Jean Marie Gunner

Jean Marie Gunner
We are all basically good.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Excerpt from A Story of a Broken Hearted Warrior

Loneliness & Emptiness

I have met a new friend, formed a new relationship, welcomed a long overdue family member to dinner and breakfast and lunch – may I introduce Loneliness.  And a good friend of Loneliness is Emptiness.  That is where I am right now and with whom I am spending my time, quality time with Loneliness and Emptiness.  I feel achy but there is a quality of having been waiting for my two friends to show up, or rather, they have been waiting to be welcomed in.  Two guests that have stood out in the cold awaiting my invitation.  And it isn’t so awful although it has a quality of being adrift but grounded simultaneously. 

I realize that I must practice quietly sitting and working with my breath everyday and taking refuge in the Three Jewels -- the Buddha, the dharma and the sangha.  If it were not for my daily practice, however rough and edgy it may be and feel and seem, I would be lonely and depressed and unmotivated and lazy.  It takes a symbiotic combination of gentleness and fearlessness to welcome in my two long overdue guests. 

On the matter of not too loose and not too tight, as it applies to matters of the heart, I have noticed with careful observation that it takes precise discernment to notice the difference between attaching myself to someone too much that it becomes uncomfortable for that other person and I begin to lose my inner confidence and sparkle and that ordinary magic of simply loving freely with natural poise and grace.  Then when it becomes apparent that I must loosen up, it is a matter of letting go without creating a drama of "I am letting go and you will wish I hadn’t because you will miss me so much."  There is the gentle loosening that is rooted in authentic love and wishes of happiness for the other.

When we are invited to spend time with Loneliness and Emptiness, we may feel that we have been wronged in some way.  Someone we have loved may have passed away, or our loved one may have chosen to leave us and move on to another relationship or place, or our child may have grown up on us before our eyes and moved away.  So many ways we may feel hurt and may be experiencing suffering.  Or we may have felt the need to change our circumstances in our own life, but are still suffering because of the change or the illusion of change. 

For instance, I recently shifted a relationship with my long time partner and I have been feeling very sad and adrift.  Loneliness and Emptiness have been standing out in the cold waiting to be invited into my home and heart and now that I have done that I feel some ease and comfort.  I feel peace because I chose to allow these beings to reside in my heart and my heart is still beating.  I also realize that despite all the very large life changes, there is so much to be thankful for and so much basic goodness in my day to day existence.  We are still friends, we still love each other, my children are healthy and vibrant, I have good friends and my family around me and a job, a home, a life that is full and rich.  Despite everything that may at times torment me or sadden me, I realize that the life of what exists right now in this moment, in each and every present moment, is where the truth lies. 

Becoming intimate with being present in our present is a source of joy and frustration since it is not something we generally practice.  We dwell so often in the past and mill around there or dream of the future and bettering our situation, when the true gem exists in the very moment of our life and our breath. 

When we constantly dwell on the past or something rises up in us to upset us, we more than likely need to look at that in the moment; there is something that is longing to be understood about ourselves.  I know I struggle intensely with being alone and out of relationship.  I define myself by my partnerships.  I long to be someone’s beloved and place to rest inside of.  I get this sense of emptiness and becoming one; it is a sense of emptying myself with a another, a formlessness.  This pure loving energy, an ancient primordial dance takes place.  It becomes my antidote to all the loneliness and separation and individuality.  There are two and then there is only one.  Our bodies join and I welcome in the other; I want to be a container for someone and offer my depths, warmth and softness; I want to feel my being filled with gentle strength and courage; I want to risk becoming vulnerable together and to meet another consciously and mindfully. 

Then something happens, change.  The dance of lovemaking is a place where we seek union with another potentially awakened being, we can actually help awaken through touching another this deeply.  It can be precious and brilliant and tender and aching and vulnerable.  Yet, it always ends one way or another.  The pleasure ends and there is pain and suffering; if we are willing to face this truth and feel all that is going on inside of our bodies, we can be transformed by love. 

In relationships, one may start to attach more while the other averts.  This just happens. I aspire on my path to practice direct openness with others.  To opening my heart to the rawness quality of being alive and present.  To the presence of utter authenticity.  To surrendering to the world at it meets me and I meet it in the most ordinary way each and every day, each and every moment in my daily mundane and banal tasks of life.

We crave the unity and oneness not realizing that the separation is only an illusion and that we are completely one.  The unity already exists, has always existed and will always exist.  The thought that we are separate is a concept created by our ego.  Once we begin to label something, we begin to believe it, but there is a paradox here, that the label can also help us see beyond the fixed notion of something or someone.  So instead of focusing on the separation, if we see the unity all around us, we will no longer suffer as much, or feel as frightened.  Loneliness and Emptiness will become our true and lasting friends. 


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