Jean Marie Gunner

Jean Marie Gunner
We are all basically good.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Charm Bracelet


“I knew I'd miss you. But the surprising thing is, you never leave me. I never forget a thing. Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn't happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all.”


 “You know that place between asleep and awake, the place you can still remember dreaming? That's where I will always love you, that's where I will be waiting.”


Life is a mix of conflicting emotions, difficult times, joyous occasions, banal tasks, random occurrences, absurdities, trivialities, momentous events, births, deaths, changes, moments that take one’s breath away, moments that take one’s life away.

Looking only at concepts versus seeing the true workings of things, the contextual framework of the why and the how and the when, is like riding a bike without understanding the bike’s gear box and the way it switches between high and low gear, similar to how the mind and heart are wired and related to one another and the shifting between thinking and feeling and back again.  Are the mind and heart really so different or are they one and the same connected by pulses and switches of energy?

Often we are so focused on the fixed events, the past and its commensurate hurts and trials and sufferings.  The truth is there are obstacles and a habitual fixation on the past; the unalterable fixed part of the equation is the past and still we grasp it so tightly.  But which past do we believe, the one that has happened, or the other one that we think happened, or the one that we cling to in our mind.  The past is done and whether we find ourselves in the past or future, wherever, or more specifically whenever we are, the point we find ourselves in is our present.  It is good to be there as that is where the best chance for connection is, the true unwavering, sometimes uncomfortable place of vulnerability and softening and opening of human kinship.  We find our connection with others, human or otherwise in this present state of awareness.  And a set of variables does exist, we the individuals with free will and ability to make choices are the variables.  Despite past choices and the consequences, there are present choices that will surely impact the future.

Wherever or whenever we are is the present and whether time is linear or circular or counterclockwise or conical or spherical or moving in a vortex like a tornado, we are in a present, some present, and what we do with the time we have or how we choose to be, is the variable.  I think we sometimes are afraid to act, to make a decision, to make the wrong decision. The cause and effect of all our actions, our karma, is inevitable for to do nothing is also to act.  To become inert, immobile frightened by movement is to begin to die and implode, fold in upon oneself, lose oneself to one’s fear.  As I explained to my son during our recent family trip to New England that when one reacts with anger, one is no doubt feeling fearful, dubious in the present moment.  Yet the truth of the present moment, even if it is one of fear and doubt, is the truth of the moment, however uncomfortable.  It is in the next moment that we can reconcile with the prior moment; our new present. What joy, what opportunity!

Having a mindfulness practice can settle all this fear and dust of our mind; and realizing we are fundamentally all okay and alone, yet intricately, undeniably and unpredictably connected.  When we connect with one another in a mindful way, it feels more authentic, richer, and open.

Love and loving makes us healthier and that means loving whomever we are with at the moment -- our children, our friends, our parents, our neighbors, perfect strangers, our spouse, our lover.  Holding onto resentment and disappointment, guarantees that our prior heartbreaks will keep breaking us by keeping us in a loop of anger and fear.  The majority of us fear loving again or letting ourselves be loved again since it means risking getting hurt, experiencing yet another  broken heart.  This is a struggle we create.  Holding onto the resentment and anger is the obstacle; heartaches get better through time.  We have the option of pressing the reset button in the next present moment. 
There is always someone waiting to love us or be loved, moving towards us.  We are moving in and out of one another’s fields all day long, all lifelong.  It is a very potent way to view life and very spacious.  This does not mean that a loss of a loved one ought to be trivialized, on the contrary, a loved one, whether they died or chose to leave us, really is hurtful and disappointing, yet is a jewel, a charm on our life’s charm bracelet.  I have been given two charm bracelets in my life; my mom gave me one as a child bedecked with a Mexican Sombrero dancing on the end of it; another that was given to me by a former love and has recently been lost.  The bracelet gone, the relationship over, yet, our love that existed in the past endures and is a charm that I have added to my life’s bracelet.

When difficult moments arise, challenging circumstances, painful times of immense or small suffering, there is the certainty that they will pass.  The fundamental truth that we all know is that all moments come and go.  This is in no way to diminish the moment’s pain, it is essential to recognize the sadness in the moment, and alternately the joy in the moment as well.  Some moments there may be the sense or feeling to lean into them, other moments of emotional difficulty it may be like thoughts, touching them briefly and letting them travel on.  Add all the love and hurt as charms to your life's charm bracelet and wear it with fearlessness and daring, and an open, gentle heart.


(Beloved Quotes by J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan)

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