I've lately been indulging myself in the luxury of watching Byron Katie's Youtube videos. Last night I discovered some new ones, which was a total treat. I love watching the ones I've already seen, watching them over and over. The Work is so huge. I love it.
I started doing The Work last year in an earnest effort to get myself out of a really difficult place. Initially, the difficulty was an infatuation that never came to fruition. At the time, I had been single for 8 long years. I didn't want to be single anymore, and I tended to greet all new men in my life with a hint of desperation and greed, because they "had to be the one!" Each one simply had to, because it just wasn't possible for it to continue the way it was. Doing the work allowed me to see that not only was it possible for things to continue the way they were, but that there was nothing I could do about it. It also helped me see that I absolutely don't need to be in a relationship, that I don't need anybody to be "The One," and that truly I am the only one I've been waiting for. I reached this place and was able to find a comfortable friendship with this man I was infatuated with, and I was able to maintain my truth that I don't need anybody in a relationship. And then I met my current BF.
When we met, I was in this glorious place of knowing I didn't need him. And now, 7 months later, I am still in this glorious place of knowing that I don't need him. He is the most wonderful man, and I am overflowing with gratitude to have him in my life, and I don't need him. It is so much easier to love someone when you don't think you have to need them.
He doesn't stay at my house every night, and in fact he is going back to his hometown tonight for the weekend (he semi-commutes). Yesterday morning, he was here, and I woke up and rolled over and wrapped myself around him and had an ecstasy of prayer of thankfulness that he was here and enjoyed the deliciousness of breathing with him while he still slept. This morning, he was not here, and I woke up and stretched out and had an ecstasy of prayer of thankfulness that I was alone. I could make a list as long as my arm of how wonderful it is to have him here, and a list equally as long about how wonderful it is to have him away. Both are wonderful, neither is better, I am at Neutral. This is how The Work has helped me have the best relationship of my life.
If he were to leave me and end our relationship, I would, of course, be heartbroken. To quote E.M. Forster, "It isn't possible to love and to part. You will wish that it was... You cannot pull it out of you. I know from experience that the poets are right - Love is Eternal." So if he were to decide that our relationship wasn't working for him and end it, I would most likely be in an ecstasy of sadness, and then, like my experience now with my job I have lost, I would know that he was leaving me so that both of our lives could be even better.
In my life, I have lost so much. I have lost jobs, lovers, friends, family, and pets. I've lost possessions. Each loss has been a hit, and before I knew how to be neutral, before I knew how to do The Work, a loss could be devastating. Devastating in the way that Katie would say, "the world will tell you that you are right," in my grief, in my sorrow. When we experience loss, the world wants us to get upset, really upset, and then do one of two things: get revenge, or get over it. But here's what my experience tells me: I cannot lose anything, because I never had anything. The only thing I "have" is that which I am, which is love. So these things I have lost, these people I have lost - they aren't lost because I still love them! And love always comes back. It always comes back. Maybe it comes back in different forms, maybe it comes back in different ways, but love always comes back. I love all of my ex-boyfriends, whether they know it or not. They are still in my heart, and I can visit with them whenever I want to. So could I do with this beloved BF. Each boyfriend in my life is simply bringing my love back to me. This is the gift of The Work.
There's only one place that I have not been able to use The Work to penetrate, and that is dealing with people I clash with at work. I've tried. I've done pages and pages of worksheets. My last line of work brought me into direct conflict with some of the most difficult personality clashes I've ever experienced (far more difficult than any clashes in a corporate environment, which is ironic). The best I was able to get to using The Work is to just see them as OK, not my problem, and yet being in their presence would still cause me stress (and I know that I caused them stress as well; a conflict takes 2 sides, and I engaged). I'm thankful to be out of the "arena," so to speak, but I know that I'm not done with this kind of Work, and I'm going to have to deal with it again. I can do it, intellectually, I think, but I see this as a huge challenge. Some hard Work ahead.
Summer of Self-Care - Nothing like the discipline of a 40-Day challenge being thrown in the mix to keep me on my game amongst parties, BBQ's, vacations and the general hedonis...
5 years ago