(Prologue: I’ve got first-hand experience that a real understanding of the laws of karma can substantially change our lives for the better. I created this weblog to share information and personal experience with others. May it be beneficial!)
You can’t sprinkle the perfume of happiness on others without getting a few drops on yourself. <source: Anon>
There are so many expressions we use around the heart, e.g. “from the bottom of my heart,” “heartfelt,” “broken-hearted,” “heart of stone,” “won your heart,” “wear your heart on your sleeve,” “pour out your heart,” “lose your heart,” “a heart of gold,” “straight from the heart,” “the heart of the matter,” to name just a few.
It became important for me, during the past year of dangerous living, to keep a record, so that I wouldn’t have to experience it again. I offer “the heart of the matter” in this “Heart Day” webpost.
While my dream <please click here for details of dream> of February 03, 2012 sounds like a piece of erotica from a “cheap” romantic novel, I discovered during my year of dangerous living that there were two levels of meaning:
- The outer meaning seemed to be that I had issues around romance [the heart] that I had to resolve; and
- The inner meaning was that, unbeknowns to me, I had become somewhat numb, keeping feelings at bay. I was nesting in a cozy cocoon. A cocoon where I was not aware that I had been experiencing memories of feelings, not actual feelings themselves. A cocoon where I felt settled and happy. I had come to certain conclusions about my life. I had “made my peace” with them.
I needed a shock to wake me up.This dream, with its sexual content, provided that shock.
So the stage was set for some sort of revolution within my being.
The most important thing I learned in my year of dangerous living was this:
Feeling is part of being human. In our aggressive and speedy society, we seem to have forgotten that. But while we neither have to indulge in nor repress our feelings — both of which can be dangerous — a courageous person touches in with them. Touch in with their energetic quality at the pre-thought level. (Click here for more information on this subject.)
…the intelligent way of working with emotions [that “is different from and in contrast to the usual approach of suppressing them or acting them out”] is to try to relate with their basic substance, the abstract quality of the emotions, so to speak. The basic “isness” quality of the emotions, the fundamental nature of the emotions, is just energy. And if one is able to relate with energy, then the energies have no conflict with you.They become a natural process. <source: Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche: The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation; publ. Shambhala Dragon Editions; 1976; Chapter IV, section 1>
To keep in touch with some basic sanity I bracketed the year of February 03, 2012 to February 02, 2013 with a collection of webposts that I called my Relationship Series. They provide a record of what I was learning, week-by-week, month-by-month:
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all barriers within yourself that you have built against it. <source: poet Rumi>
We have a choice: we can either hang onto our habitual patterns. Or we can step into freshness. (Please click here for more on this subject.)
To repeat, the record I kept through my webposts helped me to review this past year of crisis so that I wouldn’t have to experience it again. I offer some specifics. May they benefit someone besides myself:
(1) Review my views: I learned that I had to re-examine my views.
One of my long-held views that I had to re-visit was that I would not live with a partner. (Please click here for more information on this subject.)
(2)Truth is sexy. Secrecy is not: I learned that…
I have at least evolved to the point that I am genuine when I say that people do not have to tell me what they think I want to hear. The only thing I want to hear is their own truth! To me, it’s a matter of personal integrity to say what we want, believe, feel, like, fear etc. etc. etc. Secrecy does not impart some air of mystery for me. It can be harmful.
(3) Competitive attitude harms relationships: I learned that competing is a kind of social capitalism.
I would rather they be who they are. I admire each person’s gifts, skills, abilities. Competing is social capitalism.
(4) Taking responsibility: To me, taking responsibility means the ability to respond.
I learned that probably the most important thing to me is to be communicated with verbally. I don’t like to have to guess what someone is thinking or feeling about me or what they want from our relationship. To me, when a person is asked questions and who holds back, they are protecting themselves. This damages a relationship, no matter what type it is. It smacks of power-tripping in order to gain leverage over my emotions. I find this neither sexy nor romantic, but cowardly. Continual silence causes me to finally withdraw. In the same way, if someone wants to know what I’m thinking and feeling, they can contact me. Not speculate. (Please click here for more on this subject.)
(5) Taking things personally: I learned why it is so important not to “take things personally.”
Taking things personally — that is, seeing things from our own ego’s point of view — is how we create and maintain our karmic package. <You can find further information in Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche: The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation; publ. Shambhala Dragon Editions; 1976; Chapter II, section 1> Someone else’s behaviour is just that — theirs!
(6) Memories: I learned that we can actually be attached to a memory.
a memory of the person as they were, either in the past in this lifetime, or in another lifetime, rather than who the person is now!
(7) Type of romantic: I learned that there are basically two types of romantic, namely “negative” romantic or a “positive romantic.” (Please click here for more information on this topic.)
I have to remember to apply this distinction.
There is nothing as delicious as falling in love, and nothing as devastating as falling out of love. When this happens, we have a unique opportunity to open more fully to our experience and to more complete relationships with others. This requires that we step out of the “pseudo-religion” of romantic love so prevalent in our western culture and engage in the real romance of care for another person. (source: Judith Simmer Brown – Please click here for bio)
(8) Friends and lovers:
I learned how important it is, at least for me, to be close friends with one’s partner as well as lovers. Friendship for me includes emotional intimacy.
(9) The line between support and martyrdom can be a thin one:I learned that I am a natural supporter, giver, helper (Sanskrit: padma), but…
While I don’t do something for someone to get something back from them, I’m not a martyr either. Martyrdom is a form of stupid or idiot compassion. It does not serve others.
(10) Honouring someone’s truth: I learned that, if you want a mature and positive relationship, it is important to honour and appreciate someone else’s truth, no matter what it is or how I feel about it.
But I also learned that I don’t have to “live with” someone else’s truth, even while honouring it.
(11) Speaking from the heart: I learned not to mistake my anxiety for automatically assuming that I had “lost control” and done something wrong!
I woke up on a beautful June morning in 2012 feeling extremely anxious. The day before I had asked a significant other what they wanted from our relationship, if anything.
This may sound strange or odd to some people. But I was brought up in a culture where women do not ask these kinds of questions to men who are not their husbands or “steady boyfriends.”
Should I have asked? I mean, we didn’t really “have a relationship,” did we?
As I say, I woke up feeling anxious and panicky. Later in the day, I realized that what I thought at first was loss of control was in fact going beyond my own ego to speak from my heart.
(12) Commitment: I had to examine in depth what I feel “commitment” means to me <Please click here for more information on this subject.>.
On a general level, for me, it’s not so much commitment to a “person,” or “the relationship” that is important, but committment to a view, a perspective, e.g. basic goodness. <Please click here for definitions.> And to waking up altogether. People change. Circumstances change. But my commitment to basic goodness, creating enlightened society, and waking up are the constants in my life. On the specific level, a partner would be one whose obstacles with which I was willing to work within the larger framework of my view.
(13) Not solid: While I knew this intellectually, conceptually, I learned experientially that relationships are not solid things.
They are simply moments. And I can appreciate those moments and not try to re-create them. It’s moment-by-moment-by-moment.
(14) Fear: I learned that there’s something I fear even more than the impermanence of relationships (Please click here to read about the importance of understanding impermanence and how to relate in a healthy, positive, non-neurotic way to this fact of life.)
It is this: getting attached to someone who does not share and manifest my core values of kindess; honesty in the sense of being willing to share how they sees things, how they feel; support and general helpfulness; in other words, basic goodness on the relative plane. <Please click here for definitions.>
C’est fini. The year of my living dangerously is finished.
I am now in the year of transition.
By this time next year, I will see to where the transition has transited!
In the meantime,
I wish you love.
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