A beloved friend recently took off for India for a month (lucky man.) Before he left I asked if he might carry a piece of me with him, and leave it there. "I need to leave this behind so I can heal" I told him, as I placed the piece of my past, the piece of my heart, in the palm of his hand. I don't have the words to describe the truth, symbolism and weight of that gesture, me placing this piece of my past along with my heart in his palm. You see, this man holds a piece of my heart in his hands, and always will.
But, *ahem* . . .clearing my throat and wiping the tears . . .
The point of this entry is this: I am beginning to sense that more people, more Westerners at least, make the journey to India to lose something rather than to gain something. We have so much . . .too much. What could we gain? Likely little. It's in the lightening, (Yes, it's in the lightening and the lightning!) that we become who we really are . . .when we lose enough, we can be filled.
This Thing I placed in his hand was a steel i.d. bracelet. You know, the kind you ordered in elementary school, with your name, address, phone number, and any medical conditions engraved on it. I bought it when I was about 8 years old, and wore it for a long, long time. Jesus is on the front, accompanied by a few words of the Lord's Prayer . . .
As I rummaged though my old jewelry, looking for something which could be left in India, a loud "No!" echoed within as I picked up the bracelet. "I've had that forever." "It's one of the only things I have from when my parents were still together."
I stood there clutching it. Tears running down my face, stilling myself to listen intently.
Holding that bracelet brought me right back to 8 years old, when my father was still in our house, before the divorce and his flight from the house and us. It reminds me of him in many ways, and reminds me that for much of my life, I've felt a knowing that I'm really not worth much. My dad left and didn't return . . .so perhaps I'm not worth any man staying.
I went quiet inside again and listened, eyes closed.
"yes, this is The Thing which needs to be left in India."
"ok, ok OK--yeesh" I admit I still wasn't sure when I packed it that I would really give it to my friend. . .I was still mentally reserving my right to back out of the deal, message from Source, or no message from Source.
I realized after I packed the bracelet, that some actions taken, some things acquired, have been a reaction to the feelings of worthlessness and unlove. The Things I gathered as insulation against the worthlessness have been varied and beautiful and I can actually now find gratitude for them: education I sought (proving something by being the only one in my extended family to get a college degree, let alone a law degree) . . .world travel and life abroad, languages learned to become someone else, clothes and other beautiful or things, many delicious meals in great restaurants around the world, the position as a "professional" I now use to earn a living, and the piece de resistance, the collection of lovers I thought could make me feel valuable and cherished How awful to discover this and how BEAUTIFUL to discover this!
So starting a couple of years ago, as I realized how much healing still needed to happen, I began in earnest on this path of lightening . . .and lightning.
I have sought loss, seeking to lose what doesn't serve the light in me, to lose the woundedness, or at least be healing from the hurts of the past. Hurt is heavy on the soul. Mine has been weighting me and waiting for me.
So a letter was finished last night, to my father. In it, I told him I love him and forgive him, if he feels he needs that, and that I would like to have some sort of relationship with him if he wishes. I said "all children need their parents, no matter the age of the parent or the child." What I didn't say, and know as well, is that all parents need their children.
Today, with letter finished but not yet mailed (but it will be), I spied an opal ring on my armoire, which was given to me by my father on a rare visit after the divorce. It used to be his ring. I've never been able to wear it, although it's beautiful and seems to suit me, because it reminded me of the deep crack in my heart left by the loud smack of the slamming of the door as he walked away. There is even a crack in the green/aqua luminescent stone, that you can see if you hold the ring just so.
I picked up the ring and put it on. I smiled. It feels like forgiveness and strength now, not brokenness. It also feels like love. For all my father's brokenness, I know he loves his children. What parent would not? Perhaps there are some, but my father is not one of them. This, I know.
Back in India . . .my dear friend will leave my bracelet someplace, and will return to tell me the story of the where and the why of the Leaving Place.
My deepest prayer for my beloved friend is that he will find India a Leaving Place, too. That he will leave his pains and fears behind. . .that wounds from a distant father, and wounds from a partner who couldn't see him as safety and sanctuary, will heal. Our wounds, his and mine, have conspired to keep us from one another at times, if we can leave our pains in India, perhaps we can find our most beautiful, Truest Selves, and each other. Amen.
India is a Leaving Place, and someday, I will go, following my bracelet and my heart, and seeking to lose ever more on the Path of Lightening.