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Expectation, Disappointment, Aikido Mind and A Voice Dialogue Moment

Enlightenment must come little by little – otherwise it would overwhelm

Enlightenment is not imagining figures of light but making the darkness conscious –
Carl Jung


Just when it seemed like everything had finally found its upright position and life was with wheels again, one of them fell off and things appeared to come to a screeching halt.  If you have been following our posts,  you might recall that life had thrown a wellness challenge at us last year (see When Change Comes Calling post – https://thirdspacechronicles.com/2009/10/13/when-change-comes-calling/) . Up until a few weeks ago, it seemed that we had emerged from the experience and were proceeding with a sense of hope-filled vigor together into new adventures.  One of those adventures was a joyous decision to get married. It was a natural and exciting prospect for us as our journey together has been both  miraculously magical and supremely challenging these past 11 years!

Our wedding which is next Saturday, August 21 is by design, small and intimate. Only our closest friends will join us in the celebration. Even so,  the architectural design of the whole celebration required some thought and collaboration – both of which we joyously dove into. There developed this euphoric awareness that we were actually to be married! – that we were to declare before our friends and in the essence of Rumi’s ethereal Divine love perspectives our forever comittment to each other.  The plans followed the traditional focus that became somewhat overwhelming at times – invitations, venue, dinner, rings, clothing, crafting of the ceremony.  It seemed that our most cherished dreams were coming true – and the joy and playfulness of the archetype of Marriage had completely enfolded us in its perfection and fulfillment.

Then Terry,  who was immersed in personal growth and healing work, somehow managed to unleash the hounds of hell into the mix….the healing processes in which he was engaged came together in the perfect storm of intense release and detox….leaving him horizontal with pain and fatigue and casting doubt on the fulfillment of our long-held dream to be wed. In an attempt to avert disaster, we retraced the protocols of our previous years’ healing and added a few new ones for good measure but the debilitating condition held fast. We were plunged into a morass of disappointment,  bewilderment about the significance of  the timing and its deja vu feel  as well as confusion about the deeper message of this unwelcome guest in our midst.

What ensued has been this strange, bi-polar experience of proceeding with the celebration as if nothing untoward had erupted into our reality and doing everything in our power to rectify the malady -wellness protocols, inquiry – that eerie mirror of the past year of struggle.  Of course, the whole experience goes deeper than just the physical events and, of course, emotions and Selves get into it. No opportunity for a Voice Dialogue moment is ignored. In the course of his personal growth work, Terry discovered a diabolical character he aptly named Snidley Whiplash whose only reason for existence is to cause negative outcomes in opposition to all Terry’s attempts to find joy….”it’s safer that way…nobody gets hurt then” Snidley convincingly declares…..

My disappointment ran the gamut of Selves from ‘someone just took my ice cream away’ child part to ‘just deal with it, cancel the whole thing and resign yourself to your fate’ part.   Somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, was the voice loudly decrying how unfair this all was….after all we had trekked through in our time together, the story was supposed to end differently, after the perseverance and struggle there is supposed to be reward and joy! That’s just how life unfolds – right?  Wrong!!!  Terry was supposed to be healed after having walked through the purging fires of pain for an entire year! He followed all the rules, did what was expected of him, we worked through all the psychospiritual implications of our life together and our journey – so…… WHAT???? The clamor of noisy parts vying for dominance was internally deafening.

I adamantly declared that we were not going through with the wedding unless Terry was well and vitally able to enjoy the experience. Terry just as adamantly declared that we were going to be married and continue the ceremony no matter how he felt physically.  So there we sat – my disappointed child pitted against his “I will not be deterred” mule.  At times,  a stony silence of resignation befell the impasse as we buried our joyful expectations and picked up the cross of illness again and trudged up the hill to our inevitable crucifixion on Calvary.  There would be no joy here – not one drop of it!  Snidley had won out.

As the date of our wedding ceremony rapidly advanced, I became more aware of another stirring inside me. Perhaps this was not so much ‘the punishing thieves in the night taking away our joy’ as it was a coincidental alignment of our current spiritual seeking  with our life’s choices in the more immediate picture -ie- our choice to be married.  As we continued to excavate our unfortunate circumstance, we realized that we had been wholly engaged in the questions about what it meant to be fully awakened and living a life of enlightenment. Our conversations, reading, thoughts and meditations all flowed through this prism which had sometimes given way to questions of the meaning of life beliefs and actions as well as a sense of futility about doing anything in this human experience. We had both thrown up our hands and voiced utterances about bothering to act at all – what was the point of all this striving and struggle?    Was it even possible that the two tracks -our existential seeking on the one hand and our simple desire to express our love through marriage on the other – were largely unrelated to one another other than an unusual cosmic convergence at a very inopportune time?  What wisdom from our spiritual seeking might provide resolution to our current dilemna  if that was so?  Might we be able to put our disappointed, adamant Selves to rest and grow bigger than the present circumstance?  Perhaps the simple solution would be to allow the premise of the martial art, Aikido into the process – self defense by offense…simply let the attacker slide by you rather than engage.

When we hit on that realization, the consternation and stress suddenly let go. It was as it was and we just needed to allow it.  What also became evident was that some aspect of the awakening process was being shown us.  As we had read, the process isn’t all ‘love and light’.  It is often the about the ability to find detachment in the most seductively attaching circumstances. The opportunity we have here is to experience our wedding as a meaningful moment on our awakened path absent the attachment to what it should be and how it should happen. It is the quelling of the polarizing stances of any of the Selves involved and an entering into the simple, ‘aikido mind’ of accepting what is knowing that we are both the watchers and the experiencers !

The wedding goes forward …… stay tuned for what’s next!

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