“The only thing life will do is refine who you already are,” a friend once said. Meaning that if you are an asshole now, chances are with either fame, time or more money you might end up a bigger asshole. This I must confess is not very encouraging. Humans are meant to evolve. Yet how we evolve, the pace and the shape it will take is another matter altogether. The real question bothering me is this: can we walk away from someone with the same amount of love, respect and honor with which we found them?
Dammit all life happens, people enter our lives and their very presence causes a nuclear chain reaction. Like those mile long domino structures seen in films – all it takes is just a little push for everything to come crashing down. Do forgive me if I sound a bit alarmist. I really do not mean to. If we are lucky, I think, we meet people who guide us along the path towards our ultimate destiny. Hell, now I sound like a snake charmer selling mystic mumbo jumbo. Do allow me to rephrase. We meet people and they have an impact on us. They might even shape who we become, how we love and the state in which we leave this world for our kids. The crazy thing about it is we never really know who will press those buttons and just how far down the rabbit hole we will go!
I must confess. I have left a few people in my past – at times for my own sanity or for theirs. These decisions were never easy and I agonized for longer than I care to admit. Yet as I walked away I tried to listen to my own internal narrative. Just what was I saying about ‘them’ in those moments of blackening doubt? What taste did I leave in the mouths of others? I think about these things because I care about how true I am to my own convictions.
We call people into our lives to transform, guide and heal us – this is the popular theory. We call them into our lives simply because we are not able to change in some fundamental way on our own. Wait, hang on – yes we are able to change on our own. It would just take a great deal longer in some instances. And let’s be honest it is no fun playing by yourself eh? So in walks Beautiful Soul Number One who took on the task of making us face something fundamentally flawed in our being, in our way of viewing the world. Worse case scenario: the shit hits the fan, words are said, gang fights erupt, bombs get planted, blood gets spilled, a commission of inquiry is set up….and we end up hating that person for a small while. Seeing that there is no ‘other’ – no one ‘out there’ beside me – how do I negotiate my way through this illusory world?
I can only share what works for me – space and kindness. Space is given, taken when needed and gentleness offered. And when my internal narrative turns into a dirty soap opera – I take to the piano and sing it away. If that does not work I have a few friends I can share my thoughts with, who will hear my rants and check my behavior if needs be. But never again will the story I tell myself about another while I am ill at ease sound too loudly in my ears or mind. I simply cannot afford to allow words and deeds to be stuck inside my head, my body…
I am determined to keep in my mind’s eye or heart a remembrance of who they were at their best, of who I was when around them. To love them, as silly as it sounds, as I have been loved in that very first instance. Again, snake charmer mumbo jumbo I know. But there are no other options available to me. After all “they” are me and I am them. What I offer another is what I offer myself….and what else beside deep care and consideration can I give someone I love eh?