Throughout much of my life I have innately adopted a quick moving attitude. Once the finality of an event occurs, it is that very finality which liberates me. When I lived in Brazil, I had a friend whose house was two miles away if I crossed a stream that flowed to the ocean. It was four miles away if I went around the stream. One day after work I set off for my friend’s house. It was the first time for me to cross the stream by night. By day the stream was pleasant and came up to my knees. By night the stream was strong and at its deepest point, the water rose to my waist. That night I was halfway through the stream which now felt like a raging river when I came to the deepest water and the strongest current.
In a moment I felt a surge of water as if running through me and taking me over. Everything was emptied from my pockets. I knew that if even for a second I tried to swim after the money I lost, I was risking my life. Getting pulled out to sea meant I could get caught in a current too strong for me to swim back to shore. The only thing I had time to think about was to get to the other side of the shore as fast as possible. I made a mental note the money was gone and continued crossing the river with a more fierce determination. When I reached land, I had already thoroughly accepted the finality of my loss.
Many times I have looked back on that moment and considered it to be a metaphor for the people and things I have gained and lost. Through unforeseen circumstances the tide has carried me or another away from each other’s life trajectories. Each time I have cut my losses and moved on. Often I have found myself accessing clear sight not when the water is calm but rather in the midst of turbulence.
I have wondered if my tendency to move on has at times been received as hurtful by those people I was moving from. I have wondered if in their pain they have sought some way to also make me feel pain. If because they allowed the thought of me to linger in their consciousness, they sought still to linger in mine. I wondered if at times some were willing to push beyond the boundaries of truth and self-respect in order to make themselves known.
A few times in my life I have witnessed others in response to my separation from them seek to sow seeds of destruction along the paths of my creations. In some instances, these efforts have had success. Seeds have taken root and the course of my life was altered. However my life wasn’t altered in such a way as to fold and to wither. Instead, injurious seeds planted in the darkness drove me deep into myself. Those seeds forced me by my own hand to tear away hidden pretense, to root up complacent habits, to sacrifice narcissism into the fires of transformation.
I contracted further and further inward until the pull from the outside world became too strong to ignore. External resources ran dry and by necessity alone I began pulling from unseen resources within. From 2 Corinthians 4:17, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory.” There is nothing that can be done without being part of a larger plan that arcs toward goodness.
“A gold piece covered by mud looks like a rock, but as soon as the mud covering is broken the gold piece shines as it is clearly separated from the mud. This body, the senses and their creation, worldly illusions, are the covering on the Self- just like a thick cloud covers the sun. The Self is never really affected by the body and mind; they merely hide its glory. It is always separate, like a lotus leaf in the water.” -Baba Hari Dass