I saw them in the pool tonight. I was swimming in the deep end. Husband and wife spontaneously went into playing a game together. They were smiling. Happy. Their college age child splashed nearby…she felt safe there, with them. Their high school aged son was in the lifeguard stand not 10 feet away, joking around. There I was, with my kids, while seeing a snapshot of the very life I thought I was meant to have, the one I felt destined to have. The whole family connected and at peace. The father told me that their eldest had just entered college. They were done homeschooling her. There was nothing oblique about how that hit me. Already done…? Already finished with something I still wished to conclude with my kids? Already done with something I have to keep releasing because it will not happen? Something about him being able to happily complete a path with his child that I know I never will…I lost my breath. I dived and stayed down a long time, literally swimming in the loss of what I felt I was here to do with my children. I tried to reconcile things, make sense of how this is actually my life and not someone else’s. But I found no way to do it.
This has been a common theme for me lately. The inability to reconcile things.
Reconcile: 1. To reestablish a close relationship between. 2. To settle or resolve. 3. To bring (oneself) to accept:
When I see things or hear about things I cannot reconcile I get lost. Here is why…because if you don’t know the relationship between to things, then they cannot be reconciled.
Definition 1…to reestablish a close relationship between…Well, if you can’t see the relationship between two things, and you keep on trying to see what can’t be seen, you get lost. Sometimes things cannot be reconciled.
Definition 2…to settle or resolve. There are times when people we once trusted absolutely prove to us that we cannot trust them. This isn’t a perception. It is a fact. There are many wounds that never heal. Some things cannot be resolved nor settled.
Definition 3…acceptance. There are things in this world that we can only accept because we are not close enough to them. If you think you accept everything then you most likely live in a first world country and own a car, or food in your fridge, and are not surrounded by people who just might kill you for what you believe in or the color of your skin or for your gender. If you really believe the world is filled with love, you have not been a prisoner in the sex slave trade.
The fact is that the deeper you allow yourself to really see the world, the less proof of love you will find. Because on the surface of things, there is very little of it. Acceptance for me…well I turn this one its head. I accept that I am blind. I accept that I cannot reconcile the injustice I have seen. The ways I have seen some of my fellow humans treat other fellow humans, honestly it can make one lose all hope that things will get better.
Here is what happens next. When I can’t make sense out of any of it I spend some time being lost in it. Like in the pool today…I dive into it. I swim wildly within the truth of how the surface of things can feel like no good is coming of any of what we do here. I do not swim for the side to climb out. I just stay there. I get very still. I backfloat. I surrender to not knowing the “why”. I give up reconciling. I look at what I am left with. I looked up at my daughter at that moment. And I ask myself, under the current circumstances, what do I have left to offer…this bag of bones man who lost everything that mattered to him what has he got to offer? I am left with love. That is all. When I am all the way stripped down it doesn’t matter if I am suffering from mind made illusion. All the psychology workarounds or nonduality sayings don’t matter, and the religions of other kinds do not matter. All that matters to me is that when there is nothing left, there is love. And that is what happens when you zoom in. When you get in real close to something…even something awful, even someone whose behavior you find reprehensible, it is only then that you can see how love has affected that person. We must not see people as a group. We must not see a problem as outside of ourselves. Everything overwhelming only is so, because we see it from so far away that it looks huge, and too big to work with. Get in close and you will see the child inside of everyone.
Everyone exists in relation to love. No matter what or who you believe in, every human alive responds to love and care…or the lack thereof. Everyone is in recovery and rejoice cycles…or in the cycles of being wounded afresh.
What I do, for those times when I cannot reconcile what is occurring in this world, I pray for love. I send love to even those I will not approach personally. I send the message to those I fear the most that behind the veil of personality and separation that I feel and understand their pain…even when I cannot understand when or what will make them stop hurting others or themselves.
So I looked at my daughter and my son who was reading close by and rested in the fact that love, at the very least, remained. And that if I had all the other things with them that I “wanted”…I may not have been able to see past it all to love them as much as I do. Literally, loving them is often all that I feel I have left to offer. And literally it is always more than enough.
When I Unschooled my kids I read once that the unschooled child learns something quite unique in this world. They learn what to do, when they have no idea what to do. With no one telling them what they must do, in order to make their way in this world…they develop the capacity very deeply to find it inside of themselves. It is something we all must learn, but with unschooling a kid may definitely grasp this much sooner. We are generally not comfortable when we feel powerless to affect change in another who is in desperate need or in the world where we view injustice. It can feel crushing to not be able to help a child who is being harmed. And when I find myself in that place of trying to make my way in that kind of world, where these things happen, and I have no idea what I can do to reconcile it…I accept that I can’t reconcile it. I am glad that I can’t. I don’t want to be able to reconcile the things I have seen and heard.
It makes me want to make the world a more loving place. I want to offer my heartfelt thoughts to those who do not know how to make the world a more loving place. And if you are looking for reconciliation…there you have it…ironically…paradoxically…Do you see how that just happened?
The presence of those who seem unloving…make us want there to be more love in this world.
That is a close relationship that I can accept. But I never can see it until love is present. Until I am very close.