Everyone and everything dies.

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Cheery, huh? Actually, it is. Stick with me on this one, folks.

Endings and death have been on my mind a whole lot lately.

First off, two days from now will be the one year anniversary of Andrea’s passing.

Secondly, about two months ago, Squee and I broke up, after about four years together. It’s okay, really. I still love and care about her. But things change.

Third, my new job is demanding, and causing me in many ways to re-evaluate myself as a person, in all sorts of ways. I go to bed early, get up early to drive a long way to do a job I’m sort of teaching myself to do as I do it. It can be exhausting.

Last night I came home from work fully intending to work on my side business, do some podcast related work, and attend to a nagging bill related chore too. Instead I sat on the couch, lost at Overwatch for about 2 hours, and put myself to bed early, feeling low of spirit.

This morning though, I feel great. I had plans to get out the door by 6:15, an hour ago. But those plans died on the vine as I realized some other things I had to do. I made breakfast, packed my lunch, changed the cat litter, and realized I don’t have to push myself to do everything and anything all at once.

This is something Andrea knew and knew well. Don’t mistake me, she wasn’t some sanctified guru who floated an inch off the ground, and whom nothing ever bothered. So many of the phone calls and visits we had with one another started off with one of us engaging in a good old fashioned bitching session about something.

But the thing she knew, and which I also know but keep forgetting which is also, by the way perfectly human, is that everything and everyone dies. Every moment dies. Every plan dies. And when they do, they leave the ground where I’m standing fertile and ready to receive this very next moment.

Take this morning. As I made my breakfast, and checked my watch, I thought I might have enough time to change the cat litter this morning. When I went to check it, it was in a terrible state (Sorry kitties!) and I knew that I had to change it. So I did. If that means my commute will bloom up to 90 minutes today (which is very likely), well so be it. That’s okay. I will witness the death of the old plan and welcome the new one.

I know that because of my abandonment issues I have a tendency to want things to last. When I see that long arc of persistence grow around me, I lean into it and get comfort from it. It’s not an entirely bad thing either. It’s immature to divide the world into simple, absolute binaries. Yin contains Yang, and vice versa.

No matter how much energy I pour into anyone or anything in my life, it will eventually die. That’s tragic, yes. But it’s also comforting. Love and pleasure come to a fold, yes. But so does pain and suffering. That’s why it’s so import to just keep swimming, like Andrea always used to say.

The fact that the swim ends is what gives it beauty.

For a while now I’ve been contemplating my relationships to other people.  It’s both a deep and wide sort of thing to explore. Who do I connect with? How does that connection occur, and evolve? Why do I make a connection? What does such a connection mean? 

I don’t have any ready pithy answers for you. My connections to others are varied in a myriad of ways.

They do all have one thing in common: me. 

There’s a Lao-tzu quote I’m rather fond of which is front and center in this particular contemplation: 

“Mastering other’s is strength, mastering yourself is true power.”  (Pictures a man in a tug of war between brain and heart, being ripped in two)

“Mastering other’s is strength, mastering yourself is true power.”  (Pictures a man in a tug of war between brain and heart, being ripped in two)

It is damn hard to understand what you feel and why you feel it.   I’m often very tough on myself in any number of ways, including relationships.  

I often stumble into a binary of being in the right or wrong in my relationships. Am I being a good partner, husband, friend, employee, business owner?

But it’s not that simple. And part of that is that I have to consider myself.  

That can be challenging. Plus, ultimately, I have to do that considering by myself.  It comes from me, and it’s for me.

There’s this particular scene in The Matrix that speaks to this process and its value.

Today that scene is very much on my mind. The way the Oracle describes Neo’s knowing he’s the One is a kind of mindfulness. She says it’s like being in love.  

Bingo.  

I know my love for others from experience of it .  That means I know what it’s like to love vs to be in love. They’re very different things.  And it means that when it comes to relationships, there aren’t any hard and fast rules, no black and white hats.

That’s a very helpful thing to realize. 

Compassion for the self is challenging but worthwhile.  

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow