change from what you say or how you say it. However, when your want has been met with no change many times over… You realize slowly that what you want is not what is to be yours to change. It won’t happen because you want it, no matter how much “want” you apply. That email I deleted was what some may call “personal”.
When it comes to personal realms or the realm of healing work…or just living, there isn’t any separation in how I feel. But with “clients” it is always clear that my role is not to put forth my wants. It is about just loving their path and helping them to honor themselves. But nothing I do can make anything happen.
It is a protracted experience of powerlessness. Life. But within healing work just loving someone as they are, and seeing that I am powerless to control which way their life will unfold…well heck…that is why it helps so much. Because how often do you have someone approach you like that? Just being with them, right where they are, not trying to change anything. That is love.
That is the easy kind of love. It does not have attachment.
Then there is the kind of powerlessness you feel when a friend is right in front of you dying. A close friend. Or when someone you have known for years says that they are going to kill themselves because all they have known in this life is constant pain. There are times when you see a child being abused but you are unable to keep it from happening..when you know it will continue but you cannot make it end for them. You cannot remove their pain or the burden of it. There are times when you want to help someone out so much, yet see, at the end of your helping, that they must continue on with what they asked help with not doing any longer that hurt them in the first place.
That is love that is personal. It is love with attachment.
With the way I see, or experience “reality” it can be like seeing the future. And honestly, I am being modest when I use the words “it can be like”. It is seeing the future. It is having a front row seat to powerlessness with everyone you meet. Watching them march into one hard lesson after another. Some you throw a life ring to. Others you just love from the shore. What is the difference?
I can’t find one any longer. Whether I throw the life ring or watch from shore, the truth is that I am a hand against a freight train. I am not meant to change the course of their life. There is a preponderant force behind the lives of others and their karma that puts them quite beyond my reach and strength either way.
Non attachment isn’t really an option for me any longer. I mention it here as a memory or as a realization of how I am not really coming from there any longer. It has been replaced gradually by all pervading attachment. But the attachment is different as well. It is an attachment that does not seek to control or grab. It is attachment within the palm of powerlessness. It comes forth as the desire to help with devotional ferocity but with the ache of knowing that ultimately they will run through and over me and past me. The train will move through. I will be a face seen in the window speeding by. Maybe not now. But eventually, it will be like that. I cannot change their course…the tracks are laid.
What I can do is acknowledge, to the best of my ability, what direction my tracks go. My direction says that when I see you, for that brief moment, when you see me through the window, remember that I looked at you with love in my heart.
Powerlessness isn’t a concept. It isn’t an idea. But powerlessness without caring is inhuman. Without attachment to wanting to help one another, nothing would hold us together. Caring enough to want another’s suffering to end, while directly experiencing how that caring is not what heals them ultimately…is there a name for that path? Is there a word that means “I will help you even though it may not change a thing?”
Why does Love exist if it has no power of its own to change another? It is the most excruciating paradox. I love to say that all TRUTH can be proven to be true if it has a paradoxical movement inherent within it. Love is like that. It can help a person remember to love themselves. Yet, no amount of loving another can make them love themselves.
Again, I just close with the image of the trains and the window. The memory of people’s faces on my train window as my express route thundered by their lives. Who do I reflect upon the most who I have seen while here on my tracks? Invariably I see the parade of those who loved me. Smiles. Their love made a difference because it was there…not because of what they necessarily did with it. It mattered to me that I mattered to them. Simple. Love. They didn’t have to do anything but that.
So, as I continue to be here. Alive. And with people. That is what I recall more and more. It honestly isn’t what I can or cannot do for another. Because ultimately all that I can really do to the best of my ability is to just let the other person know that I love them and care about their welfare….even if I am unable to perhaps change things for them in ways I would want to. In healing work, especially, or when raising kids or when with someone suffering deeply…when you are so very close to another’s hardest pain…a very important thing to realize.