Miracle in Progress
My beloved and I have decided that we're a "miracle in progress"; we're even thinking of making t-shirts. But seriously, as our marriage approaches, there's a part of my personality that grows more and more anxious. What am I doing? Can I do this? Will it work out? Do I have what it takes? Is this just a fool's errand? And in those moments when my mind begins to spin, I remember that we are not your typical love story. We are the product of devotion and obedience--and maybe even luck. But we certainly aren't the product of our own desires or projections. We aren't filling some hole within each other; instead we are meeting each other as whole beings, dedicated to loving the One, and in that love, merging with each other. We are devotees. And with that reminder, I remember to relax, take a deep breath, and dwell within the hukam. We are not a "work in progress" but a "miracle in progress" and I don't have to do anything but continue to sing for it is the song that brought my beloved to me. And it is the song that will continue to thread its way through our hearts, uniting us in a perfection beyond anything we could create on our own. Here is our love song--the Guru's Hukam:
May it plant the seed of longing that can only be fulfilled by the Guru.
love, light and laughter, sat purkh
Meeting the In-laws
My fiance is from a fairly large family--and meeting them all at once was, I'll admit, a bit overwhelming--and I sometimes felt I'd landed in the middle of a John Cheever novel. The southern girl being welcomed into the arms of a New York (read: Yankee) family, however surreal to me, was warm and I couldn't have asked for kinder, more gracious greetings.
But family is still family and my fiance and I fell into the familiar traps of responding in old ways to new situations. I relished the banter with his sisters, but in sharpening my skills against their wit, I went a step too far by using it against him--and got bit. We had a fight--not our first fight--but our first in-person fight and we survived. His mother, as a point of interest, came to my defense; so I figured I must have merited some points with her if she was willing to speak up for me.
The next morning we all went to church together and it was a lovely Easter Service. Who knew I was secretly Episcopalian? Soon after, we joined the rest of the family at "the club" for Easter Brunch. I ate too much and enjoyed watching the dynamics of the family sitting around a large round table, not that different from my family's gatherings, with the exception of being spared having to watch the men sit down to watch the game while unbuttoning their trousers in order to breathe! (I exaggerate.) But it was a very elegant affair and I tried not to stand out more than my white turban and chuni already did!
In the past, I've never made a very good impression on my boyfriend's family. So something must have shifted over the years. I think they like me. And more than that, I like myself, which was important to know in the end.
The End of Shame
I may be coming upon the end of something that has only just made itself known in my consciousness--shame. I don't suppose you can be a Western woman and not have your fair share. But I had never been in touch with it; never really understood it.
This weekend I had an epiphany. The phrase that has been running in my head the past few weeks (months, years) which I actually say aloud to myself when I see myself in a mirror lately revealed itself as my definition of shame: "There's something terribly wrong with me." At first I thought I was saying it aloud because I truly haven't been feeling very well lately; but that didn't seem quite right either. Saturday morning I recognized it for what it was--the voice of my shame. All these years it had laid dormant, driving my behaviors and reactions, but never really making itself known to me overtly.
I can talk about polarity versus duality and I know all the right words to say, but within me I still held very deeply a belief about my own duality. A place where even God would not want to go. . . and in the moment I said it I saw my duality. Ang Sang Wahe Guru. And I recognized that even the parts of me that I'm ashamed of don't experience shame; it's simply a game of the ego. My inner child, my inner demons, they don't feel bad about themselves; they just want some room to be, room to breathe. They want me to quit running away so fast; they want to experience the play of life, too. And why not? They've never done anything wrong--they simply are--and they are God. Ang Sang Wahe Guru. It's either true or not true.
So in my consciousness I get to decide. Am I here? Or am I running away? Today, will I allow all the parts of me to exist and to have their own piece of the world, their own spot of sunshine? Or will I push them away from me, disown them, disavow them, send them back into the black hole? They won't be turned away now that they know I know, smile. And what at first feels like a Pandora's Box, simply relaxes into me. With all my various bits--my radiance and my reticence, my shine and my sloth, my strength and my weakness--sitting here with me. I am here--and that is enough.