Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: The Things We Wanted

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Things We Wanted

When I turned 40 and none of the things I had planned for my life had happened, I let them all go and made a decision to enjoy my life, exactly as it was. And it worked. I loved my life, my job, my community. Life was good. Then, out of nowhere, the universe brought me my husband; and life got a little better. But it's funny what happens on the way to getting the things you wanted, you want more.

As a woman in my 30s and 40s, I had been very cautious about wanting things and focused my life on enjoying the things I already have: my home, animals, friends, work, music. But when you get something that you thought you'd never get--a marriage--you start thinking, well, maybe it's possible to have that other thing I gave up on so long ago--a baby. But you're cautious, you don't want to seem too eager; you can't let yourself want it openly because that invites some uncomfortable consequences: strangers giving you advice, friends wanting it more than you do, and worst of the worst, pity. So you appear ambivalent as a defense mechanism between yourself and your desire, your wanting it too badly.

And then months go by and you don't get pregnant. And you realize that because you're a woman in your 40s you probably can't get pregnant, not without a lot of help, which the aforementioned ambivalence doesn't allow you to seek. So here you are stuck in the middle of wanting and not wanting and not even knowing how to talk about it because it's just too sad. And while all this is going on in the background, the life you once loved begins to grow dull; all the things you loved and enjoyed pale in comparison to this thing you weren't even sure you wanted anymore until you realized you couldn't have it.

And in the center of it all is the reality that nothing happens outside of hukam. Last week I was reading in the Akhand Path (a continuous reading of the Siri Guru Granth which we do every week here at Hacienda de Guru Ram Das) and the hukam I received was the shabad, Jamee-a Poot Bhagat Govind Ka. This is the shabad that women recite up to their 120th day to ensure a saint comes into the world. When I received it I cried. At the time I thought, that's a strange reaction from someone who "wants a baby". And when I got my period again, I realized I was crying not because I might have been pregnant but because somewhere deep inside I knew it would never be true. This week's hukam, as I read from the Akhand Path, was about liberation, which has been my life's work. Over and over again the phrase "door of liberation" kept coming up and other passages described the pain of birth and death.

I write all this only to remind myself that sometimes the things we wanted need to be left behind so that we can receive the things we're destined for. The only true happiness comes from receiving the Name of God and chanting it. Well, I have received the name (that's a whole other story) and I know how blessed I am. I have a beautiful life, a beautiful husband, meaningful work and the resources to pursue my creativity, my music. I am the luckiest woman alive; I'll just never be a mother. And today that makes just a little sad.


At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Sarah Siri Ajeet said...

Beautiful Sat Purkh, thank you. I did the kriya "Self-Renewal" recently - the meditation is watching one of your fantasies play out on your chin. I was surprised and not surprised by what I saw. I had been telling myself stories to protect myself from disappointment if my fantasy doesn't happen. It was liberating to admit what I really want, own it, and then let go of the need to control, knowing that no matter what happens, it will all be good. Sat Nam and blessings, Sarah Siri Ajeet :-)


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