Living as Letting Go
“Learning to live is learning to let go.” Sogyal Rinpoche
I am trying to throw myself into my current situation, that of taking care of my husband as best I can. I no longer feel as obligated to act as though everything is normal. Normal is so yesterday.
I feel like I am starting through the birth canal of my next phase. Things are going faster: more clarity as to my part and feeling less resistance regarding the progression of his demise. I don’t feel the need to push. Life speeds up of its own accord. I have felt stuck a long time, but not as much now.
I just finished “Being with Dying” by Joan Halifax, Roshi. She emphasizes the four abodes of loving-kindness, joy, compassion, and equanimity. Her method is all about not-knowing, bearing witness, acceptance, listening, that kind of thing.
I live my life and deal with the immediate pressing concerns of eventual death. Then I go to the mall (or anywhere, almost) and wonder about whether or not these other people are aware they are going to die. Watching TV can be weird, with its emphasis on pleasure and trivialities. Even commercials for schools come off strange because the whole concept of “career” can be irrelevant when making payments on your own grave marker. (Barry and I will share a grave marker and I started making payments in June.) Now, it’s more like, “I want to have a positive impact and do a job that is enjoyable and aimed at my strengths.” My “life goal” at this point, and this is a little sad, is to pay off my student loans someday. Life-and-death issues are in my face and I have little tolerance for the trivial anymore. A day or two ago, I looked at a catalog and thought, “I could use that item. Would that item be worth giving to someone else when I am done with it?”
Maybe I am bad at “living in the moment”, but I am now looking at longer and perhaps more eternal time periods. I don’t want to buy something I use once and send to a landfill. Knowing that I will be forced to surrender everything eventually, I want to pass on something worth someone else having.