A Responsible Man

December 8, 2009

A man came to my house today. He works with my husband, I’ve met him a time or two before. We don’t know each other at all, not really, our conversations are always brief, never go beyond a polite chitchat. It hasn’t today, either. And yet during the few minutes I spent talking to him I could feel something definite, something subtle, something very different. He is a man with quite a remarkable life. He lives in London, has a job that hardly deserves that name, being way too much fun. He travels around the world while doing this “job”, and makes quite an insane amount of money. He is very sweet, quiet, polite. And there is something more about him, something that is different from how other people feel. It took me a while trying to narrow it down, to pinpoint it. It is not so much about who he is, it is about who I am, how I feel, when I am in his company. While talking to him I feel, I felt today, full and complete. I feel that I don’t need anything from him, I don’t need anything from anyone, I don’t need anything at all, because I am present and complete in my life. I realized, as I was pondering this feeling today, that this man is not only fully and completely responsible for his reality, fully and completely present in his life, but that this is how he relates to others. This is how he related to me – as a peer, as a partner, as present and complete as himself. There is a sense about this man of “having arrived” in life. True, he is very wealthy, true, he is very well connected, true, he has an amazing carrier, incredible life, but none of that is a factor here, it doesn’t feel like any of it matters. It is a deeper shift that must have happened at some point … or maybe he’s always been this way … a shift from surviving life, striving, needing, fighting, defending, protecting to being, creating, experiencing. Because of who he is, because of how he relates, because of how present he is, how completely responsible, he has opened to and created for himself the life he has. I like this man a lot. Even in a brief polite, meaningless exchange with him I feel met, I feel supported. Not supported in the usual understanding of the world, which is having someone else take care of some aspect of my life. I feel supported because of the way this man relates with me, as a complete, absolutely present and ultimately responsible being. As who I am.

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