Damn him! Damn him! Damn him! It’s my family travel blog! It”s my writing people are drawn to. My humor, my honesty, my really unique angle that draws people to our nomadic family travel blog site. It’s me, me, me. And just yesterday, we got over 100 (I’m serious) likes and comments on a version of this photo of how cute we are as a couple of 18 1/2 years, still so in love. (Whatever!) And just today, I taught a Clean Your Soul Class about how the ego gets in the way and causes us to lose our way to spirituality cuz we’re so wrapped up in ourselves. (“Hi, class. I am the perfect example of what not to do!”) So, now, now, now, he has to go and piss me off and tear into something that is so personally meaningful to me? Now, when I feel like the biggest hypocrite for a- ‘look-what-a-great-couple-we-are‘ and for b- ‘our-ego-separates-us-from-reaching-the-light‘ and mine is freaking out. Blah, blah, blah.So, let’s look at why I’m soooo mad at my spouse, why I just can’t let go, and how, unless I want my ego to continue running the show, I need to make a change. (Oh, and how the very last insight shocked me.)
Why I’m Sooooo Mad
He’s taking my baby, how I express myself, how I connect with the world and reflect myself; and putting up articles that are dry, bland, lame, and boring. And if he would just express himself as he is- funny, crazy, full of light, waaay out there hysterically energetic and unpredictable; it would be great. But he’s not. He’s verbally graffiti-ing my stage to the world. And when I dare say, “Where are those awesome photos that add so much life to your post?” ;I don’t like his answer. And when I say, “Where is Kobi- full of light and spirit in your writing? “; I get attitude and blow ups. Ugh. Men.
Well, the only thing that fits here, is this:
(Sex?… be patient!)
Why I Can’t Let Go
(You can officially skip this section and go straight to “Crawling Up the Walls.” One word summary would be : rant. Want to witness my temper tantrum, read on).
Cuz I’ve spent two years building my audience, creating this blog, making it what it is.
Cuz numbers are going down as loyal readers are finding material that is bland, and are not coming back.
Cuz it’s my baby and I really don’t want you to touch it.
Cuz I’ve started writing full time here (at gabiklaf.com) , and almost zero there, as I feel it’s no longer mine.
Cuz I love that blog and I love that it is my place to share what I feel and think and experience.
Cuz every time we talk business, things get ugly between us.
Cuz I don’t think I have to fight for something that until a 6 weeks ago was 100% mine.
Cuz I want things to go back to where they were before– I write, and you take care of biz side of things.
Cuz It’s mine and I feel like having a temper tantrum over it.(No, no sex yet. We build up to these things.)
Crawling Up the Walls
So, I’m pacing the room, crawling the walls, desiring some chocolate, even more pissed at him for going to the bar for a drink instead of taking me to get something sweet. So, now I’m blaming him for heaps of things and continuing to build this list in my head of why I’m right and he’s wrong, and what evidence I have that proves the injustices thrown upon me. I’ve made a cup of nauseatingly-sweet coffee and have seriously considered wolfing down the only thing I can find- that super-old can of re-fried beans. All sorts of things are coming up. I’m feeling desperate, restless; like a caged animal. If I can only stop my flipping from Facebook to YouTube as a distraction; my rummaging for anything to shove into my mouth to fill my aches; my soul screaming ‘I’m the victim! I am right and you are doing me so wrong!” to avoid my own pain. If I can stop the noise, all of it; I know I’ve got great things to discover.
My Necklace from Dell
And I’m flipping through the shelves searching for salty, sweet, salty, sweet. And I know what I’m about to do. This is one of the six consciousnesses that leads to desire. This is me making a Mental Contact of Pain, that has lead to Painful Feelings, and Suffering; and unable to deal with it, me running to food to shut it up. And of course, right as I feel like I can start getting this out, my computer freezes. Everything locks up- WordPress, the internet; even Word crashed a minute ago. God, my energy is that strong; it’s gotta go somewhere, right?
So, I get up again, to continue my fierce search for something ridiculously unhealthy to eat. An obvious form of self-punishment. I come across Dell’s necklace. Oh, Dell and her necklace. Damn Dell. Does she have to get in the way right now? Does she have to come so uninvited to this here and now?
Dell was in my Clean Your Soul Class in Boquete, Panama waaay back in August 2011. Dell was that student you’re not so sure you want in your class, because you have the sneaking suspicion she knows more than you do. Dell walked in with ego and pushed a lot of my buttons. Dell also, in that first lecture, shared with the group that she thought she knew it all and didn’t need my class, but found out that ‘somewhere between humility and arrogance’ (a video) there is much to learn. Dell also wore this lovely silver bracelet with the Chinese word “love” on it to class one day. She came to me (I think it was in month two of our intense 5 hours a week classes), and said, “Here, I haven’t worn this since I bought it and I feel it needs a good home. It belongs with someone special,” so here,” as she gently put it around my neck.
So, Damn Dell too! I’m trying to abuse myself and avoid my pain; I’m looking for fire to fuel my fires of righteousness, and here waltzes in Dell and her necklace. That is what I found when I looked for darker things: Love, and all that Dell taught to me, and means to me.(Sex. Ever heard of foreplay? Good things come to those who wait.)
How Does Love Fit Into This, Dell?
So, I sit here on the bed, no longer searching for food, no longer wanting to be right; playing with the necklace now resting on my left knee. I pick it up, hold it in my hand. I feel it’s delicate, metallic coldness against my fingers; I smell dry salty nothingness; I listen to the soft clink when it pit pats from hand to hand. I am with the necklace. If I play with it, I can focus, I can be here and now, I can see things vepasana, “as they really are”.
“What does love mean? What does love say?” I’m asking Dell energetically, even though she is fourteen time zones behind me, and we haven’t spoken in ages. “What does love mean?”
What Now- Using the Tools When It Hurts
I realize that slowly, slowly, without me even noticing I’m between a rock and a hard place. This is not where I want to be, at all. I don’t want to fight over ‘the blog’ or money. I don’t want to put my pride above my love.I want to cry, but not out of sadness. Out of knowing that I know a way full of light, full of love; and surrendering my ego to that which is Higher, and Truer will let me find what I desire.
Four things guide me here:
1- A Quiet Mind
The Thai monk Ajahn Chah was famous for his forest tradition teaching. In the forest tradition meditations, Ajahn Chah taught us that in order to find ourselves, we should find solitude under a tree of the forest, and sit there. This is what he said:
The Dhamma [the way to enlightenment] is revealing itself in every moment, but only when the mind is quiet can we understand what it is saying, for the Dhamma [the way] teaches without words
And so, I’ve played with the necklace. I‘ve reached that silence. I can hear now.
2- Right Speech
The third of the Eight Fold Path is Right Speech. Right Speech teaches us how to use our words to bring light to others. In the Abbaya Sutta, Budda teaches us to not speak unless we are sure our words are true, beneficial, affectionate, with good intention, and in season (delivered at the right time).
Looking over what I said to Kobi an hour ago, they were none of the above. Shit!
a-I don’t know if numbers went down since I stopped writing for the blog. I guess that, but I don’t know. I don’t know most of the things that I accused him of.
b-I know it was not beneficial to criticize someone who has worked hard and did his best.
c-I know, I know, I know my words were not kind, affectionate, pleasant to his ears.
d-I know my intentions were not to find solutions and do good, but to vent anger, frustration, a lack of control, and my feeling victimized.
e-And, last but not least, I know my timing could not be worse. He just joyfully said, “Hey! Come look!” and wanted to be praised; not cut to pieces. He’s tired, he’s had a long day. I could have waited for tomorrow.
Conclusion: Reckon I should-a shut up.
3- Appreciation vs Ego
Buddhism teaches us that there are very clear reasons why we suffer. Buddha, good man, organizes it into ten “issues” we face that keep us from enlightenment. He calls them fetters. The first of the Ten Fetters of the Mind is Sakkaya-Ditthi or “Personality Belief.”
In the shortest possible terms, Sakkaya-Ditthi (personality belief) is our ego getting in the way. Yes.
I need to shut up now. I’ll go crawl into my little hole. My ego is making me think that I am better than him, that I write better than him, that people like me better than him, that I know better than him, and the list goes on.
Like an arrogant blow fish, my ego has expanded beyond the space I am entitled to take in this little world. My ego has blinded me from recalling why I write so well, how I got my soul cleaned, how I learned so much about spirituality and modesty and humor- because of him. Because he spent the first ten years of our relationship holding me while I cried. Because he carried me when I was weak. Because he adored me when I couldn’t stand myself. Because of him, I am what and who I am today. And as soon as my ego swells up, I lose the wisdom to see that, to see that the only thing I owe my husband is gratitude and humility, and a back rub.
4- Really Good Sex(Ahh. You waited!)
Sex? Didn’t expect that one, did you? Neither did I.
He walks back in as I’m writing this article.
I say, “I’m sorry.” I’ve found love and lost the ego, and here, sorry works.
“I’m not even upset at you. At all.” he smiles.
I push aside the laptop and all the wires on the bed, and smile. He jumps on top of me, and we kiss like we haven’t kissed in a long time; which leads up really good sex that we both deserve to have in our lives. Why?
Because he’s my man, I’m his woman, and I”m learning all the time.
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