Jean Marie Gunner

Jean Marie Gunner
We are all basically good.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Flow of the River

“When you live with someone with whom you can share your life, both your wisdom and your negativities, it encourages you to open up your personality.”

“If you want to solve the world’s problems, you have to put your own household, your own individual life in order first.” 

On the topic of love relationships, I feel that I am somewhat of an authority since I have been contemplating the actual subject of love, true love, loving another, being loved, and all the rest of it, for a very, very long while, really ever since I was a small child.  I suppose if there is any credibility to astrology, my sun sign accurately reflects this Libra who strives for balance, beauty, harmony and love above all else, sometimes in a way that is quite balanced.  Yet, sometimes I find myself tipping more towards the rational, authoritative side, other times toward a more emotional, grasping place where I lose my footing.  Nevertheless, love is a topic of foremost importance to me, and finding and nourishing healthy love, true love is the least we can do as humans on this earth, at least in my view.

I have only recently come to the enlightened understanding that it would be extremely beneficial and worthwhile in reducing my own personal anxiety, irritation and suffering to accept that that the other whom I have identified as my beloved, may be perfectly, most satisfactorily, content in his life without me.  How audacious for me to think that he needs me or that I am indispensable in his life.  The truth as I see it is that only sometimes do the circumstances of life and two personalities so elegantly blend to make up a foundation for true and lasting love.  Love does not happen in a few hours or few days; attraction, mutual affection, interest all do but if we are honest, love does not.  True love takes time and a foundation upon which to build a lasting relationship and lifetime. 

For this Libra the rush has been love’s demise over and over.  Now I see that just like homes and buildings require good solid foundations, successful businesses need well thought out business models, and Pulitzer Prize winning novels require re-write after re-write, love, too, needs time and energy and space.  Love requires a foundation of all these elements.  Truly we know when something is right and we know when we are forcing something.  When divorce happens and love dies, if we are unabashedly honest with ourselves, we can see when we forced the relationship to be right.  We knew what we wanted, the qualities that were important, we knew the other did not have those qualities and we got irritated and disappointed anyway.  If we know to begin with, why are we so surprised when the other doesn’t measure up?  Well, I guess this is the million dollar question.

Someone said to me once, “Don’t push the river.”  Wise.  Equally wise, “Don’t damn the river.” The river flows freely by itself unimpeded.  It doesn’t need to be hurried, just as life, love, experiences need not be rushed either. By the same token, damning the river of life and cutting off the free flow of thought, feeling, emotion, inspiration, and connection can be just as counterproductive.  Balance is called for in all matters, as is stopping to catch one’s breath or simply to stand or sit still and inhale and exhale in the moment.  Maybe a loving moment or an amazing vacation is only supposed to last for that time.  Perhaps the smile is enough, it doesn’t require a lifetime. 

When you are opening yourself to loving another and getting pushed away, the river is being not only damned but pushed back up into self.  It causes a dangerous swell.  Let yourself be pushed away and go away from that person if they don’t want you and being in a place of not being wanted is unhealthy.  Most of us experience terrible suffering there.

I really feel that I know what I am talking about.  Those of you reading this know what I am talking about because who hasn’t loved and been rejected.  Who hasn’t experience once in their life unrequited love?  Who hasn’t been let down, hurt, devastated and heartbroken?  You know that heartbreak that is so raw and real that when you awake in the morning you are okay but then you remember a few moments in to the daylight, oh, yeah, it hurts, it feels hollow and cold and raw and wounded in here, in the center of my heart. 

And then if you give it enough time, and yes I mean time, you will wake up one morning and that raw wound is somewhat healed over.  It feels different if not altogether better.  Our moms have always told us, “Time heals all wounds.”  There is nothing as true as that statement as categorically cliché as it sounds.

People enter our lives to teach us many things.  We enter people’s lives to teach them many things.  Someone recently showed up in my life as the magical serendipity of life would have it and unstuck my heart.  A person full of virtue and kindness, a person who felt like a breath of cool spring air, unlike the sultry, heavy heated air of this summer we are having here in Western New York.  And, I realized, that I like the idea of waiting, waiting for the foundation to be built in a relationship, in love.  It all made sense as I breathed in a new fresh view.  Love that is cool and ever so refreshing like a flowing river.

(Quotes from Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chögyam Trungpa)

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