Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Best If Used

I mourn. Today and for the passed week of days I mourn. I mourn the passing of a Friendship. A friendship celebrated for but a year, but one that was born as Life’s gracious gift, and lived in a place particularly special in a way of celebration and enjoyment in my life. I tell you this because loss and mourning are inextricable elements of fact in all of our lives… and there may be a nugget of insight, a thread of hope or understanding, or the slightest breath of relief for you, in your personal experience, in my perspectives on my own loss.

Firstly (and perhaps most importantly) I allow myself to mourn the loss. Please do not fly by this statement on a breeze of assumed awareness. For, unfortunately, what we are most readily encouraged to do is to “move on” as if this event, this circumstance, this occurrence is nothing more than some meaningless whim of an impersonal fate that has no value or merit for our living. Quite to the contrary, I insist that this loss, yours and mine, is ripe with Life Meaning if we will but do what our environment encourages us not to do… stop… recognize… embrace… and live the moment. And, in so doing, I am aware of a few insights that have redeemed this “claim check” of circumstance for me.

I did what we always do. I reflected, reviewed, questioned, doubted, and analyzed the words, behaviors, and motives that I mixed into the recipe of the friendship. “Should I have been that open with my remarks?” I asked myself. “Is that what I should have done?” I queried. And in the gentle, sweet voice of my inner awareness, Life responded “Were you genuine and honest or were you cautiously and calculatingly careful in your comportment?” Well!… those of you who are even the least familiar with me can answer the answer that I gave to that one. I was always candid and respectfully transparent in every element of my participation in the friendship. And the freedom to be so… genuinely Me… was the richest core of the relationship.

But then the voices of Many began to echo in my mind “Lighten up!” as I have been repeatedly told in the past. And self-doubt raised its destructive head from the murky mire of uncertainty. Now here is where I ask that you take note, My Dear Reader. For it is here that I have a treasure to hand over to you. This morning, as I did my work in the pre-dawn darkness and stillness, Life made it simple for me (for Life knows that “simple” is what I must have in order to make use of it.) Having neither heard nor read this from any source… I had, presented to me in the elementary picture-language that my mind requires, a fresh awareness… Life said “Check the ’Best If Used By’ date (as found on grocery items in the market) on your emotions, feelings, and energies. They are all ’Best If Used’ … NOW! For now is when they are fresh… and Fresh is the best state to realize the highest potential of “flavor” for this immediate experience known as Living.” I considered this seemingly silly idea for a while and began to see the unquestionable merit of it. I have always been most interested in Being genuine in every circumstance and every moment of interplay with everyone in my world. This commitment is what chafes some to the point of urging me to “Lighten up!” But I enjoy a gourmet level of experiences with life that is directly attributable to the implementation of the freshest of ingredients employed in each immediate response that I offer my life. To do the “lighten up” thing and store away some emotion… preserve some feeling for another unknown time or opportunity, that may or may not ever occur, is (for me) to lose the freshness of that gift that is that instant. And I do live with an almost zealous urgency about the infinite value of each moment offered by Life. I recognize a responsibility to myself and to Life for every opportunity and gift that is presented as the path of my living intersects the path of another. The messages from my heart filtered through the care of my spirit are “Best If Used” when presented. So that answered those concerns that I had about my role in the friendship (and, hopefully some of yours as well.)

These considerations brought me to the renewed realization that… by the same measure that I mete out pleasure, I also mete out pain. So, Dear One, if I am passionate in the celebration of the pleasant… I must, unavoidably, know pain in an equal measure of awareness. Thusly… I must consider if I would ever be willing to confine my realization of pleasure in order that I might mitigate the inevitable occurrence of pain in my life? Would I be willing to accept a “toned down” happiness to ensure a muted misery? My personal response to this question is, has always been, and will continue to be “Not no… But HELL NO! (Please forgive the language… but, again… I emote!) I have determined that to live a “safe” life in absence of excessive highs and/or lows is akin to the life reflected in the heart monitor that has no highs or lows demonstrated on its screen… that result is a straight line… and a straight line on the heart monitor in the operating room says one thing… “You Are Dead!” And as long as Life keeps me living, it is my choice to not be among the living dead.

So, My Darling Reader, I mourn… and I feel it intensely… and I do not enjoy it… nor do I like it in any way, save the way that has rendered me available to the insights presented to me by Life… that I now forward to you, in love, and in the knowledge that this love is “Best If Used… NOW”

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