A question I often have to ask myself is why don’t I just walk away?
If someone can’t say definitively that they do or do not want you in their life, isn’t that an answer in itself? And doesn’t that at least tip the scales a little in the larger question of meant to be or not?
I like to use things like cards and runes and other seemingly infantile tools to ask and answer my own questions. Not because I think there is some divine hand guiding me. Not because I think there are spirit forces at work in my life. But because these tools can give you another perspective, spark some thought you hadn’t had before. I also believe that the energy that occupies the physical bodies of all living things is only a fraction of the energy that exists. In other words, I think we are in these bodies but we are also out there, in the universe, floating around in nonphysical ways, evolving, offering wisdom to our physical selves when asked.
So I asked myself today what is the purpose of my connection with this person who I can’t walk away from?
This person who can’t ask me for anything except patience, and to not give up.
I drew a card from somewhere near the outside of the deck, and the card stood for
- Keeping the heart open
- The courage to be vulnerable
- Holding the space of sacred possibility
These are things I know. These are states of being that began on my last birthday when I told my therapist that I didn’t want the relationship to be over and she said, Give it everything you’ve got. Don’t hold back. This could be your only chance.
These are things I lose sight of when fear overtakes me and all hope for the future I dream of turns to sand and settles between my bones. On the worst of days it’s ground down to a fine powder as I move; it rises up around me in a cloud and chokes me. Fear that I will be replaced by some raft guiding yoga instructor who is infinitely cooler than I am. Fear that no one will accept and support me the way he once did. Fear that I will never be able to open myself up to love someone again the way I love him.
The cards explain: “Holding that space is an active form of patience unattached to any outcome, allowing someone in a place of uncertainty to feel supported through the darkest night of the soul.”
Is it a coincidence that the word patience appears here? He tells me over and over that it’s not about me. That he has to figure some things out for himself, find his own happiness. He asks me again to be patient.
To be honest, I have tried to walk away. But each time I do I think I will actually die, like a plant you pulled from the ground, meaning to replant somewhere else but you forget about it and it withers, roots exposed, where you left it. Except I’m pulling myself from the soil. I’m sprinkling the sand over my only bones.
And when I can see beyond the fear, when I can recognize the fear for what it is and it dissipates, I am free to remember the fragments of Buddhism that I’ve grasped so far. That mindfulness is not about not having thoughts. It’s about having thoughts and allowing them to be without judging. That enlightenment is about nonattachment to any outcome.
When I can see beyond the fear I remember that we don’t love people because we expect to gain something from it. We just love them.
So my purpose is this: I am learning how to hold that space for someone I love dearly without being attached to a particular outcome for myself; and I am offering unconditional support to my best friend who for years gave me the same as I fumbled around, trapped in the darkest parts of myself.
And lastly, I’m realizing that I am irreplaceable, no matter what happens.