One Step Away From Despair, One Step Away From Enlightenment

We all have movies that affect us powerfully.

Dead Poet's Society (1989) and To Sir, With Love (1967) showed me the tremendous affect a teacher can have on his students.

The Fountainhead (1949) amazed me with the importance of having a strong character and just how important it is to remain honest and true, even if the world you're in isn't and in turns doubts you.

Big Country (1958) defined for me what a real man is, and the right one will come along for you who sees and appreciates it. Jean Simmons also identified an ideal woman (not Gene Simmons from the rock group "Kiss", which was my first favorite band when I was 12 :-)

Gladiator also affects me powerfully. Not because of its machoism and war. I do believe in battle and being a warrior, but not against my fellow man. If you're stronger than another you uplift them. If you're smarter you enlighten.

The true battle is always within yourself to overcome fears, doubts, and negative thinking. It is a battle for control over your heart and mind, spirit and soul.

And it is a war that so few people ever really win. Instead it becomes a complete defeat, as in the case of suicide, either physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

Or it becomes a compromise; either a weak battle cry of "My life isn't so bad", pushing your dreams into the deep recesses of your darkened mind. Or it as Dr. Seuss called, "The Waiting Place" in his book "Oh! The Places You Will Go". Here we wait to win the lottery, a partner to take away the pain, a child to grow up, or an imaginary future we are not working to create.

Perhaps my words seem too war-like. All I know is that I came to this earth as both a lover and a fighter, and "what comes woven in the pattern of (my) destiny" is to fight for highest love in all its forms.

I cover myself in the armor of teacher's clothing and I plan a successful victory with a philosophical poet's mind. My weapons are unconquerable belief in every student the universe sends me, unending love for who they are and who they can become. And a strong soul-based energy that gives me the spirit to teach in a way that is motivating and enlightening. In my seven years of teaching not one student has been held back, all from fighting for highest love and motivating the students to do the same.

Feeling this much causes much joy. It can also cause much pain. When I watch the scene from Gladiator where Maximus comes home to find his wife and child taken from him, dangling from ropes around their necks, I feel a deep pain.........I feel it now

The new Roman Emperor Commodus ordered this done. Today, 2,000 years later, a new world ruler is doing this, the Emperor Divorcus. America has been the new Rome for only about 60 years, yet our stability is already beginning to shake with the growing inability for two people in love to show their children how to communicate and coexist with one another, maintaining that love.

I have lost a wife and child(ren) not once, not twice, but three times to this Evil Caesar. The ironic part of this sorrowful play, is that this Emperor Divorcus lives inside us, and has been allowed to rule in over half the US population.

He's so powerful that he can stop a wedding before it even happens, our past pain triggering destructive reactions to challenging or difficult situations that arise in the relationship. If it's our partner reacting to their past pain, we mistake their reaction and see it as them. And one or both is no longer able to continue to hold the space of love for the other.

As I watch Maximus' face and body language show so much pain at seeing that his wife and child have been taken from him, my own face and body react in great pain. I've never watched this movie with anyone and I never will. I begin to close in on a state of despair. I curse the God(s) and ask the universe why, never receiving an answer.

I am a defeated warrior, no matter how hard I try to strengthen my body, mind and soul. Going to the gym begins to seem pointless, as if I'm a warrior from a past that is no longer needed. Religion is seen as nothing more than "the opium of the masses", as Karl Marx felt. And the Bible, Tao Te Ching and Tibetan Book of the Dead hold no answers for me.

Friends and family tell us, "You just haven't met the right one yet". I know for me I am left wondering if I'll ever again be able to allow myself to love another woman or child as my own. The pain is too great when life takes them away, and you feel as if a sword has been plunged into your heart.

A prophet from the Old Testament said, "I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind." I feel as if I have been striving after wind, and realize that I am one step away from despair.

This happens to us all. And this is the point where we must fight. Love is worth fighting for, especially love for oneself. Only in this space; of self-love, of natural joy, and of allowing pain to show you the way to enlightenment, can we be free to love another.

This is a matter of life and death; of living a full and joyful life, or a living death of numbing ourselves with our addictions in the form of television, consumerism, materialism, drugs, alcohol and moving from one bad relationship to another.

A Buddhist monk said, "All that arises, passes away. This I know." To paraphrase Eckhart Tolle's interpretation of this, we have to learn to offer no resistance to what is; to learn to allow the present moment to be and to accept the impermanent nature of all things and conditions. This is where we find our peace.

At times in our lives we may be one step away from despair. But the greater the pain is can also mean we are one step away from enlightenment, peace, and renewed strength.

Continue to fight in the flow of your deepest sense of purpose, your most enlightened self, your Being.

Fight even to the death......the death of the pain-body that lives inside you. It is our rebirth.


Anonymous said...

"It is only by following your deepest instinct that you can lead a rich life, and if you let fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct, then your life will be safe, expedient and thin." Katherine Butler Hathaway

"To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something." Walker Percy

"Choose life." George Michael

Anonymous said...

With loss of any kind,(death, divorce, etc..) comes the realization that the 'potential' is gone. The future...
But you can rationalize it and say that everything happens for a reason, or we reason everything that happens. Either one works depending on the circumstance. One must see that with every great loss comes some great learning or hidden attribute. You can view loss as just that - loss. Or a great chance at a rebirth, a new 'potential'