Not a Child

“What is it to return to, discover, and completely embody today? People and situations can’t save us. It’s easy to see how tempting that is: to want to be saved. It’s like the mind of the child, who, in the right situation, is saved by the parent—a child is provided for every day; she is protected. All her big problems are solved, so she can just be a child. But what about when we’re no longer children?”

Tending the Flame, Dharma Discourse by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold Sensei, Book of Serenity, Case 53, Huangbo’s “Dreg Slurpers”, Featured in Mountain Record 29.1, Fall 2010

Where was this when I was in such emotional pain and wanting to be saved? I have spent many years seeking salvation, desiring to be a child. I felt like I had little guidance growing up and was willing to do anything someone told me to do, if they were willing to mentor me.

I have learned, the hard way of course, that others are more than willing to “save” me, as long as I give them my eternal unquestioning obedience. They promise protection but provide abandonment. Then, when I balk, I am chastised for “never having been committed” in the first place. Really? You avoid any type of relationship with me and criticize my lack of fidelity?

This is for all those women/girls looking for someone to take care of them: you may be “lucky” and find someone, but the price is always too high. Instead of being taken care of, you will be doing the caretaking. If you should ever complain, you will likely be labeled as “uncommitted” or “selfish”. Be “selfish” now. Don’t fool yourself to begin with. Take care of yourself now. If you find an organization or relationship that demands conformity, keep going. Don’t walk. Run! Your sanity, emotional health, spiritual health, and maturity depend on it.



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About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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