I had this experience once…just once, since leaving my ex-wife. I have been through every flavor of single fatherhood and single parenting. I have loved it, hated it, celebrated it, feared it. But there was this one morning, just one, where I woke up from a dream and I experienced a memory of partnership as if it was present time. I woke up at about 4 AM I think it was. I could not sleep because I was awash with the memory of knowing what it meant to share a family and home with the same person, under one roof. I could literally feel the affection from the other person towards me. I could feel them in the house, walking about, comfortably. You know how it is…the way you can find your way around the furniture in the dark. I could feel her reading a book on the couch, robe hem trailing, legs curled, knees bent, feet under her…she glances out the window now and then, wondering who might wake up first. She would make that person tea, just like I would. I knew that if I got out of bed she would meet me in the kitchen asking what we can make for the children.
An expectation of a life together. Hmmm…or perhaps not quite. It was more like the way you know a blanket spread over you is going to make it extra cozy. Or when you put your back against a tree, that you believe it will accept the way you want to rest there. That is what I felt. An expectation of harmony. Not a trying. More like, harmony is a place we reside in. Just like life with my kids as it has been for the last 4 years. It was so strange to feel that way that morning.
I had not felt it in so long. And there it was, unexpected and loud. I literally felt that I was in that relationship. But there wasn’t anyone there. It was the memory of what it was like. And that isn’t even accurate. Because honestly, I only experienced that kind of harmony with my children…not with any partner…since the awakening. I didn’t know how to receive love before the awakening. I really didn’t. I have had some wonderful relationships in my life but my learning was about what blocked harmony. Whatever was not in harmony within me, came flying out. I will never be done here. I will never be done learning and growing and healing. But I do feel that learning through relationship as a means to detox or to create great upheaval…it does feel like that is a part of my path that is behind me. Relationships that thrive on tension were my specialty. Now, if the relationships or friendships I am in do not promote harmony, I am not in them. I’m just not. I have no idea what a truly harmonious partnership is. And this isn’t because myself and any past partners couldn’t generate it between us. It is because I didn’t have any harmony of my own. I didn’t experience harmony. So disharmony WAS my default way of existing…it was my comfort level. It isn’t that way now. I don’t strive for harmony. I feel it all the time. Don’t get confused though in the words or images regarding the stigma of “harmony”. My harmony includes everything. Tears, sadness, joy and anger and big love. It means I read an article about street riots in Pakistan and harmony is wanting to do something about it. It is a loving movement. To me, that is what harmony means. It means when your natural movement is to bring love to bear upon the situation AND you have the means through which to do it.
The other day a man called me on the phone. He was very angry. I get this call often. Or it is in an email. I often have someone with tremendous disharmony surfacing contact me. They are hostile, angry, bitter, world weary. They come bearing arms and righteousness. They entreat me to join them in battle and usually try to convince me that I judge them…and that I am beneath contempt for proposing that I am awakened…since I am judging them OR they go on about how I am not awakened because of (take your pick). I feel their hurt so much. I feel their need to take me down from a perch that they are afraid I am on. They are so afraid that someone is happy, because they are terrified that the truth is that they will never know it themselves. After all, if they can convince me or themselves, that I am not in any kind of joyous place, then they feel safer about not ever finding it themselves. They end their pain by reducing me in their eyes. So…there I am getting contacted by mostly random strangers. What I offer them is love and a boundary. I let them know that I support them completely, but that if they cannot let go of fighting with me, then I have no way to share anything. I spend a bit of time feeling into whether or not there is any way to soothe or help calm what is behind their reactivity. But honestly, it rarely happens. I end up needing to let it go. Circling, my old specialty, just doesn’t work for me. Somehow, I exhausted my ability to truly enjoy or find value in circling with someone any longer. Instead I feel into the other’s ability and desire to actually be heard AND to listen to what is said. A person can say that they are listening. But if they are yelling “I am listening!” then they aren’t. Not usually. I always let these folks know that I am leaving. And that there is likely a much better person for them to work with anyway. It is always very accurate, also, to remind them that if they are sure that I am incompetent, then we are both wasting our time speaking anyway, since they would likely not want an incompetent person aiding in their healing. But still, one must admire the audacity and confusion of the human mind. What other kind of device would call up someone for healing work AND argue with them about whether or not they are clear enough to be of any support? The definition of lost, hurt and needing more compassion than they can sustainably receive yet.
The most disarming moment comes when I just say, “It does not matter if you are wrong or right about me but I am leaving now. You may not believe that I support you or care about you but I would love for you to find the heart and ear of someone whom you trust.”
And this brings me back to that moment in the early morning. That is the relationship I haven’t had, and may not have, at least with a partner. I have not had the heart and ear of someone whom I have trusted. At least not since the awakening. And I know that in the later years of my marriage this was not present. I did not even trust myself at that point. I had no idea who I was..or wasn’t. And it works in reverse. No one I have been with felt that they could trust me either. You see…you can’t really trust someone, or have a deep harmony with another, unless you have it in yourself. But I woke up that morning and I knew what it would feel like. I could feel the burners on the stove warming up tea. I could see what my children’s lives would be like if they came to know me within the context of this kind of shared experience. Mostly what amazed me though, was the remembrance of how having harmony externally with another who is there because they want to share life with you felt. I had totally forgotten. I don’t know about my life. I can’t see a thing. My inner guidance tells me that my children and the healing work are the path and that relationship or partnership isn’t going to appear for a long time, if at all. I am okay if this turns out differently.
I find that having the time pass when raising my children with a loving and kind partner (or any partner) could have been, has set me free in many ways to not hold on to that any longer. I literally can’t make it happen at this point. My kids are not out of the house, but they are grown. They are in the world. They are already on their way out. They have transitioned already into looking at life without parental help. I am so glad I got to be here for all these years. And I did desparately want to share this with a partner, that was always how I saw it happening. On this too, I was incorrect. What I was sure would happen, didn’t.
I look back and wonder how on Earth I survived. What I mean is that I don’t know how I survived such an unmet longing. It was the longing that I suffered with so thoroughly. Raising my kids as a single parent wasn’t nearly as hard as existing in a state of longing for a partner. Again, this is why the morning I am referring to was so unexpected and revealing. Anyway, it was nice. Like a memory of Spring. But more accurately, like a memory of shared Spring.
Spring never ends, when you are in love with your own heart.
Tonight my daughter and I went to an old church that is open at night to sing. We wanted to practice her voice lessons and we are both developing our love of singing out loud. Vibration and sound have been critical to me since the awakening. So, I am delighted that my children are into this now. We got there late, after dark. We sung out loud and toned, having the whole place to ourselves. Polaroid. On the drive there I said “can you come back again as my daughter, in another lifetime…I totally want to do this all over again”. We shook on it.
It is good to share Spring. My point is that if you are reading this and you don’t have children, or parents, or a partner…and even if you don’t have yourself…there is always something to share moments with. Maybe a friend. A stranger even. A tree. An animal or pet. The sky. The stars. Share it somehow, someway. Don’t be alone through Spring time, the journey is better when shared. Sometimes you have to share it in order to remember that is is Spring time. At other times you wake up with the memory of what it is like to share your Spring time when you forgot what it was like to do so.