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Friday
Feb222013

RSVP

You may think me unkind but I must decline your invitation to sink with you into your pit of despair. Not that I don't love you. I do. Oh, I do so very much. Not that I don't enjoy your company. The very sight of you gladdens my heart and always will. Not that you are less than me. You not only equal me in every way, I am in awe of how wondrous you are. I am enthralled by your very being, your essence, which is pure goodness and light.
 
You will not understand my decision. It will make you angry. How do I know this? Because I was once where you are. I languished in my own pit of despair and took unknowing hostages along with me. I looked at those who refused to join the despair campaign with disdain and judgement. How can they ignore me in my time of need? And that was the problem. It took me a while to see, but that was the big problem. My needs.
I need to feel good. I need to be better. I need to look better. I need to have more things, have more close relationships. I need to be successful. I need to be happy. I need to be confident. I need to be less fearful. 
 
Perhaps I just need to know what on earth it is I actually need.
 
Wait, no, I just need to stop needing. 
Yes, I was not unaware of the hopelessness of this incessant stagnant loop. I grew exceedingly tired of the whole damn thing and struggled mightily to somehow break the unending cycles. That, unfortunately, made me sink deeper into my own customized pit of despair. Like a moth caught in a spider's web, every effort to escape alerted the spider who rushed to consume. 
 
Yet I am still here. 
 
Now, when I say “I” I don't mean the one who lived in despair. I don't mean the one who had so many needs. I don't mean the one who struggled. I don't mean the one who, finally, cashed in her chips and left the table, seemingly to disappear. No, I mean the one who noticed all of that. I mean the one who, on her way to what her despairing pseudo self thought was oblivion, happened to glance back and finally, from that distanced perspective, saw the beauty of it all. All the pain, all the hopelessness, all the anguish. All the searching and struggling and trying to make sense of everything, all the fruitless efforts to somehow control the uncontrollable. All designed, brilliantly designed, to bring me to my knees, to the ultimate surrender, to this extraordinary vantage point. 
 
You see, in that serendipitous backward glance I could clearly see my neurotic, pessimistic conflicted imagined self. And I could see the dark clouds swirling about her, the energy draining fog which drifted  in and out, the incessant thoughts she identified with. No wonder she could rarely see herself clear for a happy day, a peaceful day. Poor dear. Poor, poor dear. 
 
And then, in shock, it came to me.
 
I am not her. How could I be? I can see her. There subjects and there are objects. Objects cannot see themselves, they are themselves. I laughed at the absurdity of it.
 
So, who am I? I haven't a clue. It is a great mystery. I only know now who I am not. And that makes the difference. It makes all the difference. Oh, my inner roommate still lives here. Her extensive collection of neuroses can wreak havoc if I do not constantly remind her that I love her just the way she is. You see, I finally realized all she ever wanted was to be seen. I know that now. When I love her unconditionally she is such a delight to be around, yet I must still keep a close eye on her. She still longs to call the shots.
 
So when she pleaded to jump along with you into your pit of despair I had to be firm with her. We don't go there anymore, I said. But he will think I don't love him, she cried.
 
Thoughts don't bring us to love, I said. Only love brings us to love. And love is his only real option. Deep down he knows this. Deep down we all know this. It is his choice now. It is the eternal, the only choice we need make.
 
So we formed a welcoming committee, she and I, and we wait.

 

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