Consciousness is Always Better

Last week, I went to a wedding, of my oldest brother’s youngest daughter. It was extremely interesting.

This is Michigan. In February. The weather was wretched, snowing and windy, biting cold. It was unpleasant, to put it nicely. Just like that brother’s wedding about 38 years ago, when I was ten. Déjà vu.

I am sitting in the church during the ceremony. The bridesmaids all come in—dressed in black. Huh? I am no fashionista, but I do know that black is the universal color of mourning, loss, death, grief, and sadness. I know I cannot be the only person noticing this. The context might explain some of this: the bride is pregnant. I believe that whomever chose the décor was making a statement, conscious or not. “I am not happy about this wedding.” The statement came across loud and clear, regardless of whether or not it was deliberate.

At the reception, I am seated with a friend of my sister-in-law. This person and her husband know my brother, his wife, and all their children (living and deceased) from almost forty years ago. Wow. There are not a lot of people that share memories from that far back. We had a fascinating conversation. She mentioned that my brother and his wife still treat them the same way they did thirty years ago, as if nothing had changed. I mentioned the promise my sister-in-law had extracted from me umpteen years ago and that I was glad that time had passed and how I no longer intended to keep it all these years later. She responded like, “Yeah. That’s the way they are.”

I was somehow dumbfounded and not surprised, all at once. The casual acceptance of radical dysfunction profoundly disturbed me. It also confirmed my choice to exit the family for all intents and purposes a couple decades ago. I felt validated. I am very proud of the courage and integrity I possessed even back then. The idea that I would probably be getting treated the same way today tells me that my perceptions have been spot on: they live in the past. Growth and maturation are not acceptable. I would still be tiptoeing around every imaginable topic of conversation even today. Speaking of conversational topics…

Then my sister-in-law comes and sits next to me. I mention that this reminded me of her wedding during a blizzard, when I was ten. She had to think about it for a moment and said, “I hadn’t thought of that.” I didn’t think I was presenting a revelation; my comment was meant to be innocuous and about the weather. Even those dots had not yet been connected. Wow.

My problem is that I notice things. I connect dots. I see patterns. Those patterns enable me to make predictions that convinced my mother many yeas ago that I am psychic. Hilarious. The idea that I could simply understand more than her did not exist in her mind. My power must be supernatural. I learned long ago that most people do not notice everything I notice. But most people notice more than my immediate family does. The world I live in is full of relatively conscious people: New Agers, Buddhist converts, radical feminists, public school employees, racially-mixed neighbors, etc. I am used to being around people that question everything. Then I see my family, who questions nothing. Their level of blind obedience frightens me to my very core. Sieg heil!

I definitely don’t enjoy having no relationship with my siblings, but sometimes nothing is way better than something as violating as what I had before. The terms of having a relationship with my brother and his wife are forever unacceptable. I cannot be who I am with them. My integrity is worth infinitely more than their superficial version of “love.”

I sometimes envy people that can simply not notice much of anything. I would love the ability to not notice people’s words and behavior. Denial is not always such a horrible thing.

Then I get around such people and see how they actually live and think.

Spending years praying and meditating has upped my consciousness level. There is no going back. These things don’t make me a nice person, just an awake one. Consciousness is not always fun, but it is generally enlightening.

Awareness sometimes sucks, but it is always superior in every way to sleepwalking through life and having everything (even the most ridiculously predictable events) come as a total surprise. Woo hoo!?!



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.

One response to “Consciousness is Always Better”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: