The Past: Letting Go Into Unconditional Love

I was cleaning out my closet yesterday afternoon, because I have an aversion to needless “stuff”, and I came upon the scrapbook that my ex-fiance and I compiled over the course of our five years together.  Five years… once upon a time, that seemed like a lot.  But now… well, it’s been five years since we broke up.  Almost exactly five years.  I know, because yesterday, when I opened our scrapbook, I discovered a flattened package of “vanilla-neem” ayurvedic soap, next to which, my sloppy, pink, hand-written caption stated that it was the last box of soap Eric and I shared before we separated!  The date was May fifth, 2008.  I was sublimely tickled by my slanted sentimentality.

 

My intention was to toss the heavy, oversized book (that we stumbled upon at Thrift Town, back in the day), artistically plastered with the past into the trash.  Because why would I haul that around?  Truthfully, I felt crushed a coupla years ago when Eric told me he was gonna trash our Cuba photo album.  And *beyond* crushed when he refused to reach out and take my hand when I proposed continued friendship last year.  In fact, here is an excerpt from the last email he sent me in the fall:

 

“If I have a protective shell up between you and I, it is there for good reason.  For my reasons.  And you are not inside my shell.  You will not be inside my shell again.  It is my place.  For me.  And more and more for Erin.  I don’t say this to try and hurt you, though I can imagine it does hurt.  I only want to be clear on where I am.  And I want you to understand that as well.  If we are to be friends, we must come together from this moment and not from the past.  I feel that you are still loving me from the past.”

 

THE PAST.

 

The past… And here I sit, on this first day of may, twenty thirteen, trying to grasp what it is to let go of the past.  I’d like to think I’m a pretty skilled little bodhisattva, fashionably perched upon the illumined throne of holy nowness… but then… why can I not bring myself to toss this large, heavy book full of countless expressions of our shared love and life?

 

And in service to getting naked upon the page, I must say that it stung me to read that he felt that I was still loving him from the past.  Probably because he’s right.  But god, it bruises my lousy pride to consider that my loving is so remedial that it is founded in the long-dissolved and glorified dream of days now dead and gone.  When I read those words for the second time, I took a long wonder… How DO I love him from the PRESENT?  And I was sad to realize that the answer was simply to hear him.  And accept his desire for space.  So I have been.  But truthfully, I still have more forgiving to do… because I can feel this *subtle* bitter twinge of self-righteousness swirl inside me when I think of him.  Like he’s WRONG and FOOLISH for rejecting my invitation into proactively evolving our love and connection.  I must admit, it really does seem that way.  I mean, I’m ATHENA GRACE LMNOP, for Jesus’s sake!!!  And I love like a heavyweight champ.  Who WOULDN’T want to hit this heart???

 

Eric.  That’s who.  And I have the opportunity to deepen my practice of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.  Ya see?  It’s conditional love if I am waiting for him to want to be my friend.   It’s conditional love if I find fault in his desire for space.  It’s conditional love if I cast myself as the enlightened one, for wanting to stay connected, while casting him as the stingy jerk for choosing to live his life without me in it.  Sigh… I guess I’M the stingy jerk for feeling so perpetually tempted to find fault in his choices.

 

But I spose I oughtn’t shoot the messenger.  People stream through our lives to teach us so many shades of lesson.  I mean, if I was busy white-knuckle grasping the perfect picture of how it is SUPPOSED to be with Eric at this point… then I wouldn’t be available to this profound opportunity to explore what it is to love someone unconditionally; or to fully release the past.  Honestly, these are skills I would REALLY love to master.  I’m looking now at ALL my relationships… yes, every single one… and seeing how easy it is to “love” from memory.  Like Ed and I shared some glorious time together yesterday… and that most recent emotional impression informs how my heart feels about him today.  And my Ma… we have shared so much laughter.  And she is so generous in her practice of accepting me no matter what I choose in my life.  Or even Anitra, who I HAVEN’T connected with in a while… and began to imagine that she STOPPED loving me (AS IF!)… But…

 

All of that is a glorified bushel of shriveled yesterdays, at this point.  How do we do it?  How does one courageously toss every glimmering shell of yesterday into the transformative fires of forgiveness and simply LOVE… without limit; without “reason”?

 

I ask…

 

And then I sit in contemplative quiet… I feel my heart swell and shine with intimate warmth.  My heart says it is very simple.  Too simple.  My heart says I AM love.  Not love the concept.  Love, the radiant, eternal, indwelling presence.  It is my mind who complicates this undeniable, unwavering truth.  So ya know what I’m gonna do?  I’m gonna keep meditating every day.  Sitting and sinking deeper into Silence.  And letting that quiet place teach me; inform my choices and my movement through this seductive river of dream images.  Yes!  I’m signing up for a permanent subscription to simplicity.  Not that this will obliterate the complexity and chaos of the world… But it doesn’t need to.  Nah… it’s just a sweet sanctuary to nestle into from time to time, as I haul my fat, gravitationally challenged ass up the endless summits of this human life.

 

Live,

A

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Geoffrey
    May 01, 2013 @ 10:37:18

    great to have you writing again Athena – you are always so amazingly, painfully, deeply, emotionally, revealingly, enlighteningly, startlingly honest 🙂

    Reply

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