Self Inquiry and a Personal Lesson by Nicola Karesh
Last night, I had quite a life lesson that came out of a short interaction with my 9 year old daughter. She was sharing a project that she had completed and the rest of our family was listening attentively. She was describing all of the objects that Abel, the mouse in her story, had packed in his sack. The list got really long and the items seemed to get bigger and bigger. I was amazed that the sack could hold a blanket and that the mouse would be able to carry it and then I burst out laughing when she added that Abel also had a tiger skin in the sack! So, something about the image of this mouse realistically, or not, carrying all of this loot around amused me no end! Yes, I laughed and loudly at that! I am not one that holds mirth in very well! I almost had to leave the room at one of our home-school choir programmes, for fear of erupting into uncontrollable giggling at something my dear daughter was probably not supposed to be doing! But, that’s another story!
Back to this one. So, out of left field, it felt to me anyway, my daughter heatedly criticised (felt more like lamblasted) my laughing at her. She later burst out crying and apologised for doing this and we were able to work through it together. The point is not really about this aspect, but about what it brought up within me as I went from feeling really centered and happy to all of a sudden feeling separate and unhappy… The self-inquiry relates to how I get disconnected from Source.
In Adyashanti’s book, “The End Of Your World: uncensored straight talk on the nature of enlightenment,” he writes about being willing to be honest with ourselves. To look and ask, “What in me can still go into division? What in me can still go into hate, into ignorance, into greed? What in me can cause me to feel divided, isolated, full of sorrow? Where are those spots in me that are less than awakened?”
Last night, I experienced many of those “spots.” I felt like someone had burst my bubble of happiness. I was laughing spontaneously at something that felt amusing and I was startled by my child’s angry outburst. It felt like an attack, because it “hit” me unexpectedly.
I felt hurt that she was seemingly making me wrong and bad. It felt like I was being reprimanded for being happy and joyful. There was a momentary confusion of sorts with the shock of her response and a feeling of needing to withdraw and protect myself.
Looking back, it seemed from my body language, that there was some shame as I felt myself wanting to retreat, protect and disengage emotionally.
There must be some unconscious or hidden desire to “pay her back,” because I stopped any eye contact, ceased to “follow” her story or give any feedback. I had withdrawn my emotional support which is one way in the past I shut myself away from others. There’s got to be a belief in there about “If you hurt me, I’ll get you back.”
Buried in it all, there is a profound feeling of sadness to feel thrown abruptly out of joy. Somewhere in there too is a limiting belief about outside factors affecting my moods. Also the feeling of “Why would someone do this to me?” A sadness when people don’t behave “nicely” to each other.
I can feel the whole thing again, like it’s taking place right now. I am sitting there, heart wide open, defenceless, innocent and someone throws a spear into my heart. The beliefs, thoughts and feelings flow shifting from disbelief to anger… I cannot believe that my loved one would hurt me. I feel betrayed. You’re not supposed to do this. This isn’t fair! This is not how you play. I can’t believe you did this to me. You did this. You spoiled everything. How could you?
The beliefs now shifting from anger to a desire to hurt back and seek revenge.
If that’s the way you’re going to play, I’ll show you! You don’t know who you’re messing with!
Wow! This one goes all the way back (and probably further still) to a distinct and familiar memory of when I was in school. I was about 10 or 11 and I had a picture that I had drawn with a heart on it. Inside the brightly coloured heart, the bold words, “I love me.” I was feeling completely delighted, innocent and happy with my new discovery. This was followed by an unexpected and startling reaction from my teacher who felt that I was incredibly selfish. I know that I got my palm or leg slapped with the wooden ruler. I don’t recall if there was any other punishment. There again, I was left with the feeling of betrayal. Seemingly attacked by someone who stood in a position of authority and whom I viewed as being one to cherish and protect children.
The lesson for me becomes how to remain open-hearted and connected to Source when things like this come up? How to feel compassion for us both? How to continue to love with all of my heart, remembering that we are all much more than our personalities.
What’s the truth of all of this for me? We are human and Divine in nature. When I see others as only human, I miss the bigger picture. I limit what I see before me and I limit the eyes from which I see. When I feel my connection to Source, there is the immediate knowing that I have enough love and compassion in me to maintain my connection with others no matter what. I also remember that no matter how it looks on the surface, nobody is less than Divine. The stream of love flows steady and without interruption.