Pema and Bing Bong Lead the Way
Befriending Not Exiling
“There’s a common misunderstanding among all the human beings who have ever been born on the earth that the best way to live is to try to avoid pain and just try to get comfortable.”
That’s Pema Chodron, the awesome, uber-kind Buddhist teacher, from her book, Awakening Loving-Kindness.
Announcement: I am not comfortable.
I am seriously not comfortable.
I am fine, and I am not comfortable.
Through a series of remarkable and blessed events, in this past year, so very much has been both given to me and taken from me. The details do not matter. What matters is my commitment to believing that I have been given exactly what I need to continue to heal, to continue to become more of who I am.
I pick Pema’s perspective, I’m trusting her, she who tells me that to exile this pain would be to miss the doorway to so much more of my own life energy.
I choose all of myself.
I choose to embrace Aruni and my ever-growing, always-evolving self.
Here are the headlines:
I was a profoundly lonely child. Because of a series of life issues about which I have written books (please do read!), I was pretty sure I wasn’t like you other Earth People.
To name a few “issues”, we all have our own; I stuttered, which was Hell on Earth, every word a potential breaking of the silent denial of my family, that “nothing was wrong.” There was a lot wrong.
I wanted to kiss girls. I really wanted to kiss them. A lot. Especially Audrey Hepburn. That was bad in 1958. Really bad.
And, my daddy was going to die at any moment. He didn’t die, but—he was going to. Any day now. He lived to be 85.
To survive, I retreated into fantasy, 50’s television and movies, my parakeets, my monogamous friend, Gladys, building model cars, and being in my room.
ALONE in my room
With the ‘60’s and college, I found drugs and alcohol, of course. That story could have had a hideous ending.
And it didn’t!
I have been blessed, blessed with recovery.
I have blessed with yoga, blessed with healing upon healing upon healing, a bounty, an abundance of healing.
In these passing years, without knowing, I continued to run from my child’s loneliness, becoming super-hyper-uber-independent.
I GOT THIS.
A personal, silent motto.
Truly, I did.
No loneliness here.
I wrote books, taught and taught, got slightly successful professionally, had a home, had a marriage.
Decades and decades later, I knew something was so wrong.
Running from my loneliness was so futile. It was all so exhausting, so draining.
What was missing? What was wrong?
And then life got my attention:
Miracle upon miracle, this last year, I fell in love.
I came to life.
I played and shared and hugged and loved and snuggled and adored.
I was adored.
And then, a year later, it ended.
That which I knew would never end, ended.
That which I loved was taken from me.
I am beginning to see and surrender into the appropriateness of this ending.
Bottom line–now I am alone.
With heartbreak. With disappointment.
With my lonely, frightened ten-year-old child as my companion.
And I’m fine.
Then I don’t.
I worry about being alone.
Then I’m alone and I have perfectly amusing and enjoyable time.
I wonder what’s going to happen, with a puzzled terror.
And something happens beyond anything I could ever construct.
I welcome her, that scared little lonely girl.
I invite her in.
I’ll take care of her, as best I can.
And when I can’t……
I’ll be back.
…”to lead a more passionate, full, delightful life, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is.”
I’m going with Pema on this one.
Let’s look to that other spiritual sage, that wise one, Bing Bong, the hero from Inside Out, the amazing Pixar movie, set in the mind of a young girl, as she learns to navigate her emotions. I’ve shown this clip before but, damn, it is perfect. If you have seen it, watch again—give yourself the gift of these 2:36 minutes.
Thank you to Pema and Bing Bong, for leading the way.
Dear Friends, what parts of yourself do you run from? What might be hiding behind that wall? How can you relax today? What kindness can you give yourself?
Please do keep in touch—all emails are celebrated. I am firstname.lastname@example.org
All blessings, Aruni