A way to measure Enlightenment

August 11, 2010

A funny thing has been happening to me. It’s a series of little realizations, coming one after another, each one of them incredibly unlike me. Every next one is more incredibly unlike me than the last. What IS like me is to be withdrawn, separated, aloof, fiercely independent and always distant. It is like me to not need people, to not need relationships, closeness, to be alone, to want to be alone. But a while ago, few months ago, I realized that I am afraid of people. I realized that I am scared of being present in relationship with another person. This was different from what I believed before, when I thought that I simply don’t need to be in relationship. I realized that I might not need to be in relationship, but I am also afraid to, and so I decided to deal with this fear. That was not easy, nor  was it straightforward, but my choice to not let the fear control me any longer guided me, and my relationships changed, mostly my relationship with my husband. We actually got one. We begun to talk, being together, seeing each other. He stopped telling me that he feels like he’s living with a roommate and I felt close to him, present with him. I felt softer, gentler, calmer. I did not have to fight to keep him away from me anymore. I could relax. I also begun to think less. I noticed that I have less and less time for my concepts, ideas, theories. I had less and less time for making up stories and believing in them. There were still plenty of stories, there were a lot of stories about fear, pain, but not as many as before, and I was not as easily pulled into loosing myself in them as I used to be. I begun to realize that all the problems I had in my marriage were stories that I made up for myself, and then believed in. Which brought another thing that happened, just last night, when I suddenly realized that I am making myself unhappy, that I am the source of all pain and unhappiness in my life. It became clear to me that life is so good, so great, so wonderful, and the only pain or fear that’s in it is the one I make up, and then believe in. As I realized this, I felt sure that it has something to do with me being closer to my husband, closer in relationship. It had something to do with me dropping my defenses, not having to fight, not having to protect myself. And I felt softer, gentler, calmer. I did not have to fight to keep myself away from my life anymore. I could accept the fact that I am here, right now, and that it’s good that I’m here. I could relax. I opened myself to another person and that was the first step to opening myself to life. I saw the beauty and joy in being present with another person and that helped me in being present with the beauty and joy of life. I was not there, no mind, no ego in the way. There was only the pleasure of experiencing another being. There was only the pleasure of experiencing life. And so when I heard this, just now: “my awakening has not been able to fit into the old life I created for myself and there are a lot of changes happening (…) and I can tell you that a storm is raging around me. The life, the reality I created from my mind, from my ego, has rebelled against me and that storm rages around, there is chaos raging around …” what came to me was that the more present I am to life, to myself, to the people around me, the gentler, calmer, softer I become. The more present  to life, the more present to myself I am, the more open I become. There is no storm. There is no chaos. There is no pain. There is no fear. There is only happiness for me and for everyone around me. Especially for everyone around me because the more present I am – the more loving I become. The more loving I am – the more people around me feel loved. And when I am loving, and when people feel loved, then even the most drastic change, even the greatest loss feels like a wonderful adventure. To everyone. And so I have found a way to measure the level of my presence. I have found a way to tell how present as myself I am, how present in my body I am. The way is this: I look at my relationship with my husband, I see how present with him I am, I see how loved he feels in relationship with me. Because I have realized that the true measure of my enlightenment is not how loving, clear, present, strong or wise I feel, but how loved other people feel, when they are with me.

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