Day 340 - Doing the Right Thing...Sucks.
Being a grown up is a downer. I liked it better when youth was on my side and I was able to justify doing the wrong thing and having that make some sort of sense. Now, I know better and I have to align my behavior with my belief system...dammit!
My efforts to really be the person that I say I am, is much harder than it looks. Sometimes I want something so badly but that person, place or thing, requires that I deploy less than stellar or spiritual action, and when once I was younger, I was able to just engage, I can’t do it anymore. The Karmic payload is too great.
Yesterday I had to walk away from someone that I care about deeply. The person isn’t the issue, but the situation was. It was so hard to do. I felt like throwing up all day. I resisted the sadness I felt. I wanted to change my mind all day. I felt crestfallen and more than a little despondent. I so wanted to be able to change the situation, to make it so that this person could stay in my life. But no matter which way I tossed it around in my head, I was not able to find a way that preserved integrity and self respect for either of us.
If there is anything that I have learned in the past few years, is that I can no longer do the wrong thing and make it magically ok. I have to walk the line. I have to walk the line not because I belong to someone else, like Johnny Cash croons, but because I belong to me. Finally.
I used to be the kind of person who would gladly throw myself away for a connection. For any kind of meaningful outreach to another who seemed to feel the same. That didn’t get me far, except to a place where I was devoid of any kind of substance, grit or feeling that I had my own back.
So while I walked the line yesterday, it was not easy. It was hard. And I was sad all day. And I think that I am going to be sad for a little while...and that is ok. It is supposed to feel this way when you do the right thing and that right thing is contrary to just about 100% of what you want to do.
I have learned that letting go is a skill that can only improve with time and practice. I used to think that in order to let go that I needed the other person’s permission, consent and participation. It was something that I need their cooperation to achieve. It is much easier to accomplish when the other person assists, but I have learned that letting go is something you do when holding on is too painful. Today the difference in my skill level, comes at coming to trust that those things that do not align with who I am, have to be released. Regardless of want, desire, love and any other emotion that is ripe with conflict.
Letting go with anger is the coward’s folly. Letting go with heart and love and soul is much, much harder. To let go while really trying to preserve the connection, the other person’s feelings and maintain some level of self care is a very exhausting balancing act. But there are people who walk into your life that are worth the effort...
So I am sad today. It won’t kill me but it does hurt. It pains me to not be able to talk to this person and hear about their life. But what I want more is to never allow my desire for another to be the catalyst for each of us to behave in a disrespectful way. Spiritual principles either mean something in one’s life or they don’t. There really isn’t any middle ground.
I cried a couple of times yesterday...and the tears felt healing. I was and am so grateful to be able to feel my feelings. To trust that the universe knows what it is doing and that which requires me to give up integrity is never meant for me. I hope there is a day in the future where I get to meet the person with new eyes and on another level. I pray for now, they know that walking away was totally hard but done out of love and respect and kindness.
Detaching with love is never easy. So much easier to stay in something hard and leave only when angered. But leaving while the love still flows is something I am brave enough to do now. Because at the heart of my connection is a deep, abiding desire for this other person’s happiness. Even if that means that I never get to see that particular person being happy. Today, what it means is that I cannot stay and participate in something that will make another sad.
Doing the right thing is often lonely. And sad. And painful. But sometimes, letting go is the most honest, sincere and loving thing one can give to another. I hope they know that this is why I walked away, not because of a lack of love, but because I feel the love so acutely.
To all my fellow line walkers, be nice to yourself today. Walking the line is hard stuff...