It’s been quiet the past few weeks, observationally speaking. I took a trip to Iowa earlier this month to help friends with their business and expected to be haunted by memories and my closer proximity to the source of many feelings and synchronicities over the past year. I wasn’t. Aside from a turn in Des Moines one day to see if I could find an “axe throwing” place visited one winter night in 2021, the lack of mentionable musings, sentimentality, and serendipity has been surprising. I found the place I was looking for, by the way. I don’t know how, but I drove right to it without even remembering where it was located.
Nevertheless, I spent a little over two weeks at my friend’s rental house in “suburbia hell,” as she puts it. Located in a different part of the area than her home that was ripped apart by a tornado this past March, the “new” place may be one reason for the “settling” in my brain that’s come about since I last wrote. Another reason may be the one-year anniversary of a final meeting between me and the “ghost” who’s haunted me in past months. Perhaps there’s an expiration date on all of it. Perhaps there are changes in the works of which I know nothing about.
Earlier today, I visited my favorite home-town coffee shop and did see someone who looked a little like him…..or at least, that would have been my thought a month ago. Today, I’m inclined to say that no one looks like him…..and any reaction on my part to visual reminders is mostly non-existent. On the surface, this seems like progress, right? Maybe it is…..but it’s also been another death or loss, of sorts, and I’ve been unsure what to think or how I feel about it. If I had to describe my overall impression, it would be a feeling of detachment…..and not just in regards to him. It’s a detachment from my “self”…..or at least the labeled/definable self and ego. I’m not going to lie…..it’s both peaceful and logically concerning at the same time.
And here’s the interesting thing about it. I don’t really feel all that different or that I’ve gone through any kind of profound spiritual experience or awakening. Whatever is going on here has been far less dramatic and exciting than all of that. Nor is it a case of depression or apathy, either. I would say that I feel lost, but I don’t actually feel lost…..if that makes any sense.
There is a saying attributed to Thich Nhat Hanh…..”People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” This single quote, I believe, describes the feeling quite well. I’m guessing I had grown attached to the reminders and synchronicity…..the longing and my own outpouring of love for another person. It all had become familiar and comforting, in its own way. I felt figuratively close to someone, whether it was also painful and the actual reality of the situation. There IS a loss in letting go, even if it’s simply a recognized loss rather than a painful loss.
As best as I can figure, this is where I’ve been…..in recognition of the loss of my so-called suffering. It’s scary when this happens, for it can really make a person wonder whether they ever loved someone at all….as if suffering is an indication of love. It’s not…..but oh how often we mistakenly believe it is. And that’s not the only fear associated with the loss of suffering. What if we stop suffering in our love for someone and the person believes we gave up hope or stopped loving him/her? Or, in my case, what if the haunting reminders and synchronicities cease to pound any “truth” into my head? What if the so-called “truth” was nothing but a temporary delusion…..which was the source of my doubts and fears all along?
So, let’s just say that I’ve been moving through all of this…..even when I couldn’t express any of it in words or even consciously understand or grasp any of it. I was aware of something…..an apparent lack of emotional attachment, along with questions and expectations from old and more conditioned levels of consciousness. Shouldn’t I be grieving over this loss? Maybe I really will never see this person again who ended my search for a person I believed my whole life was “out there somewhere.” Wow….devastating….I want to hold on. Why can’t I hold on? I don’t remember letting go. How did I let go without giving permission? How am I on the other side of this divide…..with both hope and despair left behind?
I had a dream a month or so ago in which I was surrounded by forest fires and I was with the person I’ve been writing about. We were climbing a hill or mountain, trying to escape through a transparent wall or veil to a river on the other side. He wrapped me in protective string or cloth and disappeared. I then wandered the streets of a nearby town, as the fires threatened to engulf the entire area on that side of the mountain. A woman passed me on the street telling me to “get out now” in a haunting voice and it was then that I realized the urgency of the matter. I ran to my car, only to see people tearing it apart in their own fear. I told them to put back together, which they did, so I could make it across the divide. With all that I had been through, survived, and accomplished in my life, I knew I would make it. I had it in me to make it.
Looking back on this dream today as I type this, I think I understand the meaning now. The flames are behind me. Fear and doubt did not get the best of me. I had a job to do and I did it. And there’s the vague feeling that someone was there relying on me to do it…..to join him. I can’t say who that might be, however.
I just got here.