Sunday, May 20, 2007

Eyes wide open to my heart

When I was younger I loved the poetry of e.e. cummings. One of my very favourite poems was his story of archy the cockroach. At the time I first read it, we were living in Metz France. Cockroaches were a part of life in a French apartment. At night, whenever I had a sleep-over, my friends and I would quietly sneak into the kitchen in the dark, quickly flick on the light and watch the cockroaches scurry back down the kitchen drain. Inevitably, one of them would flip over onto its back on the smooth surface of the sink. Without human intervention, it would die as its legs were designed to grab onto twigs and grass, not stainless steel sinks. And so, fork in hand, arm outstretched to keep as much distance as possible between me and the dastardly beast, I'd flip the cockroach right side up so it could hurry away to join its friends. My stomach would flip over in disgust and I'd let out a squeal of horror. I didn't like cockroaches, but I hated the thought of killing them even more.

Every so often, the 21 storey apartment building we lived in would be fumigated. From the top down. We'd have to vacate our apartment in the morning when they were fumigating our floor. In the evening we were allowed to return. For a few weeks, the cockroaches would be gone, only to return again, crawling out of the drains in the dark of night when the game of scaring them away would begin again. A mystery that stays with me today, however, is where did those dead cockroaches go? My fertile imagination used to wonder if the floorboards and walls were filled with little cockroach graves. If the building had a zipper and someone opened it up, I imagined the dead bodies of millions of cockroaches spilling out.

Fortunately, before the building ever split open, we moved from France to Germany where in my misguided youth, I believed cockroaches did not live. I quickly learned the errors of my thinking. It wasn't long before the apartment we were living in had to be fumigated and we had to move out for the day. I was older, however, more mature, and thus the game of cockroach scaring did not have as much appeal. In fact, I started to refuse to go into the kitchen in the dark, and on those occasions when I did, I'd stand at the entryway, close my eyes, turn on the light and count to 10 before opening my eyes so that the pesky rodents would have time to disappear into the crevices from which they came. Eyes closed couldn't however, block out the sound of their little legs scurrying across the kitchen counters to the sink. But at least I couldn't see them! And if I didn't see them, they didn't exist.

Believing something's not there if I close my eyes is a trait I seem to have carried over into adulthood like a child playing peek-a-boo. If I can't see you, you don't exist.

Tomorrow morning at 9:14 a.m. it will be four years since the police walked in and dragged the psychopath no longer in my life away. Pesky critter! He stuck around for 4 years 9 months in the hopes that I would never open my eyes to the truth. He almost got me! Throughout that relationship I refused to see the truth dancing in front of me. I refused to hear the lies I knew he was telling, because I believed if he said it was so, it was. And if I kept believing him, I wouldn't have to face the truth of what was happening in my life!

Not so anymore.

Today, I live in my light, walking through the truth, whether it's good, bad or indifferent. Whatever my truth, I breathe life into it and let myself flow. Recently a friend told me I have relationship issues. As if I don't know! I do. That's why I've come to the realization that growth for me is in relationship, not out of it. Relationship with myself, with others, with someone special. In relationship, I find myself and in myself I find my path.

To be nobody but yourself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

e.e. cummings

It is in relationship that I fight the battle of retaining my identity while walking beside someone else. A girlfriend and I were talking about that issue last night. How to be in relationship without losing yourself. I suggested the challenge is to not resist, or to set up concrete boundaries that make impossible for someone else to get close, but rather to flow into, to embrace, to move into the relationship while standing in my own light. As e.e. cummings wrote, Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

My goal is to reveal my spirit as the perfectly imperfect human being that I am. To let my curiousity and spontaneous delight create a beautiful life that reflects the wonder and joy I feel every time I open my eyes and see the beauty around me. My goal is to walk through each day, eyes wide open to the song in my heart as I reflect the glorious sights of living in my magnificence.

The world doesn't reflect what I want, or need, it reflects who I am.

When I am in my magnificence, I see the world as a magnificent place to grow.

When I am fearful, the world becomes a fearful place to be.

The choice is mine how I see the world.

What's your choice?